The European Game Jam Learning Hub (JamToday) project, funded under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework (CIP) Programme of the European Commission, aims to support the creation and uptake of digital educational games in Europe. It will do this through the organisation of ‘game jams’, which bring together a diverse range of artists, game designers and computer programmers to develop digital games within the confines of a predefined time constraint.
In the case of JamToday, these events will be organised once every year, for three years. They will be organised around a particular theme, with at least seven project partners participating in each game jam event. The themes include:
- Year 1: Improving ICT Skills (such as learning coding skills or creating games);
- Year 2: Adopting a healthier lifestyle (such as healthy eating or changing antisocial behavior);
- Year 3: Supporting learning of mathematics.
The results and experiences of those attending these game jams will be presented at three JamToday Festivals. These festivals will attract companies and digital gaming experts in order to help spread the knowledge developed during the project as well as ensure that the developed games have an educational impact. All of these activities will be codified in reports, which will provide guidance for the organization of subsequent game jams within, and beyond, the confines of the JamToday project.
One of the identified needs for the Sofia region, which was revealed during the Boosting European Games Industry (BOO-Games) project’s research phase, was the need to assist students and job seekers in identifying opportunities for career and educational development in the digital gaming industry. Participation in the JamToday actions provides an opportunity for ARC Fund to help address this need, by facilitating the participation of interested persons in the game development process, and in linking them with relevant networks and contacts where their work could be used.
Through the BOO-Games project, the stated goal was to address the lack of sector specific policy support for the digital gaming subsector of the creative industries in Bulgaria, through the utilisation of best-practices from across Europe, as well as raise the profile of this industry to policy-makers. JamToday, on the other hand, would help to stimulate, in a “bottom-up” way, the digital gaming sector in the country and, simultaneously, help to instigate a change in how the education system treats digital technologies, particularly the use of digital games in educational contexts.
The project brings together 26 partners from 10 European countries, including: the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, UK, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, France and Bulgaria.
Todor Yalamov, firstname.lastname@example.org