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Global Game Jam 2009

48-hour coding frenzy gets under way.

HAMILTON, New Zealand – January 30, 2009 – The first Global Game Jam (GGJ), a worldwide event challenging game developers to create innovative games in just 48 hours, has officially begun, with more than 2,000 developers signed up to participate in the inaugural event. The action brought to the world via webcam from many of the jam locations, is now available on GGJ also announced that partners including the IGDA, Unity, and Mekensleep are all supporting the event.

From now, until 5:00 p.m. Sunday, February 1st, college students, faculty and members of the game industry will join together for a game building marathon. Participants will be given the details of the game design theme, constraints, and mechanics allowed, when the clock reaches 5:00 p.m. local time in each region, with the first time zone being New Zealand, and the last being Hawaii. As the start time comes in each time zone, the constraints will also be changed; mitigating any advantage that location might give one team over another.

"Wow! Just wow! This is a monumental undertaking for the IGDA's Education SIG, and truly demonstrates the global and collaborative nature of game creation," said Jason Della Rocca, executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

"Unity has always been about enabling creativity - we started as just three guys in a room and are still to this day in love with the crazy creative energies that game jams foster; hence we are thrilled to be part of the Global Game Jam, and we are offering anyone participating in it access to a beta of Unity 2.5 Pro for Windows or Mac platforms to build the game," said Nicholas Francis, CCO of Unity.

"We felt that the Global Game Jam was such a fantastic way to encourage people to make and understand games and so much in line with our spirit of tinkering and having fun that Mekensleep just had to be part of it," said Olivier Lejade, founder of Mekensleep Studios.

About Global Game Jam

Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the brainchild of Susan Gold, director of Game Program Review and chair of the Education Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association. GGJ brings together talented individuals and teams from around the globe and rallies them around a central theme, for which they have 48 hours to create their game. With more than 2,000 participants at 53 locations in 23 countries, GGJ is a showcase of the creativity and talent of the international game development community. GGJ is sponsored by leading companies including Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., Mekensleep Studios, and Unity Technologies. For more information on the Global Game Jam, including a list of locations, a sample schedule for the three days at each site and more, visit at



Stephen Jacobs


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