This Portsmouth Festivities lecture from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries features: Game Jams, Extreme Constraints and Playful Developers and is led by Dr Neil Dansey, a lecturer in the School of Creative Technologies.
Game Jams are high-intensity competitions where teams attempt to make a working video game in just a few days. Through anecdotes and examples we present our experience of 10 years of running Game Jams, before providing a wider contextualisation of Playful Prototyping via the 1980’s “Demoscene” and contemporary “hacker” cultures.
Then, through anecdotes and examples we reflect on our experiences from 10 years of running Game Jams at the University of Portsmouth, before discussing how the kind of playfulness associated with the Game Jam ethos pervades digital creativity in general, particularly in the context of the 1980’s “Demoscene” and contemporary “hacker” cultures.
Many developers revel in the challenge of imposing unnecessary, and often extreme, constraints on their creation process. Instead of focusing on the end product, the triumph over the self-imposed obstacles becomes the reason for the work itself. From the depths of the internet we present a number of impressive and amusing examples of achievement in the face of technological adversity, and through a discussion of our own humble attempts, offer some first-hand insight into why people might engage in such an apparently masochistic pastime. Finally, we present our initial investigations into how this playful spirit and love of voluntary constraints can also be observed in disciplines such as creative writing, and how this highlights some interesting contrasts with playfulness in contemporary game development.
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