Just a few weeks ago, back in January, Jessica Blanchet and Gina Haraszti (me) embarked on a mission to bring GAMERella to the Swedes! GAMERella is usually organized in November in Montreal by TAG, Charlotte Fisher and Gina Haraszti under the roof of the Technocultures Arts and Games Collaboratory (TAG). It’s a game jam with a mission to create a safer, and encouraging environment for women and first-time game makers.
To our delight, Global Game Jam organizers officially made their Swedish location of their yearly GGJ an instance of the original GAMERella. They invited two members of TAG to come to Sweden and introduce GAMERella across the pond, so Jessica and I packed their bags and left snowy, freezing Montréal for … snowy, slightly-less-freezing Sweden? Apparently the snowstorm we experienced upon our arrival in Sweden is actually uncommon! Guess we couldn’t help but bring a bit of Canadian winter as a thank you gift!
We were welcomed to Gothenburg, Sweden, by the Collaboratory, a next-generation, remixed maker space, innovation lab, art and design studio. The members of Collaboratory have a focus on electronic and interactive arts, film and communication technologies, but are open to all forms of artistic expressions. The locale and studio space of the Collaboratory is extremely well-situated in Lindholmen, where it has a huge space next to the university and the local film studios.
We held two workshops: a Twine workshop and a basic Arduino workshop. Pre-jam workshops that help sharpen game-making skills have been a tradition of GAMERella since the very beginning. We find that while teaching new skills to soon-to-be-game makers, its most important function is to make participants realize their own potential, to have that empowering moment of: “Oh, wait, I can do this!”
Just before our GAMERella-flavoured Global Game Jam opened on Friday, Collaboratory opened the very first electronic arts festival in Sweden: Electrodome http://electrodome.productions/art/. It was next door to the Collaboratory in the Gothenburg film studios. For the Electrodome, TAG was invited to feature games built in our space. We brought 3GAMERella 2014 games from creators in Montréal: Nicki Homaj, Egg Boss and No! I’m the Captain.
GGJ à la GAMERella went fantastically. The theme of the jam was “What do we do now?” and we had 6 great games made by around 18 participants. One of our favourite game was DUCKS, a very interesting multiplayer game. Along the Collaboratory team, we were very impressed by all of the games and will host a play event in TAG on March 18. Stay tuned, more info on that soon!
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