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Game Jam: Playing Games is More Than Just Fun

BEAU, Game ArtOver the weekend of January 25-27, Broadview Entertainment Arts University (BEAU) and International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Salt Lake City hosted the local site for Global Game Jam.

This was part of the biggest game jam in the world.  A game jam is an event where you get a theme at the beginning, form teams, and then develop a small game prototype in just 48 hours.  It is an excellent way to get some experience developing games in teams, and it is fun to work on projects and discuss ideas with other gamers. 

The event included both video games and board games to allow all gamers to find something to do. Everything from 3D art to 2D pixel art could be found. Eighty people attended the event and the side event, MindCraft, where participants worked on costume projects in a social environment and learned from panelists about things like sewing, crafting costume armor pieces, molding, and sculpting.  At the end of the event there were 13 games created, and the gamers were tired but had accomplished smiles, friends and fun. 

Organizer Josh Jones from SmartBomb Interactive said, “Every year our event has gotten bigger, and teaming up with BEAU has given us great facilities to have the event.” 

Josh has been leading the charge for several years and BEAU is glad to work with him and IGDA.  BEAU offers a Game Art program that gives students the skills to work in the gaming industry, which is booming in Utah.  Several BEAU students had the opportunity to be part of the event and found it to be an exciting weekend of gaming.  This is an example of the type of event we encourage our students to participate in to improve their career opportunities. 

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