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Friday, Jan 27, 2012

Sleep Paused As Creative Minds Create at Video Game Marathon

The deadline was tight, the stress was high, and the pressure was palpable at the 4th annual Global Game Jam, where students have 48-hours to problem-solve and create digital content resulting in the best video game – ever. Hosted for the first time at Herzing University – Madison, the Global Game Jam took place from 5pm Friday, January 27 to 7pm Sunday, January 29. Approximately 50 gamers from all over the state, the Twin Cities, Chicago, and more set up shop all over campus – in the computer commons, art lab… anyplace where they could set up a computer. The event is held simultaneously worldwide, according to http://globalgamejam.org.

“Roughly half were students from Herzing,” said Erik Pederson, Graphic/Game Design department chair. “Some of the other schools represented were the University of Wisconsin (Madison and Whitewater), ITT Technical Institute, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.”

Design teams created a total of 12 games. The complete set can be viewed and downloaded at globalgamejam.org. (A direct Madison link is http://archive.globalgamejam.org/sites/2012/madison-game-jam-2012).

“The games made are workable prototypes,” said Paul Johann, Graphic/Game Development faculty member. “They were functionally fun, but unpolished and rough.”

Members of the Graphic/Game Design department said the space worked perfectly and everyone worked together well, despite the obvious exhaustion.

“It was a great success for everyone,” Pederson said. “All of the contestants thought it was a good time, and many said they would do the drive again next year to attend.”

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