October 26, 2022

The Inaugural York University Game Jam addresses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

On November 4 to 6, the first-ever York University Game Jam offered students the opportunity to conceptualize, design, and build a functioning game as a team.  Participants created a game from beginning to end in a prescribed time. The tight time period encouraged creative thinking, making small but innovative and experimental games.

This year’s YU Game Jam focused on creating games that echo and creatively address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The United Nations SDGs is a framework that calls on member countries to take urgent action in seventeen critical areas to ensure peace and prosperity for people and the planet. Beginning in 2020, York’s SDG Challenge is a five-year pan-University exercise to support and recognize a wide range of grassroots activities that may touch on any of those sustainable priorities.

The game jam also encouraged students to create socially responsible games in the spirit of the serious games movement, an area of particular expertise among our faculty. The SDG Games Challenge ran over one weekend and was open to all York University students who worked in small groups to create a game that tries to solve or educate about one of the SDGs.