June 18, 2019

Global Game Jam NEXT - Games Education for the NEXT Generation

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Global Game Jam Next, is a Game Jam organised for people interested in making games (be it videogames, board games, or card games…) who are under 18 years of age. It is basically the younger sibling of the Malta Global Game Jam. This year we're running a small pilot for Global Game Jam Next in Malta organised by the Institute of Digital Games and the Directorate for Learning and Assessment Programmes (Ministry for Education and Employment) for people aged between 12-16 years.

The Global Game Jam Next will be held at the Institute of Digital Games, on Friday, 12th July 2019. It will start at 5pm and go on till approximately 8pm.

This year we teach you the basics of game design and some useful tools to make your game. Specifically, we teach you how to make your game in Gamemaker 2.0.

Parents/Guardians, will participate in some game information workshops, mainly related to the potential benefits associated with playing and designing games, as well as receive information on the trajectories students could take in a game-oriented career. (e.g. what skills and subjects are relevant for working in the game industry, what is the game industry like in Malta, what is it like globally, what can you do with a game-oriented education, etc.)

Parents are requested to register their children here.

What is a Game Jam? Make games like a real game designer

The goal of a game jam is to come together and make a game (be it a videogame, board game, card game…) Jammers quickly come up with new ideas, and make quick sketches of how they might work to prototype and playtest. Often jammers have a theme or central idea to work with. The brief time span will encourage creative thinking and hopefully innovative experimental games.

What is GGJ NEXT®? Games for the next generation

GGJ NEXT provides both educational opportunities to learn about game development and a yearly jam for young people age 12-17.

The GGJ NEXT jam aims to bring together talented young people within their school and community. It is a unique opportunity for students to learn new STEAM skills, and improve their creative thinking and exploration in a safe space.

The GGJ NEXT jam will happen all over the globe based around a central theme. Events will be between 1 and 5 days long, and we need your support to make that happen!

A Longterm Vision for Games Education

This GGJ NEXT is only the beginning. Next year (July 2020) we aim to hold a multiple day event in which the students will make a larger game. By collaborating with the Ministry for Education, we aim to follow up on the work started with this Game Jam and support the interested students in preparation for Global Gam Jam NEXT 2020 by equiping them with technical know-how and a confidence with the basic tools used in game design.

Invited Speakers

Dr Iro Voulgari - Institute of Digital Games

She is a graduate of the Department of Education Sciences in Pre-School Age of the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. She followed this with a Masters in Education in Information Technology, Multimedia and Education, School of Education and Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds, UK. Her dissertation was on The Value of Computer Games in the Classroom: Qualities, Applications, and Evaluation of Effective Learning Tasks. She also hold a PhD from the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education, University of Patras, Greece with her research focusing on Massively Multiplayer Online Games & Learning.

Dr Elina Roinioti

Dr. Elina Roinioti at Playzine Workshop

Dr. Elina Roinioti is a sociologist and researcher in the field of digital games. She is focusing on the study digital games in a cultural context. She has designed a number of games for learning and has participated in local and international games festivals. Since 2015 she is working at the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media as an academic advisor focusing particularly in the development of the field of digital games. Over the past years, she has been organising the Athens Games Festival.

Stephen Bezzina - Ministry for Education and Employment

Stephen is an Education Officer within the Ministry for Education and Employment. His focus is on diversity in learning, metacognitive strategies (for example learning to learn) and cooperative approaches to learning. He holds a Master of Science degree in Digital Education from the University of Edinburgh, specialising in games, learning and assessment. Stephen is a passionate advocate for the good use of games in learning and for society.

Jasper Schellekens - Institute of Digital Games

Jasper is one of the organisers of the Malta Global Game Jam. He has been part of the organising committee since 2016 and is a veteran jammer having completed a number of Game Jam Games including a couple of digital games like How was you day? and a few board games like Babelship. He has been supporting the research and communications of the Institute representing them at international trade events and festivals such as Science in the City.

Babelship Playing board

GGJ NEXT Programme - Workshop and Overview



5pm-5:15pm - Introduction to Game Jam Concept - Dr Iro Voulgari

5:15-5:30 - Game Design Thinking - Critical Problem Solving - Dr Elina Roiniotti

5:30-5:35 - GGJ NEXT Keynote!

5:35pm-8pm - Workshop on Game Design and GameMaker by Iro Voulgari - Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute of Digital Games

5pm-5:15 pm - Welcome and Introduction to Game Jam Concept - Jasper Schellekens - Research Support Officer at Institute of Digital Games

5:15pm - 5:45 pm – Games: A waste of time? Stephen Bezzina - Education Officer at MEDE

5:45 pm - 6:00 pm - A Career in Games: An overview of the options - Jasper Schellekens - Research Support Officer at Institute of Digital Games

6:00 - 6:45 - Working in the Industry - The Life of a Game Designer - Examples from the lives of Greek Game Designers

Break and informal Q&A Session

7:15pm - 8:00pm - Parents/Guardians will join their kids in order to witness and learn more about what they have created!

Light refreshments and water will be available during the event.