What is Rad Jams?
Rad Jams is a summer camp for youth 14-18 years old that’s organized and run similarly to game jams. Jammers can choose to spend a week or weekend to dive in and make video games, guided by counselors skilled in their disciplines who can teach them everything they need to know about game development as they go! Create your own teams, choose your roles, and work together to make a distinctive game of your own conception.
Our intent is not to teach a static curriculum of game development but to provide access to development tools, theory and knowledge. Our studio facilitators will use a “sandbox” approach to creation: Youth will be encouraged to experiment, prototype, and develop skills in the areas that interest them. It’s important for everyone to have a space where they can create the things they want to create, express their unique visions, and find power in their own voices.
What Is A Game Jam?
“A game jam is a game development event in which participants gather to combine their skills and create games in a short period of time.”
Basically, a game jam is a bunch of developers bringing a mishmash of ideas and cool techniques together to create a game of some kind. Jams can last anywhere from 24 hours to a whole month, but the idea behind it is to create a fun, shared experience with everybody involved. There’s no hard and fast rules, but usually it involves food, laughs, and trying new things.
Who Does Game Jams?
You! Your friends! Your neighbor’s dog! Game jams are for everyone, but Rad Jams’ focus is on expanding the community of creators. Our motto is:
Our jams and jam camps are for youth 14-18 years of age who are from diverse demographics -- primarily young women, LGBTQ+ youth and youth of color.
Rad jammers come from demographics that might not otherwise have access or encouragement to pursue game development. Our hope is to not only create this space within our program, but to encourage youth to participate in game academies, college programs, and the games industry at large.
Most of us working at Rad Magpie have experienced being the only person like us on a team. By creating a deliberately diverse opportunity, we are paving the way towards a more inclusive, creative community. It’s good to see people like us, making games for people like us.
Why Do We Jam?
Okay, look. Making video games is fun. Really, really fun. Who doesn’t want to make video games?
But there’s more than fun to our jams. In addition to the technical aspects of game development, Rad Jams looks to impart each of our jammers with the following principles:
Collaboration creates community. Shared creation feels great and brings us closer together.
Spontaneous game making that’s all about process, not product allows us to take risks and be innovative.
Jamming shows us that everyone has amazing things to bring to the table. Including ourselves.