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Visualising the 48 hour game making challenge

  • Turner, Jane
  • Thomas, Lubi
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2012
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive


We have always felt that “something very special” was happening in the 48hr and other similar game jams. This “something” is more than the intensity and challenge of the experience, although this certainly has appeal for the participants. We had an intuition that these intense 48 hour game jams exposed something pertinent to the changing shape of the Australian games industry where we see the demise of the late 20th century large studio - the “Night Elf” model and the growth of the small independent model. There are a large number of wider economic and cultural factors around this evolution but our interest is specifically in the change from “industry” to “creative industry” and the growth of games as a cultural media and art practice. If we are correct in our intuition, then illuminating this something also has important ramifications for those courses which teach game and interaction design and development. Rather than undertake a formal ethno-methodological approach, we decided to track as many of the actors in the event as possible. We documented the experience (Keith Novak’s beautiful B&W photography), the individual and their technology (IOGraph mouse tracking), the teams as a group (Time lapse photography) and movement tracking throughout the whole space (Blue tooth phone tracking). The raw data collected has given us opportunity to start a commentary on the “something special” happening in the 48hr.

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