Collaborative Design in Extension- Using a Modified Game J…

 A combined team of developers and Extension educators: Where other game jams often have multiple teams working towards a theme, this jam had only one team, which included developers from the Learning Games Lab (NMSU); and researchers from UConn Extension as content experts.  No competition: Unlike other Game Jams, this jam was not a contest. The team worked collaboratively on the same project, delivering a single prototype at the end.  Online format: The entire jam event occurred online, with larger meetings (with developers and content experts) and small group meetings (developers only) collaborating via Zoom. During the game jam week, the combined team met daily for 1-3 hours either to establish initial goals, or review discussion. The smaller design team would then meet and collaborate the remainder of the work day (and near the end of the week, chose to spend 10-14 hours to finish a working prototype by the end of the week).  Week-long process: Instead of happening in two or three days, this project took place primarily during one week; developers and content experts met daily to work towards goals and then continued to work collaboratively offline.  Transformational content: Some game jams may include serious or educational games. As with other Extension educational initiatives, this team researched what kind of content would lead to the behavioral and other changes they wanted to see in their audience.  Interdisciplinary collaboration: This jam format gave the combined and interdisciplinary team ways to test ideas, shape future research, understand the game development process, and build partnerships.

With key goals refined and activities identified for the modified game jam, the combined development team set a time for their game jam and began the process.


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