By Katie Nattress

Computer game jammers flocked to the first Hastings Game Jam, run by the University of Brighton. Members of the public, industry representatives and students from schools, colleges and the university were among those attending the event at the Havelock Road campus.

The jam, run in association with the Education Futures Trust, was sponsored by the university’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, the Journalism and Digital Media Hub, Brighton’s Student Union, O’Reilly Media, Studio Gobo, and GOG.com.

One of the event organisers, Dr Jon Nicholson, Senior Lecturer at the School of Computing, said: “The event was aimed at bringing together local schools, colleges and community with the university. The game jam itself did that very well, and encouraged visibility of education of STEM subjects available in the Hastings area and helped people at all levels of study a progression path into the competitive world of game development.  “Going forward we want to build the event into a regular feature that supports and highlights the emerging and vibrant digital economy in Hastings. Beyond participating in the jam the event also helped to bring together students from other courses. For example, some students from our Journalism and Broadcast Journalism courses volunteered to record footage, take photographs, and conduct interviews at the jam. This is being used toward their coursework and portfolios.”

Attendees of the event also had some glowing comments. University Digital Games Production student Hannah Harvey said: “I loved the event and I would most definitely attend again. I give massive credit to the people who created and ran it.”

St Leonards Academy student Harry Mitchell said: “It was very well organised, informative and a huge amount of fun! I loved every minute.”

Yann Eves, Lead Developer at Affio, Brighton, said “The size of attendance was far above what I expected. Everything was very well organised.”

Following the success of this year’s event, another jam is expected to be held in November next year.

For further information, go to blogs.brighton.ac.uk/gamejam and @HastingsGameJam

For more information on the university’s games research, go to: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/crome/research-projects/gamification-in-human-resources.aspx and https://www.brighton.ac.uk/centrim/research-projects/creating-games.aspx