Last weekend I took part in my first competitive game jam – the inaugural DreamHackathon, at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe. This 24-hour game jam had a 100,000kr pize pool and counted eye gaze hardware manufacturer Tobii amongst its sponsors. It brought together some 90-odd jammers comprising 27 teams, and it sat right alongside one of Europe’s biggest esports tournaments. In the middle of all that, I teamed up with 4 other people to make a game in which you play as improbably fat cats, lusting after surströmming.
Given that I’ve attended game jams before at settings including a museum, the headquarters of Mind Candy and a boat moored in København, it didn’t feel quite so strange to bring my laptop and game controllers along to the world’s largest hemispherical structure; home to ice hockey matches, major concerts and of course, this major esports gathering. The venue was still impressive, though – replete with banners, posters and merchandise from the likes of World of Warcraft and Counter-strike: Global Offensive. I made my way past all of that, wearing a green “competitor” wrist-band, in order to reach the colourfully-lit bar which would be home for the next day.