TjejHack Formally Founded in Stockholm

Yesterday saw the founding of an ambitious and practically-minded ideellförening (en: non-profit organisation) whose goal is nothing less than the promotion and accessible teaching of game development to girls and women.

TjejHack is a scheme founded by Inger Ekman, whose company – Spelverkstaden AB – brings games education and game jamming to schoolkids and teachers. TjejHack’s club meetings see Inger and a team of exclusively female volunteers passing their expertise on to other girls and women, in a safe and supportive environment.

TjejHack Debut

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LadyCADE & “Mimic” at GameCity 9

Modus OperandiNottingham’s GameCity is a singularly special event in my annual games culture calendar. This year, as the festival also announced its new and permanent home in the city, I threw myself into co-hosting two events for LadyCADE’s first anniversary, as well as helping to show Mimic and experiencing a little of the festival myself.

I was also interviewed for The Guardian on the Monday, and spoke about what I was up to there:

As the rest of my GameCity experience covered show much ground, I’ve opted to return to a photoblog format for this recap. More past the cut!

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SETI-Jam Stockholm

Last weekend I shifted position a little, turning from game jammer into jam co-organiser. Myself, Inger Ekman and Jon Back* arranged our local satellite of the global SETI-Jam – in which astronomers and game developers collaborated using real astronomical data. Our theme was simultaneously broad and fascinating, in that we had to address Frank Drake’s equation, for the likelihood of there being extra-terrestrial intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

Drake's Equation

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My Oddball DreamHackathon

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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.

Team Oddballs, 5 hours into jamming

Team Oddballs, 5 hours into jamming

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.

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