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Annoucing the Cross-cultural Impact Jam (March 20-28)!

The Cross-Cultural Impact Jam (March 20 - 28, 2021) will bring together 72 students from 18 universities from Canada, the United States, Senegal, and France to collaborate in creating games and immersive experiences around the theme of inclusivity. Students will participate in activities that explore how to design for social impact and workshops on the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion within the games industry. Participants will then be grouped with students from other countries to develop a prototype experience in Unity around the theme of inclusivity and inclusive design.
Unlike most jams which generally ‘crunch’ development into 48 hours, the Cross-Cultural Impact Jam’s activities will occur over the course of a full week; this allows for collaboration between teammates across global time zones, provides time for students to balance their school and personal schedules, and encourages a counter-crunch mentality. At the end of the week, participants will be equipped with a newfound global community, a portfolio piece published on the Unity Play platform, and the tools needed to support themselves as we all work to make the Games Industry more inclusive and equitable.

This jam is presented in collaboration with the Cultural Services of the Embassies of France in the US, and Canada, the Consulate General of France in Quebec, Unity Technologies, and Games for Change. It is part of Games for Good and Transitioning to Virtual Exchange, initiated by the French Embassy in the U.S., the FACE Foundation, and its partners, and part of Unity's Social Impact Program. The SNJV (French syndicat for video game) and the French Game Schools Network provided their support to this initiative.

Virtual workshops and activities will include:

  • A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workshop led by the IGDA Foundation that will help students understand the importance of inclusive practices in the industry
  • A design workshop utilizing the Games for Change DEEP Impact Methodology, teaching participants how to develop experiences for impact and what considerations should be made at every stage of production
  • Unique teams composed of one student from each participating country, fostering international collaboration and networking
  • Mentorship and critique from industry experts and university professors around the world
  • A culminating Pitch Session where teams present their prototypes with industry experts who will offer individualized feedback and assign superlatives to celebrate student work

Keep an eye out for more info about the games, as well as selected superlative winners and prizes, and stay tuned for more as we celebrate diversity and inclusion in the games industry!

Participating Schools:

              About the Cultural Services of the French Embassies
              The Cultural Services of the French Embassies promote the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in 15 cities across the US, Canada, and Quebec, the Cultural Services bring creators and entrepreneurs to North America and build partnerships between French and North-American NGOs, companies, institutions, and universities. The French Embassy in the US coordinates the program Games for Good to build a more inclusive gaming industry through workshops, delegations, a training program, and the Transitioning to Virtual Exchange Covid-19 Relief Fund to support French-American collaborations and to prepare for the post-pandemic when international travel resumes.
              About Unity
              Unity (NYSE: U) is the world’s leading platform for creating and operating real-time 3D (RT3D) content. Creators, ranging from game developers to artists, architects, automotive designers, filmmakers, and others, use Unity to make their imaginations come to life. Unity’s platform provides a comprehensive set of software solutions to create, run and monetize interactive, real-time 2D and 3D content for mobile phones, tablets, PCs, consoles, and augmented and virtual reality devices. The company’s 1,800+ person research and development team keeps Unity at the forefront of development by working alongside partners to ensure optimized support for the latest releases and platforms. Apps developed by Unity creators have been downloaded more than five billion times per month in 2020. For more information, please visit www.unity.com.
              About Games for Change
              Founded in 2004, the Games for Change (G4C) mission is to empower game developers, XR creators, and social innovators to drive real-world change through games and immersive media. G4C’s signature program is the annual Games for Change Festival, which virtually welcomed 6,800 registrations and participants in 2020. G4C has numerous programs that advance serious gaming and learning initiatives, including the Games for Change Student Challenge — a national game design competition for public middle and high school students that has reached over 27,000 students over the last five years.

              More info about the Jam here.

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