Nia Wearn BSc (Hons), MA
Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Design
Award Leader for BSc Hons / BEng Hons Computer Gameplay Design & Production
Currently working part time on a Phd currently
entitled "Identifying commonalities in the
working practices of students during a Global
Games Jam event in line with their education at
I’m passionate about encouraging play, creativity
and fun in education, especially where games are
• Having the ability to play games.
• Having the ability to understand
meanings with respect to games.
• Having the ability to make games.
• (Zagal, 2010, p. 23)
3. Games Courses @ Staffs in 2016
Core Design &
Niche Awards for Specific Interests
4. The areas we teach in
5. What we do in Games
• We’ve been doing this since 2006
• We’ve had a lot of alumni go through our
– Which in that time have evolved with the needs of the
– We have bed rock ideas that form key things we
Core to this is We Make Games
7. How to find this out
What we said
What we think
This kind of reflective practice should
give me an over view of the skills
associated with teaching people to
9. Enter The Global Games Jam
• 48 Game Jam – Friday to
• 300+ students take part
– Current staffs games students
– Alumni Students
– Staffs students that aren’t
– Other Students from colleges /
unis / waifs & strays
10. What Do I want to find out?
Do the skills that we
teach on our courses get
used by students when
they make a game in
If so – which ones and why?
11. 2015 Pilot that wasn’t a pilot
• Initially I had an idea of doing a
pilot study in 2015
– Some things got in the way ->
– Trying to balance organising with
anything else was problematic
– Each Jam Site organiser is also
involved in the social media
• E.g tweeting, videos, reddit etc
12. Observing a Global Games Jam
• Easier said then done
– Students have only a limited time to make the
– They are either focussed or asleep
– They have a goal to have a finished game
13. Things to consider
• Without getting in the way?
• Without making them angry?
• Could I train research ’minions’ to help?
How do I
observe a GGJ
• I need to make sure there’s a mix
• How do I control teams without making
do I observe
• Post event interview?
• Autoethnographic write up?
• Large Scale Questionnaire?
14. Issues the research faces
2016 is my only shot
• In summer 2016 we
move up to the Stoke
• Jan 2016 will be the
last Global Games
Jam on the Stafford
• We’ll host them on
the Stoke Campus,
but we don’t know
what that will do to
Previous attempts at
• Previous attempts to
students post jam
• Similarly gathering
some students for a
post jam discussion
from a different event
came to nothing
• Full time teaching
and Part Time PHDing
is tricky to balance at
the best of times
• January is a really
busy time of year
• The GGJ falls after the
CFP for the 2 main
*This is discussed a little in Wearn. N, Fletcher. B, Vigurs. K (2014) Contextualising nonattendance of eligible
students to Global Game Jam locations. In: Foundation of Digital Games 2014 , 3-7 April 2014, Ft.
Lauderdale, FL .
15. Things in place to help in 2016
• Staffs Staff GGJ organisation Team
– No longer a 2 person operation
– More tutors willing to stay overnight means I can
concrete on my research
• Pilot that wasn’t a pilot meant I had chance to
think about the best way to gather data
without comprising the participants
16. Why do this at all?
Could we use a
Games Jam type
thing to assess on
our Games Courses?
17. Please come and talk to me
I’m ludicrously open to suggestions on how I could do
some of these things – This is a small field with big