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SPSU to host 2nd Annual CDC ‘Games for Health’ Game Jam

SPSU to host 2nd Annual CDC ‘Games for Health’ Game Jam

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AUG. 25, 2014 – Those who love playing video games have a chance to try their hand at creating cool new ones with an educational slant during SPSU’s Fall Game Jam, a 48-hour marathon that is one of the largest game design and development events in the United States. This year’s jam is scheduled for Sept. 26-28 in the J Building.

For the second consecutive year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will sponsor the event, giving it a Games for Health theme, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

SPSU will host up to 400 gamers focused on developing games that educate users about major health issues. The teams judged to have produced the best and most innovative games will have a chance to compete for $15,000 in development funding to bring their ideas to the marketplace after the game jam weekend.

“We encourage participants to think outside the box with exergaming, mobile/spatial games and games that utilize geolocation data to create innovative experiences,” said Dr. Jon Preston, professor and coordinator of SPSU’s Computer Game Design and Development program. “Of course, they can also do a health-themed game on the traditional console/desktop, and we are especially interested in board games. We’ll have a digital and a non-digital game-development track.”

Game jam participants must be at least 18 years old, though they don’t have to be students of SPSU or any college. People of all different skill levels can contribute, and designers, programmers and artists (including audio, 2D, 3D and environmental artists) are needed. Experts from the CDC and HHS will be available during the jam to advise and inspire participants on worldwide health topics. The event will begin at 5 p.m. Fri., Sept. 26, and run until about 6 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 28, although participants are free to come and go as they please throughout that time.

Registration is free – thanks to the event’s sponsor – and advance registration is required through http://gafallgamejam2014.eventbrite.com. For updates as the event draws near, please visit http://spsugames.blogspot.com/.

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