Collaboration, Dedication, and Social Pressure: A Comparative Analysis of Virtual and Face-to-Face Game Jams
How, if at all, do virtual and face-to-face game jams afford different technological processes, social experiences, and values that are important to game design and development?
Game jams are virtual or face-to-face events where game developers (often non-professional or hobbyists) collaborate to make digital games within a limited time frame. As these events have become not only game-creation events but also social collaboration spaces, important questions emerge regarding how exactly different modes of game jams can offer different affordances for developers’ social collaboration.
① Posting messages on Reddit and multiple Discord channels for game developers who had participated in any game jam.
② Snowball sampling by directly contacting game developers in the USA who we already knew and had participated in any game jam.
24 semi-structured interviews
In-depth qualitative analysis: thematic analysis
① Shared experiences across virtual and face-to-face game jams: preparation for required skills and tools; preference for familiarity when teaming; struggles with time management; challenges in identifying the appropriate scope of work.
② Unique aspects of social collaboration in virtual and face-to-face game jams: flexibility; social pressure; the richness of social interaction.
We contribute to the gaming community by providing empirical evidence on the unique roles and values of different modes of game jams in game development and by highlighting the social aspect of game making.