Girl Geek Academy in conjunction with the City of Port Phillip is hosting Australia’s first Gender Equality Game Jam! Come and spend a weekend with us and help to create games of any genre or platform that address gender equality issues such as stereotypes and gendered drivers towards violence against women and all marginalised genders.
Gender Equality Game Jam
14-15 September 2019
@The Arcade - South Melbourne, Victoria
Create a game for a great cause in two days - ready up!
Firstly, you’ll join us for a workshop on Wednesday 4 September @ 6pm to hear from a range of health & games industry professionals to learn more about the drivers of inequality and how games can challenge these issues. Then on Saturday 14 September the jam kicks off at 9am – we’ll match your skills to a team of 3-4 other games practitioners and you’ll have until Sunday afternoon to create a game ready for the public to play. Plus you’ll be invited to showcase your game at our community space at PAX in October!
This isn’t just for Girl Geeks – this is an open gender event. Everyone is welcome to apply 🙂
Along the way we’ll fuel you with delicious food, give you access to amazing mentors and at the end we’ll finish with a play party to celebrate and share your hard work.
The best bit? Thanks to the legends at VicHealth, this event is FREE!
Why host a game jam about gender equality?
Because games (and the arts as a whole) has a powerful impact on society, and therefore has the ability to affect real change.
Because games can break hearts, create joy and make you see the world from a different perspective.
Because you can solve problems and have fun at the same time.
Because gender equality impacts everyone regardless of their gender.
Because the problem isn’t being fixed fast enough – so it’s time to try something new.
Because gender equality is a primary prevention issue for family violence, which is at epidemic levels in Australia.
Because this could be the catalyst for something epic.
Throughout history, artists have been closely involved with, and influenced, social change.
Today, art and creative pursuits are being increasingly used to promote gender equality and acknowledge gender diversity around the world – and we invite games practitioners to get in on the action.
Who can jam with us?
We’re looking for people of any gender who have some technical skills that can be used to create a game – preferably some experience in making a game. Whether you’re an industry veteran or just tinker in your spare time, we’d love to have you join us.
Our teams will be divided into three core roles:
- Hacker – the technical legends who get that coding done
- Hipster – designers/artists who help make your game look & feel good
- Hustler – the all-important producer role to keep everyone on track and bring the project together
As we create the teams, we will be matching people not just on their skills but also to create diversity of teammates. We believe it’s important to not just create diverse games about diversity, but also showcase what diversity looks like in a working environment.
But I’m …
… a guy? Excellent! We need your perspectives and experiences too – both in game creation and in gender equality.
… not a woman? Fantastic! While the workshop content we deliver will have a focus towards binary relationships (as that is what the most extensive studies are based on), the games created do not have to focus on standard male/female relationships. We want to hear your stories too.
… not in Melbourne? That’s cool! We are working on funding a small number of travel bursaries so our regional Victorian friends can come and jam with us too. Just get your application in and if you’re successful we can chat about what you need.
… not working in the games industry? No worries! Maybe you’ve studied games, maybe you’ve just made stuff in your spare time, or maybe you code for a different industry and want to get creative – as long as you have the skills, we’d love you to express your interest!
… too old/young? Pfft. As long as you are 18 years or older, you are welcome to join us. We’ve had fresh faced young’uns work beside people in their 60’s and we’ve all had a blast.
We value inclusivity
Let’s be real – we’ve all been to events where the organisers haven’t thought about some of the things our community needs in order to feel welcome. We don’t want anyone to feel excluded or that they should miss out on the fun!
We work hard to ensure that our programs are accessible to as many people as possible, and have already committed to the following initiatives. If you would love to join us but have a need that we have not addressed, please don’t hesitate to let us know before signing up.
- Disability access and facilities within venue
- Live CART captioning during opening and closing speeches
- Babysitting services for children 3yrs+ (let us know when you sign up!)
- Gender neutral bathrooms
- All dietary needs catered to where possible
- Limited travel bursaries for those outside of Melbourne
- Subsidised ticket costs thanks to VicHealth
What ticket should I buy?
So how will this work?
- First things first – get your application in! Closing date is Friday 16 August 2019.
- Successful applications will be notified by Wednesday 21 August 2019.
- The pre-jam workshop will be held on Wednesday 4 September 2019. This will be compulsory as we need to ensure all participants have the same basic info about gender equality. There’ll be food, there’ll be cool people, and we promise to make it an enjoyable night. (Can’t be there in person? We’ll work out an alternative with you!)
- Game jam starts at 9am on on Saturday 14 September 2019 and runs until 9pm that night. Then you GO HOME TO BED. No stinky, sleep-deprived jammers here.
- Come back at 9am on Sunday 15 September 2019 to code more, then break the code, get stressed, figure it out, and deliver your game by 2pm.
- At 3pm we’ll welcome the community to join us to celebrate & play your games, before wrapping everything up by 5pm! (Tickets for this will be available closer to the event)
If you’ve made something you’re proud of, we’d love to then invite your team to showcase your game at our community space at PAX Australia. Pretty cool, right?
Meet our amazing program partners!
City of Port Phillip
The City of Port Phillip is one of the oldest areas of European settlement in Melbourne, known and treasured by many for its urban village feel and artistic expression. It is a city of distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character, defined by heritage buildings, strip shopping and entertainment precincts, beach promenades and treelined streets.
Star Health is a leading provider of Primary Health services in Victoria. They provide a broad ranges of services for you and your family, spanning across the entire life span, including GP Services, Dental Services, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Counselling, Family Violence Programs and Diabetes Education. Our Health Promotion team works with schools, early learning centres, workplaces and the communities to promote health and wellbeing
The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) is a pioneer in health promotion – the process of enabling people to increase control over and improve their health. Of all the things we do, above all we seek to make health gains among Victorians by pre-empting and targeting improvements in health across our population, fostered within the day-to-day spaces where people spend their time, and with benefits to be enjoyed by all.
The Gender Equality in the Arts grant is about shifting community attitudes on gender equality. The arts has an important role in disrupting gender stereotypes and shining a light on unhealthy attitudes and behaviours that lead to gender inequality and violence against women.
- What time do I need to be there?
On Saturday registration opens at 8:30am for a start at 9am sharp. Allow yourself enough time to find a park, register, grab a coffee & find a seat – there will be important information shared during that first session so you don’t want to miss it! We will work right through the day and finish around 9pm that night (don’t worry, we’ll keep you well fed and busy so the time will fly).
Doors will open on Sunday at 8:30am and the hackathon will finish around 3pm – but we ask that you stick around until at least 5pm for the Play Party! Check out the other games created over the hackathon and celebrate your achievements with cheese and cupcakes.
The whole event will finish no later than 6pm.
- What kind of games can we create?
Whatever you like! Digital games, card games, board games, party games, app-based games… whatever your team gets excited by. The idea is to try and reach at least the prototype stage by the end of the weekend so others can play & test your creation.
Our mentors will have a broad range of experience across different disciplines so no matter what you’re creating there will be someone able to support you.
- Can I join a particular team, or create my own team?
Unlike #SheHacksGames where you could join as a team, for this event we will create every team so you can only register as an individual. This is not just so the skills are balanced with your teammates, but also to ensure diversity.
- Why do we have to attend the workshop?
As we are dealing with such an important issue as gender equality, it’s essential that everyone participating understands the basics of the issue – which is where the workshop comes in. We’ll also be discussing how art can provoke social change, network over dinner with your fellow jammers and meet some of the mentors as well. It’s going to be fun!
- Something has come up and I can no longer attend - what do I do?
As we expect that more people will apply than we can take, we want to make sure every place is fillied – so please make sure you can commit to the program before you sign up. We will have a waitlist but it’s not easy to find someone with a spare weekend at the last minute!
Most importantly – if you cannot attend, please let us know as soon as possible so we can reallocate another participant into your team. We handpick our teams based on skills and experience levels, so by not showing up on the day your team will be left without crucial skills that can’t necessarily be replaced easily. Please consider your fellow participants.
- Can my friends/partner/kids/grandmother/llama drop by to say hi?
While it’s awesome that they want to support you & cheer on your team, for OHS reasons we can’t have an open door policy during the hackathon so it’s best that they leave you to do your thang. If there’s a situation where this does need to happen (e.g. dropping off/picking up kids from our babysitting area) then check with a Girl Geek Academy staff member beforehand so we are aware.
HOWEVER we don’t want them to miss out on all the fun – so we will be releasing free tickets to our post-hackathon Play Party! They can play the games, eat some cheese and support the amazing effort you put in over the weekend. Stay tuned for more details.
- What will we be eating?
If you’re asking that question, you’re our kind of person 🙂
Girl Geek Academy is known for fantastic and abundant catering at all our events. (Have you ever tried to be creative when your stomach is grumbling? No hangry gamers on our watch.) Our focus is on delicious, filling but healthy food – so no pizza or greasy food here. And you know we will always have cupcakes to celebrate!
We also cater for dietary requirements, so when you fill in your order form you can tell us about what you need. If for some reason we can’t work around it we will get in touch directly and make it happen. Nobody should be put off attending just because they can’t eat the food.
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