Arabic Game Jam in Malmö – 48 hours of Arabic culture and game development

This weekend (January 27-29) Arabic Game Jam enters Malmö – gathering 50 game developers and people interested in games. By cross-fertilizing Arabic cultures with game development, the aim is to develop games and game ideas for the Arabic speaking market, and potentially increase the number of job opportunities in Malmö.

In Malmö and the surrounding region, we find a great number of strong actors involved in both the games industry as in game research. At the same time we can see unutilized competence among the citizens of Malmö. Many of our citizens have a deep knowledge of Arabic cultures, which can be used in the games industry, says project manager Karolin El-Jaleb.

Both passionate gamers and people with knowledge of Arabic cultures are welcome to participate in the project. At present, there are few games with Arabic elements or an Arabic context – even though the Middle East is a vital market for the games industry, El-Jaleb continues.

Inspirational keynotes
The Arabic Game Jam begins on Friday afternoon with inspirational keynotes on themes such as Arabic cultures, game cultures, game design and methods used in game development. Among the speakers are Nadia Jebril (journalist, debater and TV-host) and people from the games industry (e.g. Junebud, RIM and TocaBoca). As soon as the keynotes end, the game development teams start their work, which continues till Sunday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon all the game concepts are pitched in front of a jury consisting of business developers and people from the games industry, and the audience. The jam is attended by Josef Fares, film director, screenwriter and game developer.

The goal is to create employment for the citizens of Malmö
Prize money is awarded to the three teams representing the most talent during the weekend. The goal is that the jam turns into a further venture, through a game development business or on its own.

– This is an opportunity to take a game idea to a new level and create new job opportunities. From the city’s perspective this is a way to make talents visible and give them a chance to grow, say Hampus Trellid, development manager in Rosengård.

-There are strong connections to the development of our IT- and entrepreneurial profile through Framtidens skola (The School of the Future) in Rosengård, Trellid continues.

Background
Arabic Game Jam is a 48 hour long game concept development jam. During the weekend of January 27-29th, approximately 50 participants gather at K3/Malmö University with the common goal to create seeds of innovative game concept, specially aimed at the Arabic speaking markets. The event is a part of Global Game Jam and builds on the same format and setup. Global Game Jam takes place in 200 different locations around the world. Copenhagen hosts Nordic Game Jam at the same weekend as Arabic Game Jam takes place in Malmö.

The organisers of the event are: Rosengård Stadsdelsförvaltning, Näringslivskontoret Malmö stad, MEDEA Malmö Högskola and Media Evolution.

When: January 27-29, 2012
Where: K3, Malmö University, Östra Varvsgatan 11A, Malmö

Read more on arabicgamejam.org and a more thorough description here (in Swedish).

Image credit: Beth Rankin CC:BY 2.0