What happens when game developers and enthusiasts get together for a weekend to create a game? Is it possible? What can they possibly create? These and more are what the annual Global Game Jam seeks to answer. 

Every year towards the end of January, game developers, game studios, gaming enthusiasts, writers, programmers, designers, illustrators and other creatives gather for a full weekend to create a new game from scratch, in 48 hours. 

This year’s Global Game Jam will happen from January 31st to February 2nd worldwide. As is the tradition, a theme for the game will be announced on Friday, the first day of the jam. Jam Sites across the world will then get to work ideating, and creating a game based on that theme. 

The Global Game Jam is a great way for gaming communities across the world to network and collaborate. in that collaboration, participants can find opportunities to grow and expand skillsets, find exciting new jobs and be more deeply entrenched in the local gaming community.

Global Game Jam 2019 Locations in Africa

Africa is not left out of the thrill of this game hackathon. 37 (an increase from last year’s 33 ) jam Sites have registered to participate in 20 countries (an increase from last year’s 18 countries) across the continent. Each location has specific rules governing them so be sure to click on locations close to you to read them. 

In Ghana, where we’re based, there are four jam sites. Namely, Leti Arts, The Den in Tema, Ashesi University, and Phare Hill in Accra. 

Below are the jam sites across Africa. 

Benin

Epitcech Benin organized by Johanne Bruffaerts

Egypt

Egypt Game Jam

Egypt Game Jam 2020 – ITI/Cairo organized by Nader Medhat Albert

Ethiopia

d5gamejam organized by Kirubel Girma

Burkina Faso

Global Game Jam Burkina 2020

Enter Africa Game Jam organized by KEM Gaming Hub

Ghana

Leti Legends Jam

Leti Legends Jam

Leti Legends Jam 2020

Global Game Jam Tema

Global Game Jam 2020 Tema

Global Game Jam Tema organized by Gasbros Gaming Network

Global Game Jam Accra

Global Game Jam Accra 2020

Global Game Jam Accra organized by Paul Ziem (Gamenerd Inc)

GGJ Ashesi 2020

Global Game Jam Ashesi organized by Kevin de Youngster and Terry S. Tettey

Ivory Coast

Paradise Game Global Game Jam organized by Paradise Games

Madagascar

Passion 4 Humanity Faravohitra organized by Raharison Mika

Kenya

Global Game Jam Kenya

Nairobi Game Jam organized by Ludique Works

Mauritius

Global Game Jam Mauiritius 2020

Lakaz d’Art organized by Guillaume Clarisse

Morocco

Casablanca Global Game Jam

Casablanca Global Game Jam organized by Abdellah Alaoui Mdarhri

From Zero to Hero

FromZeroToHero organized by Elkoursi Elalaoui Hicham

Collège LaSalle Tanger

Collège LaSalle Tanger

DRAGON TANGER Global Game Jam 2020

DRAGON TANGER Global Game Jam 2020 organized by Salim Gharroudi

Namibia

Game Global Game Jam Namibia organized by Tutaleni Ilonga

Rwanda

GGJ 2020 Kigali organized by Robert Mugisha

Nigeria

Enter Africa Lagos

Enter Africa Lagos organized by Olorunfemi Adedeji (Enter Africa Lagos)

Futa Game Jam

Futa Game Jam organized by Akinfemisoye Ifedayo

IBBUL Jam Site

IBBUL Jam Site organized by Mohammed Ibrahim

Ibadan Global Game Jam

Ibadan Global Game Jam organized by Ibrahim Lukman (Deeptech Africa)

Microsoft Lagos Jam Site

Microsoft Lagos Jam Site organized by Onome Ofoman and Adedeji Ogundipe

Global Game Jam Ilorin

Global Game Jam Ilorin 2020

Global Game Jam Ilorin organized by Oluwatosin Ogunyebi (Throne of Gamers)

Senegal

Dakar Global Game Jam 2020

Dakar Global Game Jam organized by Sidick Bakayoko and Julien Herbin

Sudan

Global Game Jam 2020 Sudan

Global Game Jam Sudan organized by Sudanese Game Collective

South Africa

Cape Town

Vega School Cape Town organized by Jean-Jacques Rossouw

Pretoria

Vega School Pretoria organized by Adam Jerrett

Johannesburg

Vega School Joburg organized by Robert Chrich

Durban

Vega School Durban (students only) organized by Henk Scheepers

Tunisia

Global Game Jam TBS 2020

Global Game Jam TBS 2020 organized by Sellami and Aymen Mohsni

Global Game Jam Tunisia 2020

Global Game Jam Tunisia 2020 organized by Anoir Bennour

SIV HQ

SIV HQ organized by Zoubaier Aouadi

Global Game Jam ISAMM 2020

Global Game Jam ISAMM 2020 organized by Bouissa Mohamed (Indie Games Association)

GGJ by NETINFO_DALL

GGJ by NETINFO_DALL organized by NETINFO Tunisian School of Art and Technology

Zambia

BantuLabTech

BantuLabTech organized by Chaiwa Berian (BantuLabTech)

Global Game Jam Ndola

Global Game Jam Ndola organized by Jabu Mulenga

GGJ Nerd Otaku Lusaka

GGJ Nerd Otaku Lusaka organized by Dennis Banda

Livingstone Game Jam

Livingstone Game Jam organized by Parity Chizela

Uganda

Global Game Jam Uganda organized by Andrew Cara

Zimbabwe

GGJ Bulawayo organized by Jabulani Sibanda, Kudakwashe Muchirahondo and Lindelwe Mgodla

2020 Global Game Jam Theme

Every game jam is guided by a theme. The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon.

Last year’s theme was Transmission and the year before, Waves. Other themes in the past were:

  • 2009 – “As long as we have each other, we will never run out of problems”
  • 2010 – “Deception” (plus extra timezone-specific themes, including “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”)
  • 2011 – “Extinction”
  • 2012 – An image of Ouroboros.
  • 2013 – Sound of a Heartbeat
  • 2014 – “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
  • 2015 – “What do we do now?
  • 2016 – “Ritual”
  • 2017 – “Waves”
  • 2018 – “Transmission”
  • 2019 – “What home means to you”

Diversifiers, fun, optional challenges to add to the theme of GGJ19 are available at this page. Check out all the games developed at Global Game Jams since 2009 here

It will be a long weekend so best go prepared with enough change of clothes, snacks and your computer(s). Some venues offer free snacks while others sell them. Again, read the rules and descriptions of each location to get a sense of what’s in store for you. Pack some toiletries, water and your own snacks for comfort.

That’s it! Have fun with thousands of game enthusiasts across the world creating something beautiful.

Happy jamming!


GGJ20 is sponsored by Microsoft (headliner), Unreal Engine (champion), Buildbox (Champion) and Sony Interactive Entertainment (champion), and in partnership with Houdini Indie, Poki, DDM with support from Overclocked Legal, AirConsole, Valve, Plan of Attack, Tripple Topping and Prosearium.net. Learn more about these sponsors and partners here