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Global Game Jam 2014: What to Bring

What to Bring to the Global Game Jam at American University

What to bring to an all-night game-making binge? Start with lots of energy. After that, think about bringing anything that’s going to help you be creative, comfortable, and brilliant.

Your paid registration and the support of our sponsors means you don’t have to worry about much while you are here. Snacks, beverages, opening night pizza, prizes, prototyping tools and facilities are included. 

We have dining facilities and coffee shops open to the public and restaurants within a quick walk. We will have several spaces reserved only for game jam participants for the weekend.

Attending our jam is like going to camp for the weekend (without tents, cots, or the outdoors). Pack accordingly, but leave the bug spray at home.

What we provide:


  • Community Space
  • Meeting rooms
  • Support and volunteers (faculty, industry professionals, etc) to help with your process
  • Teams (we will help you find team members)
  • Prizes (t-shirts, others gifts, etc)
  • Internet Access / Guest Internet Access
  • Event UStream live broadcast

What you may want to bring:

  • A few changes of clothes
  • Toothbrush, deodorant, soap, and other toiletries
  • Pillow/Blankets/Sleeping bag or other napping comforts
  • A little cash for incidentals (vending machines, emergency caffeine pills)
  • Books, cheat sheets, art supplies, or other resources you might want to refer to while making your game.
  • A web cam – we are providing one for Ustream, but you might want to Skype with friends)
  • Mints, mouthwash, and anything that will help people talk to you after 48 hours of Mountain Dew and garlic pizza.
  • Your preferred beverages and snacks
  • Anything that will help you create and be comfortable, but please keep the boom box at home – we don’t all like the same music.
  • Medicines (maintenance medications, allergies, inhalers, even if you don't expect to need them , better safe than sorry)
  • Laptops and software (as needed)
  • Paper prototyping resources (old board games, cheap tokens, etc)
  • An open mind, full of energy and ready for new ideas.

You should also label anything of value (art kits, books, etc) before you arrive (in case you drop or lose something in a sleep deprived stupor).

Food Center donut


American University also has a variety of food options within walking distance of the event’s locations. You can purchase anything from cheeseburgers to sushi at one of the university dining halls. You can also walk down New Mexico Ave. for more food options or that 36-ounce double-espresso you may need on Sunday morning.  


Typically, participants don’t sleep at the event. Of course, everyone’s human, and a nap won’t hurt. Most participants find a quiet spot to think through their game design with their eyes closed and their nose snoring. It seems to help. We do not offer beds, but it’s a big building, and you have access to good places to think.

We generally provide "a quiet room", next to our secure storage room for people to rest during the event. If you prefer to really break up your team’s vibe and crash at a hotel for the night, there are a few options in Washington DC and Maryland. 


We will provide a limited access room for storing items. It is best to leave any valuables at home. Bring your laptop, but leave your diamonds at home. American University can't assume liability for valuables.

Items required for registration

Anyone who is not a student or faculty member and participating in the event must sign a waiver of release.


We don’t really encourage people to visit during the main event.

However we strongly encourage your friends, family and even a nemesis or two to swing by the opening event and the closing ceremony. The opening event will have a guest speaker and the closing ceremony will be a great way for people to see what you made.

The opening and closing events are open to the public. 
Please invite people to the following:

  • Keynote guest lecture and GGJ Video Keynote: Friday, 5:45 pm in McKinley Hall First floor
  • Mid-stream status: Saturday at 6:00pm, McKinley Hall
  • Closing Ceremony: Sunday, 2:30 pm in McKinley Hall (1st floor)