Vega students flexed their mental muscles at a gruelling two-day ‘Game Jam’, which took place at the school’s Durban and Cape Town campuses from 21 to 23 April 2017.

The Game Jam saw students studying at Vega School, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE) coming together as teams to create a new digital game in just one weekend – a dramatically shorter time frame than game development usually takes.

The event is part of the Ludum Dare (LD) competition – an accelerated video game development event. It’s both the longest running, and the largest Online Game Jam in the world.

“A game jam is a true test of mental endurance, where students work around the clock to bring a gaming idea to life, snatching an hour or two of sleep whenever they can,” says Robert Chrich, Academic Navigator at Vega.

Students work with like-minded people as part of a team to find ways of making their game ideas come to life, while gaining practical knowledge and expertise in each other’s disciplines.

Chrich says that the Vega Game Jam not only benefits participants academically during their time as students, but will also broaden their horizons, career-wise.

“The most valuable part of participating in the Vega Game Jam is that our students spend time actively engaged in a gaming development project,” he says.

“This provides a unique opportunity to grow their skill sets, build up a strong portfolio of work that demonstrates their understanding of game development to prospective employers, giving them a better chance of cracking it in the industry.”

Vega provides a variety of The IIE design, development, and creative qualifications tailored to meet gaming industry standards, and its participation in the LD Game Jam is another step towards establishing it as the tertiary institution of choice for young people hoping to pursue careers in the gaming industry.

“This is Vega’s first Game Jam, and we plan to host three of these events each year, with the intention of building them into the curriculum for all students,” says Chrich.

The Vega Game Jam is open to all Vega students in any discipline, and of any skill level. Students are encouraged to sign up as teams, but individuals can also sign up by themselves and will be allocated. Participation is free, and meals as well as free Wi-Fi access are provided.

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