Nordic Game Jam

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Nordic Game Jam
Nordic Game Jam logo.png
Abbreviation NGJ
Formation 2006, with first Nordic Game Jam held January 27–January 29, 2006
Location Copenhagen
Official languages English/Danish
Parent organization International Game Developers Association Denmark

Nordic Game Jam is an annual game jam that takes place in Copenhagen, created in 2006 by Gorm Lai (the Danish chapter of the International Game Developers Association) in collaboration with Jesper Juul (the IT University of Copenhagen) and Henriette Moos (Diginet Øresund). It is the biggest videogame-related event in Denmark and one of the largest game jams in the world, with 500 participants as of 2014.[1] Participants are given a theme or series of restrictions at the beginning of the event and are then given around 38 hours to make a game around those. In 2009 it served as the flagship game jam and inspiration for Global Game Jam. The 2013 edition of Nordic Game Jam was for the first time held at Aalborg University – Copenhagen.[2] The latest Nordic Game Jam was held from February 14-16, 2014.[3]


Participants in the Nordic Game Jam come from several Nordic countries as well as other countries around the world. People of all skill levels and from various fields are welcome, such as game designers, programmers, sound designers, graphic artists or simply those interested in learning how to make games.

Before the jam begins, participants are given some time to meet and form teams, encouraging partnering with new people. Afterwards the theme and restrictions for that year are released and the countdown for 48 hours begins.

Past events[edit]

The first Nordic Game Jam was held from January 27–29, 2006, at the IT University of Copenhagen. During the jam, 40 participants created 8 games in 48 hours.[4]

In February 2007 the number of participants doubled to 80 with a total of 12 games created.[5]

For 2008 the number of participants increased to the point of becoming the biggest game jam in the world at its time, with 150 participants and 19 games.[6] The main theme for 2008 was "Taboo" and three constraints: the game had to loop, had to be playable with a controller and was required to be multiplayer.

In 2009 Nordic Game Jam became the flagship for the Global Game Jam, which started that same year during the same time. Chairman of the IGDA Education Special Interest Group Susan Gold organized an initiative with Ian Schreiber and Gorm Lai to have game jams around the globe in the same way as the Nordic Game Jam and with Nordic Game Jam as flaghsip, inspiration and model. A total of 157 participants took part in the jam and made around 29 games.[7]

For 2010 Nordic Game Jam brought the at the time Microsoft Game Studios Creative Director Peter Molyneux as keynote speaker and member of the jury.[8]

In 2011 Greg Costikyan was the keynote speaker.[9]

For 2012 Senior Designer at Bioware Manveer Heir gave that year's keynote speech.[10] A total of 350 participants attended that year.

The 2013 edition of Nordic Game Jam however brought several changes. Besides taking place in a new venue (Aalborg University in Copenhagen) it was also moved one week ahead of the Global Game Jam, separating itself from the global competition to allow participants to go to both Nordic Game Jam and a Global Game Jam event elsewhere the week after. The keynote speakers were Dennaton and Vlambeer. The event attracted a total of 470 participants.

In 2014, Nordic Game Jam took place at Aalborg University - Copenhagen again and had John Polson as the keynote speaker. The event had a total of 500 participants, and 110 games were created around the theme of privacy.


  1. ^ Nordic Game Jam (February 18, 2014). "#NGJ14 is over! Long live #NGJ14!". 
  2. ^ Official announcement for the new venue for Nordic Game Jam 2013 [1]
  3. ^ Nordic Game Jam. "Practical Information". 
  4. ^ Website for the 2006 edition of Nordic Game Jam [2]
  5. ^ Website for the 2007 edition of the Nordic Game Jam [3]
  6. ^ Website for the 2008 edition of the Nordic Game Jam [4]
  7. ^ Main page for the 2009 edition of the Nordic Game Jam.[5]
  8. ^ Main page for the 2010 edition of the Nordic Game Jam.[6]
  9. ^ World-renowned Game Designer Greg Costikyan comes to Denmark
  10. ^ Pre-Interview with Keynote Speaker Manveer Heir