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FOR SCIENCE! UK Game Jam ExPlay 2012 This Weekend

My home represents the ideal. I am a gamer, my wife is a scientist. And combined, our interests make us THE GREATEST COUPLE ON EARTH. (Except she hates games.) Presumably modelled on our union is this weekend's game jam from the Wellcome Trust - a science-themed event called ExPlay 2012. (The same Wellcome Trust who are supporting this year's Make Something Unreal, as it happens.) Taking place tomorrow and Saturday in Bristol and London, it aims to combine the hardcore explorative processes of game making with the mysterious magicks of science.

I love this sentence from the jam's site:

"Open to teams and individuals, the Games Jam will be led by expert bio-medical scientists from the Wellcome Trust, who will reveal a theme at the start of the 24 hour period during which participants will work round the clock to create a brand new, playable game."

There's one taking place in Bristol at the Pervasive Media Studios, and another in London at the Science Museum, both starting at 6pm Friday night, finishing 25 hours later early Saturday evening. (Except, er, they're closing both buildings overnight, so teams will have to relocate until 9am the next day, which is a bit odd. Presumably this is because all the exhibits come to life at night time, which would cause distractions.)

This is all part of the Wellcome Trust's initiatives to try to make people stop hating scientists so much, and scientists stop hating people so much, so maybe one day we can get past the genetically modified food thing and learn to get along. The yet-to-be announced theme will definitely be a biomedical one, and part of the jam is to have the place staffed by proper actual scientists to consult with the developers. If we're not careful, we might learn something.

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John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org