Theater Game Jam is an interdisciplinary community engagement initiative that brings together theater makers and game designers to create game-based immersive theater experiences. Our 2-day workshop framework encourages participants not just to experience immersive theater, but empowers them to design their own theater game prototypes. We hope this process encourages further collaboration between theater makers and game designers in order to grow a networked community of interdisciplinary artists working beyond the boundaries of genre and form.
On June 20-21, theater company Swim Pony Performing Arts and The Engagement Lab @ Emerson College held our first Theater Game Jam. This free 2-day event welcomed the public to learn about the intersection between games and immersive theater.
With only 48 hours, participants designed and built their own immersive theater prototypes framed within Swim Pony’s upcoming performance called THE END: An interactive and outdoor theater experience that uses game design to explore and confront death. The first day involved a crash course in both immersive theater and game design to help establish some common language across both disciplines.
Participants then formed small teams to brainstorm project ideas and begin the design and development process. At the end of the second day teams showcased their prototypes with short presentations and performances that gave a glimpse into what a full production version might look like.
We created a Slack team to help theater jam participants and hosts connect with one another to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and meet others interested in the intersection between games and theater. If you are interested in joining, please send a message to Jordan@elab.emerson.edu with the subject line "Theater Game Jam Slack" and we will send you an invite.
Interested in hosting your own theater game jam and building a community of theater game makers in your city? Our implementation guide and resources will be coming soon! In the meantime, feel free to contact us for advice or ideas in running your own jam.
We would love to help you promote your jam and/or display the results! You can contact us directly by emailing Jordan@elab.emerson.edu and Swimponypa@gmail.com. Send us your pictures, videos, documents, thoughts, etc.!