On January 18, 2016 we held an event called the “Virtual Reality Game Jam” at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Idea Forge. We had over 50 kids attend and over 20 volunteers helping out. It was a full event. The kids were immediately filled with excitement as they were given the opportunity to explore and play with the new Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headset. We wanted to inspire them to begin conceptualizing ideas for the game they would be creating that day. The kids were excited as they discussed with their team what kind of game they should design and build. It did not take them long to be comfortable with each other. They were very aware that the other kids were all video game lovers and had just as many ideas on what game to build.
The kids were grouped into teams whose names were based off of well-known video game heroes. With the guidance of our volunteers, the kids were able to spend a whole day creating a short 2 minute scene of their game. The kids assigned each other specific tasks. It was teamwork in action! Some kids were working on the art design, searching for special effect sounds, some of them were designing what the world looked like – they were phenomenal! And at the end of the day, they were able to show their finished games to their parents. It was a proud moment for the parents to see their kids accomplish so much in such a short time.
But this event would not have been successful without the help of our team of volunteers and especially our sponsors. The kids & volunteers loved the meals that were served by Moe’s Broadway Bagels, Noodles & Company, Subway on Baseline, Domino’s and Beaujo’s pizza. On top of that, there were cool prizes from Karliquin’s Game Knight, Game Force, Boondocks Food & Fun, and Gateway Park Fun Center. And finally we must thank the University of Colorado Boulder’s Idea Forge for donating the use of the awesome space for the kids to have fun, meet new friends, and learn video game design. Thank you to all of our sponsors! Keep an eye on our blog for announcements about future fun events like this one!