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JamLogo“Now I Get It!

A Transformational ‘Game’ Jam

May 1-3, 2015 in Pittsburgh

Presented by:
Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center

In conjunction with the Transformational Experiences Summit


What Happened?

We put developers, educators, and experts in a room for 2 days and they produced seven prototype experiences, one for each of our incredibly diverse & serious challenges. We hope this event inspires others and so we have posted many of the materials from the jam below.

The Experiences Created
Who was there?
Closing Presentation
Opening Keynote by Nicky Case
Event Photos
Other Documents & Links
Opening Presentation
Process Guide
Jammer Schedule
G+ Community
Twitter Posts

(If you want to know more about the jam or want help replicating this event, you can contact sabrina@nowigetitjam.com.)

How It Works

The Now I Get It! Jam is a weekend jam pairing developer teams with domain experts to design & build digital experiences that create moments of insight.

Pre-set Challenges

Submitted by Educators & Organizations, each challenge is a conceptual linchpin for learners or community members to understand a topic.

Mixed Teams

Comprised of a mixture of developers, domain experts, & educators, each team takes on one of the challenges.

2 Days

Over several days, teams build interactive experiences and accompanying curriculum materials to create moments of insight for learners.

"Now I Get It"?

In any domain there are concepts that are hard for learners and outsiders to truly understand. Sometimes these concepts are hard because they are intellectually difficult. Sometimes they are hard because they are abstract. Sometimes they are hard because they are unrelatable.

Interactive media can be a powerful tool to bring these concepts to life and create moments of insight for players. This can be in the form of games, animations, simulations, interactive stories, etc.

At the Now I Get It Jam, the immediate goal is to tackle these hard concepts and create an experience that generates a “Now I get it!” moment. A secondary goal is to promote collaboration between educators and developers, leading to future partnerships.

How is this Jam Different?

You may have participated in or heard about other game jams. There are a few things we are doing a bit differently:

Educators & Experts on the Team

Educators and Experts aren’t just advising teams. They are on the team and will be driving any curriculum content embedded in or accompanying the experiences made at the jam.

‘Pre-production’ Before the Jam

At many jams, you do no preparation beforehand. At this jam, teams will be talking and collaborating, especially about their challenge concept domain and how to approach their learning goals, in the days leading up to the jam.

Friday Morning Start Time

Many jams start Friday evenings, after work, and extend development through to Sunday. By starting on Friday morning, we hope our teams come in well rested and ready for a full day of collaboration and building.

Playable, Not Necessarily a ‘Game’

Teams will be using the tools & tricks of games- interactivity, simulation, etc- to create experiences that engage players with each concept. But that doesn’t mean they have to make a game. See the Inspirations below for some examples.

Get Involved

The Challenges

Understanding Through Interactivity

The Now I Get It! Jam was designed around the idea that the power of interactive media can be harnessed to make difficult concepts more approachable by everyone, and that these experiences benefit from the partnership of developers, educators & domain experts.

This event was inspired by works like the ones linked below- check them out!

inspirationTeded inspirationEarthPrimer inspirationPoP inspirationSpent inspirationDragonBox

When & Where



Carnegie Mellon’s ETC

700 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15203


bluePinClosing Showcase
WQED Studios on Fifth

4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213



Day 1, Entertainment Technology Center
Friday May 1:

  • 08:30am: Doors open
  • 09:00am: Breakfast & Opening Remarks
  • 10:00am: Teams begin work
  • 12:30pm: Lunch
  • 01:30pm: Work Continues
  • 06:00pm: Dinner & Team Sharing
  • 07:300pm: Work Continues, Playtesters Available
  • 12:00am: Day wrap-up (site closes at 1am)

Day 2, Entertainment Technology Center
Saturday May 2:

  • 08:30am: Doors open
  • 09:00am: Breakfast & Announcements
  • 09:30am: Teams begin work
  • 11:30am: Playtesters Available
  • 12:30am: Lunch
  • 01:30pm: Work Continues
  • 03:00pm: Technical Check-in
  • 06:00pm: Dinner & Team Sharing
  • 07:00pm: Work Continues, Playtesters Available
  • 12:00am: Day wrap-up (site closes at 1am)

Closing Showcase, WQED Studios on Fifth
Sunday May 3:

  • 12:15pm: Set-up for closing showcase
  • 01:00pm: Showcase opens to guests
  • 01:30pm: Closing Presentation
  • 03:00pm: Farewells

Special Thanks

Sponsors & Partners

Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology CenterSchellGames_logo_forDarkBG Pittsburgh IGDA

Staff & Volunteers

Manoj Anand
Michael Lee
Anna Roberts

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