Game jamming as a way to work with theory and thinking within the Arts

As part of the MA course Computer Game Theory at Aarhus University, students participated in a 2-day game jam using game design to critically think through concepts and theoretical frameworks. Simultaneously creating games that pushes the boundaries of our scholarly thinking through a subject such as the trolley problem, hybrid interfaces, disgust or Dante’s Inferno and creating academic arguments based on theories for those games, requires critical-creative thinking, ability to connect theory and practice as well as proficiency in externalising theories and arguments into interactive game concepts and experiences. To help students push the boundaries of their thinking within a theoretical domain, externalise that thinking into a game concept, and make other people participate in that thinking through playing the game, Rikke Toft Nørgård, Claus Toft-Nielsen, Jeanette Falk Olesen and Mikey Andersen delivered a 2-day game jam as part of their teaching in the course. During the game jam, students, divided into small teams used game design methods and game jam processes to scaffold their scholarly thinking and align their academic arguments towards their studies of a certain subject and domain within which they will do their final exams. The final academic games covered subjects within philosophy, information studies, experience design, literature studies and psychology.