Game designers accept 48-hour challenge for young carers

01 August 2012

Game designers accept 48-hour challenge for young carers

Around 100 designers and artists will take part in the challenge

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is challenging some of the nation’s most talented creatives to design a computer game, in only 48 hours, which will help young carers across Scotland.

The ‘Jammin for Small Change’ event will see around 100 designers, programmers and artists given  two days to create a game which will help young people from ages 8 to 16 who care for family members.

The marathon event begins on Friday, August 3 at 2pm, ending Sunday afternoon when a group of young carers will choose the winning entry after an arcade testing session. GCU runs the annual ‘Scottish Game Jam’ where hundreds of successful games are developed in very short timescales by a mixture of student, amateur and professional design teams. 

Event organiser Dr Jonathan Sykes, director of eMotionLab at GCU, has spent a year working with the NHS on developing a social portal for young carers. He said it quickly became clear that a tailor-made game could play an important role in his new site.

Dr Sykes said: “A lot of the young people will come to the portal and not know anyone else. We need a game that brings people together to accomplish goals, celebrates friendships, and offers young carers respite from their caring responsibilities through play. 

“The successes of recent Scottish Game Jam events, which have attracted more than 150 designers and programmers from across the country, have shown that as a nation we can develop great games in such a short timescale and we are keen to put that knowledge and experience to good use.”

The young carer portal, CareSpace, is being developed in partnership with Scottish Centre for Telehealth and Telecare, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Carer’s Scotland, University of Edinburgh and Glasgow School of Art.

The winning game will be available via secure internet portal www.carespace.org  and Dr Sykes and his team are also working to develop chatrooms and one-to-one counselling sessions on the website to help young carers receive emotional support and professional advice.

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