#BardJam – a literary game jam writing challenge for April

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Following on from last year’s Alice Jam 150 (an Alice in Wonderland themed game jam) I was itching to run another online game jam. So, the Shakespeare themed Bard Jam has been set up and will run throughout April. As Read Watch Play online book discussion theme for April is #BardRead and because The British Library and Game City also have a theme of Shakespeare for their Off The Map competition I thought it would be a nice idea to tie a writing related jam into other related things running at the same time. The game jam this time is focused solely on text based games, and can include interactive fiction, text adventures and any other text based digital story. Full details of #BardJam can be found here.

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Geek Week at the Library

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We’ve just finished a great week of events at Guildford Library under the banner of Surrey Geek Week. It tied in with British Science Week and also Innovate Guildford festival. It included events for children and adults, including robotics workshops, programmable Lego, learning sessions, Dungeons and Dragons, a gaming afternoon, a Raspberry pi jam, and a gamification talk. It’s the first time we’ve run it and it was a great opportunity to try things out to see what would work and to build links with different groups and individuals in the local community. Many of the events were a success, with sold out sessions. I was responsible for organising the robotics workshop (big thanks to Carlos and his Maker Cart, who was also key in the January Maker Day), the Gaming Day (big thanks to the staff who worked on a Sunday and also local gaming groups who came along with board games and retro consoles), and the Maplin Meccanoid drop-in (big thanks to Maplin – a couple of robots in the library got a lot of attention).

During the week we’ve made plenty of contacts with groups interested in what we are trying to do in the library service in regard to digital services and making. eg 3D printing, robotics, electronics, and anything techy based that give people the opportunity to create.
It was a fun week, even though I do generally wear my anxious Wurzel Gummidge style “will it go okay, will anyone turn up and will they enjoy it?” head on when I’m organising events. Well, they did turn up and going by the smiles and positive feedback they did enjoy it, so now I can put on my Wurzel Gummidge “happy head”.
A concentrated week of events and related activities was a bit of a learning experience, but I think the whole team did a great job of organising, promoting, and making sure it all ran well.