Wrapping up the first year of EPIC-WE

Onsite consortium meeting in Óbidos

In the picturesque town of Óbidos, Portugal, EPIC-WE recently reached a pivotal milestone with its onsite consortium meeting, marking the successful completion of its first year. The event, warmly hosted by the Municipality of Óbidos, not only provided a platform for partners to convene but also highlighted the local government’s staunch support for the project, underscored by the attendance of Mayor Filipe Daniel. This gesture reinforced the municipality’s dedication to fostering cultural innovation through game jams, a core component of the project.

Throughout the meeting, partners engaged in an in-depth evaluation of the year’s activities, achievements, and challenges. It was an opportunity to not only celebrate the progress made but also critically assess and refine our strategies for the future. EPIC-WE remains dedicated to cultivating a playful and participatory culture, driving forward innovative co-creation synergies among all stakeholders.

EPIC-WE Cultural Game Jam #1: Aarhus 3-4 Feb 2024

In Aarhus, Denmark, the inaugural EPIC-WE Cultural Game Jam was a fusion of youthful creativity and cultural heritage. Held at ARoS, the renowned art museum, the event saw 25 diverse young minds delve into game-making against the backdrop of Denmark’s rich cultural heritage.

Guided by an Expert Council, participants transformed cultural concepts into thought-provoking games, culminating in an EXPO where their creations were shared with the public. These games offered players immersive experiences that explored cultural heritage in transformative ways.

Each game showcased unique perspectives on culture, art, and history, highlighting the power of games as vessels for cultural exploration.

Access the story about the event

EPIC-WE Cultural Game Jam #2: Óbidos 6-9 Feb 2024

Óbidos hosted its first EPIC-WE Cultural Game Jam between February 6th and 9th, setting the stage for young talents to express the cultural heritage of the medieval village through video games. Under the theme “Óbidos Creative City of UNESCO Literature,” undergraduate students from Lusófona University embarked on a four-day journey of creativity and innovation.

Partnering with the Municipality of Óbidos and Battlesheep, the cultural game jam exemplified the project’s goal of empowering youth to absorb European values through game creation. With the establishment of Óbidos Hub, a collaborative effort between academia, industry, and local authorities, the event heralded a new era of cultural engagement through gaming.

Looking ahead: Upcoming Cultural Game Jam in Hilversum

Prepare for an immersive experience at the upcoming EPIC-WE Cultural Game Jam in Hilversum, Netherlands. From April 13th to 14th, young talents aged 20-24 will converge to explore themes of cultural sensitivity, climate change, and media bias through game design. Hosted by the Hilversum Hub, in collaboration with Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Dropstuff Media and the Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision, the event promises to foster creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Participants will have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals, refine their design thinking skills, and leave with a game that reflects their innovative spirit.

Day 1: Explore, Create, Collaborate

The Cultural Game Jam begins with an immersive dive into thematic discussions, focusing on culturally sensitive topics such as climate change and media bias. Participants engage in thought-provoking conversations, sharing insights and perspectives that fuel the creative process. Forming teams, participants embark on a journey of innovation, brainstorming game concepts that reflect their unique viewpoints and values. Each team hones their ideas, crafting narratives that resonate with both players and cultural contexts. Pitching their concepts to an expert council, teams receive invaluable feedback and guidance, refining their visions and setting the stage for tangible development. As the day progresses, the Sound & Vision building becomes a hive of activity as participants immerse themselves in crafting paper prototypes, transforming ideas into concrete game designs.

Day 2: Refine, Test, Present

The second day heralds the refinement and testing phase, as participants kickstart their day by putting their prototypes to the test. Gathering feedback from peers and mentors, teams fine-tune their game mechanics, ensuring a seamless player experience and narrative coherence. Applying insights gained from testing, teams enhance their games, incorporating elements that elevate the overall immersion and engagement. With each iteration, the vision becomes clearer, and the games evolve into polished creations ready for presentation. As the culmination of the Cultural Game Jam approaches, participants gather to showcase their creations to a supportive audience. Final pitches highlight the ingenuity and creativity behind each game, offering a glimpse into the transformative journey of game creation.

Want to be part of upcoming Game Jams in Hilversum? Reach out!

As we wrap up a fruitful first year, we look ahead with optimism and renewed commitment to our mission of empowering creativity and collaboration. The insights gained and the foundations laid in this initial phase set a promising stage for the upcoming year, as we continue to strive towards making a significant impact through our collective efforts.

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For inquiries, please contact: 

EPIC-WE Coordinator & Research Leader | Rikke Toft Nørgård: rtoft@edu.au.dk

EPIC-WE Communications Manager | Aline Albertelli: aalbertelli@keanet.eu 

Aarhus hub | Kim Holflod – Communications Officer: kimh@edu.au.dk 

Hilversum hub | Maaike Jansen, Project Assistant: mjansen@beeldengeluid.nl

Óbidos hub | Paula Lopes, Communications Officer: p3599@ulusofona.pt 

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