This November 16-18, I'll be attending the inaugural Pittsburgh Game Jam. If any readers of this blog happen to be in the area, drop by and say hi!
This is exciting on multiple levels for me. For one, I haven't been back to my alma mater since I graduated (the ETC didn't even exist last time I was on campus, and I hear we eventually got a new Student Union too). Also, for all the talk of how great Game Jam events are, and even though I've coordinated one of them, I've never actually been a participant... and I'm looking forward to seeing what I'm capable of under extreme duress. Lastly, this particular Game Jam requires making games for young children -- a demographic I haven't had much experience with to date, so it will be nice to gain some additional understanding of the design constraints for this market.
Strangely, I'm signed up as a Programmer, not as a Game Designer. An event coordinator told me that they have a shortage of Programmers, which surprised me -- back when I was an undergrad, even the English and Humanities majors knew some programming (not typical of most college campuses, but CMU is a haven for computer geeks of all stripes). This is a school where they gave out free floppy disks to boost attendance at football games. And there's a programmer shortage? Well, it gives me an excuse to learn Python, which I've been putting off for a couple of years now, so I can't complain about the hand I'm dealt.