Earlier this month, AbleGamers Foundation announced its returning partnership with Train Jam for Train Jam 2018, a unique three-day game jam for developers traveling via train to GDC 2018, the largest professional game industry event. Train Jam 2018 starts in Chicago on Thursday, March 15, 2018 and ends on Saturday, March 17, 2018 in San Francisco, followed by GDC 2018 (March 19 to 23, 2018).
In support of the nonprofit’s mission of using the power of gaming to break down barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities, AbleGamers is providing three talented video game developers with disabilities with an all-expense paid trip on Train Jam 2018, as well as All Access passes to GDC 2018, through its AbleGamers Train Jam sponsorship — application signups are still open for a limited time! Video game developers, including aspiring first-time developers, with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the sponsorship; selected applicants will have access to travel aid and special accommodations for varying disabilities.
Founded in 2013 by video game developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam takes developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures beyond their comfort zones to push for creative inspiration outside of a regular office or home environment. At the start of the trip, a game jam theme will be announced and participants will have 52 hours to form teams, conceptualize an idea and create a video game that best represents that theme.
AJ Ryan, a talented developer who has muscular dystrophy, was one of last year’s recipients of the AbleGamers Train Jam sponsorship and participated in Train Jam 2017. He shared the following comment about his memorable experience:
“Train Jam was an incredible experience for me earlier this year,” said AJ. “I worked together with other game developers during Train Jam, figuring out game accessibility challenges, which was fulfilling. The train ride itself was full of amazing scenery and is certainly worth mentioning. Before Train Jam, I would have never thought I would be able to ride a train, so the fact that I did and made a game during it proved I could surpass my own limits and expectations.”
AJ continued, “Being able to network on Train Jam and at GDC is an incredible opportunity, but is especially important for people with disabilities as it can be a greater challenge for us to effectively network. The game industry could use more people with disabilities fighting for accessibility from within. AbleGamers and Train Jam are two of very few resources game developers with disabilities have, so I’d absolutely recommend applying for the scholarship as it’s truly priceless.”
The AbleGamers Train Jam sponsorship application form is available at https://ablegamers.com/trainjam. The deadline to submit is 11:59 PM PT on December 3, 2017.