3 MIN READ
Inside the disintegration of a game jam reality show
Recently, Maker Studios attempted to produce a reality show called GAME_JAM -- but four participants walked off the set due to tensions in the production. We take a look at their stories.
Recently, Maker Studios' Polaris unit attempted to produce a reality show for YouTube called GAME_JAM, in which teams of independent game developers would jam for four days, pitted against each other in a format compared by its participants to Top Chef or Iron Chef. In the end, production was cancelled when the game developers walked off the set after the first day due to the behavior of one of the show's producers, Gamasutra has learned. "It crumbled because we, the developers, killed it," writes Robin Arnott (SoundSelf) in his blog post about GAME_JAM. Alongside Arnott, Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest) and Adriel Wallick (organizer of Train Jam) have also shared their stories of the experience. "I love game jams. I think that participating in a game jam is one of the greatest parts of game development culture and a wonderful way to truly foster creativity," Wallick writes. However, that's not how things ended up, she says: "the 'GAME_JAM' embodied everything that I find to be wrong and abhorrent about how people view us as game developers." "I came into this event expecting to make a game, show people a glimpse into game development, and possibly have some fun. Instead, my intelligence, my legitimacy, and my integrity were all pushed and questioned. We, as developers, were being treated as desperate stereotypes, and we, as women, were treated worse than that," writes Wallick. The flame-out of GAME_JAM is also extensively covered in a story written for Indie Statik by Jared Rosen, a contractor for the production company behind the web reality show. "Every side was pulling for what they wanted, and in the end the side that mattered most got burned. We can’t have that," Rosen writes, in a post that details the behind-the-scenes evolution of a modest game jam into a "terrifyingly enormous spectacle." While Arnott acknowledges that he was "prepared to make compromises for showmanship," there came a time when four participants were unable to continue with the production.