If you’ve ever been to a game jam, you’ve probably got a story, and Gamercamp wants to hear yours. The organizers of the upcoming game culture conference have announced that the annual Toronto Independent Game Jam – colloquially known as TOJam – will be celebrated during the inaugural Gamercamp Honours Ceremony, set to take place on Friday, November 1st at 9:00 p.m. at Hotel Ocho in Toronto.
Co-presented by Ubisoft Toronto, the event will honour “organizations or individuals who have had a significant impact on the Toronto video game community.” TOJam certainly fits the bill. In fact, it’s almost ground zero for Toronto gaming. Since launching in 2006, the event has evolved from a humble crunch weekend into an extravaganza that drew more than 450 professional and amateur developers for TOJam Eight in May.
TOJam has helped birth games ranging from Capy’s Super Time Force to Stegersaurus Games’ Mount Your Friends, and has served as a collaborative forum that brings creative individuals together to strengthen bonds through the shared trauma of sleep deprivation and unrefrigerated Chinese food. The rise of TOJam has paralleled – and perhaps even precipitated – the rise of Toronto’s thriving video game community, and the creative energy has only snowballed as the event has grown.
That’s why Gamercamp is throwing a party, which kicks off one hour before the Honours Ceremony at 8:00 p.m. The party (also at Hotel Ocho) is free and open to the public, and will chronicle the history of TOJam with a retrospective arcade showcasing eight games pulled from the TOJam archives. The featured games include early entrants from DYAD creator Shawn McGrath and FEZ programmer Renaud Bedard, as well as more recent efforts from the likes of Trainyard creator Matt Rix and Ubisoft Toronto’s Dan Cox.
So where do you come in?
If you were ever one of those hundreds of participants, the weekend most likely made an impression. The founders of Gamercamp and TOJam want you to share your story however you see fit – YouTube, Vine, Instagram, interactive product – and share the link on Twitter with #TOJamXOXO.
For instance: TOJam allowed me to call myself a game developer when I co-created Apocalypse Later alongside David Gallant and Mladen Stambolija during TOJam 2012, and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity. I’ll never forget the convergence of reality and fiction that occurred while I learned how to write code while watching Hackers. #TOJamXOXO
The memories will highlight TOJam’s far-reaching and emotive impact leading up to the Gamercamp Honours Ceremony, where co-creators Emilie McGinley, Jim McGinley, Rob Segal, and Nelson Yu will stand for the jam. Each individual will be presented with a limited edition print from frequent jammer (and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime co-creator) Matt Hammill.