Newsgames.  Activist Games.  Social Impact games

The world needs more of them and we want to help make it happen. The Newsjam is an opportunity to rally in the political heart of America.  Work and play with other game designers, programmers and artists to inspire the spirit of political activism and news reporting into games. 

The Newsjam is an event sponsored by the Newseum and the American University Game Lab.  It is a weekend long game jam with a very specific focus  - the intersection of news and games.  It’s an opportunity to experiment with games as a way of connecting people with the news, empowering citizen reporters or re-envision the way we learn about the world around us. 

This jam is a first time journey into unknown territory.  What world changing game will you make?

The event will open on Friday, September 26th with a keynote and inspiration.  It will end with a public showcase of the games at the Newseum on Sunday. Your work will be shown in an institution just a block away from the National Mall. 

Event participants will be awarded for great designs. At minimum, all participants receive one free admission to the Newseum, 2 meals, access to our facilities and staff for support.  We invite anyone and everyone who is interested in making digital games, location based games, mobile games, and more to come. The best games may be invited to extend development (with support) for prolonged exhibition at the Newseum, American University, or elsewhere.

The world is changing. We invite you to be a part of that change.

Participate nowRegister by September 19th. or view our schedule

Game Jam 101

Game jams are all day (and sometimes night) game making marathons. Start with lots of energy. After that, think about bringing anything that's going to help you be creative, comfortable, and brilliant. Your paid registration includes at least 2 meals (lunch and dinner). The Newseum has a food court and since it's in the heart of DC's museum district, you'll have plenty of options for food outside the building.

Attending our jam is like going to camp for the weekend (without tents, cots, or the outdoors). Pack accordingly, but leave the bug spray at home. We provide community space, conference rooms, volunteer staff, people to collaborate with, prizes, internet access and more. The museum's operating hours are our operating hours, so you'll want a place to stay at night. There are lots of hotels in the area, it is the United State capital after all.
Here are a few things you might want to bring:

Newsgames 101

We define Newsgames broadly. We want to help people make games about current topics. Journalism, social change, and political action happen in lots of ways today, and we think games should be a part of those equations. Maybe you'll design the next Ice Bucket Challenge or provide new perspective on Ferguson. Maybe you'll help us experience our news in news ways, or find playful ways to get us inspired to take action. We want you to feel free to do what you want. If you need some help understanding Newsgames, here's some resources and inspiration we think you should consider:

Newsgames: Journalism at Play
Ian Bogost's Book on Newsgames:

Journalism has embraced digital media in its struggle to survive. But most online journalism just translates existing practices to the Web: stories are written and edited as they are for print; video and audio features are produced as they would be for television and radio. The authors of News games propose a new way of doing good journalism: videogames.

Newsgames at Games for Change
A collection of newsgames from the Games for Change Festival collection

March: Book One Congressman
John Lewis's Graphic Novel:

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

Hosts and Sponsors

The Newseum, located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001 is the host for the Newsjam. It is an interactive museum of news and journalism. The Newseum's seven-level, 250,000-square-foot building features 15 theaters and 14 galleries.

American University Game Lab:
The American University Game Lab serves as a hub for experiential education, persuasive play research, and innovative production in the fields of games for change and rhetorical play. Part of a university-wide commitment to high-impact research, this multidisciplinary initiative combines the expertise of the School of Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences. Game Lab Faculty and Staff will be present at the Jam to help with design, development and game-making activities.

Participate. The event has been postponed. We will update this site when a new date has been chosen.