Close encounters of the nerd kind

Written by Tom Cooper

Simply put, the concept is slightly crazy. Teams consisting of up to six people spend 48 hours in a room and compete to make the best video game possible within that time frame. The timer starts, they brainstorm, they program, they brainstorm some more, they program some more. This goes on for two whole days until they have a game completed, or passed out trying.

Why you ask, would anyone subject themselves to this? Why would a room full of grown men and women intentionally bring themselves to (and beyond) the point of extreme exhaustion? Price money? Nope, the price for the winning team is actually a jar of jellybeans. These guys love video games, that’s it. They are true video game geeks (I’m sorry I meant to say enthusiasts) in every sense of the word.

For someone who hasn’t been excited about a video game since the release of Mario when I was five years old, it’s hard to understand. But in saying that, it’s also virtually impossible not to respect their dedication or their imagination. The teams are given three words (this year’s were spring, light and monster) which act as the basis for their game. The way they use these words within the game itself however, is completely up to the individual teams.

This year the challenge was held on 28 – 30th of September and the winning team was Team Carrot.

Images by Tom Cooper

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