By Renita D. Young, NOLA.com | The Times Picayune

Over the weekend, video game developers converged upon LSU for 48 hours of straight jamming.

Happening in 78 countries across the globe in 524 sites, the Global Game Jam video game creation competition, the world's largest event of its kind, was held at LSU's Digital Media Center and had about 20,000 participants worldwide.

Thirty participants, who ranged from college students majoring in gaming to adults who have made it a hobby, created six video game concepts during the weekend at LSU. A local event organizer said last year, a snowstorm derailed plans for LSU's first Global Game Jam, but this year, weather did not stop the show.

Furthermore, "this is a must-have for educational institutions," said Marc Aubanel, the director of LSU's Digital Media Arts and Engineering program who helped organize the weekend of events. "These types of marathons are happening in business and academia all over." Aubanel said similar events are taking place within colleges and major companies including Facebook and Google.

The events breed innovation, he says, although only about one or two out of a thousand of the ideas make it to market. "You don't get a complete game from these competitions. Just the blueprint. Sometimes it takes several years to develop."


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