During my last semester at Binghamton University I took a class in social media marketing where we had to do a little Tumblr blog with posts about anything we could remotely attach to social media. Most of mine ended up being about video games whether it be using Kickstarter effectively or using Twitter to gather feedback on a project. Essentially I am going to start carrying over that process to Below Average Nerds because I need to write and that blog, which you can check out here, allowed me to be more focused on what to jot down. Also, just going to rush them out there which means that I will somehow manage to have more mistakes in my writing. Lucky you.
Last year Game Jolt and PewDiePie hosted a game jam called “Indies VS PewDiePie” where indie developers would submit games they made in 72 hours based on the theme, “fun to play, fun to watch”. Game jams are events where you have a limited time to create a game based around a theme. Game Jolt works like its own little social media site connecting gamers with developers and games they can play and rate. For “Indies VS PewDiePie” the top 10 rated games in the contest would be guaranteed a play on one of PewDiePie’s videos. In the end he played more than 10 of the near 800 entrants with the video amassing, as of this writing, over four million views. I tried searching if there was a measureable success for winning developers but other than having a positive experience it was difficult to really tell. Either way, getting your game in front of the most successful YouTuber out there from 72 hours of game jamming is not a bad gig.
This year they have changed things up a little with the game jam now being known as “Indies VS Gamers”. The top rated games won’t just be played by PewDiePie but also Markiplier and Jack Septic Eye who get over a millions hits their videos rather regularly. With the hope of creating some friendly competition the theme this time around will be “Arcade”. I see no reason that this year’s iteration of the game jam won’t improve upon last year’s. Of course with more Lets Players there are more eyes on the games. Not only that though, the Arcade theme can lead to increased play of the games and desire to share with friends so you can crush them. Even just looking at the names, “Indies VS Gamers” feels more inclusive. The biggest issue is getting more people interested. When looking through social media for the YouTubers there is little to no discussion of the game jam which lessons participation in both the jam aspect and the voting portion. The winning games will definitely get buzz but the process is what makes people actually interested in the games. But here I am being hopeful that the arcadey aspect of the whole thing allows for some longer term interest in theses games.
I am really looking forward to checking some of the entrants out. Maybe I’ll do a couple of write-ups on them. In the meantime, go follow us @BelowAVGNerds on Twitter