Bringing Researchers and XR Creators Together

A meeting of the minds between researchers and xr creators

ONLINE · JUNE 19-27, 2021

Presented By

Sponsored By

what it is

How can the work of research biologists be applied to virtual reality experiences? What if a social science researcher teamed up with a team of AR developers? What happens when you take virtual reality expertise and apply it to neuroscience problems?

The XR Brain Jam is an innovative week of workshops and collaborations that pairs researchers with xr game developers and digital creatives, and charges them with exploring the intersection of their domains together.

Teams work together for one week to learn, discuss, explore, and create experiences that tackle questions like these. And when it’s all done, their work and lessons learned are shared at the Games for Change Festival.

How it works

XR developers and digital creatives interested in creating XR experiences that drive meaningful impact are paired with domain experts focused on addressing a specific issue (medical, environmental, education, etc). These cross-discipline teams are led through a structured workshop experience designed to accelerate the prototyping process. This workshop period is followed by a multi-day jam, where teams develop a working prototype of their concept. 

Then teams are invited to share their work with a curated panel of experts. These experts are chosen from a variety of fields to give teams maximum value feedback, including funding, design, distribution, marketing, and development.

The 2021 XR Brain Jam spans two weekends, from June 19th to June 27th.  The first weekend, June 19-20, will be a series of workshop and team events. During the following week, teams will work on their own to lay groundwork for their development. The actual jam work period runs from Friday June 25 to Sunday June 27th. 

The prototypes created at the XR Brain Jam will be presented at the 2021 Games for Change Festival on July 12th-14th. 

2021 Research Topics

The past three Brain Jams have had teams tackle a variety of interesting areas of research, including neuroscience, teen anxiety, grief, sensory processing, Parkinson’s disease, physics education, mosquito population management, and traumatic brain injuries. 

The 2021 Research Topics

For the 2021 jam, we are especially looking for research topics that resonate with the 4 areas of focus of the 2021 G4C Festival:

  • Ensuring a Thriving Planet
  • Regaining a Sense of Security
  • Achieving Equity & Social Justice
  • Promoting Positive Mental Health


Who should apply?

Subject Matter Experts

Researchers, Scientists, Graduate Students, and Educators in fields that resonate with our 10 topics

XR and Game Creators

Visual Artists, Audio Designers, Producers, Writers, Programmers, and Designers

Subject Matter Experts

We are looking for a diverse group of subject matter experts across our target problem spaces. If you are a researcher, scientist, educator, graduate student, or other expert working in any of our areas of focus and are excited about applying cutting-edge interactive technology to your discipline, please apply!

XR and Game Creators

If you work as a digital creative writing code, making art, designing audio, managing dev projects, telling stories, or designing game experiences, you are welcome to apply. Each year we have a mix of studio-based teams that apply together as well as individual applicants. Creators will be paired with other disciplines to build robust development teams.

Applications for the 2021 XR Brain Jam have closed. 

Do I need Access and Experience to XR Tech?

Experience with XR technologies specifically (virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality,  input peripherals, etc) is not required to participate in the XR Brain Jam. One of the jam’s goals is to expand exposure to this technology to researchers and developers. However, if you have experience working with these platforms, particularly for tech developers, this is a plus. 

Normally, we provide XR hardware for teams’ use during the jam. This year, because the XR Brain Jam will be held online, it will be important for teams to work with platforms that their members have access to during development as we will not be able to ship hardware to each participant. We are also encouraging teams to focus more on desktop, web, and mobile-based AR applications this year.

Can’t Join us this year?