The rise of XR has opened a new frontier. We have seen projects use these new technologies to decode DNA sequences; explore dangerous chemistry experiments in safe environments; provide therapy for burn victims and people with PTSD and more.
However, developers and domain experts often struggle with gaining access to the community and network they need to make their innovative ideas a reality.
The XR Brain Jam, developed in collaboration with the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, connects domain experts with XR game developers, and charges them with exploring the intersection of their fields together.
2023 marks the 6th annual XR Brain Jam. This year the event will again be back in person in New York City with an opening workshop taking place online the weekend before.
The Impact and Outcomes
The XR Brain Jam is more than just the prototypes that are developed. Participants also develop long-lasting relationships and gain a deeper understanding of cross-discipline collaboration.
Domain experts benefit by experiencing XR technologies first-hand, often for the first time. By working closely with experienced developers and participating in a compressed development cycle, they come away with a better sense of what it would mean to collaborate with developers on future projects. They gain a personal understanding of how XR technology and game design can unlock new potentials for their area of expertise. If they are considering developing a technology tool related to their professional work, they will have a network of XR developers they can reach out to as potential partners.
XR Developers gain a body of knowledge from their partnered domain expert and they experience first-hand the impact potential of combining their craft with the research and insights of experts in other fields. They have an opportunity to work with a variety of XR technologies, including new hardware that they may not have had a chance to develop with previously. For developers looking to pursue new products or to apply their skills to solve social issues or contribute to research, they will have a network of experts and fellow developers they can reach out to as potential partners.
A selection of the prototypes produced during the XR Brain Jam are featured at the Games for Change Festival, with opportunities for participants to present their work to the Game for Change community.