Being an Ally Game Jam

Become an Ally Game Jam 2017 Banner

Info / Rules

  • Join your local ADL Game Jam event in Austin, New York or Oakland! Doors open at 7PM on October 21st, doors close at 7:45PM.
  • The in person event will continue until 7PM Sunday October 22nd.
  • Start building a game at your local ADL Game Jam, and submit before October 27 @ 7PM on Game Jolt
  • At least 2 of the specific ally behaviors noted below must be incorporated to your game.
  • Experts from ADL will judge the games based on creative embodiment of specific ally behavior categories.
  • One chosen team will receive a $2,500 prize, an 8-week course in Unity or Unreal, membership in the International Game Developers Association, and be showcased at ADL’s Never is Now! summit in San Francisco on November 13, 2017. Additional prizes include a Nintendo Switch or SNES Mini.
  • Teams will be determined during a workshop at the start of each event. 

Ally Behaviors

ADL experts will judge the games based on how they creatively embody at least 2 of the specific ally behaviors that fall into the following categories:

  • Supporting targets, whether you know them or not. Show compassion and encouragement to those who are the targets of hate, bias or bigotry by asking if they’re okay, going with them to get help and letting them know you are there for them. Ask what else you can do and make sure they know they’re not alone.
  • Not participating. This is a really easy way to be an ally because it doesn’t require you to actually do anything, just to not do certain things—like laugh, stare or cheer for the bad behavior. By refusing to join in when name-calling and bullying occur, you are sending a message that the behavior is not funny and you are not okay with treating people that way. The next step is to speak up and try to put a stop to the hurtful behavior.
  • Telling aggressors to stop. If it feels safe, stand tall and tell the person behaving badly to cut it out. You can let them know you don’t approve on the spot or later during a private moment. Whenever you do it, letting aggressors know how hurtful what they’ve done is may cause them to think twice before picking on someone again.
  • Informing a trusted authority figure. Sometimes you may need extra help. It’s important to tell an authority figure who you trust so that this person can be an ally to you as well as the target.
  • Getting to know people instead of judging them. Appreciate people for who they are and don’t judge them based on their appearance. You may even find that they’re not so different from you after all.
  • Being an ally online. Bullying happens online too. Looking at mean web content and forwarding hurtful messages is just like laughing at someone or spreading rumors in person. It is just as hurtful, even if you can’t see the other person’s face. All the rules above are just as important to follow when texting or on social media. So online and offline—do your part to be an ally to others.

How should I prepare for the ADL Game Jam?


What is the “Being an Ally” Game Jam?

The “Being an Ally” Game Jam is a collaboration between the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Center for Technology and Society, ADL Education and the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in Oakland, California.

It will take place October 21st and 22nd from Saturday evening to Sunday evening in locations across the U.S.

Locations include:

  • Austin, TX
  • New York, NY
  • Oakland, CA

Partner organizations promoting the event include Game Jolt, Playcrafters, Games for Change and the International Game Developers Association. 

One chosen team will receive a $2,500 prize, an 8-week course in Unity or Unreal, membership in the International Game Developers Association, and be showcased at ADL’s Never is Now! summit in San Francisco on November 13, 2017. Additional prizes include a Nintendo Switch or SNES Mini.

Additional selected games created at the Game Jam will be made available for use by ADL’s network of 27 regional offices.

What is a Game Jam?

A Game Jam is a hackathon for building video games. A group of game developers gather in a room, brainstorm ideas based on a chosen theme, and rapidly prototype video game designs. Participants are asked to create a game from beginning to end in a set amount of time (in our case, 24 hours). The set window of time encourages creative thinking and results in innovative and experimental games.

Why “Being an Ally”?

In the minds of many, America has never been more divided than it is today. Now more than ever, people in communities that are targeted by bias, bullying, and hatred need people to speak out against these forces in our society and to take action. The games developed as part of this Game Jam will be a tool to help explore and illustrate what it means to be an ally -- both for the people developing the games and for the people playing and spreading the word about them afterwards.

For more information about ADL Education’s anti-bias and bullying/cyberbullying prevention education programs and resources, follow ADL Education on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.