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Royal Society to fund science exhibition games via 12-hour summer jam

The Royal Society.

The science fellowship The Royal Society are looking for well-established development studios to take part in a game jam at their Summer Science Exhibition in London, beginning May 24. From 10am, five teams will have 12 hours to squeeze a game concept out of the research on display and, with the help of the scientists behind the exhibits, create a working prototype.

Unusually for the sticky, down-to-earth business of jams, the teams will be offered financial incentive and the potential for ongoing work. Once the 12 hours is up, the participating teams of up to four developers will each be granted $2000 to develop their ideas into something substantial enough to show alongside the exhibits from July 1-7.

After that, visitors to the exhibition in July and to IndieCity will be able to play and vote on the free games. The highest-voted game will earn itself another £2,000 worth of dev time once the summer show is done.

“The Summer Science Exhibition is one of the highlights of the Royal Society’s year,” said Peter Sadler, chair of the exhibition selecting committee. “It provides a unique opportunity for members of the public to interact with scientists and ask them questions about their work.

“We’re very excited to be introducing a new element to the Exhibition this year in the form of the Games Jam. An increasing number of exhibitors have used games as a way of communicating their science over the last few years and we’re hoping that by giving some of them an opportunity to be part of the Games Jam it will bring state-of-the-art creativity and innovation to their video games and some fantastic news ways of bringing their cutting-edge research to life for our visitors.

“I’m really looking forward to playing with what’s created on the day!”

The Royal Society follow the lead of biomedical research charity The Wellcome Trust in recognising the potential of games to highlight research. The Trust has been heavily involved in this year’s Make Something Unreal competition, themed around the tricky concept of “Mendelian genetics and genomics,” and let’s not forget the time that a Wellcome jam was won by a game set inside the human colon.