The game industry offers many events about game development for communities and professionals. More specifically, Game Jams national or international contests for students or enthusiasts open to the public in which people may participate and create their own video game starting from scratch in a limited period of time (it usually changes from 48 to 72 hours or a few days). Game Jams are usually organized in teams, formed by people all over the world or the nation casually paired.
These events are characterized by the fact that people with different abilities, coming from different but compatible professional sectors, join together to attend the event, often without knowing each other.
What’s a LocJam?
Since 2014 also exists a linguistic version of these events: the LocJAM, which is focused on video games localization.
The LocJAM is the most important international contest dedicated to video games translation. It is free and open to the public and it consists of localizing a game already developed by a team in a set period of time. Then a jury of professionals has the task of choosing the best translation in every language (the source language has always to be English). The contest is totally no-profit and independent from companies, it aims to raise awareness about the structure of video games translation and its importance.
On the official website of the event, can be found different games in English; participants have in fact to choose one among these games to translate it in the desired language (which has to be recognized by the contest itself), having approximately two weeks of time. A general theme is usually assigned to each LocJAM, and it often corresponds with the game genre you can find on the official website. The keywords to do a good job are creativity, novelty, and accuracy.
It’s noteworthy that, besides trying to win one of the competition awards, which may vary from tours in some development studios to job offers, attendees also have the chance to participate in workshops with experts and professionals of the industry. They are often sponsored and supported by the companies which attend the Jam as promoters.
LocJams Over Time
The LocJAM was created in 2014 with an ambition: to give everyone a chance to be involved in video game localization, translating a real product.
The event is driven by the initiative of the International Game Developers Association’s Localization Special Interest Group, a team of translation experts. LocSIG, founded in 2007, is a reference point for IGDA (International Game Developers Association) professionals involved in translation, localization, internationalization, and in general in the adaptation of video games for a global audience.
The contest has been welcomed with great success and with the participation of over 2000 professional and amateur translators in ten language pairs during different editions. Around the event a real community has been created, people who get to share tips and ideas online through voluntary workshops held all over the world.
The editions that have taken place until now are:
- LocJAM 1 – April 2014 (Republia Times);
- February 2015 (Grandpa);
- March 2016 (Hotel of Madness);
- LocJAM Japan – December 2016 (Ikinari Maou);
- April 2017 (Ikinari Maou);
- LocJAM RPG – July 2021 (Adventures from Another World);
- LocJAM World Mental Health –October 2021 (Script Change Replay).
In the first edition in 2014 translations were made in the following languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish (European and LATAM). The event has later expanded its horizons in the following editions, with the addition of Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, simplified Chinese, Arab and Belarusian.
We just have to wait to find out what the dates and the news will be in the 2022 edition!