ABLEGAMERS CHARITY AND TRAIN JAM PARTNER TO SEND THREE DEVELOPERS WITH DISABILITIES TO A THREE-DAY VIDEO GAME DESIGN EVENT WITH VIP GDC 2018 ACCESS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHARLES TOWN, WV (NOVEMBER 14, 2017) - AbleGamers Foundation — the leading charity and organization wielding the power of gaming to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities — is thrilled to announce its returning partnership with Train Jam for Train Jam 2018. AbleGamers will provide three talented video game developers with disabilities an all-expense paid three-day train ride where they will join some of the best and brightest developers to create unique and exciting video games while en route to GDC 2018, the world’s biggest annual event for established and up-and-coming developers. Train Jam 2018 starts Thursday, March 15, 2018 and departs at Chicago’s Union Station, ending on Saturday, March 17, 2018 in San Francisco, followed by GDC 2018 (March 19 to 23, 2018).
Founded in 2013 by video game developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam takes developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures beyond their comfort zones to push for creative inspiration outside of a regular office or home environment. Some of the industry’s best developers and promising game design students gather to show off their game development chops in this unique, three-day picturesque journey by train from Chicago to San Francisco. At the start of the trip, a game jam theme will be announced and participants will have 52 hours to form teams, conceptualize an idea and compete by creating a video game that best represents that theme.
Through its diversity initiatives, Train Jam encourages developers from marginalized communities within the game industry — from emergent territories, under-represented genders, minorities and those with disabilities — to submit their applications to attend the event. Through AbleGamers and Train Jam’s partnership, chosen applicants will have access to travel aid and special accommodations for varying disabilities. This includes an on-board American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, service animal accommodations, wheelchair accessibility and a caretaker or family member pass if required. Those selected will additionally have All Access passes to everything the GDC 2018 conference has to offer — from panels and technology showcases to demos of new and unreleased games.
“We’re so excited to partner with AbleGamers again for Train Jam 2018,” said Adriel Wallick, founder of Train Jam. “We strive to create an environment where developers from all different backgrounds can collaborate to create amazing games, and we're beyond thrilled to be working directly with a charity that can help us achieve our vision. We look forward to supporting the three new developers AbleGamers chooses to join us for the event.”
"AbleGamers is proud to offer support of future game developers with disabilities through the wonderful Train Jam event," said Steven Spohn, COO, AbleGamers. "Adriel and her team work tirelessly to help the developers of tomorrow of diverse backgrounds break into the industry and bring their ideas to life for everyone to enjoy.” Spohn continued, “It's so difficult for developers with disabilities to find employment and growth opportunities in the videogame industry. Sponsoring three talented, next generation developers with the opportunity to get an extra edge at a bright future is one of our favorite initiatives."
Video game developers, including aspiring first-time developers, with disabilities are encouraged to apply for AbleGamers’ sponsorship of Train Jam 2018. AbleGamers has limited travel stipends available on an as-needed basis to select sponsorees residing within the Continental United States. The AbleGamers Train Jam sponsorship application form is available at https://ablegamers.com/trainjam and applications will be considered until 11:59PM PT on December 3, 2017.
AbleGamers and Train Jam first partnered last year to bring two incredibly talented disabled developers to GDC, where they individually accomplished their game jam goals and networked with professionals in the industry. Both organizations are excited to expand their support from two to three developers for Train Jam 2018. For more information about Train Jam, please visit: http://trainjam.com/faq.
If you would like to arrange an interview with AbleGamers leadership or Train Jam founder Adriel Wallick via email, telephone or Skype, please contact Mario R. Kroll and CJ Melendez at [email protected] .
The AbleGamers Foundation is a 501©(3) charity that wields the power of video games to break down the barriers of economic and social isolation for people with disabilities. Through received support and donations, AbleGamers provides disabled gamers with assistive technologies (including their Expansion Pack program) that allow those with limited real-world mobility to experience what it is like to walk, run, climb, drive and even fly – in a virtual world.
About Train Jam
Founded in 2013 by independent game developer Adriel Wallick, Train Jam is an annual experience that takes developers beyond their comfort zone and pushes for creative inspiration outside of a regular office environment. Train Jam strives to meet this goal by fostering an adventurous and inspiring environment where developers from diverse backgrounds and cultures can pursue new ideas in a safe, accessible and empowering way.
Train Jam invites developers from diverse backgrounds and skill levels to travel to Game Developers Conference by train, creating games during the roughly 52-hour journey. Train Jam 2018 begins March 15th, 2018. For more information about Train Jam, please visit http://trainjam.com.