❗️[POSTPONED] Textile Game Controllers Jam

Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, March 15, 2020

How can electronic textile techniques be used to create bespoke, alternative game controllers?

This game jam will provide participants with the opportunity and support to apply the skills introduced through the Textile Game Controller Workshop Series (2018-2020) to fully developed e-textile game controller prototypes.

For this jam we will use the Adafruit Circuit Playground as the brains of our game controllers. Everyone who attends will receive one of these boards to keep. Our e-textile sensing methods will include digital switches, analog sensors, and capacitive sensing pads made with a variety of materials including conductive fabric, thread, and fibre. Possible techniques for sensor making include sewing, embroidery, ironing, gluing, and felting. All of the needed materials and tools will be provided.

As a participant you have the option to bring your own team if you have people you know you want to work with, to be matched with a team if you’d like to meet some new collaborators, or to do a solo project.

For the game controller prototypes, self-directed approaches are welcome but if you need guidance we will have plenty of project examples and tutorials to get you started.

The game controller that you create can be used to control a screen-based game, either a game that you’ve already made or a game that already exists. You might even be able to work up a little game sketch during the jam that you can use to test your controller. Alternatively, you can choose to make a hardware-only game that uses the lights and speaker on the Circuit Playground board to provide feedback.

Your game controllers can take the form of a holdable (like a traditional game controller – something you can hold in your hands), a wearable (a game controller that lives on the body), or a game controller that’s situated in the space around you (lives on the floor, wall, table top, etc).

Photo/video documentation support will be provided so that by the end of the weekend you will have some nice images of what you made to include in your portfolio (if you’re into that kind of thing). Our goal is to work together to make a website that features the process and outcomes of what we make so as to share our findings with both the games and e-textile communities!


WHAT: 2 days of creating textile game controller prototypes!
WHEN: All weekend March 14-15, 2020. We keep our jams to pretty reasonable hours – 10am-5pm – so you can rest, recharge and feel good Monday morning. Optional show & tell (invite your pals) Sunday 5-6pm.

We also will have a pre-jam information session on Monday, March 9th, 6:30 – 8:00PM to provide a quick overview/review of the e-textiles techniques covered in the previous workshops as well as an opportunity to introduce ourselves and start scheming about what we’d like to build during the jam. A video conferencing option will be available for those who can’t join in person.


This is an interdisciplinary jam! We welcome people with experience in any of the following areas: game design, game development, electronics, coding, electronic textiles, non-electronic textiles, fashion, and beyond!

This jam is not restricted to DMG members so that people who have experience with textiles or electronics but are new to games can join.


This game jam is part of a partnership between OCAD University’s Social Body Lab and game:play Lab and Dames Making Games, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Engage Grant. We will have lots of our team on hand to support your prototyping including Kate Hartman, Yiyi Shao, Olivia Prior, and Chris Luginbuhl.


Light breakfast (bagels, cereal), coffee and tea throughout the day, and a hearty lunch (including vegan and allergy-sensitive options) will be provided. Be sure to note any dietary restrictions in your member profile or send us a message.

If you require any type of accommodation to make participation easier, such as child care or transit subsidy, please let us know and we will make it happen.


Never jammed before? Never made a game? That’s ok, we’ll make sure you have resources and support to make this a great experience! Drop us an email or find Jennie, Izzie, or Kate Hartman on Slack if you have any questions. Be sure to join the #textile-controllers channel, too.

What to Bring

We’ll supply work space, wi-fi, and computers as needed (bring your own if you wish). If you have materials or supplies that you think might be useful, feel free to bring ‘em, but all materials and tools will be provided. Nothing else to bring but your ideas!

Interested in joining DMG? Dues are $10 per month. Members get discounts on paid workshops, access to private events and studio sessions, member jams, and more.

Join Today!


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