Campus Life

College Students From Across The Country To Compete In Student-Run Game Jam Chillennium

Teams compete during the 48-hour challenge to design a video game based on a single prompt.
By Bailey Brown, Texas A&M University School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts February 22, 2024

Three college students work on developing a game at the Chillennium game jam.
Students from Texas A&M and other universities participate in Chillennium at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, on Feb. 24, 2023.

Laura McKenzie/Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications


Chillennium, known as the world’s largest student-run game jam, returns March 1-3 at the Hildebrand Equine Center on the Texas A&M University campus.

In just 48 hours, students from across the country will compete to create a fully functioning and playable video game based on a single prompt.

Sponsored by the Texas A&M School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, the event earned “most participants in a collegiate in-person game jam” recognition in 2017 from Guinness World Records with 311 participants. The event has bounced back after a COVID hiatus in 2020 and 2021, and last year’s event drew 230 students from 24 schools.

More than 230 participants have registered this year from in state (University of Houston, University of Texas, University of Texas at San Antonio, Prairie View A&M, Tarleton State University, Trinity Valley Community College, Houston Community College) and out (Louisiana State University, University of Massachusetts, University of Tulsa, University of Central Missouri, Southern New Hampshire University, Full Sail University).

The goal is to make connections, according to Andersen Wood, Chillennium director and junior Visualization student.

“Winning is a fantastic feeling and the prizes are amazing,” Wood said. “But at the end of the day, this event is about the community, and meeting new people and expanding your skill set.”

Aaron Thibault is the newly hired director for games and esports for the School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, as well as an associate professor of practice. This is his first year leading as the faculty adviser for Chillennium, following in the footsteps of André Thomas.

Thibault is the former vice president of strategic operations at Gearbox Software. He previously worked as the deputy director for Guildhall at Southern Methodist University, where he and his team developed the world’s first graduate degree program for game development.

Thibault said he hopes students leave the weekend feeling uplifted, and not afraid of failure or trying new things.

“I want these participants to feel enriched and connected,” Thibault said. “As they are working against the clock, I hope they see that they can come up with and accomplish something fun and meaningful in such a short amount of time — and have an incredibly rewarding experience as part of it.”

An additional benefit to the event is on-site networking, as students can meet with mentors and industry leaders in prospective fields. Among the companies that will be on hand: Bluepoint Games, Smartronix, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Spartacus Studios, Blizzard Entertainment and Equinox Games.

Students will compete in groups of four and will use their own computers and equipment. Awards will be given for first, second and third place, as well as best in game design, programming, sound, originality and visuals. Prizes include video games, gaming monitors, graphics cards, Nintendo Switch systems and a PlayStation 5.

Registration closes Feb. 29. Visit the Chillennium website for more information.

Media contact: Rob Clark,

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