With VIP guests and cash prizes galore, GameJam aims to encourage innovators to envision a new future of the lottery
By Kate Northrop
A new event aiming to spark innovation in lottery game development will kick off this week.
From July 31 through August 9, the Colorado Lottery will host GameJam, the first-ever hackathon specifically geared toward new game development and creating novel lottery products.
According to the Colorado Lottery, the goal of the virtual event is to engage the state's broad and diverse audience by re-imagining its game offerings and creating brand new lottery games engineered to excite and entertain. The Lottery also wants to attract more players so that it can reach its $1 billion revenue goal. The money will help directly fund outdoor recreation, education, and land conservation in the state.
"The lottery is really looking to grow into a billion-dollar organization by 2023, so we're really trying to reimagine our game offerings," said Meghan Dougherty, Communications Manager at the Colorado Lottery.
Local and global technology developers alike are invited to the digital event to compete not only for a chance at winning cash prizes, but for the opportunity to turn their product into a lottery game and land it in bars and restaurants.
"With a digital technology company launched in our state, Colorado is home to a cornucopia of talent and dynamic developers that creates rich soil for innovation," Tom Seaver, Director of the Colorado Lottery said. "We are excited to leverage the creativity of these local resources and innovation from around the globe to create new game ideas, all to support our beneficiaries."
Participants are challenged to create and pitch a new game using blockchain-based technologies (commonly associated with Web 3.0) that promote peer-to-peer services and increased user ownership through decentralized Internet applications. Developers have a chance to win a top prize of $10,000, a second prize of $5,000, and a third prize of $2,500.
There is also a separate prize category sponsored by ETHDenver and Chainlink, two blockchain companies, that will reward additional prizes of $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 for games that meet the original guidelines of the hackathon and are completed using Web 3.0.
GameJam kicks off with a virtual opening ceremony on Friday, July 31 from 6 - 8 pm, during which Colorado Governor Jared Polis will discuss how the outcome of the hackathon will fit into the state's vision of a re-imagined government.
"Last year, we launched Colorado Digital Services to begin developing critical public-private technology relationships to position our state government as a tech leader but more importantly to better serve our population through technology," Polis stated.
During the opening remarks, participants will also learn more about the specific parameters and guidelines for the competition. So far, the guidelines seem rather simple: create a chance-based, decentralized, and web-friendly game within a timeframe of nine days.
"We've intentionally not put huge rails on this," John Paller, Founder of ETHDenver, said. "We didn't want to stifle creativity."
VIP guests Lu Córdova, Executive Director of the Department of Revenue, and Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder of Etherium, are also scheduled to talk about how digital transformation is applied to everyday services and how we might see the future of money changing in mainstream businesses. Media and press are welcome to join the live Zoom event.
"The Lottery's GameJam is our most recent shining example of another 'first' for Colorado," Córdova said. "This event demonstrates how our state is in the middle of a digital evolution to make the state of Colorado the most tech-forward state in the country, while supporting our schools and the great outdoors."
The event's organization was made possible through the Colorado Lottery's partnership the ETHDenver, Chainlink, and IGT, whose partnerships allow the Lottery to connect and collaborate with global talent in game development. Organizations looking to sponsor the event and add prizes can contact the Colorado Lottery at email@example.com.
The organizers of GameJam are aiming for 200 registrants and at least 15 final submissions to choose three winners from, whose prototypes could turn into actual lottery games. Registration remains open until 8 pm on Friday, July 31. Developers from Colorado and across the globe are encouraged to apply.