Mini Game Mania!

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The BCI Game Jam series is the premier game development event focused around building new interactive experiences designed specifically for use with brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. Run annually by BCI Games, this event leverages expert knowledge of cutting-edge BCI technology with the creative minds of game development communities around the globe.

Our mission is to build brand new ways to play and create games that are accessible to everyone.

The BCI Game Jam 2022: Minigame Mania focuses on inspiring developers to drill down to what makes a game fun to play with a BCI. That is - how can you build an engaging core gameplay loop in just 48 hours. We hope this theme will inspire developers to draw from their fond memories of playing arcade games with friends to provide all players new opportunities to connect and play.

If you’ve never worked with a BCI before – don’t worry! We have you covered. Our network of expert engineers, computer scientists, clinicians, player panels, and families can help you in planning your game, understanding how to design a game with a BCI controller as an input and even provide you some tools to get you started with developing your dream BCI game!

Where & When

All of this kicks off on December 2nd – where we will have a ‘Day 0’ with talks from BCI experts and actual BCI-users, families of children who use BCI daily, intros to tools and solutions you can use to build your BCI dream game, team formation, and more! The competition officially starts at midnight on December 3rd and will run for 48 hours. We look forward to having a ‘near-after party’ on the evening of December 4th where we will check in with teams, demo submissions, play games and celebrate with the teams.

This event will be hybrid, with events and activities across the jam streamed live on our twitch account ( This year we are excited to offer 3 in-person sites to join across North America! The in-person sites include:

  • Calgary, AB - Unity Technologies - 4th Floor, Brookfield Place (225 6 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 3S9)
  • Edmonton, AB - University of Alberta & Glenrose Hospital - Room 3-59 Corbett Hall, UofA (8205 114 St NW, Edmonton, AB)
  • Los Angeles, CA - University of Southern California - USC University Park Campus, SCI L113

We are excited to welcome participants from anywhere around the world, of any level of experience! We can't wait to see what you come up with and for you to get your head in the game!

Event Schedule 2022


Day 0 - Friday, December 2nd - Event kick-off!
  • 5:00 p.m. : Sites open for participants to join
  • 5:30 p.m. : Welcome Remarks
  • 6:00 p.m. : Introduction to Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI)
  • 6:30 p.m. : What we want to play! A forum for lived-experience BCI Experts & Families
  • 7:30 p.m. : Dinner Break
  • 8:00 p.m. : Workshop 1: Getting Started with BCI-Essentials Game Tool for Unity - Brian Irvine
  • 9:00 p.m. : Workshop 2: Making the Most of a BCI System in Gaming - Eli Kinney-Lang
  • 10:00 p.m. : Social Break & Team Formation Opportunity
  • 10:30 p.m. : Highlights from the 2021 Jam - Eli Kinney-Lang
  • 11:00 p.m. : Team Brainstorming & Open Q/A with BCI Experts
  • 11:59 p.m. : Game Jam Official start!
Day 1 - Saturday, December 3rd - All Day Development
  • 10:00 a.m. : Morning Welcom Session - Post-mortem from 2021's Curl! creators - Bonspiel Games
  • 1:00 p.m. : Feedback Opportunity from BCI Players & Families
Day 2 - Sunday, December 4th - All Day Development
  • 1:00 p.m. : Demo Opportunity with BCI Players & Families
  • 10:00 p.m. : "Nearly there" Submission Party!
  • 11:59 p.m. : Game Jam officially ends!

With many other exciting opportunities and events happening between those scheduled, including opportunities to play last year's submissions, an online Curl! competition and more!

Quick Links

Click below for more information!
For Developers
Game Jam
Judging info
& criteria (Coming soon!)
Our Sponsors
giving > $5K in prizes
Game design
basics for new devs (Coming soon!)
How to make games
playable with BCI (Coming soon!)
  • Event Kick-off
    Dec 2-4, 2022
  • Join the Stream  


Frequently Asked Questions

I don't own a BCI - Can I still participate?

Yes! We have a number of BCI headsets available at our participating in-person sites and will work with everyone throughout the event to test and debug your game with real BCI systems. Additionally, we look to make sure the games work no matter what, so we will ask you to develop the game to be playable with keyboard and mouse for debugging purposes, but will work with you to verify it works with BCI! Also, if you are joining a participating in-person space we will have opportunities to try out the headsets for yourself. Prizes in the past have included new BCI headsets as well, so you can keep creating after the event!

I don't know anything about BCI - is that Ok?

Of course! This event is about education as well as fun. We have experts in BCI systems (design and development) as well as lived-experience experts who use BCI systems regularly who are excited to teach you more about how the systems work. To make things easier for you as well, we offer a number of free, open source tools in partnership with BCI4Kids to help you "add in" BCI functionality as seamlessly as possible. (Thanks Brian! You rock!)
Check out the tools for developing in Unity on Github and the complementary suite of backend BCI processing tools in python.

Can BCIs read my mind?

Not at all! Don't worry, we have no way of reading any specific details or thoughts from your brain activity. We are only looking for certain patterns that occur in response to different external (i.e., looking at a flashing light) or internal (i.e., imagining movement) events. Think of it the same way that a mood ring can 'read emotion'- it is just inferring from some physiological response (cold/hot hands), but has no actual insight into the complex infrastructure of emotion.

Aren't BCI systems science fiction or something you have to implant?

Nope! BCI research has been going for over two decades with pretty significant strides happening in the last 5 years. While lots of BCI systems featured in the news are implantable, there are many systems (like those we often work with) which are called "non-invasive" as they read electric signals from the scalp from a wearable headset. And don't worry - while some billionares and corporations are making media waves with BCI, they are pretty new to the game. Such groups are helping raise the general awareness that these technologies exist - and hopefully events like this show what this technology could help do!

Game Jam Tips

Starting tips for those new to jams

What exactly is a game jam?

A game jam is an event where developers try to make a game as fast as possible, usually in a set period of time like 48 hours or 1 week.

What if I have never designed a game before?

No problem! We are open to developers of all levels of experience. If you have a cool idea for a game or just want to learn a new skill, this is the perfect opportunity! Keep reading the rest of this page and check out our game design basics page for some tips on how to get started.

What if I don't finish my game?

You likely will not finish your game in the 48 hours of this game jam, but that is totally fine! Commerical games typically take years to develop (plus teams of hundreds of developers and enormous budgets). Instead of trying to build an entire game, try to focus on building one core piece - you want something that is complete enough that it is playable by the end of the jam. There can (and should) be room to grow and expand on this basic concept at a later point!

Can I prepare anything in advance?

  1. Go through the resources on our website to learn some game design basics, what a BCI is and how to integrate BCI into your game. There are lots of other helpful videos and resources online that you can check out on game design and tips for game jams as well.
  2. Download whatever game engine/software you want to use to build your game. Check out some tutorials online to get familiar with the engine or brush up on your skills.

Plan before you jump into coding!

  1. Keep it simple! Focus on one core mechanic or aspect of the game. Keeping it simple will help make sure you have a complete, playable game by the end of the 48-hour jam and will minimize possible bugs and errors.
  2. Make your game relatively easy to learn and to play. In a jam, you want people to get a feel for the entire ‘demo’ of your game - not get stuck right away or get confused over how to play!
  3. Narrow your scope - right from the beginning, check your plan and see if there are any ways to simplify your game.

While you are jamming

  1. Don't worry about organizing your code or making it pretty (although do try to leave us some comments so we can make sure your game is playable after the jam!)
  2. Check back on your scope - did you start to add any uncessary features that are taking a lot of time to implement?
  3. Take lots of breaks, rest, and eat well!

Don't leave wrap up for the last minute!

  1. Leave some time before the end of the jam to wrap up your game, upload it to the site, and prepare a short demo presentation to show off what you have just created!

Game Jam Judging & Submission Criteria

Inside scoop on how winners are determined

Your game will be judged by a panel of BCI experts and, most importantly, children, families and other gamers who use BCI regularly for gaming, play, and entertainment. Here are some of the criteria your game will be judged on:

  • Theme
  • Concept
  • Creativity
  • BCI Integration (How well is BCI embedded in the game?)
  • Accessibility
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Fun/Entertainment
  • BCI Mechanics (How are BCI systems being used?)
  • Ease of Play (How seamless is jumping into the game)
  • Replayability

Submission Process

We will create a personal submission link and folder that will be provided to teams at the start of the event. In this submission folder we ask that you provide both a playable version of your game (executable), a couple screen shots of your game, and any special instructions in a text (or other) README file. In addition we are asking participants to provide the final submission source code in a folder '/Source' in your drive link. We are only requesting the source code so we can effectively debug, polish, and verify the games are playable with BCI before giving them to the judges. To be clear - all developers participating in the game jam retain the sole, exclusive rights any and all IP/Games/Music/etc. they submit as part of the BCI Game Jam competition. We do request that participants either provide an appropriate license (CC0/CC-NC/CC-BY/etc.) or sign a waiver to let us share your submission. This is for the purposes of judging, playing, and non-commercial use after the jam (e.g. with new children joining BCI programs around the world). NOTE! Teams unable to fulfill this requirement may not be eligible for the prizes as we rely on children to help select the winners. If you need more information on what different creative common licenses provide check out this helpful guide!


  • First Place: $1000 CAD
  • Second Place: $750 CAD
  • Third Place: $500 CAD
  • Player Favorite (Kids & Families): $300 CAD
  • BCI Games Favorite: $250 CAD
  • Popular Vote (Other Devs): $100 CAD
  • Best P300 Game: $100 CAD
  • Best SSVEP Game: $100 CAD
  • Best Motor Imagery Game: $100 CAD
  • Best Two-button Game: $100 CAD
  • Best Multiplayer Game: $100 CAD
  • Best Core Gameplay Loop: $100 CAD