Empathy Inspiring Sci Fi/Fantasy Games about Critters, Plants, and Habitats, submissions due September 12th!
This game jam aims to raise awareness about the critters, plants, and habitats we share this world with. By sci fi-ing and fantasy-ing these critters, plants, and habitats, we can playfully create empathy and wonder with them. The climate crisis feels more urgent by the day and as game designers and activists, we wanted to organize something that could help. After the jam, the games will be bundled into an anthology people can buy, with the purpose of donating money to climate activism groups. This jam serves the dual purpose of: creating games that raise awareness through sci fi and fantasy play, and raising money for climate charity.
- A game about a non-human animal, plant, or habitat on earth that you love
- From the perspective of or centering that critter, plant, or habitat (no humans!)
- That creates empathy for them
- Incorporates some kind of fantasy, absurd or sci fi element
- Has an action someone can take IRL to support that critter somewhere in the text
- Bonus points if the critter is vulnerable or facing direct threat from the climate crisis
- Bonus points if the game educates about the critter
- Short analog roleplaying games that are freeform, larp, or with dice
- 1-5 pages
- PDF or Text
- For visual format inspiration, if you're unsure what these should look like, check out John Harper's Lasers & Feelings, Kira Magrann's Moose Trip, Jenn Martin's Goose of Grillner Grove, the #Feminism anthology of freeform games, Honey Heist by Grant Howitt, any of Jeeyon Shim's games, or make up your own!
- Please don't be intimidated by these designs... text in a document with headers is totally great too!
Include a safety mechanic of some sort. Check out Kienna's Safety Tools Toolkit and pick whatever fits best in your game. https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/114jRmhzBpdqkAlhmveis0nmW73qkAZCj
Here’s some ideas we came up with off the top of our heads!
- A game about playing bees in their hive but it’s like they’re the crew of a spaceship. There’s an alien mist that wants to attack their ship. Debate among themselves what the best tactic is to take, kind of like a star trek episode. Use real life bee coolness, like seeing lots of colors, but maybe these are auras a telepathic bee can read. An actionable idea is creating a safe solitary bee house.
- Coral Reefs are complicated and lonely cities for the creatures who live and work there. Play fish, crustaceans, sea turtles, and octopuses who are meeting up for the first time for speed dating. Point people to coral reef conservation and education funds.
- Dandy Lions. A game about queer dandylions that are both dandy and lions. Talks about presentation through the lense of dandy fashion. Weeds aren’t bad, an actionable idea is to learn more about your native plants, learn about rewilding.
“I believe that all organizing is science fiction—that we are shaping the future we long for and have not yet experienced.” - adrienne maree brown, Octavia’s Brood
The stories we tell can shape all our futures together. Stories can change people's minds, create empathy, and catalyze change. Let's make a difference with the stories we tell, and intentionally craft what we want to see in the world.
Kira and Jenn would like to bundle these together in a collection for sale after the jam concludes for donation to activist groups fighting climate change. If you want your game in the jam but not included in the collection, please note that when you submit it (there is a yes/no toggle on the submission page).