This jam is now over. It ran from 2019-01-01 08:00:00 to 2019-02-01 08:00:00. View 33 entries

Check out  the 2020 version: Gaming Like It's 1924

2019 is the first year that new content is entering the public domain since 1998. Works published in 1923 are now free to share and remix. This game jam is to celebrate these works entering the commons by making games about and inspired by them.

The Winners

We're excited to announce the winners:

Plus plenty more great submissions you can check out!

The Works

There are plenty of interesting works to draw on, including silent films starring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, stories by P.G. Wodehouse and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert Frost.

Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has some highlights as well as a spreadsheet with many works broken out by medium.

The Games

This jam is open to both digital and analog games – choose the medium that excites you!

For digital games, we’ll only be judging games that are playable in the browser. This includes interactive fiction using frameworks like Twine. You can submit desktop or mobile games but we won’t consider them for prizes.

For analog games, we’re looking for tabletop RPGs, larps, board games, and everything in between. We encourage you to design something short and quickly playable. Our judges are only committed to reading the first four pages of your submission. Golden Cobra and Game Chef contain great examples of brief, compelling games.

Don’t worry about making a highly polished game! We’re more interested in your ideas and how you use the public domain.

The Prizes

We’ll be awarding prizes in the following categories:

  • Best Analog Games
  • Best Digital Game
  • Best adaptation of a 1923 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1923)
  • Best “Deep Cut” (use of a work not listed on any of the round up articles)
  • Best Visuals

You have until the end of January to submit your games. We'll be judging the submission in the first two weeks of February and awarding prizes soon after.

This jam is organized by Randy Lubin of Diegetic Games and Mike Masnick of Techdirt and we’re contributing prizes. Every winner will get a copy of our recently Kickstarted board game CIA: Collect It All or a Techdirt Copymouse t-shirt - their pick!

The game is a remake of the public domain game Collection Deck – which is an actual CIA training game – and we’ve dedicated our adaptation to the public domain via a CC0 license.

The Judges

We have a wonderful panel of judges that include digital and analog game designers as well as public domain experts:

We may add more judges depending on the volume of submissions.

Code of Conduct

We will not tolerate sexism, racism, or discrimination of any kind. Some works from 1923 may contain offensive stereotypes. Either avoid these works or address the problematic material in a responsible manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use public domain material from another year?

Yes, but at least one work from 1923 must be included in your game in some form.

Can I submit multiple games?


Can I submit as a team?


Do I need to license the game in any way?

No, and by default you’ll retain all rights to your game. However, we’d love for you to publish under a Creative Commons license. CC0 would add your game into the public domain!


All submissions
Browser playable (10)
Windows (1)
macOS (1)
Linux (2)
Storytelling Game (RPG or larp) (12)
Board Game (11)
Browser Game (11)

No submissions match your filter

an arrangement of ee cummings' poetry
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
One at a time, seven people came up through the mist in search of places to make home.
a gmless rpg about industrialization and society.
Tabletop RPG based on Scaramouche (1923) and Commedia dell'Arte
Can you improve the poetry of Robert Frost?
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A meditative game for two.
A Poet & The Land face a dilemma at the end of four seasons. A two-player RPG exploring Robert Frost's "New Hampshire."
Bohemian Sandwiches: A Dice Game
You need to feed, and the train will get you there.
It is very difficult for a cockroach to write Twine poetry. Please help.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A ghoulish race of revenge and risk!
Play in browser
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A one player ttrpg where you record captain's logs
Yes! We have a card game about not selling bananas!
A social game of passing information among those who cannot be trusted.
A house and its dweller dream together, interlocked.
Based on 'The Real Story of a Bootlegger' by Anonymous
A Fantastic Cinematograph of Modern Life
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
Student Project Board Game
Genres: RPG, strategy, educational
Role Playing
A simple card game based on the 1929 movie "Safety Last!"
Leap over the tallest building and reach for the stars.
Surf, Pigs, and Volcano Gods
1923 was a pretty good year
A text-based bullfighting adventure game.
Play in browser
A browser-based clock swinging game, based on 'Safety Last'
Play in browser
An Active RPG for four actors.
play as 1 of 4 very familliar characters from the 1920's as you try to rush to an audition!
A weird jigsaw-inspired game.
A short story about a man looking for his children.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
Be a flower and have your heart played by careless butterflies.
Play in browser