Submissions open from 2020-01-01 08:00:00 to 2020-02-01 08:00:00
Submissions due in

In 2019, new content started automatically entering the public domain for the first time since 1998 and we celebrated with the Gaming Like It's 1923 jam. This year, we're continuing the tradition and celebrating works from 1924. Let's make games that are about or inspired by these works!

The Works

There are plenty of interesting works to draw on, including:

  • Novels by Agatha Christie, Herman Melville, and H.G. Wells
  • Art by Wassily Kandinsky, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Edward Hopper
  • Films starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, and Clark Gable
  • Music by George Gershwin, Ma Rainey, and Irving Berlin

Lifehacker has a great summary of highlights, as does Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

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 1924 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1924)
  • 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 to pick one of:

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 1924 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 1924 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!