This jam is now over. It ran from 2021-01-01 08:00:00 to 2021-02-01 07:59:59. View 17 entries

A new year means new material entering the public domain! From January 1st 2021, works from 1925 are free to use and remix.

This is the third annual jam in the 'Gaming Like it's 192X' series. You can see submissions from the Gaming Like It's 1923  and Gaming Like It's 1924 jams. This year, we're continuing the tradition and celebrating works from 1925. Let's make games that are about or inspired by these works.

The Winners

We're excited to announce this year's winners:

You can read more about the winners in this write-up on Techdirt.

The Works

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

  • Novels, short stories, and poems by Agatha Christie, Aldous Huxley, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, William Carlos Williams
  • Dramas by Noël Coward, Zora Neale Hurston
  • Art by Edward Hopper, Hilda Rix Nicholas, Pablo Picasso, Tamara de Lempicka, Xu Beihong
  • Films including Ben-Hur, The Big Parade, The Freshman (Harold Lloyd), The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin), The Phantom of the Opera
  • Music by Cole Porter, Ethel Waters, Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Ma Rainey

We want to call special attention to The New Negro – an anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays that is considered to be the defining text of the Harlem Renaissance. We'd love to see games that seriously engage with and remix its contents!

Check out Duke University's public domain day round-up for more great works!

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.

Possible Game Platforms

For analog games, a simple PDF or even Google Doc is totally acceptable – past winners have included clever games with simple designs.

Co-host Randy Lubin has recently launched a platform called Story Synth which lets designers quickly create web-based storytelling games by adding content to a Google Sheet and then sharing the link. The goal is to make going from idea to playable game as quick and easy as possible. If you have any questions, need any help, or have requests for  new features, he's be excited to chat and help out!

Twine is a perennial favorite for interactive fiction and they have a thorough wiki to help you get started.

Glitch is a collaborative coding platform which makes it easy to remix and host apps and CEO Anil Dash is a judge this year. Check out their games page to find app you can remix. 

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 1925 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1925)
  • 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 1925 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 1925 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!

Can I set a price on my game?

You can, though we will ask for a free version to share with our judges.


All submissions
Browser playable (7)
Windows (1)
macOS (1)
Linux (1)

No submissions match your filter

The best medium to experience F. Scott Fitzgerald's American classic - Rhythm Action
Play in browser
A 2d7 game of decadence, crime, and justice. For 1 or more players.
You're a rich and famous rodent trying to win back your love! While a rival seeks to kill you in cold blood.
A Platformer About F. Scott Fitzgerald's Famous Novel
Play in browser
a game about reflecting on the death of a Jewish artist named Felix Nussbaum who was murdered during the Holocaust.
Role Playing
Play in browser
Hackers desperately try to upload a program to stop facial recognition, will you help them or stop them?
Relive the adventures of Nick and Gatsby in this tabletop game!
A series of interactive artworks, made for the Gaming Like it's 1925 jam.
Play in browser
A simple jigsaw puzzle game featuring famous public domain art from 1925
Play in browser
WSCAHack of Beautiful & Damned by Robot Francis
An adaptation of the M.R. James ghost story.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A competitive story card game for 2-4 Players.
Get your people aboard a balloon (or is it the moon?) Based on an EE Cummings poem.
Gaming like it's 1925
Visual Novel
Play in browser
A surrealistic tabletop board game of the celestial, earthly, and aquatic.