This jam is now over. It ran from 2023-01-01 08:00:00 to 2023-02-01 07:59:59. View 20 entries

Gaming Like It's 1927 logo

Gaming Like It's 1927 logo, based on Magritte's The Secret Player

A new year means new material entering the public domain! From January 1st 2023, works from 1927 are free to use and remix (except for sound recordings, which are only free from 1922 and earlier).

This is the fourth annual jam in the 'Gaming Like it's 192X' series. You can see submissions from the 1926192519241923 jams. This year, we're continuing the tradition and celebrating works from 1927. Let's make games that are about or inspired by these works.

The Winners

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

They are all worth checking out! 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, Baroness Orczy, Hermann Hesse, Marcel Proust, Upton Sinclair, and Virginia Woolf plus the first three The Hardy Boys books
  • Art by Ansel Adams, Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, and Tamara de Lempicka
  • Films including The Jazz Singer, Metropolis, Napoléon, and Trolley Troubles
  • Music by Béla Bartók, Ira and George Gershwin, Igor Stravinsky, Irving Berlin, Louis Armstrong, Ruth Etting, and Sophie Tucker

Check out Duke's Public Domain Day article or Copyright Lately's round-up for more works entering 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. and storytelling game platforms like Story Synth. You can submit desktop or mobile games but we won’t consider them for prizes.

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

The Prizes

We’ll be awarding prizes in the following categories:

  • Best Analog Games
  • Best Digital Game
  • Best adaptation of a 1927 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1927)
  • 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 and Leigh Beadon of Techdirt and we’re contributing prizes. Every winner will get to pick one of:

Code of Conduct

We will not tolerate sexism, racism, or discrimination of any kind. Some works from 1927 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 1927 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 (10)
Windows (1)

No submissions match your filter

infinite runner inspired by salvador dalí's works from 1927
Play in browser
A word switch cooking game where the results are up to you.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A game about gangsters, hubris, trauma, and pigeon racing.
Role Playing
Discover the hidden, yearning relationships hidden behind a school yearbook
a role-playing game for human and automaton
A visual novel following Lucy's side of Dracula's Story.
Visual Novel
Play in browser
A game of animals on the move, based on the children's book by Walter R. Brooks
An escape room style adaptation of The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon.
Play in browser
Relive being six, guided by Christopher Robin Milne, through his Daddy's book.
A ttrpg for 2 players
a card game for 2 to 8 players taking part in a cream pie food fight!
An Ashcan Setting for Sci-Fi Games
Web Game - Adapted Fritz Lang's Metropolis for Gaming Like it's 1927
Visual Novel
Play in browser
Spark the proletariat uprising of Meowtropolis by recruiting and guiding its citizenry.
Play in browser
#web game. Inspired by ‘Black Abstract’ by Georgia O’Keefe. 1927- Game Jam
Play in browser
Play in browser
A game for two players touching on faith in Freud and Pascal
Play in browser
The Original Bros Who Smash
Play in browser
A solo ttrpg about people who are never really alone