This jam is now over. It ran from 2021-02-14 00:00:00 to 2021-02-23 11:59:59. View 49 entries

An (incomplete) list of functions of lists, as a prelude to List Jam:

  • I feel like “lists” are seen as a shallow or resented element of games criticism online, like the inevitable churn of year end lists that reinforce the need to consume constantly to stay up to date
  • Or they're the context for fanboy hair-splitting over which game or genre or console or franchise is “better,” constantly ranking experience against an abstract set of ideals.
  • Ultimately I think this undersells how lists can simply offer a modular way of organizing your thoughts, not necessarily with a value judgement.
  • They can be taxonomies,
  • or all (or a selection) of things included in a category.
  • They can be recipes,
  • manifestos,
  • or tell a story.
  • They can be a record of a series of attempts,
  • or a list of things yet to do.
  • They often are, above all, a device to help us remember.
  • And hopefully, as this list itself has compiled examples of to develop an argument...
  • lists can also offer a way for thinking experimentally about writing on videogames, beyond year end lists and rankings.

For this year's writing jam, take the format of a list as a starting or ending point, as a way to re-orient and re-think how we write about videogames. Gather inspiration from the examples in the list above, or previous games writing jams, like the Speculation Jam, Lost Histories Jam, Visual Essay Jam or Manifesto Jam. Like past jams, your writing can take a variety of forms: plain text, hypertext, comics, zines, or even short games, so long as they engage with the theme somehow. 


February 14th-21st, 2021


  1. Decide on a topic to explore with your entry
  2. Make a response to it that takes the form of a list, from the most typical to most creative interpretation of what that means
  3. If you are referencing existing texts, clearly credit them.
  4. Share it on the jam page!


  • Explore critical essays and gaming related topics using Critical Distance's search function
  • Contact me on Twitter if you have any further questions or concerns: @netgal_emi

As with the Bitsy Essay Jam we will also have discussions and sharing in the Critical Distance Discord.

Happy list-making!

(Banner and background image credit: Cat Reading from the Open Clip Art Library, and Lined Notebook Paper by D Sharon Pruitt)


All submissions
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How to derail a degree in just 12 easy texts
Run in browser
A list about videogames and other things
Run in browser
an essay about a list of islands
they must have thought that was important
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A queen riding on a seven-headed beast, a puss in boots who may steal your soul, and a green penis riding a chariot?
mumble mumble metatextual
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
Lamp-lighting is the most important part of the day.
Interactive Fiction
Play in browser
A list of speculative games
Run in browser
a piece-by-piece analysis of neopets' 'Ice Cream Machine'
Play in browser
Something has occurred
A short text written as contribution ​​to the List Jam
Submission for List Jam
A zine created for list jam 2021 — ash + brock 4evr
List jam entry jamming on lists and MARIO and the time stream
All the looot that's fit to pinch
My attempt, over the space of two years, to create the definitive list of videogames of all time.
Run in browser
a list of things your evil ghost should do
Run in browser
If inspiration strikes you upon reading these lists, they will have server their porpoise
On focus, a project's total available energy and the choice that comes with buying the goddamn game
Trying not to be the villain in (some) games.
An incomplete ludic record of the games me and my partner have played together
Run in browser
a collection of text files - 110 lists of things
A listicle about falling out of love with multiplayer
How colonialism, art and videogame tilesets are linked
Run in browser
imagined genres for real games
A short list on what I haven't covered on the blog or wish I covered better
A List of Games I Won't Play
history of videogames via personal experiences
An excerpt from my diary from last year, about what artists do.
(by the criteria that i can think of them while i'm writing this list)
Otherside Game Design re:Minder
A list of how you can use lines