We live in a time where fluctuating financial markets, poll predictions, and the promises held by technological advances are presented as of vital importance. At the same time, the ability to imagine meaningful alternatives wanes in the light of a system of speculation that can only reproduce itself in increasingly senseless ways. Videogames are often marketed to us as a slice of a new and different future, but the type of hype they imagine is limited to single-minded and unsustainable technological advancement with decreasing returns, or "immersing" us in disconnected, generic fantasies designed by corporate committee. What could this future be instead? Instead of tweaking, polishing or shaping ourselves to fit into this creaking, overheated contraption, it is one again time to think of something new.
Imaginative speculation comes from thinking counter-intuitively, back to front, bottom to top, or beginning again. When we speculate about the future, we necessarily draw from the past. Taking forgotten histories, nonsensical hunches and deliberate perversities into account and tying them with our creative capacities into alternative futures is an escape route from the monotony of the ever-continuing present. In the spirit of all previous writing jams I am asking everyone who feels things have to change but just don’t know how to set aside some time to think about it, and make something about it!
This jam is an invitation and opportunity to present your alternative future for videogames and game writing, and think it through. Like previous writing jams, Visual Essay Jam, Manifesto Jam and Lost Histories Jam, your submission does not have to be strictly text, but can take the form of a webpage, zine, game, or anything else you think can get your point across. Brainstorm, prepare your submission, and then submit it before February 22nd, 2020.
Potential questions (among many!):
Against Introspection (A speculative manifesto by Michael McMaster for the 2018 Manifesto Jam)
Shy Radicals (Hamja Ahsan’s work combining fiction, critical theory, and speculative activism surrounding a fictional nation of shy people.)
I dreamed a dream: Politics in the age of Mass Art Production (A lecture by Hito Steyerl which culminates in a dystopian art proposal)
Low Tech Magazine (A website revisiting low tech but forgotten solutions to current technological and environmental problems)
I Dream of Canteens (Imagining a public food culture)
The Dispossessed (A speculative fiction novel by Ursula K. Leguin which contrasts the benefits and challenges of an anarchist society with one like our own)
EDIT: Also exciting to note that the Glorious Trainwrecks Fictional Game Jam is ongoing alongside this jam! Check out their fictional game concepts.
(Background image from Hito Steyerl's Power Plants)
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