Why "Post-Weird", why "Dream"? What is it?
Post- as in "postmodern" as in "postmodern fiction" as in playful, intertextual, metafictional. As in mirroring fiction and reality, so that play is both collective storytelling and collective metaphorical ritual. As in breaking down the distinction between player and character, so that we see ourselves in who we play. As in plunderphonics, so that games are built from fragments of other games, edited and immersed in new writing to stitch the parts together.
But also, Post- as in "postmodern" as in "postmodern condition". Games depicting opaque, complex, entangled worlds. Settings with no clear base reality, where interpretation of the world is a challenge which we don't always get right. Games that emphasise sign and symbology, the abstract over the concrete.
But even further, Post- as in "post-game" as in "beyond the idea of the roleplaying game". Games that are "played" as they are read and "read" as they are played. So that the activity of imagined play is fronted, given the same import as the play at the table. So that the play at the table is as much an act of game-writing as game-playing.
Then, Weird as in "weird fiction" as in "the grotesquely horrifying". Worlds that invite discomfort, a subtle creeping discomfort that never fully rears itself nor disappears completely. Games that depict the inhuman with the understanding that it cannot be comprehended by the human. A patchwork attempt to articulate the unarticulable.
But also, Weird as in "weird fiction" as in "the surrender to the strange". Embracing the irreal and treating it with the severity of realism. Complex secondary worlds whose fundamental premises are incompatible with reality, but who are navigated with the depth of navigating true spaces.
Together they form Post-weird as in "the post-facto rearticulation of weird fiction" as in "reclaiming the weird for ourselves". Seeing the grotesque as alien but not as oppositional, so that the human and inhuman are incompatible but co-operative. Tapping into the autistic queer experience of seeing oneself as monstrous and reclaiming that as a power.
And these all engaged in the Dream as in "descended from the *DREAM moment". Radically inclusive and radically progressive. Drawing from the lineage of the OSR, NSR, story-game and lyric-game. Settings built around anti-canon, aleatoric play and collaborative worldbuilding.
And beyond the dream, the Post-Dream, as in "breaking down the assumptions of *DREAM". Not trying to be a movement, just existing as a singular thing. Not aspiring to coherency but inviting self-contradiction. Throwing the widest net possible, anti-community.
To make it all work, I conclude with Post-Weird Dream, as in "the embrace of the creative common". Works designed to be shredded by other people. Committed to building copyleft into the core of the text.
That's the only true rule: release your work under copyleft. Make it so the rest of us can benefit from it.
The jam will run from the 1st of April to the 31st of October. This is a quite long time, but it's there for a reason. I want to encourage you, when writing for this jam, to make lots of short things, rather than one medium or big thing. Write lots of things, submit them throughout the jam period. Then, come back, look through the submissions, find things you like and take from them for your next jam-related project. Of course, you don't have to make multiple things, but I want it to be an option and a throughline of the jam- it fits the intertextual philosophy of PWD.
There won't be any rating period or prizes or reward, but at the end of the jam, if I have time, I'll try to put together a zine containing all the submissions along with editorial comments and hopefully thoughts from various contributors. If the jam goes really really well we could even get some art done, but that's far from a promise.
Beyond that, there's very little restriction on what you can do for the jam, so go wild.
(crowdsourced from the Project NERVES discord)
Previous Jams (mostly not run by me):