This jam is now over. It ran from 2022-02-14 00:00:00 to 2022-02-24 23:59:59. View 14 entries

Back for a sixth year in a row to occupy all lonelyhearts (and otherwise) who wish to spend the middle of February writing experimental criticism, it's another writing jam!

The history of games, other media, and even art in general is often written in a way that makes it seem inevitable, but real life examples outside of the mainstream, like the non-commercialized game development and distribution networks Jaroslav Švelch discusses in Gaming the Iron Curtain, the longevity and experimentation of unconventional game making tools and web games, and the rediscovery of the creativity and flexibility of old homepages remind us things could always be different. What if the Nintendo Entertainment System had shipped without the 10NES chip? What if the first wave of VR, or the mid-90s proliferation of hyper-specific handheld devices really had been the future? What if we'd all played Door Door and The Legend of Zelda had flopped? What if videogames were actually sexy? What if ET had destroyed the games industry?

For this jam, imagine hitting the undo button on something that influenced cultural history as we know it, a particular success or failure, a schism, a turning point, a new feature or tendency, and then imagine how it could have played out differently, up to the present and beyond. How you go about sharing what you find is up to you, it could be a piece of historical research that proposes the possibilities, a window to a near or alternative future where the possibilities are reality, or even a realization of the possibilities you discovered!

Gather inspiration from the examples linked above, or previous games writing jams, like the List Jam, 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.

DATES:  February 14th-20th, 2022

GUIDELINES:

  1. Decide on a topic to explore with your entry.
  2. Make a response to it that imagines if one element, moment or event related to your topic has been un-done and re-done in a different way, 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!

TIPS: 

  • Smaller is (usually) better - Big changes can be obvious to argue for, but imagining their full impact in an effective and interesting way could easily exceed the scope of the jam. The further back or larger scale you go, the more you'll have to swing for the fences.
  • Be omnivorous - Draw on historical sources, other criticism, speculative fiction, zines, net art, music, posters, comics, whatever! Anything that cuts against the grain and seems to imagine a different relationship between individuals and culture can inform your writing.
  • Keep it practical, not personal - This should go without saying, but don't submit things that rely on targeting a single person or arguing they shouldn't exist, for example. I reserve the right to remove entries that I feel include hateful or bullying content in general.
  • Contact me on Twitter if you have any further questions or concerns: @netgal_emi
  • and of course HAVE FUN!

Submissions(14)

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it is not hands that call us...
Play in browser
essay on 80s sex games
will they wont they || undo jam 2022
Undo Jam Micro-Zine
Play in browser
speculative wordle fiction
Run in browser
They're all good dogs, except when they're not
Run in browser
What CD-ROM games would Nintendo have made?
feeding here, there, everywhere
What if...TTRPGs grew out of board games instead of war gaming
Role Playing
but what if it wasn't?