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Im sorry that you feel that way. The game isnt deliberately bad. However, the game is deliberately meant to lie about the rules of the gameplay, which I stated in the description isnt usually something you want a game to do. However, it fit the theme. Furthermore, the game was made more frustrating to play, by the fact that I ran out of time, and therefore didnt have time to polish the level design to accomodate for the reverse gravity properly. Or polish the gravity, how often it would flip controls and gravity and so furth. Finally, there crept a few bugs in that I would have loved to fix. Such as the spring board not at all working as intended. Which again made it more frustrating to play. However, it was submitted 1 minute before deadline, so no time to fix it. So while I do agree, that in the end the game ended up being unplayable and frustrating. It wasn't made so intentionally.

Well, there is so much wrong with it, that I was fooled to believe that it was deliberate. Sorry it went this poorly for you.

I've reviewed 100+ game jam games so far. I'm astonished how many people decided to throw away game design to fit the theme. There is never any excuse good enough to make a game deliberately poor. I don't care what the theme says. Loads of games have a menu where pressing "Quit" starts and viceversa. This is a bad decision, and it should be clear to all devs that it is. You are trying to get audiences to enjoy themselves playing, that's what games are for.

Anyway, my apologies if you only wanted to mess up the menu and the game was accidental. I had no way of distinguishing that.

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Sorry that you feel that way. However, after playing your game. It seems you have a fundemental issue with the "theme" part of game jams. Which is fine. If you choose not to put too much emphasis on the theme. That is great. You made a very good game, that is enjoyable, and would make a great phone game. Im sorry you experienced my game as "poor". I was simply trying to fit the theme. Plus a few bugs, and lack of time thrown into the mix :) You make great games though. Keep working hard.  Also I dont mean to argue, I simply see this as a constructive disccusion. But I would say there are a lot more use for games than making an audience have fun. Plenty of games can at times make you frustrated, but lead to a feeling of accomplishment. Or even leave you feeling horrified, but allow you to experience something you wouldnt be able to in real life. Such as emotional games, such as The Beginner's Guide. :) Games are ever evolving, and can do so much :)

We have respected the theme, it's not obvious though, because it wasn't our focus to get the narrative into the game first. First is gameplay. The narrative is, Hank is a flat earther. He has set out to demonstrate that the Earth is not spherical, by digging a hole. His theory is, if he can't get to the other side, the Earth is obviously not a sphere. But the game is endless. So the game is a liar.

Many people have interpreted the theme to make character in it lie, which is missing it. Others have made the game annoying. That's missing it too, in my view. Very few have done something clever with the theme. Here is one:
https://charu12.itch.io/mindless-runner

Not sure where you're going with the second bit of your discussion. I think it's a counter to my use of the word fun. I may have used it, but I did mean "entertain". At best, as you mention, they can be a learning vehicle. Ultimately, they are not a productive endeavour to consume, like films or anything like that. Hence, they are entertainment. If, however, they end up being annoying, the chunk of the market that enjoys them shrinks considerably, to the point that only clinical masochists can enjoy them, and they also have a taste, so it's not going to be 100% of that minuscule slice of the population. A better term could be "engagement". I certainly didn't experience that while playing yours. I experienced the game doing everything in its power to get me to stop playing.

Tomorrow I have to write to the organising team (on their request) a case as to why I think this theme was poor for the learning audience here.  Your very rationale will be useful ammunition, specifically:  "I did A to fit the theme". If the theme produces so many failures, there is a problem. So that should be fun. :)

Cheers.

Honestly, dont mind what you communicate. Just how you do it. Good luck with your thesis dude.