Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam

from the free-culture dept

Gaming Like It’s 1926: The Public Domain Game Jam

Happy new year everyone — and happy public domain day! That’s right: as of today, works from 1926 are now officially in the public domain in the US, and that means it’s time for the latest public domain game jam: Gaming Like It’s 1926, presented by Techdirt and Randy Lubin of Diegetic Games. Just like in past years, we’re calling on game designers of all stripes and levels of experience to create games that make use of, or are based on, material from newly-public-domain works. The jam starts today and runs until the end of the month: just sign up for the jam on itch.io and submit your game by January 31st.

As always, the jam is open to both digital and analog games (be sure to read over the full requirements on the jam page). There are lots of interesting works entering the public domain this year, including:

  • Novels, short stories, and poems by Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, T. E. Lawrence, A. A. Milne, and Dorothy Parker
  • Art by Alexander Calder, Hannah H?ch, Frieda Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ren? Magritte, and Norman Rockwell
  • Films including silents Beau Jest and The General plus the first feature length Vitaphone films with Don Juan and The Better ‘Ole
  • Music by Louis Armstrong, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Al Jolson, Jelly Roll Morton, Victoria Spivey, and Sophie Tucker

There are also some great resources out there for digging through the many works you could draw on. We recommend Duke University’s overview and the Public Domain Review’s countdown.

At the end, we’ll be choosing winners in six categories:

  • Best Analog Game
  • Best Digital Game
  • Best adaptation of a 1926 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1926)
  • Best “Deep Cut” (use of a work not listed on any of the roundup articles)
  • Best Visuals

And those winners will each get to choose one of our great prizes:

If you’re new to the jam, you might want to check out the winners of past jams focusing on works from 1923, 1924 and 1925 for inspiration. Whether you’re an experienced game designer or just someone who wants to try their hand at the craft, we encourage you to join the jam and start working on your game! The submissions in past years have been truly amazing, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with this time around.

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