Gaming Like It's 1923: The Newly Public Domain Game Jam
As we mentioned earlier this month, in celebration of the fact that the US finally has allowed older works to enter the public domain again, after a very long hiatus, we're hosing a public domain game jam, encouraging people to create games (video games, tabletop games, LARPs, storytelling games, whatever) using newly public domain material. What good is a public domain if people aren't using it and building amazing new works with it? We've already seen some copyright maximalists -- who worked hard for years to prevent such works from entering the public domain -- mocking the excitement many of us have for finally seeing works entering the public domain (one of whom wondered why anyone would still care about works from 1923, which is infuriating, given their role in keeping those works away from the public domain). So, let's prove them wrong and build some amazing new works.
We're halfway through the month of January, and we already have five amazing entries, all building on newly public domain material. We were expecting people to most likely wait towards the end of the month to submit, so already having so many entries is a great sign. But, it also means that there's plenty of time for you to come up with a game as well. On the game jam page we have some pointers/guidelines and links to many of the newly public domain materials.
We also have an all-star panel of judges, from both the gaming and the copyright law worlds, and we're offering copies of our (public domain) CIA: Collect It All card game (or some of our copyright-themed t-shirts) as prizes for the best games in a variety of different categories. Even if you've never designed a game, now's your chance. Part of the idea behind a short-term "game jam" like this is that it encourages people to make something quick and get it out there for testing and improvement. We're excited about the submissions that have already come in, but just as excited to find out what else you guys can come up with over the rest of the month.