Gaming Like It's 1923

Jan 02, 2019 at 06:00 am by Press Release


2019 is the first year that new content is entering the public domain since 1998. Works published in 1923 are now free to share and remix. This game jam is to celebrate these works entering the commons by making games about and inspired by them.

The Works

There are plenty of interesting works to draw on, including silent films starring Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, stories by P.G. Wodehouse and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Robert Frost.

Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has some highlights as well as a spreadsheet with many works broken out by medium.


The Games

This jam is open to both digital and analog games – choose the medium that excites you!

For digital games, we’ll only be judging games that are playable in the browser. This includes interactive fiction using frameworks like Twine. You can submit desktop or mobile games but we won’t consider them for prizes.

For analog games, we’re looking for tabletop RPGs, larps, board games, and everything in between. We encourage you to design something short and quickly playable. Our judges are only committed to reading the first four pages of your submission. Golden Cobra and Game Chef contain great examples of brief, compelling games.

Don’t worry about making a highly polished game! We’re more interested in your ideas and how you use the public domain.


The Prizes

We’ll be awarding prizes in the following categories:

  • Best Analog Games
  • Best Digital Game
  • Best adaptation of a 1923 work
  • Best remixing of multiple sources (at least one has to be from 1923)
  • Best “Deep Cut” (use of a work not listed on any of the round up articles)
  • Best Visuals

You have until the end of January to submit your games. We'll be judging the submission in the first two weeks of February and awarding prizes soon after.

This jam is organized by Randy Lubin of Diegetic Games and Mike Masnick of Techdirt and we’re contributing prizes. Every winner will get a copy of our recently Kickstarted board game CIA: Collect It All or a Techdirt Copymouse t-shirt - their pick!

The game is a remake of the public domain game Collection Deck – which is an actual CIA training game – and we’ve dedicated our adaptation to the public domain via a CC0 license.

Submissions open from Today at 12:00 AM to February 1st 2019 at 12:00 AM



The Judges

We have a wonderful panel of judges that include digital and analog game designers as well as public domain experts:

We may add more judges depending on the volume of submissions.


Code of Conduct

We will not tolerate sexism, racism, or discrimination of any kind. Some works from 1923 may contain offensive stereotypes. Either avoid these works or address the problematic material in a responsible manner.

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