A little while ago, there was a game design document called GAME_JAM, an interactive process and living document that was hijacked by marketing directors and, ultimately, abandoned by its own collaborators when the proposed program threatened great and unacceptable corruption of personal space and creator integrity. GAME_JAM was ultimately Ctrl + Alt + Deleted and its game design document, as much as kind of commercial and social contract analogue can be, returned to the drawing board.
At the end of the day, GAME_JAM was considered to be a worthy concept but its execution was flawed: a special glimpse into the process of creation inside a game jam with YouTube Let’s Players marred by an industrial bigotry and lack of understanding as to what a game jam actually is, and changed into a failed attempt at a generic reality show. I myself honestly thought that after everything that happened, the original idea would sit on that drawing board and gather dust.
Zoe Quinn decided otherwise. She decided to create REBEL JAM.
At first, this really surprised me. Zoe Quinn was one of the participants, or collaborators inside of, the failed GAME_JAM. Not only did she sign a contract in which she can’t talk about her experiences, but according to those who hadn’t signed the contract she was one of the female developers who felt the most offended by the bigotry that found its way into the tense and unpleasant situation: so much so that despite the contract she was one of those instrumental in having the participants walk away from the project altogether.
But I should have known better. Even in her article detailing what she learned from her experience, Zoe Quinn states:
My most tangible takeaway is probably this: I want to run a game jam. Not now, but after pax east and after I’ve recharged a bit. I’d like to find charismatic Let’s Play people, a couple of video cameras, a huge + cheap rentable house, and a group of indies. I’d love to have the LPers do what they’re so often so brilliant at and bridge the gap between the games and the audience, and do it super low-tech, low-budget, documentary style. Capture the inspiration, the hard work, the 3am delirium and the dumb jokes that come with it. Show people how we all band together and support each other through the deadline. That’s what I want to show the world about game jams. That’s the ambassador I’d rather be.
And so PAX East has passed. And, evidently, Zoe Quinn has recharged as well. In fact, she seems to have been at work on this concept for some time now. She continues the process of working on the GDD of REBEL JAM: a Return of the Indie counterpoint towards The Industry Strikes Back that inadvertently came from A New Jam.
Another bad, if somewhat geeky analogy aside, the concept behind REBEL JAM’s funding is the idea that this game jam will be “sponsored” by crowdfunding as opposed to corporations or industries. Zoe Quinn and those like her seem to be in the process of making some excellent additions to this living document that we will be allowed to see: and perhaps participate in.
In my GAME_JAM Ctrl + Alt + Delete article, I mentioned that–if nothing else–GAME_JAM was a game and a design that taught its collaborators how to create, and how not to create game jams.
This GDD is back on the drawing board.
REBEL JAM. exe is now processing.