ResistJam Is Making Games To Combat Authoritarianism

"We can all find ways to resist the oppressive hegemonic authoritarianism that pervades modern society. This is one of them."

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Game developers from around the world are planning to participate in #ResistJam, a game jam scheduled for March 3, that aims to raise awareness and express opposition to "oppressive authoritarianism" in all its forms.

According to the jam's official page on Itch.io, it is intended to give participants a chance to "resist through the power of interactive media," as a response to the current global political climate, which "grows increasingly terrifying by the day."

"Not everyone can march, or be a figurehead of a movement, but we can all find ways to resist the oppressive hegemonic authoritarianism that pervades modern society," reads the jam's description. "This is one of them."

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This is an online jam, which means participants will create games during the event from wherever they like, and submit them to the itch.io jam page before the deadline. Participants can therefore work from home individually, or collaboratively online in their teams, or choose to come together and co-locate if they wish. The jam itself has no central physical venue.

#ResistJam is being organized in partnership with IndieCade, and media partner the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). "So many parts of the agenda of the global authoritarianism flies int eh face of what we try to do," said IndieCade chief executive officer Stephanie Barish said in a statement to Polygon. "Like the indie game industry, we collaborate across borders, as partners, embracing differences and finding creative solutions to problems. Closing minds and borders is an affront to everything we stand for. ...We at IndieCade feel as though game devs and digital creators, with all our advantages, need to step up and confront these powers, and we believe we all will."

Australian game developer Damon Reese is #ResistJam's lead organizer. Reece believes "a game jam is something that anyone can participate in, even though a lot of people don't believe they can," he told us, "which is why we're running workshops and having mentors on call to help out jammers from all walks of life." A series of experienced mentors will be running workshops during the jam, which will be recorded and distributed. Amongst the jam judges are Vlambeer's Rami Ismail, and industry veteran and lead on Thimbleweed Park, Ron Gilbert.

Organizers are calling for participants to focus on "peaceful and inclusive ways to approach game development," rather than encouraging violent responses. It also asks that participants not make gaes that depict real-life people without their explicit permission. They're also investigating options for participants to be anonymous in order to protect their safety both online, and especially if they live in locations where it's dangerous to speak on political subjects.

#ResistJam kicks-off on March 3, and runs through to March 11. For more information, check out the jam site over on Itch.io.

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