No Jam

This May I am hosting No Jam.

No means the absence of permision or existence.

No Jam is an act of labour refusal.

There will be no creating. No games. No coding experiments. No asset packs. No failures or sucesses.

I want to be clear about the intention behind doing nothing. It’s because I want to. I want to sit on my hands when asked how I’m contributing to the gamer economy.

It’s so often not a choice, especially when you are denied the ability to do something you otherwise would. If I had the choice to… If I was able to… If only I could… and there are many actions in games over the years that I’ve witnessed that have clearly added to people’s inability to do what they would like to.

There are many who want to make, make in ways that exist outside of profit, but are unable to even be in that position.

Just within games, abuse after abuse after abuse… by major companies, at major events, within twee collectives big and small, and every day we permit our surveillance by the worst actors because of a need to exist in metaphorical ‘Nazi Bars’ like twitter.

So many instances in life where doing nothing isn’t a choice but dictated by those that hold power over our activities.

And so we do nothing, except for things that can be considered proof of the project of games. A proof of concept for something still dominated by Twitter, Ubisoft and GDC.

What is the outcome of most Game Jams if not a search to appease capital in some way too. Think tanks.

I remember the gamedev society at Edinburgh Uni was sponsored by J P Morgan. One time a representative of the bank came and gave a talk about us being the future. Fuck off.

If the widespread need is for success, then I am afraid that my words aren’t useful.

If the widespread need is for profit, I fear that I have nothing to give.

If the widespread need is to be positive in the face of repeated patterns of abuse, I fear that I’m unhelpful.

If any of us were to intend to boycott GDC, to boycott Activision, to boycott Unity, who among us would or could join in… some of us, maybe… until we have to abandon our principles and search for someone, anyone to care about our work.

So I intend to sit May out. No making games, no desperately trying to get people to care that I’m still here, no need. Who needs us if we can’t make money after all?

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