Pandemics and Games Essay Jam

A head wearing a virtual reality headset, with an elongated neck. To its left, imagery and icons associated with gaming, and to its right, imagery and icons associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday, January 4, 2021 - 2:00am to Sunday, January 10, 2021 - 2:00am

The global cataclysm of COVID-19 has brought enormous changes to the games industry, the ways we play video games alone and together, and the meaning and content of games old and new.

In the Pandemics and Games Essay Jam, presented by Critical Distance and the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, we invite you to contribute to a book of micro-length essays, 500-800 words, that explore these themes and others:

  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped and transformed our relationships to, and encounters with, video games
  • How it has catalyzed changes in the games industry, from design and labor issues to marketing and corporate structure
  • How pandemics and other transmissible diseases are represented in games yesterday and today
  • How game worlds, especially in social and live games, have been affected by pandemics, whether rooted in game narratives or through “viral” trends in player behavior
  • How the trauma of COVID-19 has retroactively changed the legacy of older titles

After the Jam, we'll collect all of the contributions together into an ebook, which will be distributed for free. All contributions will be distributed under a Creative Commons license.

To learn more and participate, visit the Pandemics and Games Essay Jam website.

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