From January 4-10, 2021, the Pandemics and Games Essay Jam invited writers everywhere to contribute to a book of micro-length essays, 500-800 words, about the tangled relationships between pandemics and games.
The jam is now complete! We hope that you’ll read the finished pieces here, and download our free ebook, Sickness, Systems, Solidarity.
You are invited to use PubPub’s commenting features to leave queries and comments on pieces submitted during the jam, and to revise your own piece. A free PubPub account is required to submit comments. Read our commenting policy to learn more.
Our jam participants wrote 35 micro-essays that explore these themes and more:
How the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped and transformed our relationships 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
This project is presented by Critical Distance and the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.
The Pandemics and Games Essay Jam is published under the open access Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0). This means it is free to read, and allows authors to maintain ownership, but prevents others from selling it or modifying it.
Top illustration created by Venkatesh Lakshmi Narayanan.