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QUILTBAG Jam 2014: “Labels are for Clothes”

February 8, 2014 @ 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

by @kokernak https://twitter.com/kokernutz/status/320563948971778050/photo/1

A gala event two years in the making: it’s the third annual MIT Game Lab QUILTBAG Jam! This tradition is one we’re pleased as punch to keep rolling here on campus and hopefully the 2014 QBJ will be even bigger and better than ever. Our first year as the “Gayme Jam” gave way to last year’s phoenix-like rebirth as the QUILTBAG Jam — which produced a ton of super-neat games you can play at http://quiltbag.herokuapp.com/ — and we’re gonna carry that momentum forward.

Join us on Saturday, February 8, 2014 for a day of game creation, fun, and frivolity. No game design experience necessary: all you need is enthusiasm and a desire to participate. Everyone is welcome!

If you’re new to the concept of game jams, they’re events where people get together to create games, usually on a theme or topic. The aim of the QUILTBAG Jam is twofold: to encourage creating games that feature queer identities, experiences, and themes, and also to make a safe space for people of all kinds to explore those ideas in game design. We’ll provide tools and space and time; you bring yourself, your ideas, and your energy. End result: FUN AND GAMES.


We’re super excited to be joined by this year’s Special Guest Jammer, Samantha Allen! Samantha writes about gender, sexuality, and video games and does so regularly for the feminist gaming blog Border House. Her work has also appeared on Jacobin, Salon, Paste, Kotaku, Kinsey Confidential, and in Adult Magazine. She also speaks on feminism, queerness, and games at conferences and conventions across North America.

Also presenting this year’s jam theme: LABELS ARE FOR CLOTHES. Being queer means often having to label yourself — or be labeled by others — so you fit into easy categories, but that’s not always what you want. We encourage participants to make games about rejecting labels and being put into boxes against their will.

Photos from last year’s QUILTBAG Jam


Do I need to identify as queer to participate?

Not at all! Everyone who wants to take part is welcome. All identities, kinds, and persuasions are welcome.

Okay so I can’t program or draw or compose music. I’m not sure I should come.

Not at all! Game jams are all about turning your game ideas into reality. All you really need is some inspiration and the energy to give it a try.

I wish I could participate! But I can’t make it to Boston. 🙁

Fear not — like last year, we welcome offsite participation. Feel free to make a game wherever you are! We’ll make an online submission site available. We had some great offsite submissions last year and I hope we get some again! If you’re interested in setting things up as a satellite site, email me at tlharper@mit.edu and we’ll chat.

Do I have to follow the theme? I have a game idea but it’s pretty different.

Not at all! The theme is a suggestion and an inspiration — not a rule. The jam is a place for you to express yourself and your creativity in a safe and supportive space.

What should I bring?

A laptop if you’d like to make a digital game, some paper or index cards if you’d like to make a non-digital game. Markers, crayons, play-doh, a camera — anything you think might help your creative process! We’ll provide a few laptops with Photoshop if anyone wants to use that, plus a bunch of prototype supplies (cards, dice, tokens) for anyone who wants to make non-digital games.

Will… will participating make me queer? D:

All participants will be awarded a learner’s permit at the end of the jam. The rest is up to you.


February 8, 2014
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Todd Harper


32 Vassar St
Cambridge, MA 02142 United States
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