(I put this text on Ludum Dare because I have no where else or better place to put it. This, in my opinion, also matters to everyone here.)
We who made (and still make) games for #candyjam do it because trademark law and predatory companies are stealing our language and robbing us of our freedom of speech. It is horrifying that common words can be stolen.
I make computer games in my spare time as a way to express myself and to contribute to culture. I do it because I find computer games important as it is one of the most prominent forms of art and entertainment of our times. It is a young form of expression in which there’s still much room to explore and invent. If even I, as a hobbyist, can’t make games without the risk of legal harassment, then there is something very corrupt in how we’ve organized our societies. I believe that laws are only valid when they serve the people and not by their own right. The use of trademark and copyright law to effectively censor culture voids their validity. Even more troublesome is the fact that most major internet infrastructures are located in the US, their laws have practically become international. For us who live outside the US, the right to participate in and produce cultural expressions on the internet (even freedom of speech) is outside democratic control. Instead these rights are, for all practical purposes, controlled by a few powerful companies who don’t understand and have no incentive to care about the gravity of what they are doing
This state of affairs is simply unacceptable.
Yesterday, there was an Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) on reddit, and unfortunately the discussion derailed into legal matters. I think this left quite a few of us disappointed. Not in the fantastic people who make #candyjam possible, but in the outcome of the AMA. For sure, the legal risks may be relevant to discuss, but they are not as important as the fact that we are making these games. Or why we make them!
If you’ve read this far, chances are this matters to you too. There are some ways for you to show this:
- Make a #candyjam game if you already haven’t — you have all week before submissions finally close. I know you want to!
- If you made a game, cast a vote or write a comment on someone elses game on itch.io to let them know what you think.
- Play a game or spread the word (since most or all of us have yet to get a single dollar from all our game making efforts, we measure our worth in page views, clicks and links)
- Let the people who put this impromptu jam together know how much you appreciate them on twitter. (#candyjam)
- And finally, when the next Ludum Dare swings around, I expect all of you to have some candy in your game!