Welcome to the second edition of the AFKer Game Jam Spotlight.

January is well and gone, and February now upon us, meaning that for those of us in the game industry, the Game Developers Conference is fast approaching, and there’s plenty to be done in preparation before the end of the month. Thus, there won’t be many jams featuring physical locations, food, or such this month, though there’s plenty of indie jams being run though itch.io to let you keep your dev skills sharp.

In the absence of a single huge event like the Global Game Jam, we have a few more…intimate recommendations, mostly centered on the theme of love (or lust) and relationships, though for those of you inclined towards that sort of thing, we do feature an alternative.


Our first recommendation this month is the Third Annual Date Mate Jam, running from Valentines Day 2017 – March 1, 2017. In this game jam, couples are encouraged to work together over the course of two weeks, creating a game based on something significant to or in their relationship. It’s an event promoting reflection, communication, and making something beautiful together, not unlike the couples painting events that are getting to be so popular these days.

Of course, for those who may not have a partner but have an excellent libido and want to express that creatively, our second recommendation is the Strawberry Jamrunning through the month of February. The theme of this jam is to make a game that is “horny.” Now, that doesn’t mean it has to be NSFW, given that there are all sorts of ways to express “horniness”, ranging from stories full of unresolved tension and chemistry to characters who literally (due to being demons, aliens, or animal hybrids) have horns. This jam is actually great for people new to the scene, since it also features a list of tools and recommendations for how to get started, so consider it if the theme interests you at all!

For those whose tastes may tend towards the contemplative and visionary to the hormonal, our third recommendation is the Utopia Jam, running February 11 – February 27. In this jam, participants are asked to craft stories or games about a world where some injustice or problem that exists today has been somehow fixed – a future that is more equitable, free, sustainable, or optimistic. Submissions can be set in any time period, as long as it is in the future, though whether that is tomorrow, next month, next year, next century or even further ahead is up to you.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that the Social Justice Game Jam, our recommendation from last month is coming up in just a few weeks. Running from 6 PM on Friday, Feb 17, 2017 to 8 PM on Sunday, Feb 19, 2017 (all in Pacific Time, of course) at the Living Computer Museum (and online!), the jam focuses on social justice and civil legal aid, involving issues such as debt repayment, foreclosure, fraud, predatory lending and more. As a bonus, this may well be the first jam where one of the judges is in fact, a judge (robes, gavel and all)!

That’s it for this edition of the AFKer Game Jam Spotlight. Have fun, stay safe, and happy j-j-jamming!