Worldbuilding Towards...

by Bracy Appeikumoh

Vector Festival 2023 / Interaccess

This game jam was an exercise in worldbuilding towards a more equitable future. Inspired by queer theory, afrofuturism, indigenous knowledge networks, and disability rights advocacy, participants were encouraged to look within themselves and explore what could be capable for themselves and their communities. This game jam was open to all who wanted to participate.

Link to Vector Festival website.


The game jam kicked off with a panel of narrative designers and game makers sharing their knowledge with the participants. The panelists included:

    • Golboo Amani is a multidisciplinary artist and her work creating the Settlers of Catan expansion pack Unsettling Settlers, highlighted how to create a game as a community-builder both through its creation and the act of play
    • Adam Clare is a professor of Game Design at Sheridan College and one of the founders of Board Game Jam.
    • Pam Punzalan wears many hats: writer, game designer, editor, authenticity reader, cultural consultant, and community builder. She builds tabletop and fictional worlds that speak her truths as a queer, Filipino woman. Her work in all these spheres has been nominated for awards.
    • Kimi Terasaki is a video game journalist and speculative fiction writer who investigates the need for diverse voices within video games and within creative fiction.

I functioned as curator and offered a curriculum and guide for the game jam participants as they navigated the narrative aspects of creating their games and building their worlds.

At the end of the jam, the completed games were showcased in an arcade-style exhibition. Games that were unable to be completed were still showcased by way of presenting a black screen and the text, “Undeliverable.” This act is inspired by Carmen Papalia’s curatorial practice showcased in the Undeliverable exhibition at Tangled Art + Disability in which any work that could not be completed in time for the show was given recognition by empty wall space as a way of showing solidarity for the humanity we often forget to bestow on our very mortal and very human fallible bodies. 

deu(s ex) machina (forthcoming Vector Festival 2024 / Interaccess)

Website link:

This game jam will be slightly different from the previous year’s in that it will serve as an incubator. 5 participants have been selected to partake and the jam will serve to help facilitate the completion of their game.

The theme will revolve around the ways that technology has served to help (as well as hinder) our ability to communicate and find intimacy with one another, examples are taken from the way that virtual meetings have allowed immunicompromised folks to socialize, the ways that the internet has been a tool for bypassing bigoted surroundings to allow queer folks to discover themselves, and the many adventures of online dating.