The Candy Jam is not about trademarks

Posted by (twitter: @Local_Minimum)
February 4th, 2014 11:37 am

(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 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!

Local Minimum

7 Responses to “The Candy Jam is not about trademarks”

  1. GaTechGrad says:

    I started making a game for #CandyJam, not knowing the whole backstory of why it was started. I thought it would just be cool to make a game about candy. My only complaint is that I haven’t found a way to comment or leave feedback on games on I do like the fact that you can earn money from your games there by setting your own price or allowing players to donate how much they want.

    Here’s my game Tooth Decay: (Use toothpaste to protect the teeth from the candy)

    I’m actually proud of the models I made, but the game still needs some work. I’m thinking about modifying it to use an orothographic overhead view, which should make placing the toothpaste tubes easier.

    By the way, for anyone doing One Game A Month (#1GAM), you can count your #CandyJam entry as a candy themed game for #1GAM bonus points.

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