Critical Distance Fansite Jam 2024

Howdy folks!

We were recently (see: in the last day or so) very tickled by the debut of Phil Salvador’s new fansite Final Fantasy VIII is the Best And If You Don’t Agree I Will Destroy You. It’s a project that hearkens back to the zeal of independently maintained personal websites with focused interests, and it’s a lot of fun to read.

We’re also not the only ones who liked it. Within our Discord there’s been immediate enthusiasm not just for Phil’s example but for the idea of fansites in general. Discussion quickly emerged about what fansites other people would make, and from there it seemed there was only one proper thing to do with this energy: organize a jam.

So that’s what we’re doing! From now until a tentative deadline of March 31st, 2024, Critical Distance will be open to submissions for fansites. We’re going to keep the rules simple and flexible because we’re not trying to run a contest, we’re trying to spark creativity. So here are the tentative rules, assembled over a hasty three minute discussion among the Critical Distance directors:

  1. Your submission should be a website! You do not need to be an HTML wizard to participate, but submissions need to be in a format that isn’t tethered to a major social media platform. In other words, your submission shouldn’t be a Tumblr or a Google Doc or an article published on an existing website. It should be your own space on the web–that’s the spirit of the thing. If you’re not sure how to begin, Neocities offers free hosting services and is a good place to start.
  2. Subject matter is flexible. Phil’s site is an example of a single-game fansite, and those submissions are welcome, but you don’t have to commit to that kind of topic. It can be a broader topic or theme in games, and not just videogames–tabletop, sports, and other digital or nondigital games are also welcome. We think suggesting games as a topic is useful primarily to provide a bit of structure if you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, but we’re not trying to gatekeep, so the association can be loose.
  3. There is no length requirement. A fansite can be a single page, or it can be an accumulated digital tome representing years or even decades of work. Since we’re running this jam for a little over a month, we don’t expect many submissions to be that long, but we see no value in imposing limitations here.

That’s it for rules! Now for some extra stuff on organization:

  • The easiest way to participate is to join our Discord! That way you’ll be immediately embedded in our community as well as other participants, and if you have questions about the event you’ll probably get a more timely response! We can also receive jam submissions by email, linked at the bottom of the page.
  • Submissions close on March 31st (tentatively), and will be followed by a showcase roundup collecting the submissions. Depending on the popularity of this jam it may take a bit of time to produce this roundup, and we may even have to split it into several instalments, but the end goal here is to showcase your work!

Finally (I swear I’m almost done) a bit of advice:

  • Make the site about something you care about, and make your site yours. You do not have to be the foremost expert on your topic, but it should be something you want to write about and want to share with the world.

Okay, that’s it for real now. Looking forward to seeing what people create!


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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!