LibreJam - FSF* should host a Libre Game development tournament!

Florian Snow floriansnow at
Fri Jan 7 09:49:29 UTC 2022


On Friday, January 7, 2022 5:21:10 AM CET Richard Stallman wrote: 
> It sounds like game jams have value for education in programming, but
> do they have value for the free software movement,

It depends.  It is a fun way to introduce people to programming and if we 
introduce people to Free Software right away, that may have benefits.  In my 
experience, though, a lot of participants are already programmers though and 
they participate for the challenge.  Most programmers have also heard about 
Free Software before (at least in my experience), so in that case, the benefit 
may be limited to reminding them that Free Software is important and possibly 
showing them how to properly license their repositories.  Because often times, 
they do publish the source code of those games anyway, it just lacks proper 
licensing because they don't want to bother with that.

> enough for free software activists to dedicate time to them for the sake of
> that?

I cannot judge that and I think a lot of what we do is trial and error.  So 
this might be worth trying.  Personally, I have taken a different approach to 
game jams.  For example the Global Game Jam is a distributed event with many 
different local organizers.  I have been involved with one in the past and 
helped set up a sample repository that participants could use and that 
repository had information on proper licensing and recommended the GNU AGPL3+ 
as a license.  That way, people were nudged in the right direction with little 
effort.  Another step further would be to convince a local organizer to only 
accept Free Software submissions.

One futher note because the question of (prize) money has come up: I don't see 
money as the main motivation for participants, so I wouldn't worry about that.  
My impression is that most games from a game jam are not commercially 
successful anyway and people mainly have fun writing something together.  So I 
wouldn't worry about offsetting any potential income from those games because 
the majority of them wouldn't make money anyway.

Happy hacking!

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