In January of 2021, The Great Gatsby officially left copyright.
The event was celebrated by a 30-day game jam on itch.io.
Organized by Jess Geyer and Alex Sprague of Wannabe Games, Gatsby Jam ran for 30 days. The result was an assortment of 9 tabletop and digital games, mostly created by people who hadn’t read The Great Gatsby but were willing and ready to riff on its themes and aesthetics nonetheless.
The jam was, of course, not exactly a celebration of Scott Fitzgerald’s timeless prose. It was a commentary on copyright law, and the myriad ways you can remix and reinterpret a work once it’s free to use.
“I think that’s another way that you’re just contributing to the canon, this big conversation that people are having with literature, and movies and games themselves,” Geyer said. “It’s this big conversation back and forth. And it’s kind of a conversation that copyright stifles, you’re not able to have as clear of a conversation, when you have to tiptoe around what you are able to write.”
Check out the video to see the Gatsby Jam games and learn more about the way that copyright and patent law come into play in game development.
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