Asylum Jam: Horror Games For A Good Cause

A horror game development competition designed to steer people away from the inaccurate mental illness stereotypes.

Asylum Jam is a video game development competition in which the developers are not allowed to base their games on mental illness or medical facility scenarios. The purpose is to prove that great horror games can be created without negatively depicting people with mental illnesses or the facilities in which they are assisted. The indie developers that enter are challenged with thinking outside the box instead of going with the easy misrepresentation that is depicted frequently in modern horror games.

The Challenge

The actual challenge is creating a horror game within a 48 hour time period set between the days of October 11th through the 13th. The total time is 72 hours, because it gives a flexible window for developers who can't jump right in first thing on Friday morning. Developers can be individuals or a team working together.

You should not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/’insane’ patients as settings or triggers.

The interesting thing about this competition is it seems that other than the one stipulation, anything goes. The website specifies "games for any platform or of any type," so the sky is the limit on what developers can create.

Several ideas I could spit ball off the top of my head are zombies, aftermath of bio-chemical warfare, aliens, or traditional horror movie style games like the Slender Man game. If you're interested in taking part you can sign up on the website. You can also read up additional information about the competition as well.

Good luck to all those who decide to enter. Also a big thanks to the people behind Asylum Jam for this amazing opportunity  to make people more aware of the misrepresentation of mental illnesses when used in horror games.

Published Oct. 7th 2013

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