Utopia Jam Wants Us To Imagine a Better Future


Have a bit of free time coming up in February? Want to give yourself a project, and maybe help people escape from what can seem like an unending cavalcade of awful news?

You should check out Utopia Jam.

Utopian fiction imagines a better world — a future world where our hardships have been solved, and humanity is better for it. The works produced for Utopia Jam are intended to do the same. When it feels like every day brings more doom and gloom, there’s power in imagining a better future. It can give us the motivation we need to keep moving forward.

Creators Laura Michet and Cat Manning offer this inspiration if you’re having trouble coming up with an optimistic starting point:

  • Solarpunk is a speculative fiction subgenre depicting eco-futurist societies where humans and their technology are integrated with nature. Solarpunk is sometimes focused on realistic solutions that could happen today.
  • Star Trek takes place in a “post-scarcity” society where money has been eliminated and replicators can create food at will, suggesting a future without poverty. There’s also much less race and gender discrimination– among humans, anyway.
  • Read Only Memories is a game that takes place in a future where discrimination against queer people does not occur. Other types of discrimination now exist, however.
  • The Culture series by Iain Banks imagines a “space socialist” society where humans and aliens are taken care of by benevolent AI.
  • The Hainish Cycle books by Ursula Le Guin imagine an interstellar civilization where successful worlds are inhabited by peaceful, non-authoritarian, community-focused societies.

The jam rules are very straightforward. Your work can be anything, be it a game, a story, a work of visual art or otherwise. It can take place in any time period, from tomorrow to the distant future. Submissions open this Saturday and continue until February 27th at 8 pm, so there’s lots of time.

No need to stretch yourself thin, just take the time you need to find a hopeful head space and create something there.

[Utopia Jam]

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