Announcing: the Bitsy essay jam

The essay is a flexible format that allows its author to communicate, work through, and explore thoughts without traditional formal barriers. The content of essays can be personal, literary, historical, philosophical, aesthetic, and is often a combination of many topics, perspectives, and approaches to writing.

Bitsy is a flexible and accessible game engine that encourages tinkering and creating spaces to explore. It has been used to make large and small projects,  and games ranging in topic from personal experiences, tributes to favorite videogame genres, and fantastical stories. There are even non-fiction Bitsies, that use the engine’s ability to pull together basic graphical representations, space and text to convey a theme or topic in an unconventional way.

If your skill is in critical writing, this jam allows you to explore any topic through a different sort of structure. If you’re coming from previously making games, you can use the jam as a chance to reflect on how to present a topic that has been interesting to you lately into a Bitsy game, or even adapt an existing essay or piece of critical writing into this form.


November 16th-22nd 2020


  1. Decide on a topic to explore with your entry
  2. Make a game in Bitsy about this topic
  3. If you are adapting an existing text, clearly credit it. Similarly, also clearly credit if you use any of the Bitsy community resources, tools or hacks.
  4. Share it on the jam page!

If there is enough interest we could have a playthrough stream and/or discussion for entries in the Critical Distance Discord



  • Look up even more Bitsy games in the Bitsy Tag
  • Explore critical essays and gaming related topics on Critical Distance
  • Check out Claire Morwood’s absolute beginner’s Bitsy Tutorial, which includes some hacks and advanced tricks at the end
  • Contact me on Twitter if you have any further questions or concerns: @netgal_emi
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