Mixed Feelings Jam was a game jam intended to bring together people from mixed race and mixed cultural backgrounds to create video games, tabletop games, LARPs, or zines inspired by mixed experiences. It ran once with little attention. I may host it again, but I’m not sure. I’d have to think more about how to promote it.
All too often mixed race narratives (or analogues to these) are told in ways that are stereotypical or not representative of actual mixed experiences. We’re considered tragic, not really here or there, never truly belonging. There may be elements of truth to stereotypes (hence “mixed feelings”), but they can still be very harmful, particularly when perpetuated by people who don’t have real life experience with the identities they’re representing, even if the storyteller thinks they’re being a good ally.
So I decided to make a game jam for mixed people to tell mixed stories through games. Not just for ourselves to feel seen, though that is very important, but to put out more media into the world with more realistic mixed themes to combat harmful stereotypes.
Here’s some themes I suggested:
- The joy of participating in multiple cultural backgrounds
- “Passing” and conditional passing
- Celebrating holidays
- Growing up mixed with low cultural connection
- Growing up mixed with cultural connection only on one side of the family
- Growing up mixed with strong cultural connection
- Growing up with mixed parents
- Experiences with colorism and racism
- Self consciousness about appearance and belonging
- Feeling like you’re not insert race/culture enough
- The assumption that all mixed people have a white parent
- Growing up with parents of different religious backgrounds
- Thoughts on “percentages” and wholeness
- Thoughts on identification
- Our relationship with mixed stereotypes
- Our relationship with language(s)