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Asylum Jam aims to instill horror without mental health stereotypes

Asylum Jam, a 48-hour game jam scheduled for October 11, will focus on developing horrifying experiences without contributing to the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Participants are to avoid the implementation of asylums, psych wards, medical professionals and insane patients in their submissions.

Concerning the jam's importance, its site references the World Health Organization's report that one in four people worldwide "will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives." The involved press release states that Asylum Jam is intended to show "that you can still create a great horror experience without using inaccurate stereotypes."

Asylum Jam's website notes Slender: The Eight Pages, Among the Sleep, One Late Night and SCP Containment Breach as positive examples of modern horror. Asylum Jam will use Brett Chalupa's BMO engine and those interested in participating should check back the jam's website for sign-up links "closer to the event."

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Dear Joystiq,

I'm currently organizing a game jam called Asylum Jam set for October, inspired by an article by Ian Mahar. Currently, I'm trying to get the word about the jam out a bit more to get more jammers interested in the event and also bring some attention to the issue the jam is addressing, too.

Asylum Jam is a 48 hour game jam set for the spooky month of October, taking place on the 11th - 13th. The purpose of this jam is for individuals or teams to create a horror game on any platform or of any type that simply follow the following stipulation, inspired by the article 'Nobody Wins When Horror Games Stigmatize Mental Illness' (

1.) You should not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/'insane' patients as settings or triggers (some examples of what we're steering away from.)

This jam is to show that you can still create a great horror experience without using inaccurate stereotypes of those who suffer from mental illness, or the institutions that support them in diagnosis and recovery.

We will be running the jam on Brett Chalupa's BMO engine, which we will provide sign-up links for closer to the event!

If you would be interested in covering the jam and need any further information, please feel free to email me or ping us on Twitter!

All the best,

Lucy Morris

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