Thanks for taking the time to post this. Not only did you write the blog post, you also made a prototype!
I'm not sure about how the prototype illustrates the points though...
I read the link you provided about "Leaving video games behind". It got
me thinking for the past couple of days. My opinion at this moment is
that I don't agree with what they said. Explaining why would be a long
rant; I only have half-formed thoughts by now. I will have to leave a
detailed discussion for later.
What I can say, in connection to our jams, is that we understand "game" to have a rather broad meaning,
encompassing all the examples that you mention and many more. We
explicitly tell the participants, in every jam, "do whatever you want,
don't stress over making a finished full game". We never give a
definition of what "game" means, and we welcome any contribution of any
kind. On the other hand, taking part in a jam is always more gratifying
if you have something to show at the end of it. So, even though they
don't have to, I would suggest participants to focus on small prototypes
that can be easily understood by an audience when shown through a
projector, if only for the reward of the reactions from the public.
That being said, games are still our primary focus, and as you point
out there would be a risk on blurring the focus of the jams too much. We
still feel that we need to have the word "games" in the name, with the
hope that we can attract a public interested in "playful interactive
works", to call them somehow.
If the general understanding of "game" is too narrow, I prefer the approach of exploring what else games
can be, and trying to change preconceptions by creating examples that
challenge such definitions.
The "leaving video games behind" link, though, argues the opposite of what we are saying. They argue that
the term "video game" is too generic and we should split the whole
scene in mutually exclusive factions, based on genre. E-sports on one
side, hardcore shooters in another, and so on. I have several qualms
with such idea, but I need to reflect some more time to figure out how
to put them into words.
About the jams being too tech-focused, that is something we also worry about and try to prevent. We take part
in other activities and make a concious effort to promote the jams among
(Comment too long... continued below)