Not a Fish


This game was originally created for the 1923 Jam, celebrating the release of new works into the public domain after years of IP law extensions in the United States. Not a Fish tries, among other things, to wrestle with the relationship between science and colonialism. It was created using the newly public domain articles:

  • S.F. Light, “On Amphioxus and the Discovery of Amphioxus Fisheries in China,” China Journal of Science & Arts, no. 1 (January 1923).

  • S.F. Light, “Amphioxus Fisheries Near the University of Amoy, China,” Science, vol. 58, no. 1491 (July 27, 1923).

The rules for this game are deceptively simple: spread out all the cards on a table and then slowly work as a group to connect them together, like a jigsaw puzzle. Each highlighted term on a card connects to the titles and terms on other cards. Line up the appropriate boxes on the boarder to make clusters and work toward a full map. But it’s all really messy. You may never be able to make sense of everything in a way that’s fully satisfying. Such is real life. The players are intended to just work at it for an hour or two each time you play.