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BARA JAM 2023: Get ready for Bara Galore

BARA JAM is back! Keep your shirts on—or not, I won't judge. BARA JAM is in its fifth year, and it's not just a frivolous event. It's a legitimate and important space for exploring gay narratives through game development. Two whole months where your creativity can—responsibly, of course—run wild.



Bara Jam 2023

Bara 101: Bara vs Yaoi


"Bara" isn't just a buzzword—it's a whole genre born in Japan that emphasizes gay love. But please, don't make the rookie mistake of equating it with Yaoi. Yaoi caters to a different crowd and leans toward the pretty-boy aesthetic. Our team crafted an entire analysis on Yaoi’s target market for public research. Bara, on the other hand, showcases masculinity in its robust forms—think body hair, think muscles, think bear-like builds. In essence, it's a subgenre specifically focused on a gay male audience, embracing the many flavors of masculinity that Yaoi often sidesteps.


Alright, time for some ground rules for BARA JAM. Don't roll your eyes; this is the serious bit.


  • Queer or Bust: Your game should zoom in on queer male experiences or relationships. We're talking about representation across the gay board.

  • The Essence of Bara: Your game should have at least one main character who's as Bara as they come. If I don't see some comfortable masculinity, I'm going to have words.

  • The Timing: The game should primarily be developed between October 1 and November 30. No recycling last year's rejects, okay?

  • Inclusivity: You can be edgy, but anything hateful is out. Keep it respectful.

  • NSFW: If it's hot, make sure you flag it as such. Don't say I didn't warn you.

  • Cross-Posting: Feel free to submit your game elsewhere, as long as it fits the BARA JAM bill.

  • Submission Removal: The hosts hold the royal scepter here and can remove entries that don't fit the Bara essence.

No, there's no trophy, no cash prize, and certainly no parade in your honor. But you do contribute to an underrepresented genre, and that's not just fabulous—it's crucial.


If you're looking to join forces with other Bara creators or just need some advice, the Bara Jam Discord community is where you'll want to be. And hey, you can also follow Bara Jam updates on Twitter, because who doesn't love a good tweet?


So there you have it: BARA JAM is not merely a game jam—it's a cultural touchstone, a chance to expand the Bara narrative, and of course to appreciate gay, muscular storytelling. Now go on, make some Bara magic happen!


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