Archived Events Events


Rewrite/remix the rules and format of a beloved letter-tile board game!

Salon – Saturday, July 4, 7 – 9 P.M.

Jam – Friday, June 5th – Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Workshops – Saturday, June 6th, Monday, June 22 & Monday, June 29th (see below for more information)!

Salon Location: Skype Showcase with Lisa, join us (free, no registration required, live captions available in multiple languages).
Facilitated: Lisa Smedman
Featuring work by: Louise Chow, Jonathan Dawes, Christopher Alan Slater, Kay Slater, Lisa Smedman, Adrian Estergaard and YOU!

JabbleScram is a “game jam” in which creators re-imagine the game of Scrabble. The resulting work can be anything you like: a game, a piece of art, a narrative work, performance art – wherever your creative muse takes you!

For this challenge we’ll use the contents of a standard box of Scrabble (branded or not) that includes 100 letter tiles, a 15 x 15 gridded board, a bag, and 2-4 tile racks. The rules are discarded* and the dictionaries are shelved.

Some or all of the components can be used, and creators are not limited to the original game components – literally anything can be added.


Saturday, July 4th @ 7 P.M.

If you missed the salon, fear not! A recording is available here.

Below are links to the game remix rules, and associated essays.

Grabble Road – by Jon Dawes

Letter Delve – by Lisa Smedman

Picky Eater – by Kay Slater (content warning: video makes reference to eating disorders and alcoholism)

A Scrabblepunk RPG – by Chris Slater

Scrabble: Colonization Mode – by Adrian Estergaard


Saturday, June 6 @ noon – B is for “Beginnings.” Lisa Smedman hosts a workshop on the many possible mechanics that a tile-based game can use as its starting point.

This talk was recorded, and can be found here.

Monday, June 22 @ 7 P.M. – R is for “Rules.” Jon Dawes hosts a workshop on making your rules as clear as possible. It starts with an “ask me anything” segment, in which each participant can have the host review a problem rule section. Next, participants will exchange rules documents and try to actually play the games, just by reading the rules. We will discover which parts of the rules were confusing enough to cause the players to differ from the author’s intent, and work on ways to fix them.

Monday, June 29 @ 6:30 P.M. – Y is for inquirY, sYmbols, and poetrY. Kay Slater hosts a workshop on inquiry, Dada and chance poetry, and how art-making/process-based exploration can give way to new and interesting ideas (using games/ready-mades to inspire your art). This workshop will have 2 ASL interpreters and will be hosted in spoken English and ASL on Google Meet. NOTE: This workshop date was rescheduled from the 15th to the 29th to allow the facilitator more time to do research, rethink their presentation around the Eurocentric and problematic nature of Dada, and to allow for some unscheduled health hiccups.

*if you do not have a printer, that is ok! Print out the alphabet on a sheet of paper in your own handwriting and cut them into 26 separate pieces.

Getting Started:

The following (optional) Jabblescram challenges are suggested:

  • The theme is based on a word that is generated by drawing 7 Scrabble tiles at random, then arranging them into a word as you see fit.
  • The work mashes together Scrabble with another tile-based game, incorporating either components and/or mechanics from both. The second game could be a traditional game like Dominos or Mah Jong, or could be a modern tabletop game; for a list, see: .
  • The work includes or emulates an alternative form of text-based communication, for example, a ransom note, Morse Code, binary code, typewriter keyboard, text message or email, cursive writing or calligraphy, telegram, subtitles or closed captions, message in a bottle, graffiti, etc.
  • The work incorporates a form of non-text-based communication, for example, American Sign Language, body language, graphics, music or song, mime (eg: Charades), etc.
  • The work incorporates another language or alphabet, either modern, historic, or invented (eg: Esperanto, Klingon).
  • The work takes its inspiration from language construction or form, for example, acronyms, slang (modern or historic), the “nonsense poems” of Lewis Carroll with their made-up words, the structural forms of poetry, etc. Perhaps the game pays attention to spelling and grammar – or deliberately doesn’t!
  • The work is built strictly during the 26-day jam period. Each day the creator works on the piece, that day’s work somehow incorporates the current date’s “letter of the day.” (June 5 is the letter A, June 6 is B, June 7 is C… and so on.) Inspiration: 

Submit your project for the Salon:

Our application process for this event is very informal. As long as you adhere to basic rules of respect and anti-oppression, are willing to label any content that may be unsuitable for public/all-ages consumption, and are willing to challenge yourself to produce work on theme with the event – we want you to participate. More information to follow when we’ve chosen a date and a host location. Our collective members reserve the right to review and approve all materials prior to their being presented at our public events.

Send your initial project concepts and ideas to

Include the following information:

  • Your name,
  • Project Title,
  • A 1-2 sentence summary of your project
  • Your artist statement (if you have one)
  • Any content warnings** (with our community and your audience in mind).
  • Your project does not need to be complete before you submit your project for consideration to the salon – contact us!

*Your rules remix must be 100% Open Source (non-publishable) as we are borrowing the pieces from the board game Scrabble (trademarked in Canada by Hasbro). Whether or not you return the pieces to the box, no portion of this creative challenge may be published under The Papercut Arcade. This is a free creative challenge and event.

The Papercut Arcade defines artist as a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, photographer, painter, novelist, poet, or filmmaker. The keyword is practice; therefore, if you make art or produce work with the intent of participating in a The Papercut Arcade challenge or exhibition, you ARE an artist.

**Content warnings: Content warnings are not a perfect solution, but once a creator moves out of the sphere of self publishing into a space where their work is represented by others, we strongly recommend creators take time in considering how their work will affect their audience. This will help inform your future decisions and protect yourself as an artist, and also allows your more vulnerable audiences to be offended but not unwillingly targeted, triggered, or harmed. Content warnings can also be added to after a project is published, and it’s an easy way to help guide your audience without having to censor yourself. Someone will always be offended; and so it is not our job to try to please/not-offend everyone but rather it is our responsibility as creators and publishers simply to make folks aware of what they may encounter as they travers our work (and update those warning signs as we receive feedback).

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