Everybody remembers Gex, the slimy lizard hero who starred in many Crystal Dynamics games of the 1990s. Some of us wish we didn’t. Whatever camp you fall into, it’s essential that you know mid-February 2023 marks the beginning of the unofficial ‘Gex Week’.
The event, founded by game developer Izzy Kestrel in 2022, is a celebration of the weirdest parts of Gex lore. While last year’s event was just a series of unhinged social posts, this year it’s taking on more official form: with the launch of the itch.io GEX JAM 2023 game jam.
‘The 2nd annual Gex Week is upon us and what better way to celebrate than to create some gecko-centric content,’ Izzy Kestrel announced on itch.io. ‘Fangames are obviously welcome and appreciated, but don’t limit yourself. The beautiful thing about Gex is that the world (of television) is his oyster!’
To that end, Kestrel has suggested a range of ideas for games inspired by Gex and his foray into television, such as: a zine about Frasier, poetry about Steve Urkel from Family Matters, a mural celebrating ‘all the cats that ALF never had a chance to eat’, or designing a TTRPG with Friends.
Those who participate in the game jam in any capacity will be included in an upcoming episode of the ‘infamous’ Oral Gex Podcast hosted by Kestrel and her pals, where the games will be reviewed live by an experienced panel.
Self-described as ‘Gex‘s #1 fan’, Kestrel has begun a much-needed movement to highlight the sheer, weird brilliance of the Gex franchise – and why we should continue to appreciate it in 2023.
Kestrel’s work in Gex advocacy is even more important now, as the status of the franchise is currently up in the air. With the sale of Square Enix’s Western studios to Embracer Group – a sale which included Crystal Dynamics and Eidos – the future of Gex is unknown. Previously, the lizard was involved in Square Enix’s ‘Collective’ program which allowed fans to submit ideas for new games and adventures.
Now, it’s unknown if he will ever officially live again.
Hopefully, the unofficial Gex Week game jam will inspire new thought. If you’re a budding game developer, you can check out the game jam page here, and start working on those fabulous, slightly-sleazy Gex pitches. Submissions close on 20 February 2023.