Mind Your Monitor: The Screen Saver Jam

The Internet is full of guides to customising your gaming ‘rig’–your ‘hog’, if you like; your ‘beast’; your ‘hotbox’; your ‘ludobrig’–with lights and windows and plumbing and little seats so you can sit inside and escape the heat on hazy summer afternoons, but they all miss something vital. No pig-hot gaming PC is complete without a really cool screensaver to prevent burn-in on your sweet-as-heck 15″ SVGA monitor. Luckily for those of us who can’t afford After Dark, a load of game developers have made some delightful monitor-minders over the weekend in the #screensaverjam.

I’ve been poking around, so here are a few I liked (but there are so many more!).

Good forest and bunnies, this one (pictured above). This robot pilgrim’s journey is calming. These colours hurt my eyes in pleasant ways. This marine worm is slightly unpleasant. I wish I had a Mac to see this. These pipes are looking a lot fancier nowadays. This bonfire is really quite pleasant! Hey, that’s Dream Fishing as a screensaver! The Wall Street Excecutive in your life would adore this. I… am not this into Bowser.

I would actually use these blossom sprays if I hadn’t, you know, set my screens to turn off when I’ve been away for a few minutes. I still might. They’re really nice!

Okay, sure, many of these would actually be terrible at saving screens, causing damage themselves, and many aren’t even usable as screensavers but… who cares. They’re great fun to rifle through.

The jam, which was organised by Kitty Calis and Vlambeer’s Jan Willem Nijman, received 122 entries in all. Go have a look yourself!


  1. Tacroy says:

    Man, I haven’t had a screensaver in ages – burn-in just isn’t a problem on modern LCD screens, and these days the computer just turns monitors off eventually anyway.

  2. welverin says:

    “little seats so you can sit inside and escape the heat on hazy summer afternoons”

    Um, what? Isn’t that like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?

    • LionsPhil says:

      This is why I installed a sprinkler system in my case. Nice, refreshing misßħ→e¶øŋ³þ ŋ ħŧ→þ

      • Mags says:

        Did you just look up all those characters individually on the character map? Have you memorised the codes? Did you copy and paste from somewhere else? Inquiring minds* need to know!


        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          ☺☻♥♦♣♠•◘○♫☼♪► Random ALT-Codes I guess.
          Just hold ALT while typing a number on the numpad to get a character from the table in use. Ex. ALT+3, when the ALT key is released you get a ♥.
          Google “alt codes” for the character tables.

          If you like the retro sensibilities of hieroglyphs in modern interpersonal communication you can also use emojis in Windows 10. I don’t know when they implemented that but it’s possible to copy-paste, for example into Youtube comments or Lumberghian TPS Reports.
          RPS’ comment system won’t save anything with a single emoji though (sadly/luckily).

  3. Author X says:

    Cool idea, but basically a retro/throwback jam considering how long it’s been since I had a screensaver besides “turn off screen”.

    • Author X says:

      Well, I guess that was actually the point since the jam description starts, “Remember when…”

  4. Lurid says:

    Everyone knows the best screensaver was Johnny Castaway.

    Someone should make something like that again.

    • Wang Tang says:

      Yes, and yes please!

    • Bing_oh says:

      Hell yes! I had Johnny Castaway running on my computer forever. I did occasionally switch over to Totally Twisted After Dark, however. It’s unfortunate that screensavers have gone the way of the dodo…I miss the ones that went out of the way to be more than just something to save your screen from burn-in.

  5. Nate Gallardo says:

    Ooh, I made a couple of these!

    This one’s about hiding under the bed from some scary shit going down outside:
    link to nategallardo.itch.io

    This one’s about riding through an autumn wood on an invisible train I guess:
    link to nategallardo.itch.io

  6. apa says:

    Never cared for the Flying Toasters anyway.

    • Mags says:

      I have a dim memory of at some point owning a Simpsons -themed After Dark. I think.

  7. aliksy says:

    Back in elementary school we had some intro to computers course, and occasionally me and the other kids would “race” the 3d maze screensaver. Everyone hits “start screensaver” at the same time and you, uh, hope yours finishes first. It was more exciting than the other goof-off options, somehow.

  8. Spakkenkhrist says:

    I like Drivey (not part of the jam) http://drivey.com

  9. sarcinelli says:

    Oh boy, this bring me back to those days when I used to visit my uncle (the only family member with a PC at that time) just so I could sit by the computer (We could no even dream about touching it or we would be in trouble) with my cousin and spend the whole afternoon watching the “Castaway” screensaver like it was a Saturday morning cartoon…

  10. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    Power saving is probably more important, especially on laptops.
    Though the Fallout “Bombs Falling” (same as on the in-game Pipboy), and one with Matrix code flow on my Linux installs followed me through various computer upgrades for probably ten years, long after I replaced my last cathode ray tube.