Developer Pulls Out of Festival Competition in Protest over Super Columbine Decision

January 7, 2007 -
Fallout continues from the Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition's recent decision to drop Super Columbine Massacre RPG from the upcoming event.

In the latest news, an indepedent developer has withdrawn from Slamdance over the move. Braid creator Jonathan Blow writes that his decision is a protest against the removal of Danny Ledonne's controversial design.

Interestingly, Blow is not a big fan of SCMRPG. Here's more of what the Braid developer had to say about the decision:
(SCMRPG) lacks compassion, and I find the Artist’s Statement disingenuous. But despite this, the game does have redeeming value. It does provoke important thoughts, and it does push the boundaries of what games are about. It is composed with more of an eye toward art than most games. Clearly, it belongs at the festival.

So, in protest of game’s expulsion, I have dropped Braid out of the competition as well.

...games should be taken seriously as an art form that can expand the boundaries of human experience... As an art form they contain a tremendous power to shift perspective and to heighten wisdom... But if games are denied their appropriate level of societal recognition, growth of the form will be very difficult, and human culture will be the lesser for it.

In related news, Newsweek's N'Gai Croal slams the Slamdance decision, as does well-known designer Greg Costikyan of Manifesto Games, a Slamdance sponsor. Meanwhile, Arthouse Games has a great synopsis of this developing controversy.

GP: A shout-out to GamePolitics reader Shih Tzu for the tip!

UPDATE: A second indie game developer, that game company, has pulled out of Slamdance over the SCMRPG issue.

Comments

I'm glad a fellow artist decided to withdraw over this. It's something I hope catches on.

And while I respect a person's right to an opinion, I dont understand his line: "(SCMRPG) lacks compassion." It's a look into the mind of a sociopath - typically compassion doesn't figure into the mind of one such person.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

I used Greg Costikyan as a source on my research paper last year. He seems like a true upholder of the first amendment.

Good for him! I know its not what I'd consider a classy game, but if they didn't want it there, they shouldn't have put it there in the first place.

Braid creator Jonathan Blow writes that his decision is a protest against the removal of Danny Ledonne’s controversial design... as does well-known designer Greg Costikyan of Manifesto Games, a Slamdance sponsor

Good! How can an independant festival have any credibility when the founder of the festival overrides the judges in what is and isn't worthy of a nomination?
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Hopefully others will follow.

Yea, maybe SCMRPG can get invited back in.

Well said Mr. Blow

SCMRPG is somehow both juvenile and archaic in its approach to the Columbine issue from a philosophical, theological, and sociological standpoint. However, its use of the video game medium is admirable.

I believe it should be showcased at this competition, and I think Jonathan Blow is doing the rightt thing. I hope others do the same.

While it's very respectful to take this move, I foresee an overall opinion of "who cares?".

Look at it this way. There is some question already as to whether video games should be included in Slamdance. Obviously, the head of Slamdance holds little regard for the media format. So, another video game developer dropping out, while still making a statement, will have less impact overall as opposed to directors/developers/etc of other media formats backing out in protest.

If other media formats started backing out in protest, then it appears as a solidarity of art in general. But if only members of the video game media format back out, then the argument by some could be "well, video games aren't really an art form so we'll just chuck that format from Slamdance altogether". Might get a bit of opposition, but without the support of the overall "art community", then a segregation and exclusion is very possible.

nightwng2000
NW2K Software

@nightwng2000

True, on the other hand, he'll have a harder time "cashing in" on the popularity of the medium the next time he runs the competition.

The sponsors are less likely to support him vs. another competition if his regular contributors and sponsors go somewhere else due to the clear inability of the competition to be anything but rigged.

Maybe the ECA should start it's own "Guerilla Games" show.
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

GJ DRAMA TRAIN

QUALITY CONTROL = CENSORSHIP

LET'S MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL AND THEN CRASH AN AIRPLANE INTO IT

To Dais

This isn't as muc habout the game as it is the festival organizer undermining what it's about.

@Grahamr - and if it does, maybe Ledonne should say no, and perhaps stick it to the festival one more time.

I'll go on record as saying I don't think SCMRPG is very good, though I admire the concept. It seemed to be full of material that had more to do with the author than the facts of the case. Still, banning it from competion against the will fo your judges seems like a bad move.

We've really got to get some new things to worry and care about...

Kyouryuu, this is the "GamePolitics" site, how strange that people on it care about the politics involved with games. Perhaps, and this is just a wild guess, if you visit a site about web removal, you may just find people that care about that.

I've been a little undecided on this issue so far, but Jonathan Blows action certainly earns my respect, and I hope the other entrants who feel the same way will consider making the same sacrifice.

Also, a note to Hank the Tank - A bit of a nitpick I know, but Freedom of speech and the first amendment aren't interchangable. The first amendment doesn't apply here but freedom of speech is still something to aspire to.

You know it would be amusing if the judges selected SCMRPG even with its removal by Peter Baxter. It would be a nice slap in his face for going against the grain of what his festival is suspose to be about.

"I may not like what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it."
Nice to know some people still believe in this.

Cool. If you pull your game out of the festival you'll be awarded Ron Gilbert's 2007 Grumpy Gamer Games are Art Award. :)

http://grumpygamer.com/1389788
 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you feel about Amazon buying Twitch?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
IanCBroke my EA boycott to pick up Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare. Loving it. Still hate EA though. But i like Popcap. Gah.08/30/2014 - 6:01am
MaskedPixelantehttp://m.tickld.com/x/something-you-never-realized-about-guardians-of-the-galaxy Right in the feels.08/29/2014 - 6:56pm
AvalongodAgain I think we're conflating the issue of whether Sarkeesian's claims are beyond critique (no they're not) and whether its ever appropriate to use sexist language, let alone physical threats on a woman to intimidate her (no it isn't)08/29/2014 - 5:04pm
prh99Trolling her or trying to assail her integrity just draws more attention (Streisand effect?). Which is really not what the trolls want, so the only way to win (if there is a win to be had) is not to play/troll.08/29/2014 - 5:02pm
prh99Who cares, just don't watch the damn videos if you don't like her. Personally, I don't care as far as she is concerned as long there are interesting games to be played.08/29/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenZip - And yet, you can't cite a single, solitary example. (And no one said you hated anyone. Along those lines, no one claimed Sarkeesian was perfect either.)08/29/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSaint's Row: Gat Out of Hell was just announced for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One making it the 150th game For Everything But Wii U! Congratulations Deep Silver!08/29/2014 - 3:49pm
ZippyDSMleeI do not hate them jsut think its mostly hyperlobe.08/29/2014 - 3:40pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - I'd say that's likely. From my experience, most who have a problem with Sarkeesian's videos either want to hate them in the first place (for whatever reason) or honestly misunderstand what they're about and what they're saying.08/29/2014 - 3:16pm
james_fudgeWe appreciate your support :)08/29/2014 - 2:55pm
TechnogeekIt gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, the gaming community is not statistically indistinguishable from consisting entirely of people that your average Xbox Live caricature would look at and go "maybe you should tone it down a little bit".08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
TechnogeekI just want to say that while I've disagreed with the staff of this site on several occasions, it's still good to see that they're not automatically dismissing Anita's videos as a "misandrist scam" or whatever the preferred dismissive term is these days.08/29/2014 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician