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Columbine RPG Kickout Has Repercussions 118

Posted by Zonk
from the feel-the-burn dept.
As a direct result of the removal of the Columbine RPG from the Slamdance game competition, two games (so far) have pulled out of the judging process. The Forge has extensive commentary on the first pullout (the game Braid), as well as the removal of fl0w from the competition. From the article: "Regardless of the artistic merit, the facts as I understand them are that Slamdance had actively courted the creator of SCM RPG! to enter it into the festival, which then judged it to be a finalist before bending over for the corporations and shredding their credibility by removing it from the competition. Imagine Dominoes Pizza deciding it objected to the theme of Brokeback Mountain and told the Academy Awards to remove it. Imagine them doing it after it was already a finalist."
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Columbine RPG Kickout Has Repercussions

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  • good for them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spykemail (983593) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @02:52PM (#17526948) Homepage
    Good for them. When you give in to pressure from big business to censor you lose all of your credibility.
    • Re:good for them (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:11PM (#17527340) Homepage Journal
      Indeed. I wish I had a game in the competition so I could withdraw it now, and I'd like to go on record as being newly motivated to check out any games by people with enough integerity to stand by their fellow designer and stick to their beliefs even though it means losing a shot at this particular brass ring. That action earns my respect far more than any "I won at Slamdance!" blurb could.
    • Re:good for them (Score:5, Informative)

      by abandonment (739466) <mike.wuetherickNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:21PM (#17529100) Homepage
      Looks like 3 more have dropped out as well:

      http://braid-game.com/news/?p=21 [braid-game.com]

      5 games in total have quit in disgust. Good on em indeed!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shads (4567)
      More power to em. Hopefully, the entire competition drops out until they either let Columbine compete or till another year. I may think the game is tasteless, but it has as much business being there as any other offensive piece of artwork. When you start discriminating on which art goes too far because of corporate sponsors, you're no longer being subjective and judging on artistic value you're being a corporate shill... there is no sense of integrity in the competition, its just who is willing to make a
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      Good for them. When you give in to pressure from big business to censor you lose all of your credibility.

      It depends on your target audience. If your goal to introduce independent gaming to the general public then maybe Columbine: The RPG is not where you want to begin.

      It is easy to lose credibility with the Geek.

      The eternal sophomore. To whom everything is black and white, all or nothing, 1 or 0.

      Much harder to win the respect and trust of those whose primary interests and values are rooted outside his

      • by cgenman (325138)
        The Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition exists to help aspiring game developers showcase their work. The festival aids developers through industry connections, peer interaction and national exposure.

        Sounds like losing credibility with developers would run counter to the mission of Slamdance.
        • by westlake (615356)
          Sounds like losing credibility with developers would run counter to the mission of Slamdance.

          it depends if by "developers" you mean "companies willing to invest serious money in the production and marketing of a game"

      • If your goal to introduce independent gaming to the general public then maybe Columbine: The RPG is not where you want to begin.

        *sigh*

        If you're not going to read the article, at least read The F'ing Summary:

        Slamdance had actively courted the creator of SCM RPG! to enter it into the festival, which then judged it to be a finalist before bending over for the corporations and shredding their credibility by removing it from the competition.

        It's not as if Slamdance was "stuck" with something they found

  • I know most people think that SCMRPG is in horrible taste, I disagre (I view it as documentry/commentary on a horrible event in video game form). Flow standing up against this is good of them in my mind.

    I don't think that the SlamDance guys are bad for caving to the preasure (they do need corporate backers), however seeing a company that is gettign LOTS of recognition standing up against something like this still makes me happy.

    as a note, if you havn't played around with Cloud (their other game) I deffinat
    • Re:Makes me happy. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spyrochaete (707033) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:07PM (#17527276) Homepage Journal
      I don't think that the SlamDance guys are bad for caving to the preasure (they do need corporate backers)

      Slamdance invited SCRPG to participate in its event, voted it to be worthy of status as a finalist, and then kicked them out. That's irresponsible. Why pretend to host an objective contest when votes are for sale to the highest-paying sponsor?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thansal (999464)
        If you don't cave to sponsors, you don't exist. I know it sucks, and I really hate that it is true, however something is better then nothing in my mind, and we do need more outlets for indy devs to get some recognition.

        My hope is that because they caved and this flare-up is now happening we will see something come of it. Either SlamDance will lose all of their credibility (very possible), or they will rally and specificly state rules reguarding removal of contestants (guidlines that have to be followed, a
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by iamhassi (659463)
          "If you don't cave to sponsors, you don't exist."

          But there needs to be some kind of limit. What if McDonald's was a sponsor and complained because a game about the Burger King was a finalist and Burger King wasn't a sponsor? Who really deciding which games win, the sponsors or the judges?

          The judges should have told the sponsor that complained that the judges decide which games win, not the sponsors. Of course the sponsors will complain, that's what they're suppose to do, of course they're going to
          • by Thansal (999464)
            Yes, the limit is howmuch they can do with out financial backing. Yup, it sucks, however this is the real world.

            Mabey they will be able to become a not forprofit organization that survives on donations, or they will find backers that have more open views. That would be awsome, no need to wory about your backers pulling out and you can then actualy show off everything you want. However for now they HAVE to listen to the people giving them money or they don't exist.

            On a second note:
            Again, SCMRPG does have
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Al Dimond (792444)
              Yes, the limit is howmuch they can do with out financial backing. Yup, it sucks, however this is the real world. What the latest action shows, however, is that they have legitimate pressure from both sides. They need corporate money to be what they want to be, but without the support of the community and developers they won't have an audience and thus won't be worth sponsoring anyway. The community voice checks the corporate voice, and tells Slamdance that they'll have to take a harder line with the spon
              • by Thansal (999464)
                Very true, and this is why I am VERY happy with the guys standing up for him.

                This forces the issue, it shows SlamSance they have to have some morals, but more importantly it showes the BACKERS that they can't fug with the competition if they want it to be respected (why else do you think corporations back these things? they want the free advertising, but if you name is linked with a competition known to be pointelss?)
        • If you don't cave to sponsors, you don't exist. I know it sucks, and I really hate that it is true, however something is better then nothing in my mind, and we do need more outlets for indy devs to get some recognition.

          The problem was not that they used sponsors, or even that they obeyed the sponsors' demands, but rather, that they maintained a pretense that the sponsors would not have veto power strong enough to compromise the objectivity of the contest.

          I haven't read all the fine print in the contest, so
          • by Thansal (999464)
            Apparently this is the first time a contestant has ever been pulled, and thus the situation has just never come up. My hope is that they will rectify the situation for future years, prefferably something along the lines of "All contestants and desisions are final baring gross breaches of law by contestants" (IANAL and they could say it better, but you get my idea).

            I also hope they seak new financhial backing and dump the one(s) that threatened to walk. However I still can't really say that they are BAD pe
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jlarocco (851450)

              I also hope they seak new financhial backing and dump the one(s) that threatened to walk. However I still can't really say that they are BAD people, they were in a hard situation (Stand up, take the bullet, and die. Or run away to live and fight another day).

              They chose wrong. I'm not a big gamer, so I had never even heard of this contest before. But right now, the only thing I know about the event is that it's controlled by corporate sponsors. In other words, it's pointless. Who wins? Who loses? W

        • You don't have to CAVE to sponsors. I understand completely that without money you don't exist. That is NOT the same thing.

          While I would have zero disrespect for someone who said "we're going to have the wholesome game awards" to get more sponosors - even if he and all the judges thought games with mature themes were better - you have to do that BEFORE the competition. And you have to be honest with your sponsors and yourselves. And if you WERE honest with them and they get cold feet in violation of you
  • by AssCork (769414) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @02:53PM (#17526968)
    When the hell is that game coming out?
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @02:57PM (#17527062)
    Of course, any game based on something as horrific as the Columbine shooting is at best bad taste, at worst shameless exploitation of the event to get in the press, and people should rightfully be angry, and the game should be pulled out.

    But for some reason I fail to understand, there are dozens of games glorifying WW2 combats, or simulating the Iraq war. Millions have died during WW2, and hundred of thousands died in Iraq and continue to do so. Yet nobody finds reasons to be upset when you incarnate a G.I. killing German soldiers in a game. It's all perfectly normal to them.

    My grandfather died in WW2, I never knew him. He was fighting for the "good guys" (the allies), but that didn't prevent my dad from crying often when he thought about him. War simulation games make me just as angry as this stupid Columbine RPG, and people who get their pants in a knot over the Columbine game then go play the virtual soldier ten minutes later make me sick, because they're biased, politically correct idiots with short memories...
    • by Ribbo.com (885396)
      The main difference I see in your argument (not that I think it isn't a good one) is that people in the case of the Columbine game are arguing for it's removal as the game is promoting morally wrong ideas. That you get rewarded for mowing down innocents. In the case of war, the argument can be made that it is morally correct to try and overthrow Nazi's. Of course this argument falls down now that there are so many games out that allow you to play both sides, but war has featured in a lot of media over the p
      • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:11PM (#17527348)
        In the case of war, the argument can be made that it is morally correct to try and overthrow Nazi's.

        That's where you're wrong. War is morally wrong, period. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have gone to war against the Nazis, what I'm trying to point out is that exploiting the human misery that WW2 in a game 60 years later is no more acceptable that exploiting a bunch of kids getting machine-gunned in a school recently. Probably less so: WW2 is a world-wide stain on humanity, whereas Columbine is, despite all its horror, a local event.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by radarjd (931774)
          War is morally wrong, period. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have gone to war against the Nazis,

          Out of curiosity, does that mean you believe that a morally wrong action was still the correct action to take?

          • Out of curiosity, does that mean you believe that a morally wrong action was still the correct action to take?

            Yes, a morally wrong action may be the correct action to take if you're forced to do it to prevent something morally worse. In the case of WW2, it was morally wrong to go to war, but morally worse to let the Germans invade Europe. In that respect, the Allies were "less wrong" than the Axis, which makes none of it okay of course, but sometimes you're cornered and you have to take choices.

            When you're
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by giorgiofr (887762)
              going to war should be considered an international crime. and as such punished by... Come on you hypocrite, say it!
            • by aicrules (819392) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:44PM (#17528184)
              You obviously have no idea what morally even means. It would be morally wrong to not have gone to war to stop the Nazi destruction of Europe. It was not morally wrong to have gone to war in that case. Morality is not based on only one piece of information. It is based on all known information.

              Well, okay, morality ends up actually being completely subjective to whatever person is deciding whether a particular thing is morally right or wrong for themselves. But you stated war was "morally wrong, period" as if it were a fact and not an opinion. It would have only been morally wrong to go to war to save Europe and ourselves if there was a way to stop the Nazis otherwise that would have guaranteed less bloodshed on both sides. There were certainly acts committed by both sides during the war that would be considered morally wrong by anybody, but the overall act of going to war was morally right.
              • As you admit yourself, it can not be "morally right" because morals are subjective. If majority morals are the accepted moral standards, than any killing is immoral. Thus making all war, regardless of cause, when down to it immoral. "We" largely view WWII and it's outcomes as moral because "we" were the winners. Had the Nazis won, life would be different, maybe even better, but I'm willing to wager the war would still be morally right for those winners too.
            • Yes, a morally wrong action may be the correct action to take if you're forced to do it to prevent something morally worse.

              You know, it probably would have saved us a lot of time if you had just said upfront you were playing word games. "War is always wrong, and the US should have gone to war, but that doesn't mean they should have, but sometimes you should do something that you shouldn't, or else you'll be acting immorally."

              *falls out of chair*
              • by Jerf (17166)
                I think there are two reasonable definitions of morally wrong: One is "any action other than the best moral action for some moral system", the other is specific to the moral system, but I'll take utilitarianism as an easy example: "Any action that has a negative net value to society is morally wrong."

                I can accept that war is always morally wrong by the latter standard, and it's not an unreasonably definition. Clearly, war can rise to the former standard, although it is more complicated than most people real
                • I can accept that war is always morally wrong by the latter standard, and it's not an unreasonably definition.

                  Actually, it is an unreasonable definition, because it basically says (for some circumstances), "everything you do is morally wrong." What was the GP's alternative? Well, none. He claimed the US *should* have gone to war. So, er, what was the purpose of deciding if it's morally wrong, again?
                  • by Tim C (15259)
                    So, do you disagree that hypothetically you can be forced into a situation in which all of your possible choices are morally wrong?

                    When you go to war, you condemn to injury and death huge numbers of entirely innocent people (civilians as well as servicemen); how is that not morally wrong? Yet in the case of WW2, as noted, not going to war also indirectly condemned huge numbers of innocent people to death and suffering; also, surely, morally wrong. Yet they are essentially your only two choices - fight or do
                    • by KDR_11k (778916)
                      So, do you disagree that hypothetically you can be forced into a situation in which all of your possible choices are morally wrong?

                      Yep, that's called a dilemma.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by Jerf (17166)
                    Actually, it is an unreasonable definition, because it basically says (for some circumstances), "everything you do is morally wrong."
                    Yup, that's where the definition leads. Definitions do things like that.

                    Remember, definitions don't actually have any power. As long as they are reasonably consistent and everybody agrees with them, you can communicate with them. You can still discuss what is least wrong with such a definition.
                  • by jythie (914043)
                    Why can't there be situations where every option is morally wrong? Lesser of two evils?

                    Conversly, this would be saying that for conflicts, one side is morally right, while one side is morally wrong. Which sounds nice in a storybook but frankly, in war, both sides are pretty nasty.
                • The question of when to start is a complicated one; "the last reasonable moment" is a tricky concept, and gets trickier the more damage your enemy can do to you in a short period of time.
                  So true. And I'd add, it's one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations, where no matter what you do, you'll be condemned by somebody. React too soon, you're a warmonger; react too late, you were negligent in properly defending your people.
              • Thank you for the translation. For some reason all I got out of the parent post was "I'm 12 years old" over and over again.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          War is morally wrong, period. That doesn't mean we shouldn't have gone to war against the Nazis

          That's precisely what you just said. The meaning of "morally wrong" here must use the following definition of moral: "Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life." Note the conforming to standards bit. There is no universal morality. There is only what has been defined by society.

          Of course, I disagree with you. War is not necessarily morally wrong - if you're the def

    • by spyrochaete (707033) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:05PM (#17527234) Homepage Journal
      And what of "America's Army" - an army recruitment game with no restrictions on who may play? The purpose of America's Army is to guide the player through basic training, siphon him into a regiment and specialty, give him a weapon and ship him out to hot zones. The game is as realistic as possible to best portray army tactics and day-to-day life. For all the games critics like Jack Thompson have dubbed "murder simulators", isn't America's Army the most literal definition? Where's the outrage from American taxpayers who fund continued development and distribution of this "game"?
      • by deinol (210478) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @03:53PM (#17528432) Homepage
        dubbed "murder simulators", isn't America's Army the most literal definition?

        Killing cops is bad, killing terrorists and nazi's is good! Don't you get it?

        Why do you hate America?
      • Where's the outrage from American taxpayers who fund continued development and distribution of this "game"?

        Well as an American taxpayer I have to say I thought the game kicked ass. Glad to see my money go towards benefiting me directly for once.
      • by andphi (899406)
        The game is as realistic as possible to best portray army tactics and day-to-day life

        Not exactly. The game doesn't seem to penalize Spray and pray tactics. Also, there's no paperwork, no OERs or AARs, no PT, no mess halls, no tedium, etc. etc. etc.

    • by Mondoz (672060)
      Blame Hollywood. It all started with them. They made war movies glorifying the violence in the wars. Video games just put the control in the hands of the viewer.

      WWII was also a horrific event. Do you think that movies based upon it, such as Saving Private Ryan are shameless exploitations of the event? Should they all have been pulled? Should all the war games ever made be pulled? All games in which any person harms another person?

      If this 'game' (It's more of a documentary) were non-interactive, this
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        WWII was also a horrific event. Do you think that movies based upon it, such as Saving Private Ryan are shameless exploitations of the event? Should they all have been pulled? Should all the war games ever made be pulled? All games in which any person harms another person?

        No. I think all these games and movies have a right to exist, including the Columbine game, or even an Al Quaeda simulator if there was such a game. They have the right to exist because if they don't, then at some point or another, some ot
        • by Mondoz (672060)
          "Just try to make a game where you incarnate a German SS going on a shooting spree, and you'll quickly draw the ire of the entire nation."

          I think I did this in Castle Wolfenstein.

          Quite a few games have put the player in the role of a German in various WWII conflicts.
      • by kfg (145172)
        Homer worked in Hollywood?

        KFG
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by shawnap (959909)
        If you are saying that glorifying war started with Hollywood, I think I spot an Achilles heel in your argument.
        • by Mondoz (672060)
          How about 'Realisticly re-creating it in a visual medium' and glorifying it?
          Or was your point about something else?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Of course, any game based on something as horrific as the Columbine shooting is at best bad taste, at worst shameless exploitation of the event to get in the press, and people should rightfully be angry, and the game should be pulled out.

      I'm not sure what you're saying here. I rather suspect that you aren't either. Your sentence implies that the creation of the game is exploitation of the event. The game was developed in advance of the event and the creators of the event specifically sought its inclusio

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I can understand where you're coming from, but I have to agree on several points.

      Making any form of art depicting or relating to a horrific event should in no way instantly disqualify it from competition, recognition, or thoughtful contemplation.

      For example, Guernica. Picasso painted a well-regarded masterpiece artfully depicting the utter horror and waste that was the bombing of a peaceful, remote town. We could potentially throw this work of art away because of its "exploitation" of a tragedy, or examine
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by a.d.trick (894813)

      But for some reason I fail to understand, there are dozens of games glorifying WW2 combats, or simulating the Iraq war. Millions have died during WW2, and hundred of thousands died in Iraq and continue to do so. Yet nobody finds reasons to be upset when you incarnate a G.I. killing German soldiers in a game. It's all perfectly normal to them.

      The primary reason I hate (real) war as much as I do is from my experience in video games about war

      I do not think that all war games are good and health, but as a who

      • by TempeTerra (83076)
        From the excellent Non-violence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky (author of Cod, Salt, The Basque History of the World):

        Wars do not have to be sold to the general public if they can be carried out by and all-volunteer professional military

        I thoroughly recommend the book. It's short, but packed with information. It's also very much a history of non-violence rather than a preachy promotion of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      But for some reason I fail to understand, there are dozens of games glorifying WW2 combats, or simulating the Iraq war. Millions have died during WW2, and hundred of thousands died in Iraq and continue to do so. Yet nobody finds reasons to be upset when you incarnate a G.I. killing German soldiers in a game.

      Because, gloryfying WW2 in films and TV established the precedent. Collectively, WW2 has become part of both American and world psyche and mythology. GI Joe is a recognizeable concept (and I don't mean

    • by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:09PM (#17530182)
      Of course, any game based on something as horrific as the Columbine shooting is at best bad taste, at worst shameless exploitation of the event to get in the press, and people should rightfully be angry, and the game should be pulled out.

      But for some reason I fail to understand, there are dozens of games glorifying PacMan, or simulating large scale eating of dots. Millions have died from binge eating, and hundred of thousands died from obesity and continue to do so. Yet nobody finds reasons to be upset when you incarnate a mindless yellow eating machine in a game. It's all perfectly normal to them.

      My grandfather died from eating thousands of marshmallows; I never knew him. He was fighting for the "good guys" (fluffy-puff marshmallows), but that didn't prevent my dad from crying often when he thought about him. Eating simulation games make me just as angry as this stupid Columbine RPG, and people who get their pants in a knot over the Columbine game then go play the virtual bulimic ten minutes later make me sick, because they're biased, politically correct idiots with short memories...
    • by harryk (17509)
      I think that none of the WW2 'sims' show any type of scene that is war specific. I mean to say that the last handful of times I've played any war game, I never saw a scene that showed images from a concentration camp, just war.

      Which is to say that kids play cops and robbers but never think about the row of innocent people that they just plowed through, or when you play cowboys and indians, you never think about your brother's scalp that was removed by the indian you're tracking down.

      What I mean to say is t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Psychochild (64124)
      Of course, any game based on something as horrific as the Columbine shooting is at best bad taste, at worst shameless exploitation of the event to get in the press, and people should rightfully be angry, and the game should be pulled out.

      Amen! And, while we're throwing things on the bonfire, let's not stop with just one silly game!

      I think we should abhor Goya's Tres De Mayo [wikipedia.org]. It's simply exploitative of Napoleon's attacks in Spain. This painting is simply blood and gun porn obviously intended to appeal
    • by Jack9 (11421)
      the game should be pulled out.

      Thanks for your opinion. You're wrong to say that the game "should" be pulled when it's already been deemed a finalist. Next time, come back at me with some facts backing up your zealotry.
    • My grandfather died in WW2, I never knew him. He was fighting for the "good guys" (the allies), but that didn't prevent my dad from crying often when he thought about him. War simulation games make me just as angry as this stupid Columbine RPG, and people who get their pants in a knot over the Columbine game then go play the virtual soldier ten minutes later make me sick, because they're biased, politically correct idiots with short memories...

      The difference, of course, is that the war games aren't as per

    • I think it's silly to be angry about games, period. While I can understand why someone who has experienced wars and violence would not be attracted to such games, I think sometimes this simple fact is forgotten: it's a game.

      If someone created a game that involved me killing as many puppies as possible, I probably wouldn't play it because I love dogs. But I don't feel any need to be angry about it. As long as the game isn't brainwashing people to go kill puppies in real life then it's harmless.

      I don't th
  • The problem I have with JT... well firstly he can't engage in any kind of discussion or be at all diplomatic... but in a broader sense its the belief that keeping the public in the dark with as many issues people may make judgements on is the "safest" thing to do. Personally I think a lot of things "promoting" badness are just showing it, and letting the user decide whether its sensible, or far fetched, or whatever.

    And I think thats totally wrong. Although I view the Colombine killers as assholes, puttin
  • Give it 20 more years and the general public will feel just a bit more detached to accept this game, or something to its liking, anyway.
    • by gregtron (1009171)
      We already do accept games with far worse content. As stated above, it would be hard to argue that the Columbine events were more traumatic than any war depicted in much less controversial shooters.

      Maybe something to look forward to in ten years is a society that doesn't worry about school shootings or world wars anymore. /cross fingers
    • by westlake (615356)
      Give it 20 more years and the general public will feel just a bit more detached to accept this game, or something to its liking, anyway.

      shooting unarmed kids in a school. "god mode" in gaming terms. you could like the shooter of the Amish girls introduce rape and torture into the game. until the sniper from the SWAT team puts a bullet through your head.

      thanks, but no thanks.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Don't tell me what I can and cannot put in my game.

        How about an ultra-violent, gory game about a psycho gun nut who tries to assassinate a politician while having a relationship with a 12 year old hooker? That's pretty disgusting and wrong.

        But a movie about it...now that's completely different. Taxi Driver is widely credited with having launched Robert DeNiro and Jody Foster's careers. It was nominated for 4 Academy awards, and, while it didn't win any, at least the Academy didn't disqualify it for fear
        • by westlake (615356)
          But a movie about it...now that's completely different.

          It is different. You are an observer, not a participant in the action. You cannot change anything.

          The essence of a role-playing game is choice. That can be very revealing but it is not without danger. You might want to read Gene Wolfe's "When I Was Ming The Merciless."

          In the Columbine game, your only choice is to choose the next to die. The only measure of achievement the body count.

  • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) * on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:03PM (#17528666)
    First off, I'm not angry or upset about Columbine Massacre. If I find something to be tasteless / offensive / not my cup of "Hot Coffee" <grin>, then I just don't buy it. Seems simple enough to me, so I'm not interested in "how can you judge it without playing it" arguments.

    However, I see the organizers of Slamdance as trying to have their cake and eat it, too. They courted the makers of the Columbine RPG primarily for shock value... and the publicity. Then they found out that some of their sponsors objected, and planned to do their objecting with their sponsorship of Slamdance, and decided to remove the game from the competition, meanwhile loudly blaming "outside pressures" for "muzzling" games.

    And that is what bugs me about Slamdance. If they were willing to seem edgy with their inclusion of Columbine Massacre, then they could have accepted the consequences of their sponsorships getting yanked. But they didn't, so they shouldn't.

  • by loraksus (171574) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:09PM (#17528802) Homepage
    Everyday Shooter [everydayshooter.com], Toblo [csnation.net] and Once Upon a Time [wakinggames.com] have also pulled out.

    This leaves the number of finalists at 8. leaving only ~60% of the original...

  • violence depictions based on real-world events need a certain buffer to be forgiven. war/battle sims, movies and lots of other artistic content constantly invade/avoid such a buffer. 9/11 was "off-limits" until the softest, most congratulatory touches began - or hack comments about ethnicities, etc.

    The buffer is time, or social distance, or satire versus sympathy (Borat movie comes to mind), etc.

    These days, you can re-enact or view depictions the scenes from some major historical moments -
    • by westlake (615356)
      violence depictions based on real-world events need a certain buffer

      That is why Rod Serling knew The Twilight Zone would give him freedom of speech he would not be permitted when working in any other genre.

      In the stealth shooter you can explore the necessity and moral ambiguity of the sniper's role in combat.

      The action in Columbine comes down to the casual murder of defenseless kids. There is no way you can spin that into an RPG that is going to look anything other than vicious and exploitive.

  • by Alsee (515537) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:22PM (#17529116) Homepage
    Slamdance originally announced 14 finalists. [slamdance.com] They are currently down to 8 participating finalists. [slamdance.com]

    Super Columbine was ejected.
    Braid [ironrealms.com] has pulled out.
    Flow [thatgamecompany.com] has pulled out.
    Toblo [csnation.net] has pulled out.
    Once Upon A Time [wakinggames.com] has pulled out.
    Everyday Shooter [everydayshooter.com] has pulled out.

    With nearly half of the finalists already gone, just a few more pullouts could cause a complete collapse of Slamdance this year.

    -
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I for one am going to send all these developers nice thank-you emails for doing the right thing. Also I'm going to check out their games.
  • by Omeger (939765)
    STill waiting for the 9/11 RPG.
    • by jandrese (485)
      Isn't it called Microsoft Flight Simulator? That's what Jack Thompson told me.
  • The maker of Cultivation has this tagline on the of bottom of his page, but has yet to pull out of the competition:

    For those who do not fear sacrifice:
    your souls will burn bright trails in the night sky.
  • by Premo_Maggot (864012) <nessnoop@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @09:18PM (#17533754) Homepage
    I can totally tell that none of you have played this game and you're totally bashing on it. You're doing exactly what the media does with games like Grand Theft Auto, etc. This game glorifies nothing about Columbine, but gives insight into what happened that day. Also, the game costs nothing, you can go ahead an download it for free. http://www.columbinegame.com/download.htm [columbinegame.com] Just my 2 cents, stop hating without being educated about what you're criticizing.
  • That leaves 11 finalists.

    How many would need to leave before the event was no longer viable?

  • For a festival that's supposed to be "on the edge" this is turning into one enormous embarassment.

    First off, its censorship, plain and simple.

    Secondly, banning a game for being too violent removes all possibility that video games
    have the potential to make an artistic statement. Afterall, when Cronenberg makes a violent film
    the critical response always runs along the lines of: Yes, its violent, but its art.
    If videogames are not afforded the same latitude by the festival, then the festival is by nature
    denyi

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