Whatever one thinks of the game’s content, the game went through an extensive judging process and was deemed a finalist by a jury of game experts. To have the game pulled based on either pressure from backers or a fear of liability is to say that independent games do not deserve the same respect and conscientious protection by artistic venues as independent films. Would a difficult, perhaps controversial, film be pulled from the festival under the same circumstances? Of course not — and it had never happened in the history of the festival. That is the point of having a festival such as Slamdance, to confront those moments when media and sensibility and culture are in conflict. To offer a place where the independent independents can be seen, appreciated, lauded or condemned — but not hidden or refused.
[A] festival honoring a “philosophy of design” must be open to more than just beautiful independent games or independent games that make us feel good; and, that those striving to support independent game making must be ready to defend games that are difficult and provocative in terms of their content, as well as games that are challenging and innovative in their game play. We support such games and it is in that spirit that we withdraw our sponsorship. —USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamdance Sponsorship (Ludicidal Tendencies)
The fallout over Slamdance’s decision to pull Super Columbine Massacre RPG! continues.