Super Columbine Massacre!
The Slamdance Guerilla Gamermaker festival has withdrawn Super Columbine Massacre! from its 2007 show because, in their words:
Slamdance does not have the resources to defend any drawn out civil action that our legal council has stated can easily arise from publicly showing it. Though the organization annually takes on legal matters in support of the independent artists in this case such an undertaking could mean the end of Slamdance.
Altogether, our decision has been extremely hard to make and hope a choice like it will never have to be made again. This is not a case of Slamdance lacking courage, sponsor disapproval of showing Danny’s game or wanting to control freedom of expression. Simply and practically, Slamdance can’t afford to take on the scope of this potential loss by showing the game to the public.
Is this acceptable? NOt according to the other finalists who have withdrawn in protest, nor to the sponsor who has also withdrawn. In my opinion it raises the question of what the festival is for, and why it is so important that it continues.
The use of the word “guerilla” clearly implies that the area being covered is “dangerous” in some way. Clearly what we need is a new word that implies “slightly dangerous”.
Two things are worth noting. Firstly the game has been available as a free download for ages. You can find it at columbinegame.com along with an artist’s statement and much discussion. Secondly it is actually a very good attempt to use the genre of rpgs to create a game that is a critique of both society at large and game culture – a critique that emerges through the process of playing.