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Slamdance Festival Loses More Entrants

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the should-have-thought-this-through dept.

Games 62

In yet more displays of solidarity with the creator of Super Columbine Massacre RPG, additional Slamdance finalists have withdrawn. The incredibly creative Toblo, as well as the titles Once Upon a Time and Everyday Shooter have taken themselves out of consideration in protest of the Columbine game's removal from the competition. Only eight of the original 14 finalists are still in the competition, with several of those having gotten together to write a letter of protest to the contest's organizers. Danny Leddonne, creator of the Columbine title, has spoken with Ars Technica and Next Gen in recent days, and touches on both his controversial title and the hoopla that now surrounds it. Update: 01/10 20:21 GMT by Z : It doesn't end. Slamdance has now lost a sponsor over this.

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Shouldn't be pulling out... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543292)

The smart thing to do is enter even more controversial titles. I'm sure Swinging Dictators of The Gallows would be a smashing hit. :P

Re:Shouldn't be pulling out... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17543488)

I'd like a WWII-based game. Only instead of fighting in the war, you run a concentration camp. It should be similar to The Sims.

Re:Shouldn't be pulling out... (3, Informative)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543904)

It's been done. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Shouldn't be pulling out... (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17549672)

Yea I tried to present my idea of Sim Death Camp but it didn't work out.

Re:Shouldn't be pulling out... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544410)

OOH!!! Or how about a railroad game where you have to "manage" the transportation of "passengers" to Dachau as part of the German railroad system in the early 1940's? Or where you have to help Chairman Mao kickstart China's railroad system and thereby facilitate the murderous Great Leap Forward?

Oh wait, they already have that: it's called "Railroad Tycoon II". (I'm kidding about the first one, of course. They'd never do that -- it's offensive, after all.)

great (3, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543448)

Now how are we going to officially recognize games with lousy graphics and heavyhanded political and social commentary?

we already do, not games but other media. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17543942)

Check the Alphabet News channels, the "journalism" and Nation-wide papers, the Pop music scene, the comic strips (my God!) and blogs/vlogs/fake blogs.

People, like me and you, will follow whatever generates traffic/page hits. We go to popular websites (cough myspace cough) because "everyone else" is doing it.

It's a weird community thing. We like feeling community, even if we find perverse/corrupt/strange/bad/evil ways of obtaining it.

USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamdance (4, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543462)

Re:USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamda (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543860)

Right now, it really sucks to be Slamdance

Sponsors were threatening to pull out because the game was included.

Now game makers and other sponsors are pulling out because the game was excluded.

I'm guessing that Slamdance is wishing they had never suggested that Danny Leddonne submit his Columbine game.

Re:USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17544360)

According to this, there might not have been a sponsor-threat:
http://www.watercoolergames.org/archives/000718.sh tml [watercoolergames.org]

Re:USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamda (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545150)

According to this, there might not have been a sponsor-threat:

By any chance, would you like to buy a large, red bridge in Northern California?

Re:USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamda (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546238)

A pity there aren't any reports of new groups coming forward to offer their sponsorship dollars on the condition that SCMRPG be reinstated to the competition.

Re:USC Interactive Media Division Withdraws Slamda (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543972)

My hope is that all the backers pull out untill we know who it was that put in the preassure.

I admit that I was defending the SlamDance people before, however my views are starting to waver (the biggest hit was from the blog post you linked to). It looks like they refuse to give any real reason, even to other sponsers, though it still could just them knowing that if they say "Well **** major contributor said they would walk if we didn't pull the game", that the exact same contributor WOULD walk for being publicly shamed. Kinda a bummer of a situation, admitedly it is probably their own fault for not sticking to their morals in the first place (unless the sponser(s) were responsible for enough of the $$ involved to make SlamDance fall apart right then and there).

Only seven left-- (4, Insightful)

rhombic (140326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543638)

It seems to me that anyone who thinks Slamdance made an idiotic decision ought to be contacting the producers of the seven games left in the competition (list is at the Slamdance website [slamdance.com] , and ask them why they haven't pulled out yet. The strongest comment on this sort of behavior will be made if they have NO games left in the competition this year.

Re:Only seven left-- (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544144)

Considering this fiasco seems to have more or less unified the indy games community over the last day or two against Slamdance's actions, I wonder whatever remaining contestants - if any - of this year's awards will hope to gain from their participation. I doubt a "Winner of the 2007 Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition" badge on your website is not going to gain you much gamer cred from many gamers or designers any time soon.

Re:Only seven left-- (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544432)

It's tempting. But whether or not they want to pull out in support of the game is a personal decision. I'll not judge them either way, and certainly wouldn't want to risk pressuring them into doing something they don't want to do.

Re:Only seven left-- (1)

rhombic (140326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544880)

Not to pressure them into pulling out, but I think it's useful to let the producers know that in my opinion, the 2007 Slamdance game award will be for "Developer least concerned about independence in game production", and that I, as an indie game fan, am a big fan of the games and producers that are pulling out of the competition on principle. If they hear that same message from a lot of their fan base, they'll understand that there's nothing to be gained from staying in the competition this year.

 

The next game (1)

Elsan (914644) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543640)

Super Slamdance Massacre RPG! will be my next game depicting the fall of Slamdance festival(loss of sponsors and finalists). I hope I get it finished before next year's festival.

Re:The next game (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544714)

Honestly, I'd like to see it. Kind of a "Sim-Festival" game where you have to hold things together when nearly every decision you can make is a bad one, to a degree.

Some other ideas for video games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17543688)

Here's some other good ideas for video games:

Baby Massacre RPG - Steal and kill as many infants as possible. Start in a mall and work your way towards a daycare facility. Keep those babies quiet and look out for the authorities and the media!

Gangbanging Retards - As Gary the Retard you must stalk, rape and impregnate as many women as possible!

Virtual Car Accident - Engineer the most violent and destructive car accident possible in 3-D! The one who grosses out the emergency responders the most wins! Starting with just a little girl on a bicycle level your way up to a busload of nuns and a truck full of puppies!

Super War Profiteering 2006 - As head of Halliburton Inc. you must get lucrative government contracts and keep them. Overcharge as much as possible without getting caught and make sure to spin the media to keep the apathetic public uninterested! Featuring Dick Cheney, the Republican Party and Halliburton Inc.

Herd the Jews 1945 - As the head of a small concentration camp you must kill your Jews quietly and most importantly -- efficiently. Keep Hitler happy, and have an escape plan ready in case those pesky Allies come your way!

Re:Some other ideas for video games (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544232)

Virtual Car Accident - Engineer the most violent and destructive car accident possible in 3-D!

We used to call that game Burnout.

Re:Some other ideas for video games (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546186)

There was a physics simulator that did that with a skeletally-animated ragdoll stick figure a year or two back. Also one that involved the guy falling down a flight of stairs.

Re:Some other ideas for video games (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546368)

Stair dismount is the one i recall.
They also had a truck dismount one where a truck was smashing into a wall.
Both can be found here:
http://jet.ro/dismount/ [jet.ro]

Re:Some other ideas for video games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17544296)

So, here's the one guy on /. who disagrees with the groupthink that maybe this Columbine game was a bad idea, and he gets modded down. How are any of his suggestions trolls? They are similar in theme to the Columbine RPG, yet no one would make them.

And, don't give me this slippery slope bullshit, this is a commercial endevor, not the government.

Re:Some other ideas for video games (2, Insightful)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544868)

The baby-gathering game doesn't really have much precedent or comment on reality-- unless there's an associated news-story I'm missing. Gangbanging Retards needs more fleshing-out to become a similar type idea. There's no conflict. VCA, as others have mentioned, has been done. The last two could be made into a similar style of game, I suppose.

All in all, the GPP's "suggestions" give the idea that they either don't understand or don't appreciate the "commentary" angle of SCMRPG, but they did nothing to frame their argument by discounting these legitimate facets of the game (legitimate as perceived and commented-upon by other posters, writers, etc.), instead presenting counterarguments that completely overlook this part, so the comment comes off as underinformed, underexplained, or a troll.

Re:Some other ideas for video games (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544524)

I felt the same way for a while, and still feel that if they disapprove of a specific game they have every right not to accept it as an entrant.

But this is not what they're doing. The judges accepted the game. They played it and agreed that it was permissable. The reason for it beingejected seems to be for all the wrong reasons - groups who have not played the game, and implictely agreed not to interfere objected to it and had it removed. This changes the festival from an avant garde independent games and films event to a watered down corporate run promotion.

Sun,urr,Slamdance...corporate sponsors... (3, Insightful)

hrrY (954980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17543868)

As long as you have fortune 500-1000 brand corporate sponsors in these "festivals", how does the content displayed provide "cutting edge", "provocative", and my favorite "innovative" impressions of an artists work? To me it's no different than going to a car show booth and seing "johnson and johnson" or "duncan hines" scrawled all over the dashboard.

Re:Sun,urr,Slamdance...corporate sponsors... (2, Insightful)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544058)

That's exactly what this protest is about. They're saying that they don't want to be a part of a crooked contest, so they're pulling out of an important competition with ever-increasing odds of winning.
They're putting their money where their mouths are, and it's admirable that they're taking a stand against censorship, whether or not you think Super Columbine Massacre RPG is a mockery or a brilliant political satire.

Re:Sun,urr,Slamdance...corporate sponsors... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545280)

As long as you have fortune 500-1000 brand corporate sponsors in these "festivals", how does the content displayed provide "cutting edge", "provocative", and my favorite "innovative" impressions of an artists work?

If you don't think that a commercial company is capable of art [atspeedimages.com] then you should just go away. Great art is great whether it's done in the pursuit of money or not. (You might not agree that what I showed you is an example of art, but I assure you that Porsche cares very much about what their cars look like - it's not all aerodynamics.)

Re:Sun,urr,Slamdance...corporate sponsors... (1)

hrrY (954980) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545746)

As long as you have fortune 500-1000 brand corporate sponsors in these "festivals", how does the content displayed provide "cutting edge", "provocative", and my favorite "innovative" impressions of an artists work?


Did you not see "fortune 500-1000"...I don't think that commercial == fortune 500 company...not to mention the fact that in the context of what the Slamdance festival is/means, I'm not under the impression that the festival entrants are fortune-seekers...
So...

Mixed Feelings All Around (4, Insightful)

MidVicious (1045984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544040)

It's hard for me to jump up and say, "Yeah! Way to go!" at the so-called honorable actions of other games pulling out of the Festival. Sure, it was stupid of Slamdance to allow SCRPG to enter only to disqualify them at the end. It's like allowing a drug using, girl-gone-wild type into a Miss America pagent only to disqualify her later because she's a drug using, girl-gone-wild type.

Er... wait... what?

Seriously, although I am not for disqualifying the SCRPG, how would you feel about a new FPS entering the contest called Maryland Sniper? Remember the guy who was sniping innocent people coming out of the parking lot or attempting to use a gas pump? Would that be an acceptable entry as well?

I mean, look, after all the WWII and Iraq Desert conflict style games that are out, let's face it, this SCRPG is not much different. Anyway you look at it, the fundamentals are this, one group of people waged war against another, took lethal action, and tragedy ensued.

So at what point does one feel that a violent video game has crossed the line? Grand Theft Auto, a game where the player steals cars, kills hookers (Vice City) and pretends to be a stereotyped Uncle Tom gangster (San Andreas), has pretty much been accepted as gaming norm. Ironically enough, brain drained politicians felt the hot coffee mod where two 3D animated sprites humping one another was far worse than shooting a prostitute in the gut, stepping on her face, stealing a car and running over pedestrians.

And what constitutes the 'line being crossed' scenario? It seems in this case, the "too soon?" cliche is what crosses the line, although that argument gets shot to hell when Iraq War games hit the shelves three years after the conflict began. It seems to me there is no line when it comes to video game violence. There is only pushing the envelope by displaying contextual scenarios and situations that happen to be violent. For example, a game where I can, with graphic results, shoot a hooker in the face, no problem, but if I bring her up to my virtual apartment and, with graphic results, dry hump her, there's a problem with that. If I shoot her in the face afterwards, serious, serious problems, but only because I dry humped her first.

See? It's baseless. There is no line. There is only the ability of players to understand the level of realism they are simulating. This is obviously just Slamdance making a really dumb decision at a very poor time. If they would have refused the game in the getgo, well, then they'd have to come up with a pretty good reason why and I think they didn't feel like doing so as it might impede on their slamdanciness, so to speak.

Here's a question: What if this were called Super Columbine Simulator, instead of RPG? Too Soon?

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544458)

Seriously, although I am not for disqualifying the SCRPG, how would you feel about a new FPS entering the contest called Maryland Sniper? Remember the guy who was sniping innocent people coming out of the parking lot or attempting to use a gas pump? Would that be an acceptable entry as well?

As long as there's more to it than just shooting random people, yes. A videogame is probably the best way to introduce the player to the way of thinking of an individual they cannot immediately understand (not just ordinary criminals, politicians too). If you e.g. make a game that has the player going through all kinds of degradation from a number of characters that recurr and in the end give him a gun he might decide entirely by himself to kill the characters he hates. Videogames are great for demonstrating what-if scenarios. Movies can show only one way the protagonist reacts (often leaving the question "why didn't he do X?") but a videogame can let the player make the choices and even try some multiple times to see what it influences.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547852)

Even if it was a "shooting fish in a barrel" type game with no challenge, where you just kill random people, it shouldn't be barred from the competition. Of course no one would want to play it because the game would just plain suck, so it probably wouldn't be nominated. Then again, from everything I've heard, SCRPG is not any fun to play either.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552902)

If it's not entertaining it can still get a place on artistic merit. But if it lacks both it's just a waste of time.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544550)

You obviously don't get the idea of an "independent" game festival. Slamdance was created by Sundance. They EXPECT edgy social commentary.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

6ame633k (921453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545310)

"I mean, look, after all the WWII and Iraq Desert conflict style games that are out, let's face it, this SCRPG is not much different."

Right? No one seems to have a problem with institutionalized violence. I think it's because we have adopted the mind set that "bad guys deserve to die!" Which would include would-be terrorists as well as the gangsters and prostitutes in GTA. If we marginalize people we don't feel any regret in killing them. Columbine crosses our imaginary line because they put a face and name on it - children.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546510)

Sure, it was stupid of Slamdance to allow SCMRPG to enter only to disqualify them at the end.

"Allow"? They begged the author to submit the game! They actively solicited for its entry! They didn't have the balls to stand behind their own invitation!

And the pressure to disqualify only came after it made it as a finalist! The sponsor that was threatening to pull out was fine with it being in the competition so long as it was confident SCMRPG had no chance of winning!

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546532)


Seriously, although I am not for disqualifying the SCRPG, how would you feel about a new FPS entering the contest called Maryland Sniper? Remember the guy who was sniping innocent people coming out of the parking lot or attempting to use a gas pump? Would that be an acceptable entry as well?

Sure, why not? I'm not sure why you're disqualifying an entry because some people will be offended. There's a difference between what's socially acceptable (whatever that means) and what's an acceptable entry in a competition. If "Maryland Sniper" has some kind of redeeming quality and is a good game, why not? If it's a poor game, and just trying to be "controversial" then it's a poor entry.

As to your arguments about "where the line is", it's not really relevant. What offends people is different for each person. I'm offended by the idiotic "Left Behind" game. I'd never buy it, I think people who play it and take it seriously are religious wackos, but I don't really care if someone puts it in a competition. "Where the line is" only matters to someone trying to sell the game (which was never the goal with SCMRPG), and even then you can only define it in terms of a percentage of the population. Hell, I'm sure there's some nutjobs out their that think there's something wrong with pac-man because he's a glutton that's always eating and is never satiated.

As for SCMRPG, I've played it and found it to be a poor entry into the competition because it's a poor game. Not because it might offend someone, "cross the line", or is "innapropriate". Frankly I think it was included in the competition purely because it covers a controversial subject. Then someone higher up heard about it, and decided that "the money guys won't like it", so they pulled it. Pretty lame if you ask me.

Hit the nail on the head. (1)

Malkin (133793) | more than 7 years ago | (#17559190)

Vellmont pretty much nailed it. The "line" is a red herring. The problem here is a double-standard with other media. Why is it okay to have controversial movies at these festivals, but not controversial games?

I have no mixed feelings about this at all. The double-standard isn't acceptable.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

Bahumat (213955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17569658)

Oddly, I'm an atheist, but I think the Left Behind game's concept sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. It's a riveting theme, in my opinion. But again, it's all about that separation between fantasy and reality.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (1)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17552274)

There is no goddamn line. If the Slamdance invited the game where you played a concentration camp commander, it would be OK with me. They'd lose all their sponsors in about five seconds, and that'd be OK too, but that's what the free market's for. Welcome to free speech.

Re:Mixed Feelings All Around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17572442)

Fuck you and your bleeding heart.

Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla. (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544196)

I've played this game, and it's quite bad. I'd say it's as bad, or worse than "Custers Revenge" [wikipedia.org] the Atari 2600 "rape an American Indian" game which I also played once on an emulator. Though to "Custers Revenge" credit, they didn't try to claim some garbage about it being art, games changing the world, or whatever.

The interview of the game developer is pretty funny. He sounds like a freshman humanities 101 paper using phrases like

"but for me it helps to inform one of the core ideas of the game: a criticism of the conventions of gaming in part to critique the limitations games currently have to deal with regards to genuine issues."


and gems like:

"It was a courageous, progressive gesture because it suggested that maybe gaming could be growing up a bit and face the music that all forms of art can be valid tools for societal exploration"


Sadly being kicked out of Slamdance is going to give this guy far more press than he deserves. No, not because he created something controversial.. but because he created a crappy game with no subtlety and just expected everyone to accept that "all forms of art can be valid tools for societal exploration".

Here's a clue to this guy. If you want your "art" to be accepted as a "valid tool for societal exploration", you just might want to create something that doesn't suck monkey-dick. Then that whole "it's art and changing peoples opinions of what a game is" thing might have a bit more validity.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545218)

Here's a clue to this guy. If you want your "art" to be accepted as a "valid tool for societal exploration", you just might want to create something that doesn't suck monkey-dick. Then that whole "it's art and changing peoples opinions of what a game is" thing might have a bit more validity.

Yeah, I know. What really gets me is that the same force is alive and well in art. I mean, if this [abcgallery.com] looks like two humans on a beach, then I'm Yul Brynner.

Why don't you just admit that you don't get it, and save yourself the time of making such an ignorant statement?

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545660)


Why don't you just admit that you don't get it, and save yourself the time of making such an ignorant statement?

The emperor has no clothes. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (2, Insightful)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546648)

Why don't you just admit that you don't get it, and save yourself the time of making such an ignorant statement?
Have you played SCMRPG? It doesn't deserve comparison on any level to a Picasso. It's tedious, repetative, only mildly disturbing (and only in that it's loosely based around a real event), and built on a tired, over-simplistic and worn-out RPG interface. The further you get into the game, the more apparent all of this becomes.

There's no subtle emotion, no master grand image, no deep lessons, no delving into the minds murderous teenagers. There's nothing to "get." Really. Sometimes monkey poo is just that - monkey poo.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546822)

There's no subtle emotion, no master grand image, no deep lessons, no delving into the minds murderous teenagers. There's nothing to "get." Really. Sometimes monkey poo is just that - monkey poo.

And what I'm saying is that art made out of poop is still art, even if it's poop. It doesn't have to be great art to be art; any art is worthy of protection just as any other expression that doesn't hurt anyone is.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

topical_surfactant (906185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547808)

And what I'm saying is that art made out of poop is still art, even if it's poop. It doesn't have to be great art to be art; any art is worthy of protection just as any other expression that doesn't hurt anyone is.
I'm with you on the "it's art" train, worthy of public expression and free speech protection. I'm mostly disappointed that it's not great art - hence my objection to the Picasso comparison. Not very poetic, ya know? ;-)

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547964)


It doesn't have to be great art to be art; any art is worthy of protection just as any other expression that doesn't hurt anyone is

And I don't have any problem with the game existing, with someone entering it in a competition, etc. What I do have a problem with is someone calling garbage a rose. This game is garbage, it doesn't convey anything of value. I'm not even really offended by it, I just think it's a bad game that should have been remained obscure and unknown. I won't get into the "is it art" debate, as I think that's a meaningless label.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (2, Insightful)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545482)

Just because you don't like the game, it doesn't mean that it hasn't made people think. "Monkey-dick" is just your perception but the game made you think. So it was a valid tool for societal exploration.

Is Pollock Jackson [ibiblio.org] less of an artist than Hieronymus Bosch [ibiblio.org] or than Botticelli [ibiblio.org] ?

The "Freshman humanities 101" reference makes you sound like you're a condescending jerk, but the "monkey-dick" comment was pretty funny.

I've got an original copy of Custers Revenge. I just thought, "Man, what a screwed up game". But now I know I'll end up thinking about it during a meeting, and kicking around the idea of it as art in comparison with Super Columbine.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545918)


Just because you don't like the game, it doesn't mean that it hasn't made people think. "Monkey-dick" is just your perception but the game made you think.

What a load of bullshit. You know what it made me think? It made me think "Why the hell did the idiots at slamdance ever think this junk was worth considering for a competition?"

Sheesh. Making someone think is hardly worthy of note.

Is Pollock Jackson less of an artist than Hieronymus Bosch or than Botticelli?

I don't know what being more, or less of an artist means. I do know what shitty art is. SCMRPG is shitty art.

The "Freshman humanities 101" reference makes you sound like you're a condescending jerk

No, I just think that flowering something up with specialized type language doesn't make it a more educated or accurate point of view. If you've ever read anything in the humanities, a lot of it is mindless garbage disguised with smart sounding words to make it sound like the author is saying something important.

But now I know I'll end up thinking about it during a meeting, and kicking around the idea of it as art in comparison with Super Columbine.

Your problem is you're throwing art into some special category that's above reproach. Can "Custers Revenge" be considered art? Sure, why not? But that doesn't mean it has anything interesting to say, says it in an interesting way, or is any more relevant than the art created by a 4 year old.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (2, Insightful)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546530)

You know what it made me think? It made me think "Why the hell did the idiots at slamdance ever think this junk was worth considering for a competition?"

Look how worked up you are about it. It's more than you thinking "why was this worth consideration"?

Art isn't easily defined. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't make any difference.

I've been in plenty of bands and I never think of them as "art" even if other people do. It's just something fun. A lot of people think of bands I'm in as "shitty art". I think of the Star Trek punk rock band as an on-stage drinking contest with a sarcastic take on 1980s punk rock show violence.

I've also got a tattoo of art drawn by a 4-year-old, so my point obviously isn't valid.

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (3, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17546898)


Look how worked up you are about it. It's more than you thinking "why was this worth consideration"?

I get pissed off at the moronic government of George W Bush too. Is he now "good art"? You seem to think I really care about SCMRPG. What pissed me off is the people trying to fool other people by dangling the word "art" in front of something, hynotizing them until their brains shut off. It has nothing to do with SCMRPG, and everything to do with the people who're in the "art above all" camp.

Art isn't easily defined. Just because you don't agree with something doesn't make any difference.

I don't care if it's "art" or not. Call it art, fine. Say it's not, fine. All I know is that it's a poor game.

My problem with the whole "art" defense is that it becomes the ultimate shield for some people. Say to such a person you think it sucks, and they come back with "Ohh.. well you just don't UNDERSTAND IT!" As if the given is that it's "art" and if you don't respect it in some way, you've "missed the point".

Re:Never has such a bad game caused so much hoopla (0, Flamebait)

Sibko (1036168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545674)

I've played this game, and it's quite bad. I'd say it's as bad, or worse than "Custers Revenge" the Atari 2600 "rape an American Indian" game which I also played once on an emulator. Though to "Custers Revenge" credit, they didn't try to claim some garbage about it being art, games changing the world, or whatever.

The interview of the game developer is pretty funny. He sounds like a freshman humanities 101 paper using phrases like

"but for me it helps to inform one of the core ideas of the game: a criticism of the conventions of gaming in part to critique the limitations games currently have to deal with regards to genuine issues."


and gems like:

"It was a courageous, progressive gesture because it suggested that maybe gaming could be growing up a bit and face the music that all forms of art can be valid tools for societal exploration"


Sadly being kicked out of Slamdance is going to give this guy far more press than he deserves. No, not because he created something controversial.. but because he created a crappy game with no subtlety and just expected everyone to accept that "all forms of art can be valid tools for societal exploration".

Here's a clue to this guy. If you want your "art" to be accepted as a "valid tool for societal exploration", you just might want to create something that doesn't suck monkey-dick. Then that whole "it's art and changing peoples opinions of what a game is" thing might have a bit more validity.
"Hitler agrees. Let's burn all the games we don't approve of."

The game should have been pulled. (1)

olscratch69 (697288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544634)

I think the game should have been pulled. I support them for removing it. couple other game titles Leisure suit Larry - Pedophile Leisure suit Larry - NAMBLA (not the National Association of Marlon Brando Look a likes)

Seven (1)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17544810)

Now only half the original entrants remain. This whole thing is going to seriously hurt whatever reputation slamdance had and hoped to have in the future.

Re:Seven (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545102)

So it would appear that their reputation has been slammed?

Nelson Muntz once said.... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545328)

"Hahaa" To Slamdance for losing its credibility for fear of a frivolous lawsuit.

Equivocating? (2, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17545780)

From the ars technica interview [arstechnica.com] :
Mr. Baxter issued statements months ago equivocating videogames to films in terms of importance and artistic potential.

I think that was meant to be "equating" not "equivocating".

An astute editor should have corrected it if it was not what was said, replaced it using square brackets to denote a substitution, or otherwise noted the error. As it stands, it isn't clear whether it is the interviewer's error or the interviewee trying to importantalize his statementarisms by inflaterizing his syllabilical count.

Gotta feel for the real victims here. (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17547928)

For some of the developers who's games were nominated for the finals, this was a dream come true. Now the best they can hope out of the situation is to make a statement by withdrawing...
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