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Slamdance treats games as kid-centric

Ross Miller

Take a look at the finalists for the 2007 Slamdance Guerilla Gamemakers Competition and notice how only one game even remotely tackles a controversial subject, Super Columbine Massacre RPG. That game has subsequently been dropped from the running. And like that, we are reminded how video games are perceived.

In a biting editorial, Newsweek's resident gamer N'Gai Croal condemns Slamdance President Peter Baxter's decision, noting the disparate treatment between games and cinema. Film festivals (of which Slamdance is a part) are notorious for showing pieces that tackle controversial topics that could make SCMRPG look like Mario Party. Our understanding is that the game's creator was simply trying to explore an issue, much like Gus Van Sant's film Elephant.

Though we agree with Croal's editorial, we do sympathize with Baxter's position, who was losing financial backers because of the game's inclusion. We are reminded that the game industry is still in an infant stage, and any controversial subject will have detractors. All we can do is stand up for what we believe in, and know someday the general consensus on gaming will expand into a larger age bracket.

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