Following up on the Slamdance debacle (Slamdance Slams Itself..Hard) comes word that several developers have pulled their products out from consideration.

The festival has been under considerable attack since the original announcement of dropping Super Columbine, all the more so since the organizers requested it in the first place.

This latest move by some of the finalists isn’t much of a surprise. Obviously, they don’t want to see any precedents set here that might affect future competitions. A show of solidarity is important in this matter, whatever they may think of the game itself.

Several who have not dropped out have issued an open letter to Slamdance. It says, in part:

We believe that reinstating Ledonne’s game is highly consistent with supporting trail-blazing gamemaking. Keeping the game out of the festival would suggest that games are for kids and can only deal with kid-safe topics, that they are for amusement only and cannot deal with matters of importance…

I certainly agree that, well and thoughtfully done, computer games can deal with matters that are important or controversial. However, Super Columbine isn’t one of them, and I think that part could have been phrased differently.

As a counterpoint, Aspyr has just released The Shield, based on the popular TV series. The lead role is an unscrupulous and less-than-honest police officer. I wonder if there will be complaints about that one?

In any case, it will be interesting to see what finally happens at Slamdance, and whether the resolution will leave this indie game festival in a shamble…if it isn’t one already.

Slamdance Losing Supporters on Joystiq

The Shield press release on Bluesnews