Before I get into my own tirade, there’s some recommended reading for you. Don’t worry, I’ll wait:
Braid won’t be at Slamdance after all.
flOw won’t be at Slamdance after all.
Braid Ditches Slamdance in Protest
Slamdance Pulled SCMRPG On Moral Grounds (Referenced from a Rocky Mountain News article.)
Slamdance: SCMRPG removal was personal, not business
Super Columbine Massacre: Artwork or Menace?
Everyone back? Good. As has been raised by several of the more cogent posters, it’s not directly a first amendment issue (which I’m sure regular readers have realized is something of a personal windmill I tilt at), since the Slamdance festival is technically a private organization, and has a right to decide what will or will not be shown at their festival. But there is definitely still some relevance to the battle against censorship and winning over the public mindshare that games are a valid form of creative expression, and deserve the same freedoms afforded to other media towards that end. There is no legal recourse, but that does not mean we should not raise our voices in displeasure at this sort of behavior. As a festival that ostensibly supports the idea of games as art, it is patently unacceptable behavior to remove a valid game from the competition due to a specious claim of moral concern. There is no legal recourse, since it is a private organization, and so the only method of protest that remains to us is to not participate in the festival, to encourage others to withdraw as well, and to express in no uncertain terms exactly why we are doing so. I applaud those developers that have already chosen to make that stand, and hope their other brethren soon follow suit. It is only through community and solidarity that we’ll truly drive home the point that this sort of censorial behavior is not acceptable.