Arthouse Games
by Joe BourrieWednesday, January 10, 2007 [5:06 pm]

As much as I support the Slamdance competition, I agree with J.Blo that a screening at Slamdance just doesn't have the same effect. The problem is that Slamdance is predominantly a film festival. It is during Sundance, which is also predominantly a film festival. Having been a Slamdance participant last year I think that the most valuable part of the festival was the fellow developers I met and the internet publicity that we recieved.

Most of the "audience" didn't care for or understand games, it was kind of a diversion in between film screenings. And while we were interviewed by Gameplay HD and Ebony magazine, the major press seemed to skip over to the film side. This doesn't mean that the competition is not worthwhile, only that the audience is only a small fraction of gamers.

I am glad to see that Cultivation will be staying in, it is a wonderful title and a perfect metaphor for the current state of Slamdance. If we have people like you at the festival who will take a stand for what is right within the forums given, the word will spread to the film side as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers are as furious as the game developers are about this unnecessary censorship.

I hope this all turns out well for the games that won't be attending. Many of the games that have already pulled out are some of my favorites of the festival (Braid is one of the most inspirational games I have ever played). I also hope those who do attend will stand up for what is right while you are there. This is the deciding year for Slamdance and a milestone for games as an art form. We each need to play our own part.

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