"They've forbidden the game Super Columbine Massacre< from competition, apparently for no good reason other than a lack of belief in games as an artform. It's dealing with serious and horrifying issues - therefore it's not art, it's filth."
Super Columbine Massacre is controversial for one reason only: Because our culture continues to assume that games are "mere entertainment," that a game based on so horrific an event must ipso facto be in bad taste. Games are fun, Columbine was a tragedy and never the twain shall meet; a game on Columbine must by nature trivialize or cynically exploit the event. Q.E.D.Link (Thanks, Hugh!)
Yet we do not make the same assumption about any other medium: a documentary on the Columbine massacre, or a novel, or a New Yorker essay would, a priori, be treated with respect, at least until the viewer or reader had experienced it, after which a judgment might be made as to its merits. And if the work proved insightful, somber,and respectful of its material, the world would consider it unexceptional.
I will suggest, therefore, that no one is entitled to criticize this game until they have played it--and am morally certain that those who do have not. Because those who do will find it insightful, somber, and respectful of its material.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.