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I’ll Wait For The Hiroshima Edition, Thanks

Posted by Sunday on Mar 11, 2008 at 7:55 pm in Games

The headline for this article does well to summarize both its content and what I have to say about it:

“Nintendo to not release Holocaust-themed game in U.S.”

The game in question is called “Imagination Is the Only Escape” and is not, game developer Luc Bernard says, about concentration camps, graphic violence or… anything to do with the Holocaust, I guess. It is instead about a fantastic inner world that the main character, a child, must enter into in order to save himself from the psychological horrors he is exposed to. By my reckoning, is sounds a hell of a lot more like Pan’s Labyrinth than a war game.

I don’t find it offensive. The video game world is rife with questionable moral lessons, and for a long time now it has been perfectly acceptable to kill Nazis in WWII shooting games. After all, they’re Nazis, fuck ‘em. I think it’s just the word “Holocaust” that is throwing people. And “game” so closely thereafter. If he called it a “WWII-themed game” it’d already be doing well on presale lists.

Remember when they tried to market Concentration Camp Tycoon? That didn’t go over very well.

Over at GoNintendo.com, an unknown poster had this to say about the game:

“I have a feeling that some people may be offended with the idea of a game teaching about the Holocaust.”

Uh. Um. I guess that would be not Jewish people? I mean, I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth, but maybe that sentence should have been reworded to something like:

“My children are only allowed to play World Wrestling Entertainment titles because I don’t want them gettin’ smarter than me.”

This is America, after all. We don’t like thinking about feelings. We like shooting things. Especially things that might expose us to feelings.

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March 11th, 2008 | Games

One Response to “I’ll Wait For The Hiroshima Edition, Thanks”

  1. battlegate Says:

    I think the problem people are having with the game is that its a game. That making the Holocaust, specifically children’s experience of it, seem in any way fun or entertaining might do more harm than good.

    I’m not saying that’s the developer’s intent, I just think that if this is an attempt to educate it’s a misguided, poorly thought out one. If we’re going to teach non-Jewish children about what it was like (and I say non-Jewish because believe me, if you’re a Jewish kid you don’t need a DS game to understand the Holocaust) then the lesson should be handled in a sober way and put in a larger context. And really all you need for this particular lesson is a copy of Frank’s diary.

    And personally I think literally demonising Nazis, tuning them into fantasy boogeymen is bad for kids. One of the most valuable lessons children can learn about them is that they were regular people, that all people are capable of what they did.

    I don’t know, this just seems like someone trying to take advantage of the whole dark shit for kids trend, while benefiting from a sure fire press magnet of a topic. You know, like maybe he should have called it The Holocaust: A Series of Unfortunate Events.

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