A Danish video game company has been forced, due to people’s frustration of its motive, to amended its online game about the slave trade, by removing a section in which users stacked slaves in a ship like a game of Tetris. The game expresses a baffling sense of bemusement at the explosion of controversy initiated by the game’s arrival on the distribution platform steam,
“Travel back in time and witness the horrors of slave trade firsthand,” reads the description for the “Playing History: Slave Trade” game, which is targeted at kids aged 11 to 14.
“You will be working as young slave steward on a ship crossing the Atlantic. You are to serve the captain and be his eyes and ears. What do you do, when you realize that your own sister has been captured by the slave traders?”
The CEO of the gaming company, Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, said the “Slave Tetris” section of the two-hour game lasted only 15 seconds or so.
The game, which was released in 2013, generated outrage on Twitter in recent days after Serious Games offered a 25% discount for the game after it was launched on the distribution platform Steam.
People’s Frustrated remarks and Negative reviews on the game:
Thankfully, practically no one is taking Simon’s reasoning as anything but an obvious case of The Stupids. The game, which was originally released in 2013 but only recently received a wider release via Steam, inspired Twitter’s finest to properly eviscerate the game’s purported creative minds.
On Monday, the game was edited to remove the “Slave Tetris” section.
Steam posted a statement on the game’s site after revealing that “Slave Tetris” had been removed, though the statement still clings to the “it was all for the education” argument:
UPDATE: The game and trailer has been updated. Slave Tetris has been removed as it was perceived to be extremely insensitive by some people. This overshadowed the educational goal of the game. Apologies to people who was offended by us using game mechanics to underline the point of how inhumane slavery was. The goal was to enlighten and educate people — not to get sidetracked discussing a small 15 secs part of the game.
After updating the game, Egenfeldt-Nielsen joked on Twitter that his next game would be a “good old [plain] shooter” so as not to hurt people’s feelings.
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