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This niggles me on a couple of levels. For one, the "people should be educated about the Holocaust by watching and reading things instead" quote. Just... ehh. I understand the desire of Holocaust survivors not to see what they went through made into entertainment, but dammit, entertainment is not the only point of videogames. Just because they're called "games" doesn't mean they don't have the potential to be anything else. They're a medium, just like movies or books. (And it seems pretty clear to me from those screenshots that reading about the Holocaust is an aspect of the game.) Movies are frequently thought of as "entertainment", but I don't think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Schindler's List was seen as exploitative, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't seen as creating entertainment out of tragedy. It was meant to be a serious movie. There can be serious videogames. I don't blame the guy quoted for this, really; I blame the ignorance and perpetuation of stereotypes that surrounds gaming in general. Still, it's sad.

And the other quote that got to me: "Not to mention I find it incredibly hard to stomach that a game educating people about the events of the Holocaust is under fire, when there are so many games glorifying the violent aspects of the war." Nothing more to add to that, basically, than a big fat amen. If producers are getting shot down every time they try to make a thoughtful game about war yet are allowed to glorify mass killing as much as they please, something is seriously wrong. I know that's a simplification of the case - there've been a number of games made recently which have focused on the horrors and negatives of war as opposed to glorifying it - but it's still an unfortunate bias that we need to address.

Speaking of videogames involving treatments of war (because there's a time when I'm ever not, right?)... if this is what I think it is, then o. m. g. That link had trouble loading in my browser (it's a PDF, and it keeps being crashy for some reason; I'll have to download it and open it outside my browser, which I haven't done yet, but I will be doing), but it claims to be someone's thesis on the geography of the Suikoden world. Should be essential reading for a good slice of you out there, and I know I'm going to sit down with it as soon as I've finished clearing the thoughts from my head into LJ.


( 4hp damage — Attack! )
Mar. 14th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
"OMFuckingG, it's 9/11 PONG with the two towers as the paddles and a plane as the ball! THAT'S SO OFFENSIVE!"

It will happen. Mark my words.

That PDF appears to be exactly what it claims--almost 250 pages of it.
Mar. 14th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm the first to say that games can have as much depth (and shallowness!) as any other medium, but I'm still rather squicked by the idea of a 'game' about the Holocaust. Even this one, which from all evidence looks even-handed and historical. I can't quite put my finger on why.

I don't know. I don't like games set in real-world conflicts, period. I think its the idea of involving yourself into a world that you ultimately know cannot be changed.

The one thing that for me seems to separate games from other media is the idea that you are, first-hand, affecting the story. The idea of affecting the story of the Holocaust and not being able to make a positive difference seems...I don't know. 'Monstrous' is the word that came to mind, though that seems rather too strong, but it's along the same lines in my head. Maybe if that's the point the game designer is trying to make...but...I don't think I would play it. I don't think a sense of futility is what learning about history should instill.
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I'm honestly not sure what story the game designer is trying to tell; I'd seen some posts about it, but I confess I hadn't been paying as much attention as I should have been. I can likely backtrack from the tags on that post, though, and find out more about it.

Maybe, though (just a random thought), it's intending to explore something a little beyond futility? We can't change history, as of yet, and that's not something that should inspire a feeling of futility so much as something we should perhaps come to terms with and use the knowledge of to be cautious about our actions in the here and now. Maybe the message is not so much "no matter what you do, you can't change history", but "this is real, this has happened, and we have to accept it and deal with the consequences it has made for humanity today - so let's deal with it".
Mar. 14th, 2008 08:40 pm (UTC)
it claims to be someone's thesis on the geography of the Suikoden world.

As the sudden squealing noises that drew Justin into the room will attest, IT IS. Aaaaahhhhhhhhh. I'll be reading this as soon as I get some uninterrupted time.
( 4hp damage — Attack! )


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