Nintendo America does not dare with a game about the ‘Holocaust’….
…and the thing is that behind that resounding statement, lies the project of an independent video game developer who is working to launch into the world of Wii-Ware.
Luc Bernard, who rose to fame (fame contained within the world of DS development, let’s understand each other) for sending some interesting images of his work to Kotaku, has seen how his great project ‘Imagination is the only escape’ for Nintendo DS fell victim to censorship by Nintendo of America, due to its intent to address the holocaust and use of German National Socialist imagery. “There are no plans for that game, at least not in North America.” and it is that the thing paints to that in Europe yes we will be able to enjoy it.
But let’s go into the detailed evaluation of the content of the game. Is it violent? Does it make or constitute an apology for ___sm in a clear way? Does it promote hatred or racial segregation? the answer cannot be other than a meridian and resounding NO. Let’s see what it’s about.
We will control a little Jewish boy, who lives in France during the occupation by Germany in the middle of the war.
Intent on escaping the surrounding horrors and violence, he imagines a fantasy world that the game is about. Of course, this world will mix real events with fictitious ones. The idea, which seems fantastic to me, is to “educate” the players about the atrocities that many children suffered during the holocaust in a fun and entertaining way.
It is worth asking, is the way in which it presents the environment, the characters and the situations, is it bloody? full of blood, dismemberment or something similar that would make Jack Thompson have a nervous breakdown? Nothing is further from reality. The aesthetics of the game, to give you an idea, has more to do with Tim Burton or Cartoon Network than with ‘Call of Duty’. Brown or black and white colors (elements that try to take us back to expressionist cinema) and all surrounded by an aura of mysticism and elegance that place it light years away from being wildly violent.
And this is the problem, the violence that this title gives off is nothing more than the stark violence that the figures show. And it is that in what is not cut, it is in giving data about the number of dead or the atrocities of the war. But ultimately, these numbers are the same as those found in an encyclopedia.
The question, the doubt, the question that assails me is based on the very conception of the video game.
I am one of those who defend the video game as an element of artistic expression, I believe that it is a support that transcended years ago the sole intention of entertainment and that today we should consider it equally valid as a path of expression or as an educational tool. On this basis, and according to Nintendo America’s statements, I can’t help but wonder: Isn’t this game in particular a good game (for Nintendo) because it aims to educate as well as entertain? Perhaps because it proposes to reach a point more… to raise awareness?
If the reasons put forward were about its technical quality, I would understand. If the reasons were based on the fact that Nintendo DS has not seen any violent video games in its already long history, I would understand. But apparently neither of those two things can be true. The game a priori looks excellent, and Nintendo’s portable platform has been visited without going much further by games like ‘Assassin’s Creed: Altair Chronicles’ or ‘Call of Duty DS’ in a while.
It is this double standard that bothers me. Perhaps because we are talking about the game of an independent developer, who knows if ‘Imagination is the only Scape’ had the support of a large production company, it would not have seen its path to publication diminished.
Honestly, I prefer to think that Nintendo has decided not to move forward with this video game due to lack of support from a large company behind it, rather than contemplate the possibility that the subject may have seemed too lurid and serious for their laptop, since if that were the case, I would wholeheartedly wish my strength that that slab of ‘creators of games and consoles for children and little ones’ that they have been enduring for years and from which they try to stand out with some titles, fell on them with the full weight of the law (it is a metaphor, understand me , I would say the same if they were Sony or Microsoft).
Gentlemen, videogames have evolved and they already say important things, they are already a method of expression, a cultural revolution like the video was in the eighties. And we must be their banner and defend them tooth and nail. The time when a game was just to play and tried to make us cross the street with a bunny while dodging cars has passed, now we should aspire to something deeper, although some companies insist on telling us no.
If it has been possible to make people aware with films and documentaries, whyVideo games are not going to be able to take their slice of the pie and pretend to be more than just entertainment.
In any case, the discussion forum remains open. Think gentlemen, think.
PS This article is not about creating controversy around a specific brand, I think it is an issue that affects the video game world in general. Via | Kotaku