Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Holocaust: The Game

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I think I have made it clear that I am a pretty big fan of video games.  I have a personal view that games have more to offer than the typical brain drain kind of mindless violence often associated with them. Today, many of the games we see making headlines are shooters. There is a reason for this, military shooters sell very well. In homage to the little boys playing cops and robbers everywhere, with modern technology we can now play out these cat and mouse fantasies in a very realistic fashion through many different video games.  However, the developers who create these games are not often subject to the same kind of free speech that other mediums are often allowed for.  When Electronic Arts wanted to put the Taliban as playable characters, the military showed great dismay, and the units were eventually made unplayable.

More recently, the indie developer Maxim “Doomjedi” Genis and his development team, Team Raycast, have come under harsh criticism for their upcoming title Sonderkommando Revolt. The game tells a fictionalized version of a real revolt that occurred at the concentration camp Auschwitz during WWII. The Anti-Defamation League denounced the game, claiming that the subject of the holocaust should be off limits to gamers.  Genis himself is a Ukrainian born Jew who currently resides in Israel.  One of the reasons he claims for wanting to build this game is he feels he was a concentration camp victim in a former life.  Seems like a pretty weird dude.  The game itself is actually a mod on the Wolfenstein 3D engine.  Genis claims that the rest of his team’s only reason for working on the game is for the love of Wolf3d modding (modding is coding new content for games that already exist for all those not in the know).

My personal view on this game is that I will probably not play it, because shooters are not really my thing. However Team Raycast should have every right to build the game, I think it is a very interesting concept.  TV and film have found it acceptable air material on the holocaust, why should video games be any different?   There are also plenty of games covering the topic of WWII, and they are often the same Americans mowing down waves of Nazis as random German words are yelled by the AI.  I think this game could even be a breath of fresh air to the genre.


Written by deanrex

December 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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