184: See No Evil

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See No Evil

Game developers don't shy away from World War II's bloodiest battles when looking for inspiration, but they've skipped over one of the most significant events of that era: the Holocaust. Emanuel Maiberg ponders the long-term impact of this error of omission.

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I can't help but feel that there is a contradiction in the author's reflections.
"none of them [forms of media] are as thoroughly misleading as World War II FPS games."
It follows, therefore, that games have created a distorted image of the past that is replacing society's ability to recall history from its past, as demonstrated by our failure to capture the memories of a dying generation.

Although I personally believe that games are closer to "extravagant toys" that are not capable of communicating history as well as a historical test, it is almost universally accepted that they are an artform.

Art, however, is a thoroughly subjective form of knowledge that is a greater indication of an individual's thoughts at the time of creation than a vessel for historical truth. The popular perception of history has always been influenced more by art than by fact and there are many examples of this; the American Hollywood image of native indians and heroes like Colonel Custer, the English perception of WW1 draws greatly from Wilfred Owen. I have no doubt that in Israel, American and Germany the popular image of the Holocaust is too distorted by artistic perception.

On the other hand, games are a medium that have to be, first and foremost, entertaining if not fun. I see several problems with games tackling serious historical issues:
- The FPS style is inescapably fantasy, that we can pick up a gun, die, try again.
- Too much realism in games is, generally, not fun.
- The only realism we can really introduce to games is an emotional response by provoking the player.

Granted there is no reason why, as the author suggests, games cannot challenge players emotionally over serious issues. However this comes back to the flaw of art as a historical vessel: that by tampering with emotion rather than fact allows the creator to fictionalise history, and the player to bypass consideration of the truth.

This is why I was looking forward to Velvet Assassin. When I first heard about it on The Escapists coverage of E3 I was under the assumption that it will be trying to detail World War 2 from the French perspective as historically accurate as possible which might lead to other video games detailing all aspects of the Second World War as historically accurate as possible. Hopefully then video games could grow and cover different topics as intelligently as possible, instead of just going for whatever provides the biggest bangs.

However when I read this news article it seemed like the game developers never had that intention and instead just wanted to make another action game under the guise that it was historically accurate.

If developers and players want video games to be considered artwork they need aspire to things greater then another Call of Duty 5.

It's a good comment, in fact, the WWII shooter is disinteresting to me for exactly this reason. It's interesting, video game's inability to convey humanistic events, it's the main reason video games do not qualify as "Art" in some circles. If it were a film, they would be all action, without any human interaction of any real significance. Shoot the bad guys, we/they win. But that's typical of video games. When a developer gets into a discussion of playability and fun, humanistic treatment of situations probably goes out the window as boring, like the film industry, they want to sell tickets...err, copies of the game. For most that means action of some kind. Simple controls with a simple story and solution.

The players need an obstacle or enemy, or some sort of difficulty to resolve. Making complex human interactions playable is difficult to say the least. Simply making an avatar behave like a human is a huge difficulty, but the breadth and depth of human interactions make simulated human interaction impossible to broach currently. Not to mention controls for such a thing, and making sure the controls are assailable to the player.

I don't know the solution, but I don't think some people will consider it art until this changes. And I can see why, and for a large part agree.

I think it can be difficult for games to tackle these kind of subjects due to the views some people have of them. Video games already get a bad rap for having you shoot nazis etc..., can you imagine the kind of media uproar you would get if CoD had images of mass graves, or fighting in a concentration camp?

Games makers are nervous about tackling difficult subject matter for fear of the censors or having the publisher pull out of the project. It's like the inability to kill children in Fallout 3, as if gamers aren't mature enough to deal with it, despite the fact that people do kill children in real life. If the consequences of killing children were equivalent to the severity of the crime, then really the game is tackling a difficult social issue responsibly. But there are many ignorant people who would not see it that way, so game developers play it safe, and make invincible children instead.

While agree with what the author is saying, I would like to point out that many (If not all) movies and books around WW2 didn't point out the humanity in the Japanese or the Nazis. They provided the audience with the same black and white, good and evil scenario we see to prevalent in games today.

And, what I'd like to also point out, is that: that changed. Movies, books, and other media today bring out the humanity in the German and Japanese soldiers. Showing us that it isn't as black and white as was previously thought. Media, as a whole, matured.

That brings me back to video games. Comparatively, to movies and especially to books, the video game medium is in its infancy. It has seen great growth in the past few decades, and is a billion dollar a year industry...but it's still young. In a sense, video games are an 'immature' media, that are in the process of growing up. More games are offering insightful, thought provoking political, philosophical, and moral dilemmas and situations that bring the player out of the 'old fashioned' black and white, good and evil scenario.
Not all, granted, but the list grows.

I'd be willing to wager that down the road, when the gamers of today are older and the industry as grown up a bit, we'll see a different type of story-telling in a different type of game. What's happening in games today couldn't have been imagined 20 years ago, so let's see what happens in 20 years from now.

I have played my fair share of World War 2 Shooter, much like any gamer.

I'm all up for a bit of history in games, but even now i think ethnic cleansing is too far. I also don't really see how they could really fit that in to the game. For me, it cannot be handled in a way like Band of Brothers, unless the whole game was in a similar vein of handling things. I feel strongly it cannot be trivialised, and i honestly can't see how it could be done.

I don't think FPS's are the best game genre to portray historical events correctly as the gameplay pretty much boils down to shooting the bad guys. To offer some different perspectives to WWII you can't just have the action taking place in a concentration camp or having a cutscene including a fleeing jewish family. Perhaps we would see a greater variety if more genres than FPS's dealt with WWII, like action/adventure or puzzle.

I agree with the Author's writing. Games are practically the only medium to have not yet pulled itself out of the one-sided xenophobia of the representation of "the other side". Although if a "serious" World War II game was to be released, complete with accurate depictions of concentration camps, mass graves and the humanity of the Nazis or Japanese, the game would be condemned by "Public interest groups" as being far too confronting for children to deal with. It seems the lack of 3 dimensional enemies can be attributed to ratings laws, and the common public perception that games are still a form of entertainment intended for children; as opposed to Books and Film, two mediums that have gained worldwide critical acclaim for their unique perspectives on the war.

October Country:
I don't think FPS's are the best game genre to portray historical events correctly as the gameplay pretty much boils down to shooting the bad guys. To offer some different perspectives to WWII you can't just have the action taking place in a concentration camp or having a cutscene including a fleeing jewish family. Perhaps we would see a greater variety if more genres than FPS's dealt with WWII, like action/adventure or puzzle.

I think it's that perception of FPS's that is also hurting the "serious game" output. I believe a serious, concentration-camp FPS could be done, though there would probably less focus on the S and more on the up-front nature of the FP. Whilst other genres can and have worked well in a serious WWII setting, I think the nature of FPS's make them perfect to make a statement about perspectives of the war. After all, how much closer can you get to what's happening than to see it through someone else's eyes?

I can't see any decent way to make a game based upon Oskar Schindler's story, so maybe the art form game is not suited for such a tragic piece of history.

i think there's a political side to this: the reason why the holocaust or jewish families aren't portrayed is because of the amount of offense given by either non jewish or jewish gamers that wish no affiliation with the holocaust. i don't think it's that developers don't want to, it's that they can't allow themselves it due to their target demographic. i am partial to agreeing with this statement, as i feel religion has no place in games.

that being sad, a new angle on world war II would be what i would need to actually play WWII games. so far no series of world war II games has caught my attention, because it is as the author said: the same story about men in uniforms killing each other. but there are other ways to do this than to portray religion.

There are, to me, two main reasons why games don't need to portray the Holocaust.

Firstly, if the schools do their job, I can't see how any sane person could have an excuse to not know about it already.

Secondly, games are fundamentally entertainment. They are intended to entertain, and so there is an implication that things in games are believed, by the developers, to be entertaining. So all things considered, I would find it very disturbing to play a game and find myself wandering through Auschwitz II.

The only way to handle the Holocaust in a game would be to not sensationalise it; it's ghastly enough on its own, without needing to be turned into a cutscene justification for a one-man army's charge. Perhaps an action-free level (like CoD4's nuke level) liberating a camp, to let it sink in. But any action-oriented game... put it this way, I wouldn't want anyone to play a Holocaust-themed level and afterwards say "That was so cool". Would you?

By the way, it's worth remembering that there were many categories of people affected by the Holocaust, not just Jews. Anyone who didn't fit the German ideal could potentially find themselves locked up or dead.

you couldn't make a game like this popular. you couldn't make money off it. To make a game that dealt with the Holocaust in all its...well, there aren't words that can truly describe it. That's what the game has to do. I can't imagine today's WWII FPSes are even capable of it; you can't just go through the "Auschwitz" level, where your generic, faceless, good old allied soldier stares in shock and abject horror for one cut scene before finding a rocket launcher and traipsing off to that boss fight with the Panzer.

it would have to be really, truly, unapologetically independent. people write like this, they find ways to finance films, but we haven't figured out how to makes a game without making money yet. and this game would be a hopeless financial loss. it would be boycotted, banned and censored. no critic will really praise it; the only possible reactions are condemnation and contemplation.

it damn well better not be entertaining, and it sure as hell won't be fun. you can't play this for personal enjoyment. if you play it, and most of us won't, it will be because it's our best hope of ever understanding, of making sense of the horror, the brutality, and the sheer mindless efficiency of it all.

now, i don't know who could possibly make this. i don't know how many people could possibly conceive it. but the lesson of the Holocaust, if nothing else, is: we are capable of it.

Take note, all "hardcore" gamers: THIS is why old people prefer to play casual games on the Wii.

But in all seriousness, there are several obstacles to portraying a realistic view of WWII. First off, you would offend people who do not wish to be reminded of the Holocaust. Like, for instance, the people who were actually there, or their immediate families. Second, games are meant to entertain, and the Holocaust was anything but entertaining.

But even with those two problems, it'd still have potential. It'd appeal to the artistic crowd, the people who prize historical accuracy and the educational value of the game. The controversy alone would get attention and that would drive up sales. Granted, you couldn't just include an Auschwitz segment in a standard WWII FPS, but you could make a game based around it. Say, a game about some prisoners in concentration camps escaping, or about one of the German soldiers finding out that concentration camps really existed and weren't just anti-German propaganda (yes, most of the German soldiers honestly thought that the Allies were just making them up) and revolting. A game like this would be disturbing, but it could also be interesting, and educational.

But you know the REAL reason we've never seen this happen? It's not about fear of offending people or about fear of controversy. It's about Wal-Mart. The Holocaust was more disturbing than anything in the GTA series, and Wal-Mart wouldn't stock a game with something like it portrayed realistically. And since publishers won't greenlight any game that Wal-Mart won't stock, we won't be seeing this anytime soon.

theklng:
i think there's a political side to this: the reason why the holocaust or jewish families aren't portrayed is because of the amount of offense given by either non jewish or jewish gamers that wish no affiliation with the holocaust. i don't think it's that developers don't want to, it's that they can't allow themselves it due to their target demographic. i am partial to agreeing with this statement, as i feel religion has no place in games.

I think that's a massive cop-out. In CoD: WaW the player is given a big taste of the kind of revenge that the Red Army wanted. Through your talkative Sargent you hear all about the desire for blood and retribution. A lot of gamers don't have Russian heritage, but developers are more than comfortable putting us in Red Army boots and let us tear the Germans apart.

The desire to be as non-offensive as possible at the expense of whiting-out an entire piece of history is ridiculous. You can't be politically correct by just ignoring the problem. Television and movies have had no qualms about dealing with the Holocaust, and their audience base is arguably bigger than the gaming industry.

Saying that gamers can't handle different religions in our games paints us as a bunch of narrow-minded joystick-jockeys.

At the same time, Sylocat brings up a totally valid point: Games are entertainment, and using the Holocaust in a game does seem to be in poor taste. I took issue with CoD: WaW portraying the execution of prisoners. Hell, they went so far as to include actual footage of a German soldier being executed. I thought that was wrong, and using the Holocaust tastelessly in a video game would also be wrong.

But I think there is a way to do it well. Liberating a camp maybe. It's just material that has to be treated with the respect it deserves.

While I agree with this article, I still say shooting lasers at a cyborg Hitler would be awesome.

awmperry:
There are, to me, two main reasons why games don't need to portray the Holocaust.

Firstly, if the schools do their job, I can't see how any sane person could have an excuse to not know about it already.

Secondly, games are fundamentally entertainment. They are intended to entertain, and so there is an implication that things in games are believed, by the developers, to be entertaining. So all things considered, I would find it very disturbing to play a game and find myself wandering through Auschwitz II.

As opposed to dying in a nuclear fallout? Being shot in a political coup? Watching your friends be tortured?

You can't say that it can't be done until people have tried to make a game that deals with the Holocaust. No one is going to stop making entertaining games, but I don't see why anyone would be resistant to them being profound as well.

Interesting Article.

The most historically realistic WWII game I know of is Hearts of Iron series, and its developers goes to great length to ensure there are no swastikas or any offensive symbols in their game. Discussion of death camps or any form of killing civilians is banned on the paradox board, and despite the huge number of fan mods, none I know of even touches on the subject of genocide. For one simple reason: MONEY. The game is already banned in China for including a Tibetan flag; and despite having never heard of this game before, campaigns to get it banned everywhere else too because of the ability to play as Japan and win the war. It would be banned in Germany, Austria, and most of central Europe if it included any Nazi symbols. And I'm just talking about symbols here, like the double lightening (SS); so I think if it touched the real subject of what the SS did, then it would be banned all over the world.

Here's what I think a thought provoking WWII shooter might look like:

(Written for a different thread ages ago, posted in spoiler tags to shorten this post.)

chenry:

theklng:
i think there's a political side to this: the reason why the holocaust or jewish families aren't portrayed is because of the amount of offense given by either non jewish or jewish gamers that wish no affiliation with the holocaust. i don't think it's that developers don't want to, it's that they can't allow themselves it due to their target demographic. i am partial to agreeing with this statement, as i feel religion has no place in games.

I think that's a massive cop-out. In CoD: WaW the player is given a big taste of the kind of revenge that the Red Army wanted. Through your talkative Sargent you hear all about the desire for blood and retribution. A lot of gamers don't have Russian heritage, but developers are more than comfortable putting us in Red Army boots and let us tear the Germans apart.

The desire to be as non-offensive as possible at the expense of whiting-out an entire piece of history is ridiculous. You can't be politically correct by just ignoring the problem. Television and movies have had no qualms about dealing with the Holocaust, and their audience base is arguably bigger than the gaming industry.

Saying that gamers can't handle different religions in our games paints us as a bunch of narrow-minded joystick-jockeys.

At the same time, Sylocat brings up a totally valid point: Games are entertainment, and using the Holocaust in a game does seem to be in poor taste. I took issue with CoD: WaW portraying the execution of prisoners. Hell, they went so far as to include actual footage of a German soldier being executed. I thought that was wrong, and using the Holocaust tastelessly in a video game would also be wrong.

But I think there is a way to do it well. Liberating a camp maybe. It's just material that has to be treated with the respect it deserves.

there's a difference in levels of devotion between believing in your country and believing in a faith. you can nag people for being american all you want; they may disagree or agree, but if you start to criticize their religion, they will get pissed fast. it's a fast track to controversy, and i wager that's not what developers want.

also, you're considering it a problem that the holocaust hasn't been mentioned in gaming. i disagree with this statement; because it would seem gimmicky if not implemented the right way. and that is exactly the thing: there is no right way to implement it without offending someone. i don't understand why you would want to give the holocaust respect by placing it in a video game either.

as for your last statement: i never said that gamers couldn't handle "the truth", it's the non-gamers that create the commotion. and for that, i can understand why developers refrain from showing it. that being said, nobody said that you couldn't make a game where you created an analogy for the holocaust in a different setting/universe.

L.B. Jeffries:

awmperry:
There are, to me, two main reasons why games don't need to portray the Holocaust.

Firstly, if the schools do their job, I can't see how any sane person could have an excuse to not know about it already.

Secondly, games are fundamentally entertainment. They are intended to entertain, and so there is an implication that things in games are believed, by the developers, to be entertaining. So all things considered, I would find it very disturbing to play a game and find myself wandering through Auschwitz II.

As opposed to dying in a nuclear fallout? Being shot in a political coup? Watching your friends be tortured?

You can't say that it can't be done until people have tried to make a game that deals with the Holocaust. No one is going to stop making entertaining games, but I don't see why anyone would be resistant to them being profound as well.

how exactly does portraying the holocaust in a game suddenly make it profound? profoundness does not come from a lesson in history, it comes from learning an abstraction not thought of before. mass murders have happened before this, and they have been portrayed as well.

you know, it's funny. i just stated in my previous post that developers wouldn't want the commotion about a game if it contained the holocaust; and this discussion just proves my point. this is an article about the concept of a holocaust in a game on a small website in the sea of the internet, and it is already generating enough tension to short a district fuse box. i can only imagine what would happen if this got further out to the gaming public, and from there to the general public.

theklng:

how exactly does portraying the holocaust in a game suddenly make it profound? profoundness does not come from a lesson in history, it comes from learning an abstraction not thought of before. mass murders have happened before this, and they have been portrayed as well.

you know, it's funny. i just stated in my previous post that developers wouldn't want the commotion about a game if it contained the holocaust; and this discussion just proves my point. this is an article about the concept of a holocaust on a small website in the sea of the internet, and it is already generating enough tension to short-circuit a district fuse box. i can only imagine what would happen if this got further out to the gaming public, and from there to the general public.

From dictionary.com

Profound: 1) penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding.

As in, to appreciate World War II, you would need to discuss the Holocaust and gain deeper insights into the experience. Such a game would be profound.

And technically, someone already made a DS game about the Holocaust. Publishers were highly uncomfortable that it would be in bad taste, not that it wanted to talk about a controversial issue.

http://kotaku.com/365711/nintendo-wont-release-holocaust-ds-game

All profits of the game are supposedly going to Darfur victims, which could use a video game of its own.

there are a lot of ugly aspects that game designers gloss over or just do not mention. Why? Because it is not fun. If you want to learn about the holocaust in full multimedia, then watch Schindler list. If you want to learn what an atomic bomb attack is really like, read the books about the clean up of Nagasaki. Want to see what horrors humanity is really capable of, read "Rape of Nanking". Shooting Nazi's is like hacking at goblins. Part of the belief is that they are irredeemably evil and that they all eat children and your job as the "hero" is to remove them from the game world. Allied forces entered the camps unopposed or near to it. Other than a cut scene, there is really no place for it. Unless you are suggesting a game where you are a Jewish freedom fighter during the 1930's. I am all for education, but there is a time and a place.

I just worry that nazis will end up being portrayed as pirates(sp) are these days can you imagine kids at partys dressed as sscaptin jack sparrow that would be horrific.

L.B. Jeffries:
From dictionary.com

Profound: 1) penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding.

As in, to appreciate World War II, you would need to discuss the Holocaust and gain deeper insights into the experience. Such a game would be profound.

exactly how does the experience deepen in insight? in inspiration and impression, perhaps, but not in insight, thought or knowledge. you would still only see the superficial scars of another mass murder; you would not see the world from a new perspective or make a discovery that hasn't been encompassed before. the insight gain you talk about has already been gained by studying other abstractions of the same subject. ergo is there no profoundness in further discussing another instance of the holocaust.

Sylocat:

But in all seriousness, there are several obstacles to portraying a realistic view of WWII. First off, you would offend people who do not wish to be reminded of the Holocaust. Like, for instance, the people who were actually there, or their immediate families. Second, games are meant to entertain, and the Holocaust was anything but entertaining.

The same could be said about film or books. Aren't they also meant to entertain? And just imagine how offensive it would be to Jewish people if someone made a movie where the Nazi soldiers weren't just evil monsters, but were Germans caught fighting a war for a leader they didn't believe in.

But they did make this movie -- Valkyrie -- and it is already critically acclaimed. Millions of people went to watch it and found it very entertaining. It had action, suspense, and some very deep character development. I'm sure there were probably some people offended at it, but that happens when you make a statement.

Most popular video games are analogous to pornography: there's a whole lot of action with only pretenses of a plot and a complete lack of character development. It's pure entertainment with no aspirations to artistic expression. But just like film and literature, games can go beyond pure entertainment. Making a statement, provoking thought, and instilling emotions while maintaining entertainment is difficult, but such is the life of every artist. There's nothing inherent in the medium that precludes this, there just aren't many artists (or studios) willing to step up.

chenry:

At the same time, Sylocat brings up a totally valid point: Games are entertainment, and using the Holocaust in a game does seem to be in poor taste. I took issue with CoD: WaW portraying the execution of prisoners. Hell, they went so far as to include actual footage of a German soldier being executed. I thought that was wrong, and using the Holocaust tastelessly in a video game would also be wrong.

But I think there is a way to do it well. Liberating a camp maybe. It's just material that has to be treated with the respect it deserves.

Perhaps it would help to elaborate on the difference between appropriate and "tasteless" portrails of such a tragedy. If you ask me, using the Holocaust (or WWII in general) as a pretense for a game where your goal is to mass murder nameless zombies (i.e. the Nazis) is entirely tasteless, because it doesn't show what the real tragedies were, it's just a skin on a set of rules. They could have replaced the Nazis with waves of zombies, or fields of gophers, or swarms of locusts, and it would still be the same game. The game isn't about WWII, it's about killing things, and WWII is only used like a marketing term to attract people. I would call that tasteless.

However, if somebody actually developed a game that explored both sides of the Holocaust, showing the devastation of the Jews and the mislead slavery of the Germans, I think that would be wholly appropriate use of the theme. Depending on the content, it still may not be appropriate for young kids, but I'd rather my children learn the truth of the Holocaust than some terribly inaccurate stereotype, if that's the exposure they are going to get.

It's no different to me than using a racial epithet. Black men (or even white men) going around calling their friends, "my niggaz," is tasteless in that the term refers to something very different than "friends". However, in a movie about a cotton plantation in the Southern states, it's entirely proper for the white plantation owner to refer to his slaves as niggers. It would even be appropriate to be repeated ad naseaum in a movie about segregation or apartheid. When it's a matter of context and accuracy rather than shock value, even the most offensive scene is entirely appropriate.

theklng:

exactly how does the experience deepen in insight? in inspiration and impression, perhaps, but not in insight, thought or knowledge. you would still only see the superficial scars of another mass murder; you would not see the world from a new perspective or make a discovery that hasn't been encompassed before. the insight gain you talk about has already been gained by studying other abstractions of the same subject. ergo is there no profoundness in further discussing another instance of the holocaust.

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnce again, from dictionary.com

insight: 1) an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, esp. through intuitive understanding

So, yes, making a person walk around Auschwitz in an FPS will prove "insight" because they get to see a fundamental aspect of World War 2. As the article points out, all of the people who were in the camps are almost dead and most of the soldiers who rescued them as well. So recreating that actual act, that experience of being in the camps firsthand, is going to be lost.

By turning it into a video game, you could create that experience and preserve it in ways that books and movies never will. Ergo, there's no real reason to not make a video game that has parts of the Holocaust in it.

L.B. Jeffries:

theklng:

exactly how does the experience deepen in insight? in inspiration and impression, perhaps, but not in insight, thought or knowledge. you would still only see the superficial scars of another mass murder; you would not see the world from a new perspective or make a discovery that hasn't been encompassed before. the insight gain you talk about has already been gained by studying other abstractions of the same subject. ergo is there no profoundness in further discussing another instance of the holocaust.

Onnnnnnnnnnnnnnce again, from dictionary.com

insight: 1) an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, esp. through intuitive understanding

So, yes, making a person walk around Auschwitz in an FPS will prove "insight" because they get to see a fundamental aspect of World War 2. As the article points out, all of the people who were in the camps are almost dead and most of the soldiers who rescued them as well. So recreating that actual act, that experience of being in the camps firsthand, is going to be lost.

By turning it into a video game, you could create that experience and preserve it in ways that books and movies never will. Ergo, there's no real reason to not make a video game that has parts of the Holocaust in it.

i think you're misunderstanding the semantic behind the words here, either deliberately or no. you're trying to say that the impression will be different if you're playing it as a game rather than to watch it as a movie or read it as a book. insight isn't just a petty thing that you see on the surface when playing a game, that's just impression. it is something that radically changes you, your principles or beliefs. if you cannot understand this, then i will not bother arguing further.

so please, stop being smug; you haven't earned that privilege.

for the sake of good argumentation, allow me to quote dictionary.com with "impression":

1. a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/impression

Q.E.D.

theklng:

i think you're misunderstanding the semantic behind the words here, either deliberately or no. you're trying to say that the impression will be different if you're playing it as a game rather than to watch it as a movie or read it as a book. insight isn't just a petty thing that you see on the surface when playing a game, that's just impression. it is something that radically changes you, your principles or beliefs. if you cannot understand this, then i will not bother arguing further.

so please, stop being smug; you haven't earned that privilege.

for the sake of good argumentation, allow me to quote dictionary.com with "impression":

1. a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/impression

Q.E.D.

I'll stop arguing when you explain why making a game that takes place in the Holocaust isn't worth making. You can shove any word at me you want, you're still just fumbling around with nonsense like it isn't insightful, it's been done, it's not enlightening, it doesn't give a strong impression, it won't change anything.

So what? Does everything have to be profound? Is that even a rational standard in video games? For any art form? Even if it fails, at least it will have tried.

Portraying the holocaust in a video game would need to be tactful; however, i think it should be done. i'm not sure you need anything "interactive." The gamer doesn't need to take on the role of the executioner, but maybe a cutscene that just shows that it did happen would be enough.

I don't think just representing things in games would solve any problems with "skewed perception" of the event though. Even looking at some of the classic 'historically accurate' games, you can see some pretty horrendous misconceptions and inaccuracies. Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego both come under fire for being both sexist and inaccurate. As much fun as it was to have people die of Typhoid, the game never fairly represented history.

In my opinion it will always be the responsibility of some other media to inform about history; however, i think it would be fantastic for a game to try to cover the "whole story" and actually engage the player. If nothing else, maybe it would get them interested enough to read the rest of the story. Perhaps it could just provide a little more insight.

These games present their own version because by copying WW2 they'd be using a plot everyone knows. So, if they want to make a WW2 shooter, there is no need to explain the overarching, important bits of the war, like the Holocaust, just individual stories of the soldiers.

Well one major advance we need to make is seeing both sides doing terrible things to other humans. CoD 4 did this with the british, but there should be a scene for every country perfroming some kind of attroicity (but only if real proof can be found). In war no side is innocent of doing evil.

On this note i was just thinking of a game where you spend time as the axis and as the allies in a WW2 setting but both sides showing the other as equally evil. E.G. American troops take a German fortress and find something horrific such as prison chambers that are covered in blood and feaces (sorry for spelling, also I would recconmend a sight that actually happening in WW2 rathar than a made-up story as this could over-exxagerate) but then in the next mission the Germans take a American poistion (from the Germans PoV) and they discover americans killing Axis forces brutally (like it or not some americans in WW2 would have been mindless killers and would have enjoyed this.)

I am Sorry If I have offended anyone with this post, but I personally think it would be a interesting idea for a game.

This is part of why I hate World war II games. They always show us sides in black and white.

Sure, I'm all for showing the holocaust in a game. It is possible to portray it without actually making someone angry. But if you're going to show that, then show also what the Russians did. Show what the Allies did too. If you're going to put something like the holocaust in, then you better make sure to show that there were a lot more than just Jews being killed. Have enough of a soul to show that there were no "white" sides. Just different shades of black.

L.B. Jeffries:

theklng:

i think you're misunderstanding the semantic behind the words here, either deliberately or no. you're trying to say that the impression will be different if you're playing it as a game rather than to watch it as a movie or read it as a book. insight isn't just a petty thing that you see on the surface when playing a game, that's just impression. it is something that radically changes you, your principles or beliefs. if you cannot understand this, then i will not bother arguing further.

so please, stop being smug; you haven't earned that privilege.

for the sake of good argumentation, allow me to quote dictionary.com with "impression":

1. a strong effect produced on the intellect, feelings, conscience, etc.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/impression

Q.E.D.

I'll stop arguing when you explain why making a game that takes place in the Holocaust isn't worth making. You can shove any word at me you want, you're still just fumbling around with nonsense like it isn't insightful, it's been done, it's not enlightening, it doesn't give a strong impression, it won't change anything.

So what? Does everything have to be profound? Is that even a rational standard in video games? For any art form? Even if it fails, at least it will have tried.

everything doesn't have to be profound. i just wanted to prove you wrong in using profound as a choice of word where it isn't applicable.

as for the game, you said yourself why they won't make it. is there any more depth to this discussion?

reilster:
Well one major advance we need to make is seeing both sides doing terrible things to other humans.

Well, in most games, both sides usually commit mass murder, which is absolutely terrible.

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