Slavery The Game may not actually be a game, but it's guaranteed to stir up a firestorm of controversy.
Alright, here's what we know so far: Very recently a website appeared purportedly advertising something called Slavery The Game. As its title and the embedded YouTube video -- the only piece of media the thing has generated so far -- plainly suggests, it's a game focusing on Colonial-era slavery.
Even centuries removed from that time period, that's still an incredibly controversial topic, particularly for a videogame. Of course, our collective hobby is no stranger to courting controversy, as the makers of Grand Theft Auto can attest.
The weird bit about this whole thing however, is that neither this game, nor the people making it seem to exist anywhere outside of that single web page.
The description on the YouTube clip up there claims the game is the work of UK-based Total War creators The Creative Assembly, but the game appears nowhere on that firm's site.
Javelin Reds Gaming, the title's supposed creator, doesn't exist as far as we can tell. The phone number listed on the site leads to a Google Voice inbox (with a Kentucky area code) and "firstname.lastname@example.org" appears to be a nonfunctional email address.
We even went so far as to plug "Javelin Reds" into an internet anagram generator, but as you can plainly see, the results offer little in the way of illumination.
"Javelin Reds Gaming" offers more vocabulary options, but unless this is a clever smokescreen for something called "Vandal Jigger Mines," we're still at a loss.
So, as we sit here scratching our heads and furrowing our brows, the best guess we can make is that Slavery The Game is some kind of alternate reality game or PR stunt. What exactly it might be advertising however, remains unknown.
Still, I have to give due propers to whoever is behind this. The theoretical subject matter alone could generate the pageviews of a thousand Gizmodo articles. It's guaranteed to anger a ton of people, but the fact that you're all reading the words I'm currently typing serves as evidence that the people responsible know exactly how to grab the minute attention spans of the 'net generation.
Update: Since this article was originally published, we received word from representatives for Sega and The Creative Assembly who wished to offer an official statement on any sort of connection the firms may have to this game. To wit:
The Creative Assembly and SEGA have no knowledge of, and are not in any way involved with this alleged title.
I suppose that offers another piece of the puzzle, at least as regards what this game isn't, though we're still no closer to figuring out what it actually is.