Educational "Death Strip" Game Condemned by Historian

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Interesting concept. Seems alittle lacking though, but should serve its purpose


Formica Archonis:

The problem is, how is this different than:

1) A good movie depicting the events in question? People watch movies to be entertained or moved emotionally. Is it bad if they enjoy themselves while learning?

2) Reenacting entire battles from history? Is it wrong to put on a costume and fire pretend bullets at another man in a costume?

1) As long as you keep in mind, that there's a difference between the two. Braveheart has been the bane of historians for years...

2) Personally I find re-enacters strange. It's basically cosplay. They can't seriously expect to re-enact a battle with a few people on either side pretending to fight. They do however usually have a rough grasp of equipment and such and will put on displays and explain to the public, so I guess there's no harm in it.

EDIT: I guess I'm not really saying the game would have no merit, just that if this was the only thing you were exposed to on this subject, you wouldn't have a very well rounded grasp of it. Other historic topics would be more suited to this format.

2nd EDIT: 1) Not every film treats a subject matter well. e.g. Uwe Boll's holocaust film looks distasteful.

I agree, books and shit are for this sort of stuff. Wouldn't make a game about the fucking haulocaust would you?

A fucking genocide meter? Achievements for it?

Essentially it all comes down to presentation. If someone made a rambo-style action flick of the holocaust that would be pretty offensive. Conversely if someone were able to make a video game with the gravitas and tone of Schindler's list, it could be quite tasteful and even educational.

That's the what the real gauge of "1378" should be. It should NOT be dismissed simply becuae it's a video game, as the historian is apparently doing.

And this is why I keep going on about video games being accepted as art. Because when they are, games like this will be judged on their merits, not simply dismissed because they're video games and therefore automatically trivial. I have no idea if this game is tasteless or not, but if it is, it's not just because it's a game.

I disagree. This could do a lot more to enable people to learn about this period in time. Much like Metal Gear Solid 3 and (right now) Black Ops are contributing a fair bit into getting some of my friends (and admittedly, myself), into learning about Cold War Era Russia and how the Soviet Union formed.

All I can say is that it's a very interesting part of history I crave. Russian History is probably one of the most fascinating to me.

I'm almost certain that what he means is that this game is too silly to be used for historical purposes, and therefore we should show what level-headed and educated people we are by egging his house.

Seriously, though, from just that trailer, what am I supposed to think, that this is well-done history? Look at it! It looks like the Half-life Garry's Mod, with weird physics and big, empty spaces with the same two or three trees appearing over and over. All the characters stand and walk awkwardly, humorously even. Go back and look at how that random pink sweatshirt woman flips at the end. Is that bleak history? No, it's America's Funniest Home Videos.

The dude's right! Stop hating on him!

Agreed. If you disregard that this is a personal student project and just look at the images on screen, it's pretty crap. If I was a historian, I wouldn't want to see this either. It's like when we all hate on a bad video game movie, not because it's a movie, but because it's crap.

Also if all it is is shooting civilians and then you suddenly black out to some trial in the future where you have to "answer for your crimes," then that's a pretty sloppy way of trying to introduce guilt. Maybe if the game started and you weren't sure why you were killing it could be effective, but it looks like this just says "you're an East German guard, shoot civilians, but try to be sad about it." It's lame. there are better ways to teach this subject matter and to emotionally engage the viewer.

I hate that any time someone says a game is a bad idea, crazy game apologists jump down their throat. Games aren't perfect for every kind of story. That's why it's a medium and not the whole of human artistic expression. A documentary, dramatic film, or novel would be a better choice for this, at least until a game developer does it properly.

And I'm sure all the people who lost their lives in the holocaust would have found it dishonorable to be portrayed in Schindler's List as well.

Why are video games seen as distasteful, when any other medium would be fine?

Yeah, but Schindler's List was a really good movie and it handled the subject matter with great care. Also, it was not at all sympathetic to the Germans, so I imagine both survivors and the deceased would have little to dishonored about. Maybe he just thought that this game was distasteful, especially since it enabled players to take on the role of the killers with nothing but a token "punishment" for the violence. I don't think target practice on civilians would have the same dramatic punch in a game, since digital murder is pretty commonplace in most games.

Also, movies are different medium in that way. We are inherently secondary to the action and events in most films, and directorial control is paramount. Games are usually about a sense of control/freedom and the ability to experience new worlds or live out a fantasy. This isn't always the case, but it could just be that this piece of history is better told through other mediums.

And actually, to be honest, I think this game idea would be better if the just focused on the civilians. They could invest the player in the fight to break through and then the guards become even more sinister because of how impossible they are to avoid. Imagine being forced to hide under the dying bodies of your friends and family as you wait for nightfall for the slim chance that you could make it the rest of the way. That's more horrifying and has more impact in my opinion. The player-control of the guards just robs the story of its inherent drama by taking focus from the tragedy of being a civilian in that time and place.

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