Controversy Forces Delay in "Death Strip" Game

Controversy Forces Delay in "Death Strip" Game

The uproar over 1378 (km), the educational videogame that was meant to mark the reunification of Germany, has pushed its release back into December.

Developed by Jens Stober, a student at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, 1378 (km) is intended to "awaken" interest among young Germans in their nation's recent history by letting them step into the shoes of both East German border guards and refugees fleeing to the West. But as we've seen previously, the fact that it's a "game" makes it entirely inappropriate for presenting such serious subject matter in the eyes of some: The Director of the Berlin Wall Memorial described it as an insult to the families of those who were killed while trying to reach freedom and Theodor Mettrup of the Association for Victims of Communist Tyranny said the game "makes a mockery of the victims."

1378 (km) was initially slated for release on October 3, German Unity Day and, this year, the 20th anniversary of the formal reunification of East and West Germany. But the criticism has forced it back into December, when it will launch "alongside a website that will provide historical context." What specifically the site will contain isn't known, but Stober noted on the game's website that it was never his intention to hurt anyone's feelings. The game is now expected to come out in December following "a public discussion with distinguished guests" at Karlsruhe University, and will apparently carry an age rating of 18+

The title refers to the length of the border that divided East and West Germany in the years from 1961 to 1990. Roughly 5000 people managed to cross the border into the West prior to reunification; estimates of the number killed in the attempt vary but is generally held to be around 200. It seems likely that the 18+ age rating will have some impact on the game's usefulness as a teaching tool, but on the other hand, if anyone ever asks how it is that you came to know so much about the partition between East and West Germany, you can tell them you read about it on a videogaming website.

Source: CBC

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... Is that the source engine I see there? The health meter you can see looks like Half Life 2's with a bluish tint.

this is pretty stupid! every country has some bad history and banning it only increase the chance of repeating it even I learned at my school that the Dutch did some bad things in Indonesia

They're okay with making games about slitting Nazi throats (Velvet Assassin) but making something about the Berlin Wall is just taking it too far? The source engine will overcome this oppression.

henritje:
this is pretty stupid! every country has some bad history and banning it only increase the chance of repeating it even I learned at my school that the Dutch did some bad things in Indonesia

Made even stupider by the fact that they'd probably not consider banning it if it where a book, movie, or play.

Sure, games are interactive, but that interactivity could be use to teach people just how atrocious these acts where.

Maybe this will show certain people that the German government knows no differnce between foreign and domestic products when it comes to censorship...

On topic, you might also include that a lot of controversy stems from the fact that shooting civilians gives you a symbolic medal from the East German government for your good deeds to the socialist fatherland.
It also gives you an instant game over and teleports you to the present, being trialed in the so-called Mauerschuetzenprozess ("wallshooters' trial").

The media seems to have missed the second part and proclaims that the game awards you with a medal if you kill civilians, which is, of course, "disgusting" (BILD).

Now that is the horrible face of censorship. Not a bit less blood here or a few flying limbs less there, like in Call of Duty (it's still stupid don't get me wrong).
Yes, it is a very touchy subject, but just because it's a game, it's inappropriate and not valuable as a teaching tool? That's sad.

Edit: On a not completely unrelated note, while watching the trailer, I felt like I knew the music playing all the time. Just at the end I realised that it was the national anthem of the GDR.

Avayu:
Now that is the horrible face of censorship. Not a bit less blood here or a few flying limbs less there, like in Call of Duty (it's still stupid don't get me wrong).
Yes, it is a very touchy subject, but just because it's a game, it's inappropriate and not valuable as a teaching tool? That's sad.

Edit: On a not completely unrelated note, while watching the trailer, I felt like I knew the music playing all the time. Just at the end I realised that it was the national anthem of the GDR.

Ever played a "Rance" game? You might know the music from there.

It's the same with people getting angry over including Taliban or something like 6 days in Fallujah, games still got a long way to go.
Noone would have a problem if this was a movie or book, but a game is suddenly "disrespectful".

I think the twist I discribed in my previous post is something rather amazing, "artistic" even, at the least fit for such a game.
Oh well, guess the developer won't be staying in Germany after graduation.

Look's like something vaguely from Gmod

Staskala:

Avayu:
Now that is the horrible face of censorship. Not a bit less blood here or a few flying limbs less there, like in Call of Duty (it's still stupid don't get me wrong).
Yes, it is a very touchy subject, but just because it's a game, it's inappropriate and not valuable as a teaching tool? That's sad.

Edit: On a not completely unrelated note, while watching the trailer, I felt like I knew the music playing all the time. Just at the end I realised that it was the national anthem of the GDR.

Ever played a "Rance" game? You might know the music from there.

It's the same with people getting angry over including Taliban or something like 6 days in Fallujah, games still got a long way to go.
Noone would have a problem if this was a movie or book, but a game is suddenly "disrespectful".

I think the twist I discribed in my previous post is something rather amazing, "artistic" even, at the least fit for such a game.
Oh well, guess the developer won't be staying in Germany after graduation.

So wait, that's something you've got to explain to me now. I've just googled that. It seems to be some strange mix of eroge, RPG and strategy game. And they include "Auferstanden aus Ruinen" in it? Really?

Oh well, other than that, I can pretty much agree with you.

Avayu:

So wait, that's something you've got to explain to me now. I've just googled that. It seems to be some strange mix of eroge, RPG and strategy game. And they include "Auferstanden aus Ruinen" in it? Really?

Oh well, other than that, I can pretty much agree with you.

Might be somewhat NSFW, so click at your own discretion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZai20T4dMw
(Neither I, nor the escapist will be held responsible for any consequences resulting from you clicking this link, such as losing your job, mental trauma, emotional scars, etc.)

The games are ok, nothing you must have played obviously, the only appeal is the rather immature treatment of sex and violence, it's more of a comedy/parody than anything else. Gameplay's nothing too great, although good enough to not get bored to death, at least for some time.
It's decent as far as eroge go, but that's really not saying much.

Meh.

This "game" looks like crap anyways. It looks like something crafted with G-mod.

Hehe... wait, they didn't actually plan on selling this, did they? As an actual commerical product? I mean, it looks, cosmetically speaking, like absolute crap, it's gameplay value is questionable to say the least, regardless of the context, and it's use as an educational tool equally so; how is playing a soldier shooting civilians running towards a wall any more educational than just telling the kids about it?

ZeroMachine:
... Is that the source engine I see there? The health meter you can see looks like Half Life 2's with a bluish tint.

Yeah, that's Source alright. Between the ragdolls and that, it's Source.

The Procrastinated End:
They're okay with making games about slitting Nazi throats (Velvet Assassin) but making something about the Berlin Wall is just taking it too far? The source engine will overcome this oppression.

What's funny is that there's already a Free Source Mod about this very subject.

 

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