Concentration Camp Game Canceled Due to Backlash

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Concentration Camp Game Canceled Due to Backlash

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After severe backlash from Jewish groups, indie devs stop production on their in-development Auschwitz game.

The game Sonderkommando Revolt, a Wolfenstein 3D mod based on the real, failed uprising of Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz, was to feature a lone prisoner gunning his way through countless Nazi guards, featuring "Crematoriums, Block 11, Gas Chambers, execution, interrogation and torture areas ... most of which are ripped/based off real pic [sic] from the real site," according to one of the developers, Doomjedi.

The Anti-Defamation League immediately took offense to the game, telling Kotaku that the Holocaust is off-limits for videogames, and that Sonderkommando Revolt is a "crude effort to depict Jewish resistance during this painful period which should never be trivialized."

Attempting to assuage the ADL, the creators Team Raycast and Maxim Genis said that the game was just "blast the Nazis fun" and "very realistic, moody, challenging and detailed."

But the ADL kept pushing, and now Sonderkommando Revolt will never see the light of day. Genis, who claims to have lost family members in the Holocaust, has stated, "I did a lot of research for the game. I wanted to show the Jews really did fight back against the Nazis. I wanted to honor them. My intentions were pure and pro-Jewish in every way."

While most do not mourn the loss of yet another mindless Nazi shooter (particularly if it's just a mod for a game that came out in 1992), the fact that the ADL believes that the Holocaust is entirely off-limits for videogames has some gamers rather upset with them, particularly the "games as art" crowd.

Source: The Jewish Chronicle via Spong

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This is why we can't have "The Only Escape Is Imagination"

Im up for the whole "games as art" deal. but this.. THIS! THIS IS NOT ART!

Jeez.

Also this would of been huge on 4chan

To be honest, it didn't sound that tasteful (especially how the creator flips his opinion from 'its just killing Nazis' to 'I did a ton of research), I'd be way more into it if it was a careful analysis of what the Jews really went through in the Holocaust, as well as the history of the unsuccessful rebellion.

I'll be 100% honest here, I read the title as "Concentration, a camp game, is canceled due to Backlash" and my immediate thought was, "Who gives a shit about Camp games?" Seeing the actual article, however has changed that opinion into... "Really? A game about Auschwitz? No one's going to take gamers seriously with that flying around." And voila, that is my reaction.

From the headline, I was expecting it to be something like "Concentration Camp Tycoon". Seriously, though, I had no idea anybody was still making Wolf 3D mods. I mean, DOOM is about as easy to develop for (sprite-based, not fully 3D), has better tools available, and looks substantially better (especially with a modern source port).

the Holocaust is entirely off-limits for videogames

Well fuck me. I never believed i could take offense in something, yet here it is.

Excuse me while i go get a knife and run screaming through the streets killing anyone in my way.

What I find very timely is that on this very day this site decided to cover a story where politically correct people go against a game (Mafia 2) because of the depiction of Cosa Nostra's violence and this story, where another group of politically correct people go against it because of the setting of the Holocaust (even if the players would be on the side of the Jews).

Someone could do a fun cross-referencing exercise to see which members support one group's denouncement, but decry the other one as 'whining'. Something tells me the amount of hypocrisy would be staggering. Heh...imagine if they made a game about 9/11...

But it's the same as always...most people wave the 'games are art' flag around whenever it deals with a subject that is not close to their hearts. But when something does come up, they can't bring themselves to seperate the fictional representation from the actual event and turn on the 'BAWWWWW' faucet.

As for me, unless the games include actual pictures or images from the real event (like an actual mob beating or victim, actual concentration camps,...) as opposed to merely their *representation* via the game engine pixels...I'm merely going to be repeating the Heavy's slogan in my mind while I watch the freakshow evolve.

Nobody pulls this shit when they make a film about the holocaust. The ADL can go fuck themselves if this is solely because it's a game.

I wonder if they'd allow a 'chicken run' game...

This game right here was a terrible idea. Simple as. But if a game carefully and thoughtfully tries to depict the scene, and properly does it justice, I don't think they should stand in the developer's way.

Personally I believe art is art if you can get some random joe and they can tell it's art. This is not art the holocaust is not something to be taken lightly and not something you can put in a game for the heck of it.

Very tasteless. Like making a game of executing children. Art or not, its obscene.

Secret world leader (shhh):
Nobody pulls this shit when they make a film about the holocaust. The ADL can go fuck themselves if this is solely because it's a game.

I imagine they might have taken issue if Schindler's list was about a super jew marine with a SMG in one hand, a list of names in the other, & a smirk on his face.

Nothing is off limits in video games. Give it some time. We'll have our concentration camp game eventually.

Why is this holocaust "untouchable" by video games? It's irritating how people are forced to tiptoe around this issue, and it seems almost like we worship it at times, due to backwards statements like the one here.

The holocaust isn't the only instance of genocide in the modern world, nor is it the most recent. Why, then, is it all people seem to care about?

Secret world leader (shhh):
Nobody pulls this shit when they make a film about the holocaust. The ADL can go fuck themselves if this is solely because it's a game.

A movie can be engaging and yet not fun; a game cannot, unless it's just a bad game, games are designed to be engaging - it's the point of the medium, interactivity. If they aren't engaging then they aren't a good game, thus games are fundamentally different to movies in this area and should not be used to represent the Holocaust. Especially this game, which was pretty much just a typical FPS with Holocaust undertones.

Tasteless? Off-limits? So the Jews aren't allowed to fight back? That's the message being sent. I will admit that the way it is done in was inaccurate as all hell, but why should the story of the prisoners or the guards be off limits? To deny the stories of their lives is to deny their very existence. I can't think of anything more wrong than that short of actually taking someone's life.

Distorted Stu:
Im up for the whole "games as art" deal. but this.. THIS! THIS IS NOT ART!

Jeez.

Also this would of been huge on 4chan

Nah..4chan have standards...

To be honest, the Holocaust shouldn't be completely taboo. But this game, judging by the screenshot, is a good reason the mod was shot down...

Distorted Stu:
Im up for the whole "games as art" deal. but this.. THIS! THIS IS NOT ART!

Jeez.

Also this would of been huge on 4chan

So... "Boy In The Stripped Pajama's" Was not Art? Cause I certainly almost cried from it.

OT: That's a bummer. I wouldn't have touched the game, but they should have been allowed to make a game. I know the Holocaust is a touchy subject, but it's been touched before, and as sad as it might be, it shouldn't be ignored.

Mr.Mattress:

Distorted Stu:
Im up for the whole "games as art" deal. but this.. THIS! THIS IS NOT ART!

Jeez.

Also this would of been huge on 4chan

So... "Boy In The Stripped Pajama's" Was not Art? Cause I certainly almost cried from it.

OT: That's a bummer. I wouldn't have touched the game, but they have been allowed to make a game. I know the Holocaust is a touchy subject, but it's been touched before, and as sad as it might be, it shouldn't be ignored.

That was art, so was shindlers list and the pianist etc.

But this is just wrong

Scott Bullock:
The Anti-Defamation League immediately took offense to the game, telling Kotaku that the Holocaust is off-limits for videogames, and that Sonderkommando Revolt is a "crude effort to depict Jewish resistance during this painful period which should never be trivialized."

Its not that I dont agree, its just the way this is being handled. the Holocaust (like ANY global genocidal incident) should be handled tastefully and thoughtfully, so as to be something of an educational through experience device and present a message that this is not a light matter of enjoyment, but a word to the future of what results when someone with great power says he/she hates a race/ethnicity/group of people and they shouldnt exist.

That being said, its unfair that it be off limits. I mean, different people handle things differently. It should be something that should be consulted upon and worked in something of cooperation with the ADL (limit influence, meerly a consultant level) to make a tasteful historically accurate game.

Perhaps this game went to far. But banning it?
Imagine if it had been released, without hype. People would have seen it for a mediocre shooter with ideas waaaaaaaaaay above its station. It would have recieved just criticism. Doesn't that seem better than folding to pressure?

Also, the holocaust is off limits? 'The only escape...' looked really interesting, and tasteful, or at least accurate. Sigh, that is what the world thinks of the medium. So much held back potential.

I don't really see the problem with it?
When I first read the title I thought you would play the nazi's, which would probably be over the top...

Secret world leader (shhh):
Nobody pulls this shit when they make a film about the holocaust. The ADL can go fuck themselves if this is solely because it's a game.

Yes, because it's baffling how a poignant movie like Shindler's List, treating it's subject matter with respect, would not get any outrage, yet this game which basically trivializes the event with "blast the Nazis fun" (and the creator delightfully backtracks this to "I did the research! It's for honoring them!") is getting unfairly called out on.

I'm not against video games depicting the Holocaust or anything, it's certainly an interesting subject to touch on, though I hardly doubt this game would be anything about "blast the Nazis fun". It's one of those things where it seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight it probably wasn't.

Cousin_IT:

Secret world leader (shhh):
Nobody pulls this shit when they make a film about the holocaust. The ADL can go fuck themselves if this is solely because it's a game.

I imagine they might have taken issue if Schindler's list was about a super jew marine with a SMG in one hand, a list of names in the other, & a smirk on his face.

You mean like Uprising and Inglorious Bastards?

poiumty:

the Holocaust is entirely off-limits for videogames

Well fuck me. I never believed i could take offense in something, yet here it is.

Excuse me while i go get a knife and run screaming through the streets killing anyone in my way.

Mind if I join you? My anger's been on the rise and I could really use the release.

OT: Not the most tasteful game, but to simply say the holocaust is off-limits is... Well... Eh... I mean if you can have WWII and other war games where countless die, sure. My problem with the game is that rather than making it a good, tasteful game, they made it a gun run.

I remember a horrendous stealth game called Prisoner of War. Make a game like that, with historical significance behind it. Something realistic that depicts the struggle. Somethign concrete and real.

D_987:

A movie can be engaging and yet not fun; a game cannot, unless it's just a bad game, games are designed to be engaging - it's the point of the medium, interactivity. If they aren't engaging then they aren't a good game, thus games are fundamentally different to movies in this area and should not be used to represent the Holocaust.

You mean like Nimdok's segment in I Have No Much and I Must Scream?

who was stupid enough to think that this wouldn't be hated greatly across a wide range of groups?? Seriously why would they even start making this game?

Okay, this game deserved to be shut down; for me it's mainly because it has no depth.

Mr.Mattress:
I know the Holocaust is a touchy subject, but it's been touched before, and as sad as it might be, it shouldn't be ignored.

Like he said, the Holocaust is touchy, and it was a horrible thing, but to get a large video game company to carefully assemble a game about the Holocaust could really help the 'Games are Art' and include a fresh setting to videogames....even if there will be a billion rip offs afterwards.

"CoD: Das Juden in mein Holocaust Edition"

John the Gamer:
I wonder if they'd allow a 'chicken run' game...

As long as the chickens aren't Jewish they probably wouldn't give a flying fudge.

What do the ADL think about a Rosa Parks game? Or is that too offensive as well? It could be a controversial mod of Desert Bus!

Distorted Stu:

That was art, so was shindlers list and the pianist etc.

But this is just wrong

I am not saying "Hey, maybe a game about the Holocaust should be just about 'Blasting Nazi's Fun", but this game would have been art. It would have gotten people to respond: I probably would have been in tears playing it, and I would be praying the game would have a happy ending for at least this one brave man who defied the odds and tried to fight for his life. Sure, they could have done it a bit more tastefully, but by god, I will stand by my declaration in saying "This Game Would Have Been Art!"

While the game looks shitty to me, why can't video games express something about the holocaust while blockbuster movies can? Is Oscar Bait somehow more valuable just because it is eight hours shorter?

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