Playing History 2 - Slave Trade

Playing History 2 - Slave Trade

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Sen  [developer] Aug 30, 2015 @ 10:06pm
The rationale behind the game slave trade
So a lot of people are appalled by the game. Some on a very superficial leven and some on a deeper. The critique runs on a number of levels, and we may very well have overstepped some people's boundaries - that was not the intention, and sorry about that, but it is hard to tackle a sensitive subject. We have done this in the past with games about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sweat shops in Bangladesh, modern slavey in Bolivia to mention but a few of the many games we have done.

Below I try to summarize the different points

1). You cannot make a game about sensitive subjects. Slave trade is too serious a topic, and should not be done in a 'fun medium' like games. This is similar to people saying you cannot make visual novels of difficult subjects or movies like Schindler's List because movies are entertainment medium. You can express any idea through any medium.

2). You should not be able to play slave trade, where you act as a slave owner or slave trader. Actually you don't as such. In the game you are a slave on a slave ship stuck between a rock and a hard place. So as a slave you become pulled into some of these atrocities. You need to done what is said, help with getting slaves and load them.. until at the right time you can make your move.

3). Slave tetris is a mockery and insensitive. I definitely agree it is insensitive and gruesome. It has to be like this to show what was done to load slave ships. People treated human beings as pieces that just had to fitting into the cargo. The reactions people have to this game is something they will never forget, and they will remember just how inhumane slave trade was. If this is the case then we have accomplished what we set out to do. You may not like the way we do it, but I have seen enough school classes use this to know it has the intended effect - a lot people never think of slave trade as something that just happened in the past.

4). Some people enjoy playing with slaves, and we are a instrument for these. Honestly, play the game. If some-one wants to help a slave escape or 2 hours, and then enjoy 15 secs of slave tetris I think I got a good chance of changing that person's perception of slavery.

5). The game is racist in its depiction of people. All characters use the same visual style. The same style is used in the prequel Plague, so this is probably more a question of people own mindset than our. Indeed without making any claim to the same aesthetics Picasso was laid for hate as he made his grotesque paintings of people.

6). I have not included the random - you are a racist, disgusting, crazy comments, if you can't see how crazy you are I can't explain you etc. Lots of people just following like sheep because something on the surface looks wrong.
People are so eager to just jump on a wagon. I think the situation we have where people behave this way is far more worrying than any game that could ever be made. We are going towards a closed society, where sensitive and controversial subjects are not welcome in public because it causes an outcry focusing on motives and persons rather than the subject which stops any open debate.

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Showing 1-15 of 26 comments
majijn Aug 31, 2015 @ 2:46am 
your arguments are weak and do not merit a proper response.
Shotgun Aug 31, 2015 @ 6:32am 
The outcry really does remind me of those photos from the middle east in which people are angrily parading with "death to freedom of expression" signs.

I wouldn't be too concerned with regard to what these people say, as you're well within your rights to make a game like this. They did the same thing with Hatred, and even Sakura Clicker. They will grasp freedom of speech with one hand, while at the same time counting off their demanded exceptions with the fingers on the other. This behavior mostly comes from the pseudointellectual liberal-apologist SJW types in America and Europe, who are educated enough to understand that oppression is bad, but not intelligent enough to understand the hypocrisy inherent in their own behavior. They never think far enough to comprehend that people died for others' ability to do stuff like making this game. Their thought process stops at "it offends me!"
Last edited by Shotgun; Aug 31, 2015 @ 6:33am
Chii Heartbeat Aug 31, 2015 @ 6:40am 
@Sen: It's fine. There are many immature people. Ignore them if you want. They won't accept any sort of logic or honesty because that's how they lived all their life. Steam is full of such people.

Real men don't get scared when stupid dogs start to bark and threaten. Their ignorance is theirs. Let them be like this. One day they'll get the same thing in return.

Creatures like bronies and social justice warriors will bark all day long.

https://youtu.be/vLqHv0xgOlc?t=9m27s

Last edited by Chii Heartbeat; Aug 31, 2015 @ 6:42am
Sen  [developer] Aug 31, 2015 @ 7:02am 
We decide to remove the slave tetris part. It was clearly a red rag for a lot people, and it shadowed for the rest of the game. I am surprised it caused such an outcry but have no intention of insulting people that feel so strongly about it.
Daemien Aug 31, 2015 @ 7:43am 
This game is racist garbage. Please remove
Scorcher24 Aug 31, 2015 @ 9:29am 
Originally posted by Sen:
We decide to remove the slave tetris part. It was clearly a red rag for a lot people, and it shadowed for the rest of the game. I am surprised it caused such an outcry but have no intention of insulting people that feel so strongly about it.

Please, please don't. Don't give in to the "politically correct" internet hate mob that bullies developers into submission. You make aware of an important issue that still exists today and you should stand by your art no matter what. Art must offend sometimes to make aware of important issues and attempts of white-washing history should not be given in to.
Shotgun Aug 31, 2015 @ 10:47am 
Originally posted by Sen:
We decide to remove the slave tetris part. It was clearly a red rag for a lot people, and it shadowed for the rest of the game. I am surprised it caused such an outcry but have no intention of insulting people that feel so strongly about it.
You realize that these people are just trolling you into doing stuff like that, right? They're not going to stop attacking you until you give in completely, at which point they'll just laugh at you. There are quite a few games on Steam undergoing these assaults, such as the two I mentioned. Don't give in; keep the integrity of your project intact. The very few people who are sincerely offended will just have to deal with it, because that's the cost of living in a free society. When you concede bit by bit to these demands, you become as bad as those propagating the evils in your games. Think about it.
Chii Heartbeat Aug 31, 2015 @ 11:06am 
This happens when you have good intentions and ignorant children start attacking you. I feel sorry I see the day when the work of a developer is removed because some kids start spouting their immature stuff on the internet. Look, guys.. whatever you do won't make them happy. The gaming community (specially the PC lately) has turned toxic. Devs of other titles have been doing alot of wrong things lately.. I won't mention them because I hope they'll be forgotten and never seen again. I feel sorry that someone actually gave in.
Last edited by Chii Heartbeat; Aug 31, 2015 @ 11:08am
Quang Aug 31, 2015 @ 8:56pm 
Freedom of Speech, if the KKK can give rallies this game should be allowed. I am not saying this game is racist. It is a game about the Slave Trade. The slave trade actually happened. If you ever studied marketing or business, you can buy it or leave it.
Last edited by Quang; Aug 31, 2015 @ 8:57pm
Crackhead88 Aug 31, 2015 @ 9:16pm 
You're wasting your breath with the flag and book burning SJW crowd.

Freedom of speech only applies to anything they agree with.

The good news is people are having enough of it and Trump lit the fire under political correctness.



Doddery Aug 31, 2015 @ 9:30pm 
you should just have it as an option in a menu and name it "non sjw content"
Miss Pavlichenko Sep 1, 2015 @ 9:08pm 
Originally posted by Crackhead88:
You're wasting your breath with the flag and book burning SJW crowd.

Freedom of speech only applies to anything they agree with.

The good news is people are having enough of it and Trump lit the fire under political correctness.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from criticism.
Shotgun Sep 1, 2015 @ 11:34pm 
Originally posted by Avant-Garde M.O.R.:
Originally posted by Crackhead88:
You're wasting your breath with the flag and book burning SJW crowd.

Freedom of speech only applies to anything they agree with.

The good news is people are having enough of it and Trump lit the fire under political correctness.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from criticism.
And criticism doesn't mean making decisions that affect everyone without everyone's consent or vote.
popehentai Sep 2, 2015 @ 7:19pm 
I'm sad to see you caved in to changing an award winning educational game to placate idiots and the easily offended. I am awaiting my refund, and honestly dissapointed.
Xuincherguixe Sep 2, 2015 @ 10:46pm 
I'm of somewhat mixed feelings. It seems like certain aspects of the game design perhaps could have been better executed. There's always room for improvement, but it sounds like it sort of fails as a game.

However, it's also a difficult design to begin with. To educate children on something that was a particularly ugly part of history. Some people are obviously telling you not to bother, but the way I see it? Games have a lot of potential for learning. And not everything to be learned is pleasant.

It's also interesting that after giving it some consideration, I concluded that "Slave Tetris" was offensive in that it serves the ideas you are trying to express. That people were being reduced to objects and dehumanized.

Ultimately, you as developers are the ones who are going to have to decide what you've learned from this experience. I'm hoping that it's not "some subjects are just not worth dealing with", this is all too often the case.

Good luck in the future.
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