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Playing History 2: Slave Trade
Clarifications on the game
September 6, 2014 - Sen

Thanks for all the comments, and appreciate this is a sensitive subject. However, I really don't think that all the comments here are warranted - I will try and keep the eye on the ball. A few comments towards some of the feedback in here. Please try and keep the comments on the game.

1). We do in no way take the subject lightly. We have actually spend a lot of time researching this, and trying to thread a very thin line. We are definitely not making it into a joke. I have never heard anyone claim that we were racist with this game. I think it is a pretty harsh term to use based on a video. If you will enlighten me to exactly what parts you think are distasteful we are listening but general claims are very hard to do anything with.

2). I think it is a real shame that a lot of people are so ignorant towards the potential of games for more than entertainment. Like any medium or tool it can be used for good or evil. It is our aim to reach people that would normally not reflect or learn about this subject. Furthermore, I have a feeling that many of the negative reactions in here are knee-jerk reactions and she eps following what other says. Please take time to look at the game before forming your opinion.

3). In terms of what games come next all the games suggested all exist, and have actually for many years. Some of balanced and educational form. Others in propaganda games from political organizations.

4). I grant that the stacking of slaves in Tetris is a borderline example (it makes up about 30 seconds of the entire game) but please allow me to explain the point. Slave ships was actually almost stacked like you do in Tetris (google stacking slaves, and see the images) as you had to very careful to make the most room to earn as much money as possible - things had to fall into place. As such we try in the game to communicate the absurdity of the past. Our experience is that in the game it really gets people to think about just how absurd and cruel it is - trust me nobody is laughing or finding it a joke to play that kind of Tetris. They do however get a ahaa experience that will indeed haunt them. They will also discuss afterwards, and most of them will probably remember more than did from most their history lessons.

Bonus info: The game is used in around 300 Danish schools, and has been for a few years but recently we updated in with several new languages.

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5 Comments
Sen Sep 10, 2014 @ 12:15am 
Thanks for the comments, and great to hear you played the demo. We have tried to consult with experts. One of the challenges we ran into was that it is not always experts agree. This was especially a challenge in our The Plague game, but I will definitely look into the things you mention, and talk to the consultants we had.
🄱onelawyer Sep 9, 2014 @ 4:31pm 
I'm glad to see an educational game about such a weighty subject matter. Just finished the demo and I haven't seen anything that offends me, actually the game is kinda cute. But i do have a couple concerns though.

What are the sources for your research? do you address the different ethnic groups in africa? the different forms of slavery (chattle slavery vs debt bondage vs serfdom)? Is the name of the main characters tribe ever stated? I know this game is made for kids but for a game about a personal journey of a young west african slave boy it would be nice if the kids playing learned about west africa in a game about slavery.

This and a couple other minor things added up to the game feeling just a little off to me. BUT this is still the best game about slavery I've ever played in my entire life. Just saying it would be super cool if you guys consult with a couple native americans for the trail of tears edition.
lighting_b Sep 8, 2014 @ 2:34am 
I just hope this game details the real slavery, not the fantasy a lot of people created to sugarcoat the real thing.
Sen Sep 7, 2014 @ 12:57am 
Thanks - I hope more people take the time to get a feel for what the game is really about.
Legalize Murder & Bath Salts Sep 6, 2014 @ 10:53pm 
I believe this game is less offensive then a lot of the items coming out of greenlight (Gender bender for example) I have not yet played the game, but from first analysis everything seems historically acurate such as from the perspective of who started the trades and the fact you researched the subject matter. I look forward to seeing this passed on steam greenlight, this looks like an entertaining historic/story point and click game.