A video game company has had to amend a section of one their educational online games about the slave trade in order to remove a part in which players stacked slaves in a ship like tetris blocks.
The game Playing History 2: Slave Trade is aimed at kids aged 11 to 14 and purportedly aims to educate them about the horrors of the slave trade.
The description for the game reads:
Travel back in time and witness the horrors of slave trade first hand. You will be working as young slave steward on a ship crossing the Atlantic. You are to serve the captain and be his eyes and ears. What do you do, when you realise that your own sister has been captured by the slave traders?
However, a short tetris section of the game has caused outrage on social media after Serious Games offered a 25% discount for the 2013 game when it was launched on Steam.
Although company CEO Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen said the “Slave Tetris” section of the two-hour game lasted only around 15 seconds, he was forced to respond to a number of angry Twitter users defending the thinking behind that part of the game.
On Monday, the game was edited to remove the tetris section which had caused offence.
A new update on the Steam website reads:
UPDATE: The game and trailer has been updated. Slave Tetris has been removed as it was perceived to be extremely insensitive by some people. This overshadowed the educational goal of the game. Apologies to people who [were] offended by us using game mechanics to underline the point of how inhumane slavery was. The goal was to enlighten and educate people — not to get sidetracked discussing a small 15 secs part of the game.
It’s safe to say that Serious Games seriously misjudged this one!