In the wake of the devestating fire that ravaged the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris donations have been pouring in for the iconic historic, cultural and religous landmark.
Since the blaze on Monday evening (April 15), over €1 billion has been raised through various donors to help rebuild the Paris icon.
With its own history with the city, Ubisoft, the studio behind Assassin’s Creed Unity – a game set in 1700’s Paris including an eye-catching recreation of the Notre Dame Cathedral – have made their own €500,000 donation to the restoration fund as well as making the game available for free to allow players to enjoy the landmark while the IRL version undergoes its rennovations.
Standing ‘in solidarité’ with Parisians, Ubisoft said:
In light of Monday’s events, we will be donating €500,000 to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Cathedral. We encourage all of you who are interested to donate as well.
In addition, we want to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how. For one week, we will be giving Assassin’s Creed Unity away free on PC, for anyone who wants to enjoy it.
I don't know if this is insensitive, but I decided to relaunch AC Unity and visit the Notre Dame. It's amazing how detailed it is. pic.twitter.com/e1zUdd4uJb
— Joe Parlock (@joeparlock) April 15, 2019
Video games can enable us to explore places in ways we never could have otherwise imagined. We hope, with this small gesture, we can provide everyone an opportunity to appreciate our virtual homage to this monumental piece of architecture.
Ubisoft’s efforts at making a picture perfect reconstruction of the cathedral in Assassin’s Creed Unity could play a role in bringing the real one back to its former glory.
Unity artist Caroline Miousse, told The Verge a while back that Ubisoft’s version of Notre Dame was easily the biggest building in the game, and that she spent ‘literally years fussing over the details of the building’.
Miousse apparently obsessed over old photos to get everything just right, and even worked with texture artists to ensure that ‘each brick was as it should be’.
As memes start doing the rounds about the tragic fire, online debates about how no one gave so much of a shit about the Grenfell disaster (they did) and general outrage at religious icons, The New York Times’ Kristan Higgins posted in a now-deleted tweet a conflict on people’s minds following the disaster.
Speaking as a Catholic here…please don’t donate to help Notre Dame. The Church is worth $30 billion. Donate to help Puerto Rico recover. Donate to get the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn’t care about stained glass. He cared about humans.
Speaking as a Catholic here…please don't donate to help Notre Dame. The
Church is worth $30 billion. Help Puerto Rico recover. Get the people of Flint clean water. Donate to get kids out of cages. Jesus didn't care about stained glass. He cared about humans. pic.twitter.com/OyKoFZf73z
— Community Independent Journal (@DiggingforTrut1) April 17, 2019
The knock-on effect has already been seen as three historically black churches destroyed by arson in Louisiana have received more than $1 million in donations following the Notre Dame fire.
Whatever your religious leanings, you can’t really argue with that. If any good can come from a fire that’s put 800 years of history up in flames, it’s the knowledge there’s clearly money in our world to make it a better place.
Assassin’s Creed Unity can be downloaded for UPlay PC here.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.