A new game based on events surrounding the Berlin Wall is attracting the wrong kind of media attention.
Called 1378 (taken from the Wall’s total length 1378km), it sees players assume the role of either an East German border guard or a refugee fleeing the communist country. It’s due for release on October 3rd – the 20-year anniversary of Germany’s reunification.
The latter part is proving less controversial. As a refugee you must dodge guards, climb fences and avoid shooting posts. However, as a guard you are tasked with stopping refugees – and the player is free to choose whether to shoot or arrest them.
Too many kills, though, result in a court-martial and “increased political pressure on East Germany”.
The angry reaction from activist groups is not a huge surprise.
“An aspect of this game, however, is even worse than other shoot 'em ups because normally in such games, one shoots at armed enemies,” Rainer Wagner of a communist violence victims’ group told News.com. “Here, it is unarmed civilians.
“[The game] appeals to the basest human instincts and further contributes to the brutalisation and the breaking down of society's inhibitions under the cover of historical reappraisal.”
However, 1378’s 23 year-old creator Jens Stober argued that “you can reach young people better through a computer game”.