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Tuesday, 05 October 2010 13:50

German student in hot water over shoot-em-up

Written by Nick Farell

Cold War game too soon
A student game developer in Germany is in hot water after releasing a shoot-em-up set in the Cold War.

Jens Stober, a 23-year-old student at the University of Design, Media and Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany, has created a game called "1378 (km)" which is about the wall which  divided East Germany from West Germany. You get to play either an East German trying to escape the country by crossing the area known as the "death strip" or play as a guard shooting escapees.

Stober said the games idea was to teach young, tech-savvy Germans about their country's past. He said that becoming an East German escapee or border guard enables players to identify with these figures.

But when Stober unveiled "1378 (km)" last week, the game caused a massive public uproar. Rainer Wagner, who tried to escape from East Germany as a teenager, told Spiegel Online that it was like a punch in the face. "It feels like I'm being shot at again, emotionally," said Wagner. Politicians have called the game "macabre and scandalous," as well as "tasteless and stupid."

University officials have stood behind Stober's game and its ability to work as a teaching tool. Michael Bielicky, a professor who supervised Stober on the project, told Spiegel Online, "Computer games are the ideal medium to reach the younger generation."

Bear in mind that no one who has objected to the game has ever seen it. Those who play guards do not have to shoot escapees, they can also arrest them or even join them in their flight. Those that do shoot the escapees find themselves transported to the future and to a court trial.

Nick Farell

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+3 #1 leftiszi 2010-10-05 14:01
RS links for the game please.

RS? LOL, WTF? No, make that Hotfile instead! xD
+30 #2 thetruth 2010-10-05 15:47
'It feels like I'm being shot at again, emotionally'

Dramatic much?
+6 #3 yasin 2010-10-05 16:43
its probably the role play aspect.however the objectors (or -ees?) should at least have looked at the game first.it is very soon since the cold war, but this response is a bit exacerbated.plenty of video games, particularly the new MOH game, are set in ongoing wars,some cause controversy but others dont?
+6 #4 dicobalt 2010-10-05 17:35
Nice to see that people's irrational feelings are being upheld...

This reminds me of Medal of Honor renaming the Taliban to "opposing forces".
+9 #5 Ferrum Master 2010-10-05 17:56
Pathetic. They are denying their past. What about those who tried to escape in small boats and escape from the soviets, by crossing the Baltic sea? About those ones, who where shot, who tried get to the beach? Punched in the face? Pff... when we're seeing our ex, the feeling is the same.

It is a motive, and it never must be forgotten, some are acting as brainwashed saints. Nothing really happened, Hitler? Who's that?. It should be remembered and carried through the generations. It is the soaring truth!
+3 #6 Elfa 2010-10-05 18:20
There will always be people who will use games such as this to get their 15 minutes of fame through their overtly loud objections to things they label "not PC".
+1 #7 muppet show 2010-10-05 18:25
Quoting thetruth:
'It feels like I'm being shot at again, emotionally'

Dramatic much?

It sounds like something Alan Partridge might say.

Anyone for a ladyboy?
+4 #8 kartikkg 2010-10-05 19:30
well if ppl calim that taliban killing us soldiers is objectionable ,then its rational for talibanis to say that its hurting their sentiments to see us soldiers shooting us in the game , but since US is the big boss well.....
+7 #9 jonelsorel 2010-10-05 21:04
I wonder: did those politicians also call the people who made the wall possible "macabre and scandalous," or "tasteless and stupid"?

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