DS Holocaust game causes stir

With Nintendo rumoured to be scared of publishing it

DS Holocaust game causes stir

We've been following this all day with interest. A game from a Jewish developer that takes place during the Holocaust is in development for DS but despite its 'work in progress' status, there are already suggestions Nintendo may block its release due to the sensitive nature of its subject matter.

Imagination is the Only Escape is the brainchild of 21-year-old British developer Luc Bernard. The game is a platformer that has you playing a French Jewish boy who tries to escape the horrors of the Nazi occupation by escaping into a fantasy world. Bernard describes the game on his own blog as "Schindler's List meets Alice in Wonderland" and also expresses his opinion that games can be art and talk about important subjects in the same way that films can.

One of the game's screenshots (above) features the text: "1.5 million children were murdered during the Holocaust. More than 1.2 million Jewish children, tens of thousands of Gypsy children and thousands of institutionalised handicapped children."

Talking to the New York Times, Bernard describes the game's approach as both non-violent and educational.

However, some sources have reported Nintendo is nervous of releasing the game and has no plans to do so in the US. In one interview, the game's developer said: "From what I was told, Nintendo Europe is also scared of it, but I don't think they are trying to block the game."

Speaking here, however, a spokesperson for publisher Alten8 cleared up the situation by stating the game "is only in its early stages. No one has blocked it, and it has no definitive time scale for release."

The truth of where Nintendo stands on such a game will have to come out nearer to its completion. It's unfortunate that many people view video games as solely for mindless entertainment purposes and – unlike books and films – that means Imagination is the Only Escape will probably have to justify its existence before it gets a release.

With so many forms of entertainment cashing in on various world conflicts, though, can anyone really credibly argue that this particular game, based on its description thus far, shouldn't be released?

Kath Brice
Kath Brice
Kath gave up a job working with animals five years ago to join the world of video game journalism, which now sees her running our DS section. With so many male work colleagues, many have asked if she notices any difference.