It's no surprise that Wolfenstein, a series that re-imagines a world where the Nazis were victorious, has managed to drum up a bit of controversy. In a recent interview with Gamesbeat, Luc Bernard, an independent developer, had a few negative things to say about shooters based on World War II.
Look at the new Wolfenstein, for example. You've seen it, right? I think they have robot Nazis or something like that? That's what I would call distasteful. I'd nearly say it spits on what happened during World War II. You're taking what the Nazis represent – a mass genocide, the killing of so many people – and you're making it seem like a toy, a game.
He went on to say it was an insult to the Holocaust, and called out Bethesda for funding the title. He said that fictionalizing the war with robot Nazis made it seem almost fun. This raises a few ethical questions about what is and isn't okay to fictionalize in media. General audiences have always had a fascination with war, World War II being one that has been represented through countless films, novels and video games, some more truthful than others. The concern that Bernard may be expressing is whether fictionalizing such a heinous event lessens its impact with the modern generation.
Of course, Bernard's interview wasn't solely to discuss the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order. Bernard is currently promoting his own game centered around the Holocaust. His current Indiegogo campaign is set to raise $125,000 to fund Imagination is the Only Escape. Bernard's game will take a more educational and story-driven approach to the dark subject matter.
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