Escape game rooms – where you have to solve puzzles to get out of a locked room within a certain time limit – are the hot new trend popping up all over the world and for the most part they seem like a lot of fun. You’ve just gotta remember to keep the theme PC, otherwise they might end up being the target of worldwide derision like the idiots in this story.
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Usually developers choose a theme that’s fairly inoffensive, like escaping from some aliens that have held you prisoner or some weird butcher that’s going to eat you, but the guys over in Prague at Dostan Se Van decided to base it around becoming locked in a room at Auschwitz and having to escape. That’s not so good.
The company insist that they chose the theme to draw attention to the atrocities of Auschwitz, but critics have stated that the promotional materials on the website (now deleted, alongside their official apology statement strangely) read more like an amusement park advertisement rather than an educational initiative. After the backlash became international, they decided to stop selling tickets and delete all mention of the game from the internet.
Unfortunately it’s now a worldwide incident so I doubt anyone is going to forget about it anytime soon. I don’t think you can really blame them either, because it’s pretty much the ultimate in bad taste isn’t it, especially with lines like:
Play an interesting escape game with your friends and put yourself in the shoes of the victims of the Auschwitz concentration camp. ‘Last shower’ will await you. But there’s a difference: you can get out of this room alive.
That ‘last shower’ part is just shocking. How could a bunch of people have actually OK’ed that? Petr Papoušek, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Prague, was just one voice of condemnation:
A game that preys on the suffering of millions of people for commercial gain, reflects on not only the bad taste of the authors, but also on their cynicism and their unawareness of the history.
It was impossible to escape from the gas chambers, and in that way, the game calls historical facts into question.
Well said. Let’s hope this encourages people to not be complete idiots about these kind of things in the future, although I’m not really too hopeful, are you?
For more holocaust disrespect, check out this artist who created these powerful images to illustrate just how people weren’t really taking the memorial monument seriously. Powerful.