Thursday, September 15, 2011

UPDATE: Slavery the Game: A Teaching Tool

As promised we here at Urban Politico have received a formal statement from Microsoft regarding Slavery the Game. (If you missed the original post take the time to check it out and then return for the follow up.)

Bethany, with Microsoft, responded to our media inquiry on behalf of Microsoft's Xbox 360 with a statement from Microsoft's spokesperson:

"Microsoft has no knowledge of this title and it is evident this is a hoax. Additionally, Xbox is a family friendly games and entertainment console and does not allow Adults Only (AO) content to be certified for use on its platform, and would not condone this type of game for Xbox 360."

Bethany also sent us a link to the "real truth" behind the game. Turns out the "game trailer" is actually a viral video ad to promote a television series in the Netherlands. The series which will air on public television in the Netherlands is targeted toward children and adult. In the youth series children will learn about slavery in general and how it still exists today as far as human trafficking. In the Adult series the focus will be on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Dutch involvement from 1600 to 1800.

In the article there is a youtube video where one of the contributors to the series, a Black Dutch man by the name of Lyangelo Vasquez further explains the viral video ad and the series and the impetus behind it. Simply put, Vasquez wanted to do the series because in the Netherlands Dutch history is taught often but there is little to find on the history of the Black Dutch brought to the country as slaves. The host of the interview with Lyangelo agreed and said that in school he didn't learn much about the slave trade at all. The two also issue an apology for the insensitivity of the game [my words] to us Americans where slavery is a much more hot button topic than it is in the Netherlands.

For further explanation of the documentary series which will air this Friday in the Netherlands, and to hear Lyangelo's explanation of the game just watch the video below. Oh you have to read the subtitles.

My take on the program that will air in the Netherland is that it is a good thing. It's good to start this dialogue especially if it has never happened before. The viral video was catchy and clearly got people talking. The problem is that once it was posted on the internet it was not going to stay within the network of computers who use .nu to access the internet. In that respect I feel the viral video was misguided even thought it was effective.

But that is just the opinion of The Storyteller. Let us know how you feel now that you've all got the facts.

1. Do you think a documentary teaching slavery to people in a country that participated heavily in the transportation of slaves around the world is a good idea?
2. Is there a better way NTR could have promoted their series without the use of the viral video ad.
3. If this docu-series were to air in America what kind of response do you think it would receive?
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