Sunday 28 November 2021

Apple bans Dutch educational game about slavery from Appstore

A game developed to teach Dutch children about slavery has been refused by Apple because of its ‘insulting content’ and removed from the internet after generating a storm of protest, Dutch media says on Tuesday.

The game, Weg naar Vrijheid (road to freedom) was developed by the Dutch institute for slavery and heritage (Ninsee).

Players take the role of slave Jacob or Amba, who were taken from the Dutch slave fortress Elmina in Ghana in 1723 and sent to work on sugar plantation Rust en Werk in Suriname.

Whip

The character is then faced with a dilemma: whether to escape into the jungle and live in a village of rebels or remain on the plantation. Both scenarios lead to a long and happy life, including marriage and children. Slaves are punished by a black slave driver with a whip.

‘That is what it was like,’ Martijn Reintjes of game maker Pepergroen, told the Volkskrant. ‘We developed the game in close consultation with the institute about historial details. We wanted more interaction between the slave and white owner but that is historically incorrect.’

The game was placed on website Slavernij & Jij in February without much impact but last week generated a surge in emotional reactions, the Parool reports.

Subsidies

Developer Pepergroen took 1.5 years to produce the game, which was paid for by Amsterdam city council subsidies.

Apple have banned the game from the Appstore because the ‘contents are slanderous and insulting and can count on complaints from a large group of people,’ the Volkskrant says.

Ninsee is now in talks with both the makers and the protestors to try to find a solution.

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