People Are Furious About This "Slave Tetris" Video Game

The Tetris section has now been removed from the game, which aims to educate kids about the slave trade.

A Danish video game company has amended an educational online game about the slave trade to remove a section in which users stacked slaves in a ship like a game of Tetris.

"Travel back in time and witness the horrors of slave trade firsthand," reads the description for the Playing History 2: Slave Trade game, which is targeted at kids aged 11 to 14.

"You will be working as young slave steward on a ship crossing the Atlantic. You are to serve the captain and be his eyes and ears. What do you do, when you realize that your own sister has been captured by the slave traders?"

The gaming company's CEO, Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, said the "Slave Tetris" section of the two-hour game lasted only 15 seconds or so.

Playing History 2: Slave Trade, which was released in 2013, generated outrage on Twitter in recent days after Serious Games offered a 25% discount for the game after it was launched on the distribution platform Steam.

Playing History 2: Slave trade now live on Steam w. a good 25% launch discount:...

@SeriousGamesInt the creators of this game are clearly desensitized assholes with no respect or compassion for the histories of brown ppl

@SeriousGamesInt This game is reprehensible. If you don't understand why, then hire someone who gets how truly hurtful & tone deaf it is.

@SeriousGamesInt appalling. The trafficking of human lives is not a game. Pull this now.

@SeriousGamesInt this is more then disturbing. This game will only sell to racist types to keep racism alive.

How is 'Slave Trade Tetris' educational? @SeriousGamesInt

@SeriousGamesInt This game is offensive and makes light of a terrible part of history that blacks still have not recovered from.

BuzzFeed News contacted Egenfeldt-Nielsen for comment, but he responded to angry Twitter users saying his game was attempting to educate people on the horrors of the slave trade.

@MrBaileyM - Slave ships were stacked as tetris.. point is to disgust people so they understand how inhumane slave trade was- search the net

@LisaHendrix @SeriousGamesInt - A game is not necessarily just a medium for fun. - it can be used to educate - quite effectively actually.

@dodi70 @Halftongue -... we have made games about sweatshops, israeli-palestinian conflict, plague, debt slavery.nazi era have lots of games

@elle_kensington - we lose money on these games. We make them because we think it is important to make educational games to fight ignorance

On Monday, the game was edited to remove the "Slave Tetris" section.

A new update on the Steam website reads:

UPDATE: The game and trailer has been updated. Slave Tetris has been removed as it was perceived to be extremely insensitive by some people. This overshadowed the educational goal of the game. Apologies to people who was offended by us using game mechanics to underline the point of how inhumane slavery was. The goal was to enlighten and educate people — not to get sidetracked discussing a small 15 secs part of the game.

After updating the game, Egenfeldt-Nielsen joked on Twitter that his next game would be a "good old [plain] shooter" so as not to hurt people's feelings.

Contemplating what our next game will be.... something that can't possible hurt anybodies feelings... maybe just do a good old plan shooter

Skip to footer