Augmented reality game “Ingress” has recently been the bone of contention among Holocaust survivors. The reason for the uproar is that the game, which has been developed by Niantic Labs, has included Nazi concentration camps among its various playing locations. The game requires players to move through real world locations and capture them before their opponents do so. Google has apologized for including the Nazi death camps as a part of the game.
The Camp Sites
As the players started playing the game, they noticed that some of the sites which are called “portals” in the game are situated inside WWII concentration camps like Sachsenhausen, Auschwitz, Dachau and others.
Director of the Dachau memorial site, Gabrielle Hammermann said that these locations would be unpleasant for anybody who suffered or whose relatives suffered the horrible situation of a Nazi death camp.
Die Zeit reported that Gunter Morsch of the Sachsenhausen Memorial said “All of us here are completely appalled… This is most definitely no place for video games.” He also said that just removing them won’t be enough. “It must be ensured that smaller concentration camp memorials on Google Play (the online store) are spared.”
Estimates are there that more than 30,000 people have met with awful death at Sachsenhausen. There were allegedly 74 augmented reality areas near that camp.
Jean-Michel Thomas, president of the Comité Internationale de Dachau said “We strongly object to parts of the Dachau concentration camp being chosen as locations for the video game Ingress. We demand that this desecration be banned.”
There is a memorial cemetery in the prison camp where around 7,000 victims lay.
Response from Niantic Labs
Niantic Labs reacted to the outrage by saying that the Nazi death camp locations have been removed from the AR game Ingress. In a statement to AP, John Hanke, the founder of Niantic Labs, said “We apologize that this has happened.”
In explanation to its inclusion of the sites, the company said to Die Ziet, that “these special portals are of significant historical value and they were established by players for that reason.”
The portals have been removed from the most sensitive and well known camps in Germany. However, live portals are still there in the death camps in Auschwitz in Poland.
What do you think?
What do you think about the inclusion of these Nazi death camps in Ingress? Are they really helpful for players to learn about the historical significance of these places? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Image Source – zeit.de
Article Source – belljarnews.com