Friday, September 9, 2011

Slavery the Game Revisited: It's Promoting a Dutch 'Documentary' Series

I've already written about Slavery: The Game here at this blog, and I updated and posted on the topic at BlogHer.com as well. Now there's a twist that leads us to the promotional video's creators.

After contemplating speculation that the game was a hoax, possible protest, or some kind of publicity stunt, I have learned that the video on YouTube and the associated website are part of a promotion for a Dutch documentary series about slavery:
The trailer was first shown on Dutch website GameKings TV at the start of September, and was picked up by games and entertainment sites the world over.

GameKings host Brian van de Ven returned to the subject on September 8, accompained by documentary researcher Lyangelo Vasquez.

The campaign was "controversial, but very important to focus the attention on the subject of slavery," explained Vasquez.

"It's a bad part of history and people don't like to talk about "It's a bad part of history and people don't like to talk about it. It seems a long time ago, but it may be just four, five or six generations back in family history for descendants of slaves."
Vasquez continues, saying that today there are still 27 million people in slavery, and he discusses sex trade and clothing slaves to justify release of the offensive video.

Sadly, he is mixing two different types of slavery systems in the same way people often compare Roman slavery with slavery in the U.S.A. (not that slavery in any form should ever be condoned or not taking seriously). Through his exploitation of American slavery, he will only offend people the way similar comparisons are deemed offensive in the comment section about "Re-framing the Abortion Debate."

This promotion still gets a fail from me for the same reasons I discussed in my earlier post and on Twitter (see screen shot). I considered then that the producers may have been trying to draw attention to the horrors of slavery, but I felt the video did this serious and painful subject a disservice.

I applaud the documentary's producers' desire to sound the alarm on modern-day slavery, but I must condemn the method they've used to promote their series. By framing slavery as a game, the producers have shown little to no sensitivity to how painful the slavery topic is to the descendants of American-style slavery. They disrespect slavery's descendants in their video.

The fact that one of the documentary's researchers is of African descent does not change my opinion. It was still a bad move.

2 comments:

msladydeborah said...

I appreciate you keeping up with this story. I am going to write a follow up in a couple of hours. I have even more to say about it than I originally did.

AprilShari said...

Thank you for the clarification with this subject. I am a desendant of Africa slaves, and my family knows nothing of our origin or history. It's like America as a whole doesn't wasn't to really talk about how this country was taken then built. But, that just leaves open wounds and separation.