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.
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.
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.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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