A Brazilian mobile phone game depicting a scenario of slavery has been condemned as a “crime of hatred”.
The game, entitled ‘Escravo’ (Slave), was released in January and takes an interactive approach to the controversial subject matter. It encourages players to search for and buy slaves, manage plantations and hold them in bondage, while also providing a range of mini-games depicting scenes of violence and torture.
The game was developed by a Brazilian company, Digital Secret, but recently came to public attention when it was highlighted by activists. Civil rights activists in the country have called for its immediate removal from the app stores, citing its offensive and insensitive content as well as the damage it could do to Brazil’s already tarnished reputation for its past history of slavery.
The game has also been denounced by the Brazil’s Ministry of Education and National Council for Combating Racism, which have stated that “the game creates a distorted view of an epoch in which millions of people were removed from their families and suffered untold atrocities”.
The creators of the game have defended their work, claiming that its graphic visuals are tempered by an educational element which aims to inform and raise awareness. Despite this, its content and mechanics has been widely condemned as inappropriate and revolting.
The mobile app’s removal has been requested by several politicians and institutions, however, the game remains available and playable for free on the Android and iOS mobile app stores.