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  1. #1
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    River_Rat_459's Avatar
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    Shooting Game Angers Victims' Relatives!

    Shooting game angers victims' relatives
    By Michelle Martin

    BERLIN | Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:22pm EDT

    BERLIN (Reuters) - A German student has created a computer game giving players a taste of life as an East German border guard shooting political fugitives fleeing to the West, to the outrage of victims' relatives.

    The game "1378" -- the length in kilometers of the border between East and West Germany in the Cold War -- awards border guards who shoot an exceptional number of escapees a medal. They then find themselves in the year 2000, on trial for the shootings they carried out in the name of the East German Communist regime.

    Players can also take on the role of East German fugitives trying to escape over the Berlin Wall. If caught, they are either shot or arrested and taken to prison.

    Jens Stober, the 23-year-old who created the game as part of his university degree, said it had an educational aspect.

    "Becoming an East German escapee or border guard enables players to identify with these figures," he said. "It's a novel way of encouraging young people to take an interest in coming to terms with recent German history."

    But the Federal Foundation for the Reconciliation of the Communist Dictatorship said that while it welcomed different ways to come to terms with the 1949-1989 regime, it doubted young people would learn anything by shooting dissidents.

    "Ultimately it's just an ego-shooter game, which is unacceptable given the historical context," said Dietrich Wolf, spokesman for the foundation.

    Theodor Mettrup of the Association for Victims of Communist Tyranny said the game "makes a mockery of the victims."

    "The shootings at the wall were no game -- they destroyed people's lives and families. But people playing this game won't get a sense of that," he told Reuters.

    The game is due to be released on Sunday, the 20th anniversary of German reunification.

    An estimated 1,000 East German citizens were killed trying to escape after the Wall was built in 1961. East German border guards were under instruction to shoot anyone trying to flee. The last East German to be shot crossing the border was Chris Gueffroy in February 1989.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Shooting Game Angers Victims' Relatives

    Quote Originally Posted by River_Rat_459!

    [b]"The shootings at the wall were no game -- they destroyed people's lives and families. But people playing this game won't get a sense of that," he told Reuters.

    It sure wasn't a game. The Berlin wall was still up when my family was stationed in Germany and even tho it was one of the scariest experiences of my life I am very grateful we were able to go to East & West Berlin. We were camping in a closed down Yacht Club in West Berlin (someone in the Army made the arangements for us) and we toured around the West Side for a day or two. We made one forage over to the East side and that was very depressing. We had a lot of rules to follow. No Pictures allowed on the East Side, we had to give a time we would be returning and our vehicle was thoroughly searched. Not to meantion the armed Border patrol that looked like they were ready to shoot you for any tiny thing.

    There was one person shot trying to escape while we were there. I don't remember the exact particulars but he either Parachuted or used a zip line to get over the wall but he was shot down shortly after landing on the other side.

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