The BBC made a 'controversial' new game about Syria


I’ve seen this game and played through it a few times- (I managed not to die on my first play through, which I felt may have given an urealisticly positive spin on things).

However, the thing has a couple of problems, which I thought would set off the usual suspects. And that’s annoying, because the hateful outrage pedallers at the Mail and the Express are going to complain anyway, and I would have preferred them to have nothing to complain about other than the fact that this was an attempt to humanise the experience of refugees.

I guess the makers of the game wanted to look at a situation where the refugees ended up in the UK, to make it relevant for the likely audience. That’s an understandable editorial decision, but it means that in many of the routes on the game, the player is forced to avoid claiming asylum in a safe other country before reaching the UK. This plays directly into the long standing press narrative of “bogus” asylum seekers who should be deported. A little extra thought here would have gone a long way.

I also don’t like that the “most logical” set of choices (go by land, don’t deal with shady brokers, flee to the woods with your family when given a chance) only has an emotional tax and makes it seem easy if you make the proper choices as someone already in a privileged country.

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