It’s a fake! Slavery-The Game is actually a viral promotion for the Dutch TV series De Slavernij, a documentary produced by Dutch public broadcaster NTR, that focuses on European and Dutch involvement in the African slave trade.
My poll results reflected this fact: 33.33% found the game racist; 8.33% thought it looked like fun; 0% didn’t care and 58.33% thought it was fake. However, the disclaimer was inserted days after the trailer’s debut which gave the publicity stunt away.
It is the hope of NTR, to generate awareness of past and present day slavery. The phony gaming trailer received over 400,000 views and a deluge of comments and criticism, especially from America, because of its blatantly racist treatment of the subject. Clicking the newly inserted disclaimer takes you to an interview with the producers at NTR who explain the reason for their campaign strategy (see below).
What I found interesting was the Netherlands’ ignorance of their involvement in the slave trade, as well as the fact that modern slavery still subsists. It’s a series I would be interested in viewing, but it was unclear whether De Slavernij would eventually air in the United States.
The Dutch broadcasters seemed surprised at America’s extremely indignant reaction to the trailer. We as Americans are all too aware of slavery’s tragic impact, and live with the long term affects today. The outrage was, in my opinion, justified. However, the Dutch series reminded me that African-Americans don’t have a corner on slavery. Those here who would like to learn more by watching De Slavernij may not get that opportunity. Therefore, was it necessary to unleash this trailer in English if this series will be aired to only Dutch audiences? Granted, Slavery-The Game, brought international attention to the TV series. But if the world can’t see it, what’s the point? Perhaps NTR plans to release it internationally at a later date. By that time, will we remember or care? In conclusion, was this campaign a brilliant strategy or a just a cheap stunt?