Slavery-The Game update: 58.33% thought it was fake. Check out the REAL story…(video)

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?

Click here to see Slavery-The Game trailer

3 comments

  1. Luke

    I think you nailed it when you said “(if they’re not releasing the series in English or any other language…) if the world can’t see it, what’s the point (of the English only trailer)? Perhaps NTR plans to release it internationally at a later date. By that time, will we remember or care?”

    So then clearly it’s a cheap, aggressive stunt. Too bad the intellect, marketing, strategists (or lack thereof) behind this project didn’t grasp the fact that: if you’re not catering to an international audience with the final content, but you are pandering with an aggressive trailer then you’ve failed to honour your subject, project and your own credibility… Whether this was a series about birds, or dogs, or guns, or slavery, this is a fail.

  2. Seitu Hayden

    It was a cheap stunt, but as the old saying goes there’s no bad publicity. Bait and switch? Hell to the yeah! I believe they had good intentions, but they did not realize how non-post racial America is

  3. Henry Rock (@rockit17)

    I agree with Seitu, “cheap stunt”. Apparently not a well thought through as perhaps the TV series will be. The premise of doing a series about the role of the Dutch, in particular and Europe, in general, in the slave trade is a well taken one.

    This is also a case of young, disconnected folks being too ‘clever’ for their own good. You see it all too often in advertising today.

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