Vlambeer Apologizes For Luftrausers' Nazi Imagery

Vlambeer's dog fighting game, Luftrausers, is anything but realistic. The game takes place in an alternate history that takes place 10 to 15 years after World War II, but that that didn't stop players from complaining that its art style and imagery are evocative of the real Nazi party of the mid 1940's.

In fact a lot of players have complained that it feels like the game is making them play the role of a Nazi pilot.

Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail addressed those concerns in a post on the company's website. He started off by admitting that "no interpretation of a game is wrong." Nonetheless, Ismail assured that they never intended to put the player in the shoes of a Nazi pilot. Truth is, the game was inspired by the period between 1900 and 1980 where Western governments were "capable of determining whether an opposing military force was working on secret weapons, but not quite what those weapons were."

In Luftrausers, Vlambeer wanted to give players control of those weapons and the only logical way to do so was to be one of the bad guys. "The player is part of an undefined enemy force that was not on 'our' side during the six or seven decades in which military intelligence was effectively telling us to prepare for a laser-equipped hoverboat assault," explained Ismail.

In the end, Ismail asserted that he was explaining the game's aesthetics, but not excusing them. "Having been born and raised in the Netherlands, we are extremely aware of the awful things that happened," he said referring to World War II, "and we want to apologise to anybody who, through our game, is reminded of the cruelties that occurred during the war."

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