The games people play
Juden Raus or Jews Out was a game advertised by its publishers Gunther & Co in Germany in 1936 as entertaining, instructive and solidly constructed. Equipment included a board, some dice and different game piece figurines including some representing policeman and some with pointy tops representing Jews. The idea of the game chillingly was to clear all the Jews off the board.
Incredibly this was not some mad cap idea dreamt up by Hitlers head of propaganda Joseph Goebbels but an actual commercial venture that reflected the sentiment that existed at the time where a company thought that this would be something that parents would want to buy for their children. Even more incredibly the game actually drew official criticism from the SS's official publication Das Schwarze Korps for trivialising its anti semitic policies.
The game is one of several artefacts being presented on the BBC next Sunday in the run up to Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January.
All of which makes you think about how games played today reflect on the society that spawned them and the impact that these games may have on the players especially given the increased levels of engagement offered by computers over the rather rudimentary equipment of Juden Raus.
Today many young men especially are socially isolated in a virtual gaming world allowing them to escape the real challenges of life. They may have superb hand eye co ordination but they are also withdrawn and lacking confidence in the real world.
Control of the popularity of gaming is a major challenge we will need to overcome if we want to improve our kids chances of success in the workplace.
Parents need to