A Historical Video Game Shocks Spain

Civil War game lets players fight against— or for—the fascists
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2007 12:24 PM CST
Right-wing demonstrators participate in a fascist political rally in Madrid, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2007 in remembrance of the killing of Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera in 1936 by leftist forces during the Spanish...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The New York Times reports on a new video game on sale in Spain that bills itself as the first based on the 1936-39 civil war. Players of Shadows of War can take command the Republican army and reverse the course of history, preventing Franco's 40-year dictatorship—or they can command the Nationalists and hasten it. The game has provoked an outcry across the political spectrum.

"It will trivialize the drama of the civil war and dissipate its legacy of horror," said a prominent columnist at ABC, the right-leaning Madrid daily. But the game's designers counter the claims of banalizing the war and its legacy, saying that Shadows of War can introduce young people to history. Reparations to Franco's victims is a key program of PM José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government.