Anne Frank video game re-creates one day of hiding

German video designer Kira Resari, 25, calls the game an “interactive experience” that was not meant to be “fun.”

Anne Frank 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout Old)
Anne Frank 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout Old)
Jewish groups are split in their reactions to the announcement of a video game that will allow users to relive a day in the life of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank.
The focus of the game, simply titled “Anne Frank,” is set on the day in October 1942 when Anne wrote in her diary about her fears that a worker was about to discover the family’s hiding place in Amsterdam, it was reported in German media.
German video designer Kira Resari, 25, calls the game an “interactive experience” that was not meant to be “fun.” It is not yet available for sale.
“It’s more like you get carried away, touched and perhaps moved to tears,” he explained, adding that he “would not give away the ending.”
“I want to make a contribution toward ensuring that she is never forgotten,” he said.
Scott-Hendryk Dillan, a spokesman for the Anne Frank Center in Berlin, told JTA the center has been aware of the project since March but has not yet evaluated it.
“We are getting in touch with the creator,” he said.
Dillan noted that the website of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam offers a multilingual interactive virtual tour through the house where the Frank’s were in hiding.
He said it is state of the art, “but not interactive. This Munich game designer is the first to do this.”
Resari said he wanted to contribute to ensuring that the persecution of Jews and the Holocaust will never be forgotten.
“Younger generations need access to history on their own wavelength,” he told the Protestant online news portal,
Responses by Jewish organizations to the game’s announcement were mixed.
Abe Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that despite not yet having seen the game, the “notion of an interactive video game based on the life of Anne Frank is troubling.”
Such an endeavor, he explained, “could trivialize the Frank family’s experiences and turn Anne into a caricature.
We believe there are more effective and sensitive ways to educate young people about the Holocaust. Young people should be encouraged, first and foremost, to read her diary.”
While also explaining that he had not seen the finished product, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, a Nazi hunter and the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, said that it is a potentially positive development.
“These days [the] fact that a book, play, or even a video game deals with the Holocaust, does not necessarily mean that the product is beneficial to the causes of Holocaust commemoration and education,” he said, but noted that he does not oppose the use of interactive games to educate youth about Nazi crimes.
“There is nothing wrong with using the latest technology to reach young audiences,” he said.
However, “there are so may ways to distort the history and lessons of the Shoah, that without reviewing the content of the game carefully, I cannot comment” on it directly, he said.