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The Light In The Darkness Shows The Horror Of The Holocaust, And You Can't "Win"

The project examines the horrifying, world-changing truth of the Holocaust and the Nazis.

World War 2 has long remained one of the most popular settings for video games, but very few have touched on the full atrocities of the Nazis--not just to enemy soldiers, but to innocent civilians, primarily Jews, who were systematically murdered until 1945. Developer Luc Bernard is attempting to change that with The Light in the Darkness, a free game focused on a Jewish family that, like so many others, were persecuted by the Nazis for no other reason than their ethnicity.

Speaking to Agence France-Presse, Bernard said he felt that lots of games glossing over the horrors of the Holocaust--which were fully discovered in the final months of the war--is "a bit like denying that it ever existed." The aim with The Light in the Darkness is to show the hopeless fate so many European Jews faced as the Nazis began systematically eradicating them from the continent. About 66% of European Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and the Jewish population for the entire world has still not recovered to pre-war levels.

Crucially, you won't have any control over how the game's main characters--a Jewish family in Nazi-controlled Vichy France--end up. The parents assure children that they will be there for them, and encourage them to be brave. But they will eventually be sent to an internment camp, which was often used as a buffer for transport to the infamous Auschwitz, where more than 1 million people were killed.

"I couldn't make a game where you win at the end," Bernard told AGP. "That wasn't the Shoah, there was no choice."

Available now on the Epic Games Store for PC, The Light in the Darkness is also planned for eventual console releases. The game is still in early access, and an educational mode will be available at full launch for use in classrooms. If you would prefer to watch the story, Luc Bernard has provided a full playthrough, which is embedded above.

Holocaust awareness today is shockingly limited, with a 2020 survey indicating that fewer than half of respondents knew how many Jews were murdered. Some Germans who participated remain unrepentant or outright deny it occurred, as seen in the harrowing documentary Final Account.

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