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February 21, 2022 2:06 pm
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Children’s Gaming Platform Removes ‘Disturbing’ Nazi Concentration Camp ‘Experience’ With Gas Chambers

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A free online gaming platform popular with young children around the world has removed a game called “Camp Concentration” that featured virtual Nazi soldiers, gas chambers, and dead bodies.

Roblox said in a statement over the weekend to Mail on Sunday that it has “zero tolerance for content or behaviors that promote or glorify extremism, including antisemitism,” and that it has “removed the experiences in question and banned the individuals who created them.”

Roblox allows users to design and create games, as well as pick avatars and play games developed by others. There are millions of games to choose from on the website, including ones in which players pretend to work at a pizzeria, explore the ocean in a submarine, adopt a virtual pet, and take part in a “murder mystery” challenge.

In 2020, Roblox told Bloomberg that two-thirds of children in the United States between the ages of nine and 12 use its platform. The children’s charity 5Rights estimated that half of British children between the ages of six and nine play on the platform at least once a week.

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In the game “Concentration Camp,” users were able to enter a room and click “execute” to release deadly gas from shower heads, Mail on Sunday reported. The game included a funeral pyre of dead avatars; German flags and a German cross hanging outside watch towers with avatars dressed in Nazi uniforms; and statues of soldiers with guns, prisoners, and a crematorium oven, according to the paper.

Players were also able to access cell blocks and lock their avatar inside to “experience” what prisoners faced in Nazi concentration camps. Outside the camp was a railway that seemed to invoke the trains that transported millions of Jews during the Holocaust.

“We are horrified to hear of Nazi rooms featuring dead bodies and gas chambers,” Tanya Carter, spokesperson of the UK’s Safe Schools Alliance campaign group, said on Friday night. “This is particularly disturbing in a climate of rising antisemitism.”

“There are serious safeguarding issues with the trauma this could cause to children,” she added. “Parents must be aware of what their children are up to online and talk to them about pitfalls, schools must educate children about online harms, and the government must take action against those that host unsuitable platforms and the predatory adults that frequent them.”

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