This is how kids are learning the history of the French Revolution now (video)

Roundup
tags: French Revolution, video



Kabir Chibber is the weekend editor at Quartz.

The latest Assassin’s Creed: Unity video game allows you, the player, to roam freely around an ancient city as part of its usual, incomprehensible plot about assassins, conspiracy, and revenge. But this time, the game is set in Paris during the French Revolution, and the game is sparking controversy in France for its depiction of perhaps the defining event of modern European history.

The latest Assassin’s Creed: Unity video game allows you, the player, to roam freely around an ancient city as part of its usual, incomprehensible plot about assassins, conspiracy, and revenge. But this time, the game is set in Paris during the French Revolution, and the game is sparking controversy in France for its depiction of perhaps the defining event of modern European history.

"To all those who will buy Assassin’s Creed: Unity, I wish them a good time, but I also tell them that the pleasure of playing does not stop you from thinking. Play, yes, but do not let yourself be manipulated by those who make propaganda."

Ubisoft, the maker of the Assassin’s Creed series of video games, which has been going since 2007 and has sold more than 70 million copies, is in fact French. One of the makers of the game replied (link in French) that Assassin’s Creed: Unity is a “consumer video game, not a history lesson” but did say that his team hired a historian and specialists on the Terror and other aspects of the Revolution. Le Monde lays out seven errors in the game here (in French).

In fact, the debate over who are the heroes and villains of the Revolution goes back to the 1790s. British counter-revolutionary thought often focused on the suffering of the monarchy in their stories, such as the King’s tearful goodbye to his family before his execution on Jan. 21st, 1793 or Marie-Antoinette’s perhaps apocryphal last words to her executioner after stepping on his foot just before her head was cut off: “Pardon me sir. I did not mean to do it.”...




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