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23 Oct 2006

Essen toy fair protest

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We'd become accustomed to not being very popular and being banned from every major toy fair in the world. It's become a sad fact of our strange, new existence in the world of games and toys. We shrugged and moved on.

But one guy refused to take it lying down. He was angry at the whiff of censorship surrounding Essen's decision to ban the game and he wanted to make his voice heard. That man was Sjap Horwitz from the Netherlands.

War on Terror is sick and ridiculous, but a game about Europe's first urban guerrilla terrorists is fine and dandy What he and four other friends did was make 5 t-shirts to wear at Essen, all with various messages of protest. It's just a shame we weren't allowed there to see it, but if you can just picture 5 fully grown men walking around a toy and games fair with "I want my War on Terror" and "Stop censorship: give me War on Terror" scrawled across their chests and backs... Genius. Here's Sjap's own account of the fair:

"We started looking at games, and to people who tried to read our shirts, we explained what it was all about."

"We talked to quite a few people, and everybody had basically the same reaction: it's a stupid ban!"

"I bought an expansion for an existing satirical game with a suicide terrorist card in it... I Also talked to a Swedish guy who had made a satirical card game about the RAF (not the Royal Air Force, but the Rote Armee Fraktion) - talk about a dodgy subject in Germany, but no, no problem at all."

Quite amazing. War on Terror is sick and ridiculous, but a game about Europe's first urban guerilla terrorists is fine and dandy. As we've said all along, we're not so bothered by the decision of being banned alone, it's the double standards applied that leaves us scratching our heads.

Sjap went on to say how he confronted Dominique Metzler, the Essen Spiel organiser and author of the 'sick and ridiculous' quote:

"She completely refused to discuss anything with me, she kept saying check the website (I guess she meant the discussion on the Spielbox.de forum. I just checked it out and the vast majority of posts support WOT, so I don't really understand.)."

"She walked away from the counter, so I had to shout, "you have absolutely no sense of humour"."

"It's kind of weird that the person responsible, the person in charge, refuses to clarify/justify her opinion on the matter. Pretty weak, I'd say."

Cheers, Sjap. Sounds like we missed out on some fun. Oh well, maybe next year ...

Sjap also snapped some pictures of the convention being held in the hall nextdoor. It's a seemingly harmless Teddy Bear convention, but if you check out the gallery you'll see a sinister overtone to those furry fellas.

All we can wonder is, why wasn't this banned too?

Posted by TerrorBull Games on 23 October 2006 - 0 comments

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