Teaching the Holocaust on Fortnite and Through Gaming Platforms
Wednesday at 12:00pm PT
Despite spending many millions of dollars on Holocaust museums and education, statistics paint a dismal picture of what young people understand about the Nazis attempt to exterminate the Jews. Luc Bernard, a noted game designer, has taken a different approach. He created a video game aimed at portraying the Holocaust accurately, titled "The Light in the Darkness," and on the Fortnite gaming platform, he developed a virtual museum called Voices of the Forgotten that allows young people to learn about the Holocaust in a familiar virtual environment. Bernard will be in conversation with AJU President Jeffrey Herbst about the opportunities the virtual world has to offer for Holocaust education, how people across the world have responded to his digital creations, and the opportunities and perils of “gamifying” the mass killing of Jews.
Luc Bernard is a French Jewish video game creator and director. Known for his game "A Light in the Darkness," which is changing the way people view video games and Jewish history. Luc was born in France and raised in poverty between France and the UK by his grandmother, Luc knew there was more for himself and his Jewish culture. Luc believed he had a duty to share the stories of the 6 million Jews and who they were as people, not just what their death was. Luc released the game for free — and the game has seen massive success. The Economist said, “It makes for sobering gameplay, though that’s the point. Bernard wanted to show that for Jews survival was just a matter of luck. He hopes that his creation will be used as a teaching resource for young people for years to come.” Luc is represented by UTA and lives in Los Angeles.
Dr. Jeffrey Herbst, the fourth president of American Jewish University (AJU), is an advocate for academic innovation. His leadership at AJU includes fostering growth in the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys, expanding the Maven digital platform, and improving the Brandeis-Bardin Campus. Formerly, he served as president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. Notable achievements include successfully overseeing a half billion-dollar fundraising campaign, implementing a university-wide strategic plan, and enhancing educational programming at Colgate University, where he was president from 2010 to 2015. Dr. Herbst holds a summa cum laude bachelor's degree from Princeton University, as well as a master's and doctorate in political science from Yale University. He is the author of the award-winning “States and Power in Africa” and, with several co-authors, the just-published “Making Africa Work.” In addition to many books and articles, he has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other digital and print publications around the world.