'Heal Hitler' Video Game Where Players Try to Help Nazi Leader Sparks Outrage

A video game in which players can stop the Holocaust from taking place by using psychology to "heal Hitler" has sparked outrage online.

The controversial indie game "Heal Hitler" hit popular video game digital store Steam last week and puts the player in the shoes of Hitler's psychologist in 1925.

A description for the game reads: "POV: You are Hitler's psychologist in 1925. Diagnose his complexes by using both Jungian and Freudian psychotherapy and attempt to heal him.

"Resolve Hitler's trauma and prevent catastrophe via therapy and psychology. Succeed and avoid the war and holocaust."

A further description reads: "Hitler was human too, just like you. If you distance yourself from him by dehumanizing him and calling him a monster, you are doing psychological damage to your self (sic).

"In order to develop your shadow, you need to realize and admit that given the right circumstances, you could become someone like Hitler too. You are both good and evil. And if we don't admit that someone like Hitler could come again, we are doomed to repeat history."

Developer Jon Aegis, who claims to be Czech, has strongly denied being a Nazi apologist and said he had researched psychological reports as well as accounts by people who met the evil dictator before creating the game.

It has been available to purchase on Steam since July 22. Steam is a massive online video game store, where developers have the potential to reach 120 million monthly active users, based on its own statistics from last year.

Links Shared on Reddit

The indie developer promoted the game and attempted to drive people to the game's page when he shared links in multiple groups on the discussion website Reddit in the days leading up to its release.

In a statement, which also included the links to the store page, Aegis said: "After three months of work I've finally released my psychological PC game, Heal Hitler, where you attempt to resolve Hitler's trauma to prevent catastrophe via therapy and Jungian and Freudian psychology. Succeed and avoid the war and holocaust."

Among the groups where the post was shared include r/JordanPeterson, r/IntellectualDarkWeb, r/psychologystudents and r/Nietzsche.

While some users were interested in the premise of the game, others were outraged by it.

One Reddit user said: "This is offensive and weird. And speaks to a complete lack of personal experience with the holocaust."

Another added: "I said it last time you posted, but this game is in super poor taste and is a bad idea."

A third commented: "I don't give a s*** about Hitler's childhood traumas, you should be more interested in his victims."

In response to claims being made about him, Aegis told Newsweek: "I've received hundreds of personal attacks in the past two weeks, most of them accusing me of being a Nazi. I tried to explain the situation in the preface of the game and on the Steam store, but to no avail.

"The people who attacked me on Reddit don't seem to be listening to reason. They assumed everything without checking facts and all of my comments were taken out of context."

Aegis later added: "I am an artist, my ideas come randomly. Inspiration too. I solve it by writing my ideas down and then eventually, some combination of the ideas flows up from my Unconscious and I manifest the idea. So, I've been writing various ideas down, including one about a psychologist simulator."

Newsweek has contacted Valve (which owns Steam), the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of North America for comment.

Update 3:37 p.m. at 7/28/2021: This story has been updated to include comments form Aegis.

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German Dictator Adolf Hitler addressing a rally in Nazi Germany. The new video game asks players to "heal Hitler." Hulton Archive/Getty Images