An interactive game, published by the BBC showing the choices Syrians face if they choose to flee their country’s conflict, has attracted criticism despite its popularity.
‘Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route,’ has received over one million hits, according to the BBC. But the UK’s Daily Mail says the BBC is turning the suffering of millions into a “children’s game”.
Players of the game, which was developed in-house by BBC experts, are tasked with escaping Syria and reaching Europe.
Exactly how many Syrians have succeeded in escaping to Europe is difficult to say, but an estimated 700,000 Christians have left the country, about 40 per cent of Syria’s pre-war Christian population.
“Raising the awareness of the personal suffering of Syrians caught up in the conflict is a good thing,” says Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK, “but doing so by inviting people to play a game presents a real danger of trivialising the desperate choices that real people are being forced to make every day.”