Using video-game environments to salute real war heroes can be tricky. In attempting to emphasize that war isn't a game, you run the risk of suggesting just the opposite.
Still, the Royal Canadian Legion has embraced the idea this Remembrance Day (the British Commonwealth's version of Veterans Day). The veteran support and community service organization has launched two separate video-game campaigns this month. In addition to the #PauseToRemember campaign, which we wrote about earlier, the Legion has created Remembrance Island—a custom island in Fortnite that honors Canada's war dead across the last century.
The island features recreations of World War I trenches, D-Day beaches, a Canadian military cemetery, the well-known Vimy Ridge memorial cenotaph and more. The island, created by Wunderman Thompson and a Fortnite Creative Builder named JXDVN, can be accessed in the game's Creative Mode using the island code 5053-3302-4847.
There is no fighting, damage or weaponry on Remembrance Island. Rather, gamers are encouraged to discover 30 museum-like information plaques and follow a trailer poppies until they reach a memorial cenotaph at the center of the island.
See some images of the island here:
A moment of silence is traditionally observed at 11 a.m. on Remembrance Day. Gamers are encouraged to visit the Remembrance Island cenotaph at 11 p.m. tonight, to observe their own moment of silence and salute.
"It's our hope that young Canadians will take a few moments to visit this unique environment and learn about the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom," says Freeman D. Chute, senior program officer at the Royal Canadian Legion. "As time goes on, we have to find new ways to reach young people and tell the story of Canadian veterans. This is a fantastic example of how to do just that."
"It's such a great cause. Every Canadian gamer should visit Remembrance Island and take a few minutes to pay their respects," says Ari Elkouby, executive creative director of Wunderman Thompson. "It's been our absolute honor to work with the Legion to create something so new and unique. It's rewarding on so many levels."