“POV: You are Hitler’s psychologist in 1925. Diagnose his complexes by using both Jungian and Freudian psychotherapy and attempt to heal him.”
A new video game called “Heal Hitler” is unfortunately what it sounds like: A pun (in poor taste) on “Heil Hitler,” the game allows users to play Adolf Hitler’s therapist. The end-goal is to treat Hitler’s psychological issues, thus preventing the Holocaust via Freudian psychotherapy.
The controversial game’s description is as follows: “[Point of view]: 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.”
“Hitler was human too, just like you,” an extended description reads. “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 Aegeis, who identifies as a “centrist and capitalist,” asserts that “the facts in the game are historically accurate”. He also insists he is not “nazi apologist,” as “he is Czech, and Hitler murdered tens of thousands of his ancestors.”
Screenshots from the game are displayed on its Steam page. In one scene, a black and white therapist’s office, Hitler lies on the couch as the therapist says, “You’ve mentioned Jews as the cause of your problems multiple times. First you mentioned they stabbed Germany in the back in the war, and now they’ve betrayed you again. Do you see any connection between these events?”
Other screenshots show the fictionalized dictator blaming a Jewish Czech doctor for his mother’s death.
Aegis promoted the game via Reddit, sharing links in multiple groups on the site leading up to its release. “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,” he wrote, sharing links to the game in right-wing subreddits. One of the groups he targeted was r/JordanPeterson, which consists of content about the right-leaning psychotherapist.
Some Redditors were intrigued by the premise, though most were understandably outraged.
“This is offensive and weird. And speaks to a complete lack of personal experience with the holocaust,” one said in reply. “I said it last time you posted, but this game is in super poor taste and is a bad idea,” another concurred. “I don’t give a s*** about Hitler’s childhood traumas, you should be more interested in his victims,” a third reiterated.
Still, Aegis was quick to defend himself. “I wanted to make a ‘psychologist simulator’ and I picked the most controversial person I could,” he wrote. “I was bored of games where you kill Hitler. How about we try to prevent the war in a different way?”
Reddit hasn’t been deterred from its initial thoughts on the game, however.
“You spam your s*** edgy game, everyone tells you it’s s***, then you claim you’re being censored or canceled or whatever to launch your next product,” a Redditor replied. “It’s an old grift.”