Where's the guy that nearly killed Churchill?
Friday 8th February/... Codemasters, the UK’s leading independent videogame publisher, is turning detective in order to recognise a descendent of the man who inspired the events depicted in alternate World War II action game Turning Point: Fall of Liberty.
The game supposes that the incident in which a car struck Winston Churchill in New York on December 13th 1931 actually proved fatal – and that without his inspirational speeches to galvanise the Allies, the course of the Second World War took a very different route, with the Axis Powers even invading America.
Unemployed mechanic Mario Contasino was driving the car which struck then-statesman Churchill. Despite the accident being no fault of his own, Mr. Contasino contacted Winston Churchill daily during his two-week convalescence, and the pair became good friends after the event.
Some 75 years later, Codemasters wants to honour Mario Contasino’s descendents, for providing the inspirational “Turning Point” for the forthcoming videogame.
The firm has enlisted the services of Oxford historian David McCarthy, who will set out to track down descendents of Mario Contasino. His investigation can be viewed online at www.codemasters.co.uk/quest. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Mario Contasino’s descendents can contact David through the site.
“You try Googling it – there’s really very little to go on,” says Richard Eddy, Director, Communication, Codemasters. “It clearly wasn’t that big a deal at the time, but that one moment could have changed everything. The game imagines a world without Churchill – a chilling vision of what might have been. We want to officially recognise the Contasino family for providing us with the inspiration for Turning Point: The Fall of Liberty. The game will hopefully remind those why Winston Churchill is rightly regarded as one of the most important people of the 20th Century.”
“It’s a modern-day treasure hunt, and one I’m relishing,” says David McCarthy, who has taken up the challenge of finding the Contasinos. “Mario’s descendents may be unaware of his historical significance, but we want to officially recognise his contribution to the forthcoming videogame. Without Mario Contasino, there’d be no Turning Point.”
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty will be available the end of February for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Games for Windows.