South Carolina Massacre Results In Apple Going Flag-Stupid In The App Store
from the sigh dept
It’s been mere days since Dylann Roof forced his name into our lives by walking into an historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, praying with several black members of the church, and then brutally shooting most of them to death. As you can imagine, whenever a tragedy such as this occurs, the country enters into a rare moment of somber seriousness, finally choosing to discuss difficult topics that we’ve been otherwise avoiding and coming together united to build a better life for our collective futures.
Just kidding, we’re talking about flags, y’all! With only the briefest respite provided by some in the media choosing to inject video games into this tragedy for no reason at all, most of our time has been spent discussing the Confederate battle flag. In case you’re not sure, yes, this is indeed crazy. Not that the idea that a treasonous symbol of failure like the Confederate Navy Jack flying over the capital of a state in Lincoln’s union isn’t absolutely asinine. It most certainly is. But for our attention to be diverted from the deaths of living people to a stupid symbol from a war won long ago while the bloodstains have barely dried in that church makes absolutely no sense at all.
And just when you think this couldn’t get any more stupid, Apple gallops to the rescue by losing its mind in its own App Store.
Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events. Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store. As of the writing of this story, games like Ultimate General: Gettysburg and all the Hunted Cow Civil War games are nowhere to be found. Apple is famous for reaching for the axe rather than the scalpel when it comes to political issues (like rejecting Hunted Cow’s Tank Battle 1942 for depicting Germans and Russians as enemies), so this move doesn’t come as a great surprise.
Just so I have this straight, because a racist killer murdered nine people in South Carolina, I, here in Chicago, can’t play a Civil War simluation and kill Confederate soldiers? How does that make any sense? Well, it’s likely that Apple didn’t bother to think any steps beyond noticing that the Confederate battle flag was included in the game, therefore the ban-hammer was brought down. In fact, Apple has told game developers as much when communicating with them about the ban.
It’s looking like Apple has pulled everything from the App Store that features a Confederate flag, regardless of context. The reasoning Apple is sending developers is “…because it includes images of the confederate flag used in offensive and mean-spirited ways.”
No, it didn’t, you dolts. It’s history. That flag actually did exist in the context of the time period of the game. And the result is predictable: everyone is mocking the hell out of Apple as we speak. Popehat was helpful, as always:
Apple announces that all banned Civil War wargames will be restored, with this redesigned Confederate flag: pic.twitter.com/IkDtHunpLZ
— Popehat (@Popehat) June 25, 2015
While others tried to helpfully show Apple how this has been handled by others far, far better:
Hey Apple, let me show you a thing: pic.twitter.com/paSgpNLw01
— Stephanie G. (@SigmaRue) June 25, 2015
In other words, we’re all adults here, or close enough, so let’s not simply try to pretend the bad thing from history never happened. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t do nuance, so instead we end up with two banned historical games that were simply too accurate for the iOS platform.
Bet you they’re still available for Android, though.