The Flipside: Embracing Closed Gardens Like The Apple App Store Shows Just How Un-Free You Want To Be
from the open-and-free dept
Take one recent example: Apple's rejection of an gaming app based on the war in Syria, created to help educate others about exactly what is occurring there. The game was rejected based on Apple's not allowing apps that "solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation or any other real entity".
"This decision is a shame really as it makes it hard to talk about the real world," said designer Tomas Rawlings.
"We had hoped that Apple would be more nuanced in how they applied this rule but we got a bit worried when it had been in submission for around two weeks without a decision - we then figured that because of the controversy of using the gaming medium to cover an ongoing war meant passing the game had become an issue for them."Rawlings insists there is nothing actually offensive in the game and notes that the response from those that got their hands on it has been generally positive. From what I can tell, the game is essentially a quick scenario decision making game told from the Syrian rebels point of view. It incorporates real world news items and events and allows the player to decide how to handle them. There's no deragatory name-calling. No over the top violence. But because they mention a "real government", it's out.
And that's exactly the problem with a less permissible garden like Apple's app store. Sure, in Google's garden (or the wider open internet, for that matter) you will occasionally have to ignore a few weeds, but you get the full spectrum of flowers to enjoy. Apple's garden may have less weeds, but they have less flowers, and the choice over which flowers you see isn't up to you. That's not the system I want to embrace.