Apple Disapproves Sweatshop Game That, Perhaps, Hits A Little Too Close To Home
from the lame dept
Apple considering its iOS app store a way to nanny their customers is nothing new. We've already seen examples such as when they took down a dictionary that included profanity, a scan of the Kama Sutra, and an educational game revolving around the war in Syria. That last example is particularly relevant, as Apple has once again chosen to take down a game that sought to educate the public on how pressure-filled and awful work conditions are in sweatshops abroad.
Anyone with any level of understanding that's had the opportunity to play Sweatshop HD knows the defense-style game isn't about glorifying the practice of hiring underage workers to toil away in unsafe conditions to create designer clothes for wealthy foreigners. Instead it's an exploration of the pressure put on people in all aspects of the sweatshop business model. It's about raising awareness, and communicating the sick feeling one gets when seemingly the only way to win is to subject workers to dangerous conditions.And now that educational avenue has been blocked. According to the report, Apple finds something about a game based on sweatshops to be unfit for their customers' iDevices, which is an interesting stance for a company that has been accused of making those same devices in sweatshops themselves. Sweatshops: good enough to build your electronics, but not a fit subject for a game to play on them? Developer Littleloud even attempted to add a disclaimer to the game to clarify that you weren't supposed to think running a sweatshop was fun, but that didn't satisfy Apple.
As a result, people are beginning to see Apple devices as attractive only for a pigeon-holed selection of potential customers.
Given the size of its market, it's quite unfortunate that Apple has decided to take this sort of hardline stance on game approvals. The platform's reach could prove invaluable in advancing awareness and understanding of serious topics, but with each banned game, Apple's position becomes clearer — iOS is not a place for serious games, and other developers are beginning to get the message.Serving as an example of these other developers is Introversion Software, who released their game, Prison Architect, on Steam, but has since said they won't release an iPad version. Cutting off both potential customers and developers in favor of some obtuse nanny principal may end up coming back and biting Apple in the backside.