Google Rejects Postal For Google Play Store Due To Violence; GTA Games Still Available For Purchase

from the bang-bang dept

We all know that in the land of mobile applications, Apple has long seen itself as the keeper of the moral compass, gently navigating humanity towards the City upon a Hill one rejected phone-game at a time. The reasons for refusal have varied, from the inclusion of fictional narcotics, to the slight chance somebody somewhere might see a breast or a penis, all the way up to a moral stance against comic books, because this is apparently the nineteen-twenties. And through it all, those of us that use Android devices have held up Google's Play store as a nanny-free alternative, free of censorship and hypocrisy.

Well, no more. Google, it appears, has rejected a mobile version of the infamous game Postal over the violent content within the game.

Postal won't be making it to Android devices. Why? Because apparently it has been rejected from the Google Play Store because it contains "GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE."
Oh, dear. It appears a second nanny has entered the game, as though we poor gamers were somehow caught in between a vice constructed of Mrs. Doubtfire and Mr. Belvedere, each pressing in on us for the high crime of simply wanting to play a damned game. We're adults, after all, or at least many of us gamers are these days. Thirty-five or so, that's the average age of a gamer today. We don't need to be coddled and protected from gaming violence, it's what we want. Or, again, some of us do, but that's a choice for the consumer, not the platform.

And specifically not for a platform whose decision plunges it into the depths of hypocrisy. As the original forum post over at Running With Scissors notes, it's not as though keeping Postal out of Google Play preserves some violence-free app-Utopia.
"We know many of you have been excited that POSTAL is going to be made available on Android devices, but it seems we have hit a bit of a snag. Unfortunately it appears POSTAL has been rejected from Google Play due to it containing "GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE". Sadly this means it won't be welcomed alongside the Grand Theft Auto series, Carmageddon and horde of Zombie games on Google Play."
It's a point well-made and a point not designed to take aim at GTA or zombie games. The sights are set on Google's hypocrisy instead. I imagine the looks of surprise on the faces of the game designers were severe when the rejection notice came. The Play store was our alternative to this kind of nonsense. Perhaps we'll have to go elsewhere in the future.

Filed Under: google play store, postal, prudes, video games, violence
Companies: google


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:15pm

    "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically.

    If you wish to imagine yourself doing gratuitous violence at 35, then it's clearly arrested development.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 2:51pm

      Re: "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically.

      Are you sure about that, mate? Because I really enjoy playing Doom to this day — makes me calm after bad days at work (which unfortunately happen quite often).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 8:29pm

      Re: "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically.

      So, you're either too old for it, or too young. One of the other. Yeah, I see how that works.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 12:38am

      Re: "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically.

      So, do you reserve the same scorn for fans of sports like boxing and MMA, people who like violent movies & TV shows, graphically violent books or many other similar activities? Which specific form of adult entertainment do you consider acceptable before you stop thinking less of someone because of their private entertainment choices?

      My definition of someone with arrested development - the kind of person who tries controlling the kinds of entertainment other adults can enjoy simply because they themselves don't like it. Censors are the real children.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    dfed (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:16pm

    Let's be honest here: It's not a violent game like Postal that's going to incite violence in kids. It would be playing a game they can never win like Flappy Birds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Machin Shin (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      If games you can never win are what drive people to violence then violence should have been tailoring off in recent years compared to the days of the NES.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      A Dan (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      There was a study I read about a while (a few years?) ago about violence and video games. What they discovered was that it wasn't violent games that caused people to respond aggressively/violently, it was frustrating games. I wish I could find the link, but some simple Googling isn't turning it up.

      Basically, I think the experimental evidence has shown that your comment is correct.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:50pm

        Re: Re:

        "What they discovered was that it wasn't violent games that caused people to respond aggressively/violently, it was frustrating games"

        Next up on the ban list: The "Dark Souls" series.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:34pm

      Re:

      Next up: the FBI starts targeted surveillance program to follow the USGA and PGA. After all, golf is a game you can never win, only play therefore it must be a hot bed for violent offenders just waiting to be unleashed on society.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:16pm

    One good thing

    At least you don't have to jail-break your Android phone/tablet to install software NOT available at the Store. Postal will simply have to be purchased and installed straight from their webpage instead of the store. That will mean fewer sales, but it's a far cry better than Apple folks deal with in a similar situation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:16pm

    We all know the real reason

    Google is just a pawn of their USPS overlords. Think about it. Who knows more about you than anyone? You think it's Google? No! It's the post office. They are everywhere. They see every letter you get. Google only knows about your porn preferences. What good is that? Google has been trying to make a deal with the Post Office for years to get that info so they can start serving up ads based on your junk mail and the occasional card from your Grandmother.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Torvalds, 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:17pm

    "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically

    If you wish to imagine yourself doing gratuitous violence at 35, then it's clearly arrested development.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 12:55am

      Re: "We're adults, after all" -- maybe physically

      It doesn't matter how many random login names you try to choose to post this inanity, it won't make it more true. Who's worse - the kind of person who enjoys a form of entertainment that others don't like, or the kind of person who whines repeatedly about other peoples' pastimes?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:25pm

    > Perhaps we'll have to go elsewhere in the future.

    Go where, exactly?

    Nobody 'sells' smart phones, everybody 'licenses' them with heavy restrictions applied and enforced by code signing... Welcome to the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bureau13 (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 12:33pm

    Put it on Amazon. Maybe it'll even be the Free App of the Day!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bap, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:03pm

    Any contact email where we can complain to Google?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:04pm

    Google as usual, shoots holes in logic...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:08pm

    Double standard

    Not violent *cough*:
    Predator Drone Missile Strike - Missile Cam (last second of the missle cam you see a guy entering the door right next to the explotion
    https://youtu.be/KcEoRae6Yog

    Apaches Wipe Out Taliban Platoon (bombing, shooting people, not sure if the white spots flying around are parts of the bomb or people my guess is the 2nd)
    https://youtu.be/KaufhZv84Gk

    Googles view of the world:
    Game violence = BAD!!!
    Real violence = Good!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Aquifel, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:10pm

    I'm usually anti-censorship but, this seems fair to me. Postal and GTA may both be on about the same level of 'moral depravity' but, the postal series glorifies it to a level that GTA and the like can't even compare too.

    I own Postal 1 and 2, they're alright games, do not regret the time i spent playing them, i'll probably buy this one too. However, as far as im aware, the play store doesn't have any kind of an age gate system in place and, postal is one of those games i would say is definitely in need of one. If there is an age gate system that i haven't noticed in the play store, then, i'm right there with yall in being pissed though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:14pm

      Re:

      I fail to see the line you've drawn between Postal and GTA. If the problem is that the platform implements no age gate, then GTA should also be banned.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:15pm

      Re:

      wtf is an age gate system?

      is that like a parent or guardian?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 11 Apr 2015 @ 11:43am

      Re:

      Postal isn't (or wasn't) going to be a free game, so a password would have to inputted by responsible parents, who naturally won't when they see what their kid wants.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 1:02am

      Re:

      "I'm usually anti-censorship but, this seems fair to me"

      "I own Postal 1 and 2"

      So, you'd have been fine with people stopping you from buying both games and playing them? Or, does this only apply to people who are being blocked from doing so after you've done so yourself? What would your reaction have been if the retailer you used back then did the same thing?

      "However, as far as im aware, the play store doesn't have any kind of an age gate system in place and, postal is one of those games i would say is definitely in need of one."

      As is the GTA series. To use a film analogy, The Human Centipede and John Wick might be rated R for completely different reasons, but arbitrarily banning one of them because nobody bothers to enforce the age restriction is not the answer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:12pm

    Windows and Mac users can get Postal and it's sequel (both DRM-free) here:
    http://www.gog.com/game/postal_classic_and_uncut
    http://www.gog.com/game/postal_2_complete

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 10 Apr 2015 @ 1:55pm

    Missing the point...

    For these folks it seems that they do have a certain point of view which doesn't quite match the rest of the world.

    "violence", in and of itself, real or imaginary is acceptable. They seem fine with it. However, "gratuitous" violence will not be tolerated in their world.

    That's a mighty strange fine line they are walking there.

    I say we get rid of all the gratuitous violence and go back to good old fashioned gratuitous sex.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kronomex, 10 Apr 2015 @ 3:29pm

    The difference is that one game loaded with "GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE" makes millions of dollars while the other loaded with "GRATUITOUS VIOLENCE" is a tiddler compared to the former. Money speaks louder than words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 Apr 2015 @ 4:23pm

    Oh, dear. It appears a second nanny has entered the game, as though we poor gamers were somehow caught in between a vice constructed of Mrs. Doubtfire and Mr. Belvedere, each pressing in on us for the high crime of simply wanting to play a damned game.

    What kind of a vice? Drugs? Gambling? :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    unplonked, 10 Apr 2015 @ 8:40pm

    nanny

    Its because google use java now and not lisp. lisp is their history and now they are affected by government regulations because they cant escape using lisp. use lisp or be subject to government regulations. I would rather use lisp and tail call recursion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 9:28am

    I'm sure RWS appreciates all the free advertising. Thanks Google!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2015 @ 10:27am

    RMS was right

    It keeps happening...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2015 @ 7:32pm

    just host the .apk somewhere and let those of us that want to play it download and side-load it. Who gives a crap if its not "sanctioned" by Google Play? That's the one advantage us Android users/buyers/owners have over iOS and Apple's nanny state.

    I agree with the article. I don't understand why people still trust Google yet vent against Apple. Like there is much of a difference? Still, not a big deal. Just stick the .apk file up on the vendor's web site.

    For those that cry "I'm don't have root access on my phone so I can't side-load": Whoops. That's a mistake you can fix. Buy a different device.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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