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Censorship The Media Apple Games Politics Your Rights Online

Rejection of Reality: Apple Denies Endgame:Syria 172

Posted by timothy
from the sometimes-reality-is-harsh dept.
arclightfire writes "Endgame:Syria billed itself as the first game to cover on ongoing war in a mashup of interactivity and journalism. However it seems like Apple is not happy with this idea, as PocketTactics reports; 'Apple's app guidelines have once again tripped up the release of a strategy game rooted in a real-world conflict. Auroch Digital's Endgame Syria has been rejected by Apple's approvals team for violating guidelines section 15.3, "solely target[ing] a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity." If section 15.3 sounds familiar, it's because it was the clause invoked when Cupertino said no to Pacific Fleet back in September – the game ran afoul of the guidelines for including Japanese flags in a WWII naval sim.'"
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Rejection of Reality: Apple Denies Endgame:Syria

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  • Politcal Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jiro (131519) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:11AM (#42518591)

    Something I pointed out the last time this game was covered:

    The problem with political games is that... they're still political.

    Imagine that instead of making a game about the conflict, the same group had simply put out an editorial saying "Here is what we think about the war in Syria, and exactly what is happening there."

    If they did that, and it was promoted as much as a game was, and it was typical media quality, everyone here would jump on it in a minute, pointing out that the editorial oversimplifies the war, and that most editorials are made by people with strong opinions on the subject who may be biased. Or the writer of the editorial may have based it on news reports but been a bit too trusting of them. Perhaps the editorial, while supposedly summarizing the war, leaves out important events. (And that's assuming all the facts in it are literally true.)

    But package your editorial as a game, and everyone eats it up, as a "unique gamification approach" which "reports the news in the most entertaining fashion possible". As if a contentious subject suddenly turns into a completely objective analysis just because it was put in something that has cards and a score. Please.

  • Why? Why why why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:12AM (#42518601) Homepage Journal

    Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

    Yeah! You COULD sell a bajillion copies! If they don't hamstring you and waste all your time and money.

    You can imagine that you're Elon Musk and that you're revolutionizing private space travel.

    The reality is, on Apple's platform, you're really Robert Stroud [wikipedia.org].

  • by Dupple (1016592) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:21AM (#42518711)

    Why are people still stupid enough to trust Apple enough to sink money and development time into their silly, arbitrary little prison-platform?

    Why are people still stupid enough not to read the terms of the market their trying to enter? Beats me.

  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:22AM (#42518727) Homepage

    Would Apple have blocked all access to such an editorial?
    The sad truth is that games are still treated as pure entertainment, devoid of any artistic or political statements.
    The problem with political games is that... they're still games.

  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Onymous Coward (97719) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:40AM (#42518955) Homepage

    You reject the quality and/or political message of the app, but miss the issue that Apple alone gets to say what's appropriate. Apple's authoritarian censorship is a "political game".

  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @10:56AM (#42519209) Homepage Journal
    This is really a problem in the walled garden model of iOS. Providing access to the web is a 'safe harbour' sort of endeavour (in the DMCA sense)—it's not Apple's fault if there's something bad on it. The App Store, however, is curated in a number of regards, and hence isn't neutral ground. This is the case both legally and in popular opinion. As a result, permitting an unpopular or extreme political view into their little garden could generate a boycott, a swath of ugly PR, or even a lawsuit. The company would rather not take those risks with this particular piece of content, and has probably decided that political stuff in general is too risky to pick through.
  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:03AM (#42519307) Journal

    I think the broader question is why does the fact that its a game warrant some higher editorial standard. Apple would not block the NYT app if they used it to publish an editorial titled "Assad is a Jerk".

    I don't see why a game that happens to portray the same opinion should be looked as different. Also the sort of people who we typically have editorializing about editorials do so because they happen to also be the types that read editorials; if they had any exposure to these games they'd complain about them too. I thought we for the mast part had societal value that considered freedom to express our opinions a virtue? Yes some of them are simplistic, and uniformed. I come back to so what?

    I don't think it laudable of Apple to run a market place that actively bars goods and services that happen to express opinions, about real things. Doubly so when its terribly inconsistent about when and on what those rules are actually enforced. Yes they have right to do it; just I chose not to participate.

  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:36AM (#42519859) Homepage Journal

    I don't do IE. Don't do Office. I look at Facebook about once a week. No LinkedIn. No smartphone. So - where does that leave me? Have I faded away, and become a ghost or something?

    Oh, social pressure. Maybe I am a ghost, 'cause that social pressure doesn't affect me very much.

    And, you're a vegetarian? What's that got to do with anything? Oh - that social pressure thing. But, wait. Doesn't society pressure you to eat meat? We're all omnivores, and you choose to be different. Maybe that "social pressure" thing is just so much bullshit? You don't really care what people think, any more than I do. You're just flapping your gums in an attempt to feel morally superior or something. Phhhttttt!

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @11:39AM (#42519911)

    From the blurb it doesn't seem to target anyone. You can pick to play either side.

  • Re:Politcal Games (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:18PM (#42522469) Journal
    It's important to note that this isn't a problem with the App store. Every single publishing house in the world has some kind of standards. The problem is there's no other way to get an app on your iPhone. The problem is the locked down device.

    And that is why I will not buy an iPhone.

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