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Censorship United Kingdom Apple Games

Apple Yanks "Sweatshop Themed" Game From App Store 184

Posted by timothy
from the games-should-be-cute dept.
First time accepted submitter danhuby writes "Apple have removed sweatshop-themed game Sweatshop HD by UK developers LittleLoud from their app store citing clause 16.1 — 'Apps that present excessively objectionable or crude content will be rejected.' According to the PocketGamer article, Littleloud's head of games, Simon Parkin, told Pocket Gamer that 'Apple removed Sweatshop from the App Store last month stating that it was uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop.'"
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Apple Yanks "Sweatshop Themed" Game From App Store

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  • Game Dev Story (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:18AM (#43234947)
    Then how did Game Dev Story get approved??
  • Re:Game Dev Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:21AM (#43234989)

    It was probably fine until someone noticed that it was very much like a Foxconn facility. The "objectionable" in their approval terms is pretty loose and doesn't mention who the app has to be "objectionable" to.

  • by LordKaT (619540) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:22AM (#43234995) Homepage Journal

    If it makes you feel uncomfortable, force people to stop talking about it. The definition of political correctness!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:27AM (#43235061)

    I should think the objectionable thing would be the existence of those sweatshops. It's apparently just talking about them that is offensive? If we just look the other way and pretend they don't exist, then everything is peachy?

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:31AM (#43235115)

    Yeah, requirements of FoxConn. Not FoxConn's subcontractors.

    Inspectors go in, FoxConn guy says "Oh no, these are workers of PhantomCorp, not our employees" and the Inspector goes the other way.

    PS, Angry Birds smashing pigs? That makes me uncomfortable! Very uncomfortable!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:33AM (#43235151)

    "Increasingly, Apple is not for doâ(TM)ers. It is not for power users. It is not for creators. It is not for people who think different. It is for posers. It is for hipsters. It is for metrosexuals. It is for wannabes and pretenders."

  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:39AM (#43235211) Homepage Journal

    What, so only APPLE is allowed to run a sweatshop?

    No, no, no. Apple doesn't run any sweatshops.

    They contract that out. That way, they can be shocked - shocked! - to learn that their third party contractors are running sweatshops and hiring children. Plus they can "drop" the manufacturers who hire children, just to rehire them under a different name when people stop paying attention.

    Plus, Apple's contractors have the best suicide-prevention nets in the industry! Who needs "livable working conditions" when you have suicide prevention nets?

  • Typical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:41AM (#43235239)

    Kill hundreds of thousands of virtual people in videogames? No prob! Force them to work in a sweatshop? That makes me a little uncomfortable.

  • Walled Garden (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stevegee58 (1179505) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:42AM (#43235253) Journal
    Welcome to the walled garden where everything is beautiful inside and you're protected from the ugly outside world (by the gardener's definition).
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:45AM (#43235299) Homepage Journal

    It's not really though. The original intent of political correctness was to provide a way for people to be self-critical about the subtle biases that they engage in when they speak.

    When you say "black" as a description of someone, for example, your description carries with it connotations that aren't necessarily true, especially since in western culture the word black is historically associated with evil(i.e. black magic, black death, black mark, blacklist, etc.). Political correctness has never been legally forced on anyone, and it's a straw-man to call it "forcing" people to do things. The social judgement people get for failing to be politically correct is no different than the judgement that people get for being rude.

    I won't say political correctness has never been about people being offended, because many people invoking the concept have as poor an understanding of it as you do, but that's not the point.

  • Too close to home. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @11:49AM (#43235375)
    Seriously, a game called "5 minutes to kill yourself" (and the wedding day edition) is okay, but a game where you run a sweatshop isn't? I'm guessing the top tier goal of the sweatshop game had the workers building iGlasses for an unnamed American corporation.
  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:00PM (#43235501) Homepage Journal

    A leaked version of the App Store Review Guidelines already contains a ban on realistic violence.

    But the real problem with the App Store Review Guidelines is that they're confidential, intended only for current developers, not for prospective developers. Say someone has been developing applications for PCs and Android devices as a hobby, and he wants to try developing a few applications for the iPhone or iPad. Before he spends over $1,000 on a Mac, an iPad, and a developer license, how can he be sure that Apple won't reject his applications' concepts?

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:08PM (#43235611)
    It's strange how so many liberal movements get marginalized by such straw-man tactics, but conservative movements don't. Feminism, global warming, PC speech, socialism, environmentalism, the occupy movement. All become dirty words to what seems like most of the country. Yet the tea-party movement being labeled as racist is about the only similar effect I can think of going the other way, and that had limited traction.

    I wonder why that is. I'm tempted to chalk it up to a Bertrand Russel quote: "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." But that would probably be hypocritical.
  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:14PM (#43235687) Homepage

    There is a perfectly workable system already in place that relies on, rather than centralised censorship, crowd-sourced moderation. Unfortunately, it's ruined by chumps who reply to to the trolls, thus bringing otherwise rapidly hidden posts to the attention of all and sundry.

  • Streisand Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:31PM (#43235897) Homepage Journal

    Never heard of Sweatshop HD before this...

    Now I MUST PLAY IT!!!!

    Good work, Apple, the dev couldn't pay for this kind of publicity.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:34PM (#43235927)

    So Apple is enforcing their rules which they've openly and clearly published

    When I tried to view the rules on Apple.com, it asked me to log in with an Apple ID. Where should a prospective developer view these rules before spending four figures on a Mac, an iPad, and a developer license?

    You can create your apple id for free, without using an ipad or mac.

    But, but, how can one bash Apple, then?

  • Re:Apple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:47PM (#43236091)

    Killing people is less offensive to Apple than not paying people enough.

  • by garett_spencley (193892) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @12:59PM (#43236219) Journal

    Any time you have a movement or an ideology that affects people who don't share that ideology you see outrage. That outrage often comes with straw-man tactics used in discourse.

    I can think of many examples of so-called "right wing" or "conservative" ideologies that are on the receiving end. The "pro-life" movement is one example. To most who are "pro-life" the issue that is that life begins at conception and so an abortion is literally murder. But many on the "pro-choice" side have accused the "pro-life" crowd of hating women and wanting to enslave them. That's a very blatant straw-man argument from my point of view. And FWIW, I'm probably more "pro-choice" than most.

    Fiscal conservatism receives straw-man arguments all the time. Whenever people accuse a fiscal conservative of being "on the side of the wealthy" or "greedy", whenever someone claims that libertarianism is "anarchy for rich people" those are straw-men arguments.

  • Re:Game Dev Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Thursday March 21, 2013 @01:16PM (#43236395)

    Dear sir;

    In the future, please refrain from comparing 80 hours a week spent hacking out a video game to 80 hours a week spent standing and endlessly performing the same repetitive task in a factory filled with noise, toxic chemicals and dangerous industrial equipment.

    Cordially yours,

    The Real World

  • Why bother requiring intervention - just get rank it down and let a mod rescue it if and only if it was somehow relevant.

    I can think of three reasons.

    First, moderators tend not to rescue posts after the first few hours of a discussion.

    Second, users can set a threshold on whether replies show up in their Message Center [slashdot.org]. An on-topic reply to one's comment that's robo-modded due to forbidden keywords might never show up. I, for one, depend on Message Center for notifications of replies to my comments.

    Third, Slashdot karma works on a percentage scale. Each "In" moderation adds 2 percent, and each negative moderation takes away 2 percent. (Funny appears to do nothing.) Only users with "Excellent" karma (over 50%) get to post with the bonus, which is essential to keep late-discussion comments visible. A post at 1 that's robo-modded down to -1 due to forbidden keywords takes away 4% karma.

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