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Apple Just Says Yes To iPhone Smoking Game 192

ZosX sends along a puff piece from Wired's Brian X. Chen: "Apple on Monday approved Puff Puff Pass, a $2 game whose objective is to pass a cigarette or pipe around and puff it as many times as you can within a set duration. So much for taking the high road, Apple. The game allows you to choose between smoking a cigarette, a cigar, and a pipe. Then you select the number of people you'd like to light up with (up to five), the amount of time, and a place to smoke (outdoors or indoors). And you're ready to get right on puffing."
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Apple Just Says Yes To iPhone Smoking Game

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  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by C0R1D4N ( 970153 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:21PM (#32007368)
    I would prefer Apple not to choose my morals for me.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wbren ( 682133 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:28PM (#32007468) Homepage

      The problem is not that Apple is making moral decisions about which applications to allow in the App Store. The problem is their ever-changing, wildly inconsistent approval guidelines. This application might get approved while other seemingly identical applications might get rejected. That's the real problem: developers simply have no way to know which way the App Store approval process wind is blowing on a given day. I wouldn't have such a bone to pick with Apple if they just picked a position and stuck with it consistently.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

        by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:32PM (#32007490)
        Yes, you're right. Look like they need to go out and buy a new Magic 8-Ball.

        We all knew it was going to wear out sooner or later.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wbren ( 682133 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:34PM (#32007516) Homepage

        And just to clarify, I believe people should be allowed to run third-party applications on their iPhone without having to go through the App Store (or jailbreaking). I'm just saying that the inconsistency is what really bugs me. If they want to sell a G-rated phone, that's fine with me. Advertise it as such and enforce that policy consistently, but don't blame me when I take my business elsewhere. As a matter of fact, I'm switching to an Android-based phone [] on Thursday.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by xQx ( 5744 )
        I disagree. The problem is Apple is making moral decisions about which applications to allow on the iPhone. The App Store is only a problem because it is the only way developers can sell their products to customers with the iPhone.

        The real problem is: developers and their customers are no longer free to make independent decisions about what is acceptable and unacceptable trade, and the people who are making the moral decisions were neither elected nor accountable for their actions!
        • Indeed. Just like the respective manufacturers do for the Wii, PS3 and XBox, PSP, DS, etc... Number of posts in the past 3 years complaining that Nintendo controls what is released on their console... about 0. What's the problem?
    • Preference noted.
    • The point (on here) is that Steve was really proud / pretentious / narcissistic that they do exactly that. He takes a swipe at others for being lowbrow.

      (This whole thread is going to be a "shades of grey" argument, anyways.)

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:35PM (#32008140) Homepage

        The point (on here) is that Steve was really proud / pretentious / narcissistic that they do exactly that. He takes a swipe at others for being lowbrow.

        Mr. Jobs has made an entire career on pretension. There's a reason that Apple evokes so much rabid zealotry from the otherwise computer-agnostic arty types. Just look at the way he boldly announces products' limitations and disabilities as strokes of design genius (and then later, even more astoundingly, announces re-enabling basic functionality as 'groundbreaking new features' - witness the iPhone's recent addition of multi-tasking, and the "you can't fit a netbook in your pocket" campaign with the release of the iPhone and iPod Touch, then the backflip to "bigger is better" with the release of the iPad). In the art world, you can go an awfully long way on "you're just not insightful enough to understand the vision", and these schmucks don't realise that it doesn't carry over into technical areas.

    • Won't they ever think of the children []?


    • by ZosX ( 517789 )

      Here! Here! For moral support I just look to our leaders in washington.......

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheABomb ( 180342 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:15PM (#32008546)
      Then go Android and be treated like an adult. If you want to think for yourself, you're not in Apple's demo anyhow.
    • They ARE choosing your morals for you. Smoking is allowed, tits aren't...

  • This should be fun (Score:3, Insightful)

    by willoughby ( 1367773 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:24PM (#32007404)
    People will probably object to this as "encouraging smoking", but will whine & complain about any suggestion that violent video games encourage violence.
    • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:43PM (#32007632)
      Nah. The Apple apologists will apologize, the Apple haters will hate, and I'll wonder why in the hell this worthless story is on Slashdot in the first place.

      Ah– kdawson. That explains it.
    • by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @11:53PM (#32008882)

      I think you're missing the point, along with a lot of others in this thread. This story was not created and posted because a smoking application was approved for the iPhone. I really doubt anybody here cares, much less objects. In fact most probably would prefer the app DOES exist because most people here are all about letting each individual make these choices for themselves.

      Rather, this story is here because Apple has appointed themselves gatekeeper of the application universe for iPhone, and because their decisions are seldom intelligible or predictable. An application for a Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist gets banned (until public disgust forces them to reconsider). An application where you shake a baby to death is approved (though later removed.) Applications for lingerie are banned. If memory serves, even ones that do not have any sort of model shots, just the products themselves, are banned. Meanwhile an app for Playboy is passed. Now, an app about smoking a joint* with your friends has no trouble passing muster. I would not be surprised in the least if it turns out these people wrote the app explicitly to see whether or not Apple's ever-inconsistent "morality" would catch it.

      I don't think it was worth a story here (Wired is free to write whatever they want for whatever reason they want), because I find the value in Slashdot to be the discussions and this is not the type of story that will encourage a decent one. There will be fanbois and haters going back and forth with little actual thought put into anything, which is almost reason enough NOT to post it for me.

      But anyway. Nobody cares that this app was approved, they care that this app was approved relative to other ones that have been rejected. It's entire purpose is to take shots at Apple for playing gatekeeper, and for doing it in such a wildly inconsistent manner. I'm not sure it's worth posting on that basis alone, but the reason it is on Slashdot, at least, has nothing to do with whether or not it encourages smoking.

      * Sorry, a "cigarette." Yeah, right. When's the last time anybody sat around in a circle passing a cigarette around with five of their friends?

    • But hey, if hypocrisy comes from Apple, it must be cool. I guess I will complain about this app just to join the trend.

    • by gsslay ( 807818 )

      People will probably object to this as "encouraging smoking"

      I don't know. But I do know 3 things;

      1 The game will inevitably be crap.
      2 People will buy it anyway, cos, you know, it's about dope and your friends will lol.
      3 The writers of this game are loving all the free publicity.

  • by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:25PM (#32007408)

    "Folks who want cancer can buy an iPhone"

  • ... it's still safer than smoking a cigarette.

    In all seriousness, WTF Apple? Surely this isn't why you strong-armed developers into switching to XCode, is it? To produce this?
  • Makes you shudder to think of the poor kids who will get beat up for demonstrating this unbelievably lame app. Won't anyone think of the children? Apple?

    • by ZosX ( 517789 )

      Hell. I could see just about every friend I have with an iphone showing this off. In case you didn't notice, smoking (cigarettes and especially weed) are extremely popular with generation Y. It seems fairly prevalent in my generation too, but not nearly as much. Of course, when I was in my 20s it seemed like everyone I knew smoked anyways. So maybe its just an age thing, but yeah, I can totally see this as being a hit with the "kids."

  • non-smokers (Score:5, Funny)

    by hduff ( 570443 ) <<hoytduff> <at> <>> on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:27PM (#32007450) Homepage Journal

    "Non-smokers can purchase an Android." -- Steve Jobs

  • by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:27PM (#32007452)
    That is crazy... You know what I saw the other day? A game that you could kill humans with assorted weapons. The gore was obscene! You could beat hookers up and kill puppies all while driving a car down the sidewalk.

    What were we talking about again? Smoking? Ban it!
    • What were we talking about again? Smoking? Ban it!

      How did this get modded insightful? Nobody is calling for a ban on this game. In fact, the opposite is true; it's being used to show that games which have been banned should not have been. Way to troll the knee-jerk idiots with modpoints, though.

  • I don't get it. How would it be the "moral high ground" to prevent developers from selling and consumers from buying this application? Is there a theory this game presents a danger to someone? Is it just that you object to smoking being depicted for some reason? What morals are we talking about?

    • by trawg ( 308495 )

      Presumably, the same morals that they use to justify why they won't let porn (or a myriad of other applications) in the AppStore.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:54PM (#32007718) Homepage

      Apple has been taking the "moral high ground" by banning apps with jiggly women, excessive violence, and political satire. They have said that they want to be a family safe zone, and have hurt many developers to become that.

      Also, developers are particularly upset about the inconsistent interpretation of Apple's ever-shifting rules. For a while, slightly dirty apps were OK so long as they were wearing underwear, then they were mass banned. Apps have been banned for "duplicating functionality" of Apple applications that hadn't been released or announced at the time of the rejection. They recently banned 3rd party code interpretation tools, due to their years-long war with flash, which has thrown into doubt the state of thousands of popular applications.

      At this point, basically everyone except Steve Jobs would like to see Apple stop babysitting their users and actually utilize the ratings system that they implemented. Short of that, they need a degree of consistency that they are nowhere near achieving.

      • by fermion ( 181285 )
        none of which relates to legal drug consumption, so none of the examples apply. Violent games often have fantasy criminal activity, such as rape, murder, and illicit drug use, which some object to.

        I see tons of apps on iTunes that relate to legal drug use. Many smoking, wine beer, etc. The problem is that many people clump everything they don't like together and make it equally bad, or rationalize their sinful nature as natural, while others as bad. So while having a glass of wine is sophisticated, sm

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cgenman ( 325138 )

          Tangent: Hardly any retail games in the US contain passing references to rape at all. I challenge you to list even 3. Illicit drug use is somewhat more heavily referenced, but hard to pull off in terms of actual player usage. See Heavy Rain's excellent and horrifying withdrawal sequences.

          On topic: The name of the app is "puff puff pass" and features "phat beats." That's no more relating to legal substances than "The Little Black Book" app was about celibacy. This is clear glorification of smoking pot

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

            Tangent: Hardly any retail games in the US contain passing references to rape at all. I challenge you to list even 3.

            I can't list three, but I can remember being kind of distressed about my character being raped in Phantasmagoria, or was it the sequel? There was even some FMV showing you pinned up against something and, uh, pinned some more. But that was a long time ago. For a computer, it was nearly an eternity. Hmm, there was a whole infamous game about it back in the day and another one recently, I'm sure you have read about Custer's Last Stand and RapeLay. But anyway, there's only really one US video game with rape in

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by cgenman ( 325138 )

              Good Memory! There is Phantasmagoria (early 90's) and Custer's Last Stand (early 80's). There is also a rather disturbing underground MMO called SocialoTron [], that makes me fear for humanity.

              The messed-up asian Hentai games like RapeLay haven't really seen a US release, certainly not a retail one, so they don't really count. The aforementioned MMO also isn't retail, though it has a US release.

              In games in the west, any sex at all is considered controversial. Mass Effect's sex scene was probably the most v

        • Well, it violates their "family safe" goal / excuse, doesn't it? The other things referenced are also legal to enjoy (though in virtual sense in the case of excessive violence) yet frowned upon morally by some and definitely not generally considered family safe these days. The point is that Apple are again giving the lie to the excuses they've made when rejecting some other apps.

      • by burris ( 122191 )

        No, you'll find plenty of fanbois outside of Apple who will zealously defend the notion that the iPhone/pad is not a computer, that "sharia law" is the only way to give the user the best possible experience, that users will always blame Apple when their phone crashes or the battery doesn't last, that they would be helpless to download crap from dicey alternative app stores that would crash their phone and their babies would die because they couldn't call 911, etc...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dasdrewid ( 653176 )

      The same morals that say that bikinis aren't allowed but Playboy breasts are, that satiric pullitzer price winning cartoons are taboo but fart soundboards are an important part of our comic culture, and a few swear words is totally not allowed but sex position games are just fine.

      The point is that Apple is claiming to take the moral high ground, and since the established moral high ground with smoking is that advertising is not ok (see Joe Camel, television advertising, etc.), it would seem the standard mo

  • iNicorette. Simulates smoking to help you crush your worst cravings!
  • Am I the only one bothered that in the picture of the app, there's 2 hot girls, 2 "cool" guys and a fat geek with a beard?
    • Hm yes, geeks are consistently miss represented. Where's the type 2 geek! We tall and slim geeks need more exposure.

      No the sun is deadly.
    • Am I the only one bothered that in the picture of the app, there's 2 hot girls, 2 "cool" guys and a fat geek with a beard?

      Well, shit dude, they had to get their "cigarette" somewhere.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @09:36PM (#32007562)

    I wonder about Apple sometimes. I know that their actual intent with the app store is:

    A) Be the only channel for iPhone apps, so that they get a piece of every sale. (Which is the *real* reason for not allowing Flash, emulators, etc.)
    B) Not get sued (thus the restrictions on parody and such).
    C) Not piss off too many customers (thus the restrictions on porn and whatnot).

    But the execution is terrible, because C conflicts with A as well as with itself (you get people upset both for allowing and forbidding porn). And because they want to maintain point A, they have to take ALL the blame for whatever they reject or allow. Frankly, I'm surprised that people still develop for the platform. I know there was an initial gold rush, but now that that's pretty much over, I would personally do everything I could to make the platform less attractive. Why help them when they'll screw you? Better to boost other platforms that don't give you crap like this.

    • I know quite a few people who develop for the iPhone. Although every one of them will admit to the pain caused by app store policies, it's still the only real game in town. It's a simple platform to program on, and much like this app, you don't really need much functionality to sell a ton of copies. It's much easier to throw together 10 half-assed apps hoping just ONE will be a decent seller and pay your bills vs. spending time to put together a good app for the Android platform, where even if it does be
      • Um, Apple requires a -lot- more overhead than Android ever will. Lets see, if you don't have a Mac, it costs, what? $500-600 for the most basic Mac desktop? Compared to the fact you can program for Android on just about anything? Plus add in the fee to be an Apple 'developer' and you are looking at about $650ish for development hardware alone. Lets add in the price for an iPod touch (cheapest thing that runs iPhone OS) and you have a $800 total investment or so. A powerful Android phone costs $530 unlocked
        • by kc8apf ( 89233 )

          You carefully document the costs to buy a mac, but assume that an Android developer would already have some computer. That's not a fair comparison. The cost of the machine should be prorated based on additional uses. Thus, the Mac will still cost more than the already owned machine, but it isn't free.

          • You carefully document the costs to buy a mac, but assume that an Android developer would already have some computer.

            But isn't it realistic to assume that any person, wanting to program for an Android handset, with the skills to program would have a computer? On the other hand, many people who own iPhones (in fact, chances are, most of them) and many people with skills to program don't own Macs. In fact, if you -really- needed a computer, you could probably boot a library computer from a USB key and develop for Android and pay, what, $7 for the USB stick? Good luck finding a public library that lets their patrons use Ma

          • by Z34107 ( 925136 )

            You carefully document the costs to buy a mac, but assume that an Android developer would already have some computer. That's not a fair comparison.

            You have a point, but I think it is a fair comparison. Prospective iPhone developers are, well, developers. I don't know of a single developer that doesn't have any computer at all, but I know quite a few that don't have Macs. And, the "additional use" of an already-owned PC won't cost any extra until TPM adoption reaches critical mass.

            If you already have a

        • If you're actually trying to make a living, a cost of $800 to get going is peanuts. There's lots of jobs with far higher barriers to entry, such as auto mechanic and bus driver. It's only a barrier for people doing hobby development.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        It's much easier to throw together 10 half-assed apps hoping just ONE will be a decent seller and pay your bills

        This, ultimately is why the platform will fail. Throw together 10 low quality applications, hope that some pass the censors and then hope that one makes some money. This plan relies on hope, which is a terrible business model. Android will be better off without supporting this kind of thinking.

        Now where this business model falls apart is that very few are making money using this model. It re

  • I really wonder what apple's policy on employee drug usage is........

    Ah well. It will get banned and ported to android in a few months. Did anyone port the shaking baby game? I could think of all sorts of fun, twisted apps for the android. How about

    Toss the Foetus

    "You are an assistant at cut rate abortion clinic. Your job is to take the foetuses from a bucket and toss them into the dumpster. Score points by not leaving them to bake on the alleyway asphalt. Extra points for a rim shot."

    Anyone remember the talk to jesus app for Mac OS 7? I loved that thing I could totally port that to android. Anyone still have a copy? (My old mac drive died years ago)

  • by sakti ( 16411 ) on Tuesday April 27, 2010 @10:19PM (#32007972) Homepage

    Come one... how many people sit in a circle and pass around a cigarette. You all know this is a pot smoking game. They might have well specified the items as 'joint, fatty and bong'.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Exactly, and you can probably buy a [insert a regional colloquialism for a small quantity of cannabis here] for the price of this app, so why pretend?
      • Exactly, and you can probably buy a [insert a regional colloquialism for a small quantity of cannabis here] for the price of this app, so why pretend?

        I thought about this for a while, and what comes back to me is that the only real market for this app is kids. Although to be honest, when I was a kid, I could get drugs. They should rename the app to My First Reefer, or perhaps Pothead Trainer.

  • For every app accepted there were 100 rejected

    You think it's emulating a cigarette you're blowing?

    Hint: this is a modification of an existing app, where 'suck' turned into 'blow' and fellatio changed into smoking.

    I don't know this for a fact, just an educated guess :)

    Makes sense for the developer to modify the app to be acceptable to Apple's more attuned tastes, and their key demographic.

    • If its called puff, puff, pass, its not a fellatio game, its a marijuana game.

      Let me guess, you had a private school education?

  • "But since I Lost One of My Lungs, I’ve Cut My Smoking In Half."
  • thats why they have censored any potential porn app and access to them recently ... and left playboy, hustler related stuff still in app store, and sites reachable ... for some reason ...

    and now they are condoning a 'puff puff' game, for smoking cigarettes or pipe. all the while protecting the children.

    im calling the apple fans to defend this kind of thing reasonably. i wonder whether any of you will succeed. i also wonder how lonw will it take you people to realize that apple has been going down the
  • I'm wondering if this app would have made the news either way. It's a Catch-22 for Apple. Either they approve the app and get this type of coverage, or they deny it and get panned once again for limiting the free speech of developers or some such. I'm an admitted Apple fanboy (though I like to think I'm actually rational about it, if there is such a thing), but come on, does anyone seriously care that Apple approved an app? When Opera mini was approved, that was news, since it was related to interesting tec
    • Apple denies thousands of apps a month, for trivial reasons. I assure you this would not get any attention for getting denied.

  • finally iPhone owners have a reason to suck on their phone... :o)
  • puff puff pass? Sounds like Apple definitely took the high road to me.

  • I guess it was friday afternoon when they approved this app. So I guess it was when they approved the "I am rich" application []. The latter was removed on next Wednesday.

    So wait, maybe they'll remove the app later today :-)
  • Please, pretty please - this isn't news. Stop letting Apple's very silly iPhone platform content controls manufacture "news" just to keep them in the headlines. This is a slashdot post about an app that, presumably, you're anticipating somebody will find offensive? Their policy is silly, we all agree, but every time you make a big hubub about the existence or banishment of a somewhat controversial app, THEY WIN because they get the free publicity. And, like it or not, when it comes to Apple, even bad PR i

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