A controversial game simulating Israeli attacks on Gaza that
appeared briefly on Google Play has been pulled from the Android app store after the review
page was bombarded with outraged messages.
The epitome of poor taste, the game — which is titled Bomb
Gaza — invited users to “drop bombs and avoid killing
civilians”. It was available on both Google Play and as a Facebook
app, but both have seemingly been removed by the companies.
Google confirmed that it had removed the app, which was found to
violate its policies. There are several sections of the company’s
Developer Policies, including the “Violence and Bullying”
clause, which bans “depictions of gratuitous violence” and
“materials that threaten, harass or bully”. In all likelihood, the
main policy the game violates is the “Hate Speech” clause, which
bans content “advocating against groups of people based on their
race or ethnic origin, religion…” among other criteria.
The app was created and posted on both Facebook and Google Play
by a company called PlayFTW. It’s not clear exactly who is behind
describes itself as an “expirenced [sic] game developing company”
and joined Facebook in November last year. The company appears to
have two other games currently available on
Google Play — one called Piano, one called Space
War. Both have received fairly dire reviews — but just for
being badly designed and buggy, not controversial.
Violent conflict between Palestine and Israel has intensified
over the last month, with the majority of civilian casualties
falling within Gaza. There has been particular concern about number
of child victims who have been caught up in the fracas. The
comments that can currently be seen on the PlayFTW Facebook
page reflect this, with many people outraged at the lack of
humanity and empathy the game’s creators have shown towards the
people of Palestine.