Consumer Activism Forces Google to Withdraw ‘Bomb Gaza’ Game app…*
“Bomb Gaza,” developed by PlayFTW and still available as an app on Facebook, simulates the on-going attacks by Israel to Gaza
A mobile game that simulates Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and invites users to “drop bombs and avoid killing civilians” has been pulled from Google Inc’s app store, a company spokesman said on Monday after a public backlash.
“Bomb Gaza,” developed by PlayFTW and still available as an app on Facebook, simulates the on-going attacks by Israel to Gaza. Players drop bombs from a fighter jet while dodging missiles from Hamas fighters in black and green masks.
“We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies,” a spokesman for Google said, confirming that the game had been removed from the Google Play app store. Google did not specify which policy the game had violated.
Google Play has rules that prohibit content that amounts to hate speech, bullying and violence and lets users flag abusive content.
The game triggered outraged comments on the Google app store review page as well as on Facebook. It had been downloaded about 1,000 times since its July 29 launch, according to Britain’s Guardian newspaper.
“You disgust me,” Saj Ishaq wrote on PlayFTW’s public Facebook page.
One Google user who commented on Bomb Gaza’s description said: “To think that you can turn genocide, murder and ethnic cleansing into a game is absolutely disgusting”, while another said it was “utterly shameful”.
A third user added: “My beloved brothers and sisters are dying in Gaza and some stupid ignoramus decides to make a game like this.”
Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment and PlayFTW could not be immediately reached.
“Please take this off the Play store. It is offensive and I am really let down that Google actually allowed this. If this game isn’t removed I’m starting a Google boycott,” Oma Al, a user, wrote on the game’s review page, according to the Guardian.
On July 8, Israel launched an offensive on Gaza. Gaza officials say more than 1,831 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and about 3,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed or damaged since the offensive began.