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Shaken Baby game approved for app store


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#1 DaveyJJ

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 12:59 PM

OK, this one is bad. There is now (but I'm sure not for long) an app on the store that has the user violently shake the device until the baby stops crying and is dead. Yup. Ugly as sin and I'm sure Steve is tearing a strip right now off the young man who thought that was funny and approved it.

http://news.cnet.com...0225016-37.html

Speaking as a parent first, and a struggling developer second, this is sad, sad, sad.

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#2 Malus121

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

If only I had an iPhone or iPod touch.... Looks fun...  :w00t:
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#3 the Battle Cat

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:16 PM

That's hilarious.

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#4 Magnum

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 01:19 PM

Sorry, I'd rather not kill my poor baby iPhone! (Well, at least I wouldn't if I had one!)
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#5 teflon

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:05 PM

That is pretty disturbed.
Though, at the same time, dead baby jokes can be strangely funny...
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#6 dojoboy

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 05:48 PM

I agree with DaveyJJ.
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#7 The Liberator

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:03 AM

You do not need to worry Davey and Dojoboy, Apple has pulled it down again, see here.

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#8 teflon

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:05 AM

but the thing is that they block some really harmless apps and then let something ridiculously controversial like this through...
which means that the system is quite clearly broken and needs to be scrapped and remade with much clearer rules.
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#9 DaveyJJ

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:04 AM

View Postteflon, on April 23rd 2009, 04:05 AM, said:

but the thing is that they block some really harmless apps and then let something ridiculously controversial like this through...
which means that the system is quite clearly broken and needs to be scrapped and remade with much clearer rules.


Precisely.

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#10 Rev-O

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:15 AM

View PostDaveyJJ, on April 22nd 2009, 12:59 PM, said:

OK, this one is bad. There is now (but I'm sure not for long) an app on the store that has the user violently shake the device until the baby stops crying and is dead. Yup. Ugly as sin and I'm sure Steve is tearing a strip right now off the young man who thought that was funny and approved it.

http://news.cnet.com...0225016-37.html

Speaking as a parent first, and a struggling developer second, this is sad, sad, sad.

That's pretty messed up. Not amused.

#11 The Liberator

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 05:51 AM

Hmmm, I see what you guys mean. It is a broken system.

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#12 devSin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 09:47 AM

View PostDaveyJJ, on April 22nd 2009, 11:59 AM, said:

Speaking as a parent first, and a struggling developer second, this is sad, sad, sad.
So in your mind, shaking a small electronic device that is displaying a picture of a random baby, white, I'm sure, is indicative of imminent real-world harm to the children? Really?

You either want Apple to be the puritanical arbiter of everything that will ever find its way onto the iPhone or you don't. If you're dismayed by the shaking babies, then you clearly do, and the next time you complain about the approvals process or an application that Apple didn't allow, you might want to take that into account.

And never forget: Even when approved by Apple, you have control over what applications are downloaded to your iPhone. Exercise it, and save your indignation for the people who shake real babies; I have no doubt the douches who wasted a buck on this junk app are never going to bother your kids.

#13 dojoboy

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:28 AM

View PostdevSin, on April 23rd 2009, 11:47 AM, said:

So in your mind, shaking a small electronic device that is displaying a picture of a random baby, white, I'm sure, is indicative of imminent real-world harm to the children? Really?

You either want Apple to be the puritanical arbiter of everything that will ever find its way onto the iPhone or you don't. If you're dismayed by the shaking babies, then you clearly do, and the next time you complain about the approvals process or an application that Apple didn't allow, you might want to take that into account.

And never forget: Even when approved by Apple, you have control over what applications are downloaded to your iPhone. Exercise it, and save your indignation for the people who shake real babies; I have no doubt the douches who wasted a buck on this junk app are never going to bother your kids.

In terms of an individual who is "well-adjusted" there is little concern.  However, a "well-adjusted" person likely would not be interested in such an app.

The point is the populace becomes desensitized to rude behavior and violence.  This permissiveness in the name of freedom is what undercuts all free societies after a certain point.  It is in the same vein as how email and texting has created a barrier between good manners and degrading behavior, leaving the perp under the impression he has no responsibility or he's just being funny so what's the big deal.

To say one has a right to download or not download is a convenient way of scapegoating responsibility.  Yes, we can watch a television channel or not, but the issue is who is actually watching it.  As a parent, I need to watch what I say and behave in a positive way that promotes similar behavior in my children.  The same is expected of businesses, but they hide behind "freedom" for profit.  If one does not have children, he or she is still responsible for, and to, the wider community.  

View PostdevSin, on April 23rd 2009, 11:47 AM, said:

I have no doubt the douches who wasted a buck on this junk app are never going to bother your kids.

It's about all the kids, not just one's own.
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#14 teflon

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:46 AM

View PostdevSin, on April 23rd 2009, 04:47 PM, said:

You either want Apple to be the puritanical arbiter of everything that will ever find its way onto the iPhone or you don't.

As the content delivery service, and the controller of the iPhone platform, it is both Apple's right and their responsibility to filter what is available for purchase. Just as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all have control over what gets released on their platforms, and they have been known to filter inappropriate things such as Manhunt 2, Apple need to responsibly filter the app store.

What you seem to be suggesting is that Apple's decisions are completely rational in how they are applied, when the track record is that they aren't.
One week an email app is blocked because it duplicates core features of the iPhone, before being allowed through months later. The next week Opera is denied because it uses a web engine other than Apple's. They pull Twitter from the store because some people put up profanities on there, but then Apple somehow lets through an app where you shake a graphical representation of a baby to death?

wait, surely that last one should have been blocked for moral reason? Surely killing a baby is worse than swearing and apps of a pornographic nature (which are blocked)?

The fact that the app has now been removed shows that Apple made a mistake, but when they make a mistake like this after a series of apps have been subjected seemingly indiscriminate blocking from the store, you have to stop and think "wait, maybe Apple are going about this the wrong way".
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#15 Greg Grant

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:05 AM

View Postdojoboy, on April 23rd 2009, 09:28 AM, said:

It's about all the kids, not just one's own.

Apple needs a ratings system. Its brutally ironic that I can buy R rated movies like Sin City through iTMS but not a game with red blood. I don't demand all games be gorefests or cram in as much swearing as possible or nudity (although those things combined can make some great games like GTA series/God of War as well as some bad ones) it'd sure be nice to have the freedom for those. I'm an adult, I've been an adult for a long time now. I'm self actualized enough to realize what is and isn't detrimental to me and my health.

Dojoboy, I'm sorry, that "I'm a parent" schtick is just as aggravating as "I'm a Christian" because both groups assume some sort of moral integrity which I do not possess. Just because your kid might see it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. The world is a big awful place waiting to offend the living hell out of parents, religious and pretty much everyone. Just because something doesn't fit your narrow world view doesn't inherently mean it doesn't have some sort of value to someone else.  However, I don't think children should have immediate access to everything at an early age either, but hey, from the Apple store your kid could download all the R rated movies, all the explicit music to his/her heart's content. Its the classic videogame double standard.  For the record I work in education and for a non-profit and attend education conferences related to grade school applications of demonstrative learning vs inquiry based learning.

Its not like children aren't a concern to me, but your child (Better yet you particular) should not dictate what I what or don't want to see, and notably the baby shaking app looked stupid as its so extreme (yet I don't think it doesn't have a right to exist) but its aim directly was to illicit the response you have.  What needs to happen is the ability Apple needs to properly screen content so folk offended by can chose to execute self censorship for what works for the individual.
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#16 J'nathus

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:25 AM

Feel better . . .  Apple pulls baby shaker app after protests

I agree with the idea that you should really just scratch your own back and not buy it if you don't like it. Dead Space, Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil 5 are are ALL not my kind of games.  I do not object to their depiction of violence or gore.  If I saw that kind of violence and gore in real life I would be horrified if not violently ill.  However, I do not think that they simply shouldn't exist.  Perhaps they are entertaining for some, but they are not for me.  Are they real?  No.

#17 Greg Grant

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:45 AM

Honestly, its just the rationality that it might damage children that bothers me. Apple doesn't have any obligation to support trashware like baby shakers but what it really points to is that Apple really needs a screening overhaul. Thing is the baby shaking app is as extreme as I can think of personally of an offensive title, but censoring something always sets off a red flag with me even if I disagree.

A zombie game with red blood can get banned but a baby shaking app will pass. Its the assumption that we need to outright ban content on the determination it might have adverse effects on someone else's child that irks me or offend. I fully support parents wishing for ability to easily pre-screen content based on ratings but I'm afraid that if Bethesda wanted to bring Fallout to the iPhone it'd be banned by Apple, and those games have a strong cynical critique of our culture, that's fairly astute and tantalizing and its artistic merit would be lost if it were censored.
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#18 dojoboy

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 11:48 AM

View PostGreg Gant, on April 23rd 2009, 01:05 PM, said:

Dojoboy, I'm sorry, that "I'm a parent" schtick is just as aggravating as "I'm a Christian" because both groups assume some sort of moral integrity which I do not possess. Just because your kid might see it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. The world is a big awful place waiting to offend the living hell out of parents, religious and pretty much everyone. Just because something doesn't fit your narrow world view doesn't inherently mean it doesn't have some sort of value to someone else.  However, I don't think children should have immediate access to everything at an early age either, but hey, from the Apple store your kid could download all the R rated movies, all the explicit music to his/her heart's content. Its the classic videogame double standard.  For the record I work in education and for a non-profit and attend education conferences related to grade school applications of demonstrative learning vs inquiry based learning.

It's all a mess.  I didn't think I was using the parent "schtick" but I guess I was.  

The bottom line is, individuals who do not contribute to the wellness of society are cancers.  As an organism, society works to kill off the cancer(s).  You can apply this to a business model or a silly app.  I certainly do not have a narrow world view, but perhaps you were referring to people in general who do.  

I would say, by and large, I agree with you.  It's the issue of availability and access to people with physically developing minds and emotions.  

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#19 Tibur

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:17 PM

I'd hate for there to be only "child friendly" entertainment out there, and I agree that it is the parents that should be overseeing what their children see on TV or on the internet and what sort of games they play.  That being said, Apple has every right to pull it off their store.  I haven't really followed any stories about Apple being inconsistent in what it allows and what it doesn't allow on its App Store site, but consistency and transparency are always good things, I think.

View PostGreg Gant, on April 23rd 2009, 05:05 PM, said:

<snip>

Dojoboy, I'm sorry, that "I'm a parent" schtick is just as aggravating as "I'm a Christian" because both groups assume some sort of moral integrity which I do not possess. Just because your kid might see it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. The world is a big awful place waiting to offend the living hell out of parents, religious and pretty much everyone. Just because something doesn't fit your narrow world view doesn't inherently mean it doesn't have some sort of value to someone else.  However, I don't think children should have immediate access to everything at an early age either, but hey, from the Apple store your kid could download all the R rated movies, all the explicit music to his/her heart's content. Its the classic videogame double standard.  For the record I work in education and for a non-profit and attend education conferences related to grade school applications of demonstrative learning vs inquiry based learning.

<snip>

I generally agree with you here, but when I say, as a parent, that I find this application particularly appalling, it's not because I'm afraid that my children might see it or because I assume I have some moral integrity which people without children do not possess.  

I do assume that, especially as a result of caring for my children as helpless infants, I have experienced something unique and ineffable.  I think because of that experience, parents have a fierce, primal protective response whenever we hear about harm coming to any child, whereas those without children can only respond to such news with a more generalized sense of outrage.  Abducted/molested/killed children stories become personal because it is so much easier to put yourself in the shoes of the parent of the missing child and think, "What if it was my child that disappeared?"  I think this shaken baby app triggered a similar reaction.

#20 Kaoro

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:41 PM

View PostGreg Gant, on April 23rd 2009, 11:05 AM, said:

Dojoboy, I'm sorry, that "I'm a parent" schtick is just as aggravating as "I'm a Christian" because both groups assume some sort of moral integrity which I do not possess. Just because your kid might see it doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. The world is a big awful place waiting to offend the living hell out of parents, religious and pretty much everyone. Just because something doesn't fit your narrow world view doesn't inherently mean it doesn't have some sort of value to someone else.  However, I don't think children should have immediate access to everything at an early age either, but hey, from the Apple store your kid could download all the R rated movies, all the explicit music to his/her heart's content. Its the classic videogame double standard.  For the record I work in education and for a non-profit and attend education conferences related to grade school applications of demonstrative learning vs inquiry based learning.
I agree with everything you wrote. I think there's a fine line between decency and other people shoving their "morals" down other's throats.

I honestly don't see the app as a big deal. If you don't like it, don't buy it. There's no physical harm done to any baby because of a shaken iPhone. It does seem like the game was created to stir controversy however. I just don't think everything should be silenced simply because some people have some objection to it.

I don't have any desire to "play" it, but even if I did - is there any reason to think I'd then go find a real-life baby and shake it too? I'm pretty sure we can all agree that playing a FPS doesn't mean you're willing to walk out the door and blast people's heads off either. The game is asinine and a little disgusting but does it really need to be pulled?
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