Google Removes Controversial ‘Slavery Simulator’ Following Public Backlash

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In a significant move, Google took down a contentious game named ‘Slavery Simulator’ from its Play Store, bowing to heavy criticism from Brazilians on social media. The game, which allowed players to “buy and sell” enslaved Black characters, sparked outrage and discussions about racial sensitivities in gaming.

Google’s Play Store Pulls Disputed Game

Following the release of Magnus Games’ ‘Slavery Simulator’ on April 20th, the app quickly caught the attention of over 1,000 downloads before being yanked off the store last Wednesday. The game, which allowed players to “exchange, buy and sell slaves”, was seen as both a shocking and unacceptable approach towards the representation of slavery in .

Public Prosecution in Brazil Investigates

Subsequent to the removal, Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office was even greenlit on the Play Store. The prosecution requested specific information about the game from Google, citing a multitude of racist comments identified within the platform.

Social Media Flare-up Over Insensitive Game

Social media platforms were ablaze with criticism of both the game developers and Google. People expressed their outrage over the game’s casual depiction of slavery and the normalization of violence against Black individuals. “This is apology to crime, this is recreational racism, they have to answer criminally,” stated lawmaker Orlando Silva on Twitter.

Google Responds To The Outcry

In its defense, Google stated, “We have a robust set of policies designed to keep users safe…We don’t allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin.” It was also noted that the game had been rated for “all ages,” and despite the backlash, it had managed to attain a four-star rating out of five.

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Despite the immediate outcry and subsequent removal of the ‘Slavery Simulator’, it is still a reminder of the pressing need for more scrutiny in the app selection process, particularly regarding games that tackle sensitive topics like racism and violence. This incident serves as a cautionary tale, and hopefully, a stepping stone towards more ethical and responsible game development and selection.

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