Apple Approves iPhone App That "Promotes School Shootings"

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CrunchGear Week in Review: Goodnight Moon Edition

Our beefs with Apple’s inconsistent behavior when it comes to approving or rejecting applications for the iPhone / iPod Touch platform has been well documented. iPhoneWorld.ca draws our attention to yet another example that makes us wonder if there’s a clear policy at Infinite Loop at all, or if the team is simply trained well in the ‘hit or miss’ phenomenon. Or as ComputerWorld eloquently puts it: “[Apple’s App Store] is lorded over by an inscrutable team of guardians devoted to maintaining control over the platform.”

Take this Zombie School application from the aptly named iPhone app developer Retarded Arts. It lets you turn your depicts classmates or teachers as zombies, after which you can use a machine gun, bow or grenades to kill them. It’s a pretty tasteless game, but I can see how the team at Apple responsible for screening new apps for submission in the App Store could have missed the sensitivity surrounding the topic of the game to ultimately approve it.

Update: and the app is gone. From Retarded Arts:

“Zombie School, which was approved by Apple, was taken down from the App Store, at 12:30 PM this morning. We think that there has been a massive confusion.”

But what threw me off, and what should make them reconsider rejecting the application into the store if you ask me, is the fact that the developer has been astroturfing the iPhoneWorld forums and touting the game saying that it just like “promoting school shooting!” Check out this forum post from user ‘privateson’, who pretends that he became aware of the game after his friends downloaded it, writing that he’s ‘shocked’ about his ‘insane’ game that lets you “bomb the Cheerleader into several pieces!!!”

Only, this is the user’s second post on the forum, the first one being this promotional post in which he discloses to be working for Retarded Arts.

Whether you think this app has its place in the App Store or not, I think it’s sick for the developer to promote the game the way he does in the forums. What’s your opinion?

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