By Christian Bautista
Google has just taken down a mobile game from its Play Store that simulates Israeli military bombings in Gaza.
The Android app, called Bomb Gaza, instructed users to “drop bombs and avoid killing civilians.” To earn a high score, gamers are required to maneuver a military aircraft to drop bombs on fighters from the Islamist group Hamas. The side-scrolling game concludes when the “rage meter” reaches its peak due to too many civilian deaths.
The game is extremely insensitive to recent events, considering that the conflict between Israel and Hamas has caused the deaths of 1,865 Palestinians.
The app, which was developed by PlayFTW, first appeared on the Play Store on July 26. On the app’s page, the developer promised “improved performance” for its most recent update, which included the addition of “Israel’s theme music.”
The game has inspired an outpouring of Internet rage, and people have taken to the app page’s comment section to protest its existence in the Play Store.
“Utterly shameful. Real people, many of them children are dying in Gaza. Many of this who haven’t been killed face life with debilitating injuries, bereavement and without homes. Their suffering is as real as yours or mine, and to make light of it like this speaks of your essential failure as a human. Shame on the creators of this game, and those who ‘play’ it,” George Coote, a Play Store user, wrote on the Bomb Gaza page.
In a statement sent to News.com.au, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the app had been pulled from the Play Store. “This app is no longer available on Google Play. We don’t comment on specific apps remove apps but we remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies,” the company said.
The spokesperson did not specify what policies the game violated. However, Google’s guide for developers forbids the depiction of gratuitous violence and hate speech based on religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, age and veteran status.
Bomb Gaza is not the only the game inspired by the conflict in the Gaza Strip. Gaza Assault: Code Red, which first appeared in the Play Store on July 17, has also been taken off the Play Store.