TerrorBull games knows how to rub someone’s fur backwards when it comes to game development, and their upcoming release for iOS, entitled War on Terror, is pretty likely to do exactly that.
The game is based on a board game from the same company that uses former US President George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” as its inspiration. It’s a game intended to hit some nerves, as it comes with with a black balaclava, dirty-bomb cards and an “Axis of Evil spinner”. While playing the game, players alienate one another with “Nuke” cards that amp up the competition, and it’s pretty obvious that TerrorBull’s intent is to bring that same feel to iOS.
The board game was banned in the US upon its release in 2009 and has had trouble getting widespread acceptance due to its intentionally inflammatory nature and deliberate mockery of American foreign policy. Forbes asks a pretty salient question: Is Apple going to let this stand?[quote]This isn’t the first iPhone game aimed at making a political or ideological point. Another activist game designer associated with the Yes Men recently created an iPhone game called Phone Story that poked fun at the way iPhones themselves were made. Skirting the boundaries of bad taste, players had to force children to work at gun point in mines, then stop factory workers in China from committing suicide — all part of the game designer’s activist message. The 99-cent app was downloaded 1,000 times before Apple pulled it from the App Store, citing a violation of terms of service… Who knows if the War on Terror app will suffer a similar fate.[/quote]
Should the app be pulled? I’m not sure. On the one hand, there’s no need to be scared of dissenting opinions… even if they’re in bad taste. On the other hand, Apple is not a courtroom, school, university, newspaper or political forum. The App Store is not owned by the public and having your app removed is not a violation of human rights. Personally, I think activists on both sides of Bush’s “War on Terror” issue need to move on, as the world has changed in the ten years since the catastrophic event which spurred a new and dark era in American history. Maybe TerrorBull (who has openly confirmed that they’re trying to send a “message” with this horrifying game) should move on as well.
War on Terror will cost $4.99 on the iTunes Store and will be released November 25.