What could possibly be offensive about a mobile game that makes light of the bloody and ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict by encouraging bored Android and tablet users to drop animated explosives on Gaza, where over 1,800 real, human Palestinians have been killed since the start of the fighting? Oh, that’s right — everything.
To make matters worse, the game, titled “Bomb Gaza,” released by developer PLAYFTW, had a “low” maturity rating, meaning children were given the green light to play it. Excellent.
Angry and disgusted complaints flooded the game’s (now-deleted) comments section, and while some comments were political and defended one side of the conflict or the other, the overwhelming sentiment of the outraged objections can be pretty-well summed up by this simple, straight-forward one (heads-up for some swearing):
“WTF There is ongoing conflict in which people are dying and you seem to find it acceptable to make a game of it. That’s fucked up.”
In response to the backlash, Google removed the game from its Google Play app store on Monday, stating simply that “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies,” though the company did not specify which policy the game had violated. A similar game, Gaza Assault: Code Red, which was still available when The Guardian first reported this story, also appears to have been removed as of this writing.
We suppose it’s somewhat heartening to know that during a conflict that so deeply divides so many people on so many levels, something utterly distasteful and offensive can still unite an angry internet mob to collectively yell, “WTF?!”