The Israel-Palestine conflict is playing out in app stores with games like Bomb Gaza being used as a new kind of information warfare. In fact, Google started pulling apps from its Play store that it found unsuitable for its mobile platform.
This week, Bomb Gaza, Gaza Assault and Whack the Hamas were banned. And it’s not the first time real conflict caused virtual ramifications. In past wars, Apple removed an app called Third Intifada, a hub for pro-Palestinian information that Israeli officials said incited violence.
Even with Bomb Gaza and the other games removed from the Play store, there are still titles inspired by the Mideast conflict. There are games based on Israel’s Iron Dome defense, which has been successful during the latest fighting in limiting damage from rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.
Another whack-a-mole style game disappeared today—Hamas a Mole, which was similar to Whack the Hamas where terrorists pop out of holes in the ground and need to be bashed back down.
Games that cause outrage have been a staple of mobile apps since Apple launched its iPhone software store in 2008. Apple is tight about regulating content in its App Store while Google has fewer restrictions on the types of games and products it allows. Still, they both have cracked down on offending games.
Here is a look at some of the most controversial games:
Players grow pot and build a drug empire. Apple pulled Weed Firm from its store this year.
You can drive immigrants through the desert but don’t let them bounce out the back of the truck. Apple rejected this game in 2011.
Whack, slap and put your boyfriend on a leash are supposed to be part of the fun in this game from last year.
This 2011 app let players train dogs for fighting before Google removed it.
Turns out a shooting game in a school wasn’t a good idea, even if the targets were zombies. Apple removed the game in 2008.
Perhaps the most tasteless of all, this game was about simulating newborn deaths by vigorously shaking an iPhone. It was pulled after slipping through the Apple censors in 2009.