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Posted by on Jan 7, 2013

Apple Rejects GameTheNews.net’s Syrian Civil War Game from App Store [Endgame: Syria]

Apple Rejects GameTheNews.net’s Syrian Civil War Game from App Store [Endgame: Syria]

Recently, GGS Gamer posted a story about My Cotton Picking Life, from the GameTheNews.net team. In short, their mission is to create interactive experiences that help illustrate important news stories and social issues. (Their slogan is “The World, Made Playable.”)

This week, they’re in the news again…for their game that explores the Syrian civil war. Endgame: Syria, available now on Android, has been “rejected by Apple due to App Store guidelines forbidding games that ‘solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity’.”

As you can imagine, this kind of thing creates an issue for a game about a specific, real world conflict. According to Apple, Endgame: Syria is guilty by nature. Exploring a real news event and showing users the range of factions and people involved is both the game’s raison d’être and the reason Apple shot it down.

The game’s designer, Tomas Rawlings takes up the story, “This decision is a shame really as it makes it hard to talk about the real world. We had hoped that Apple would be more nuanced in how they applied this rule but we got a bit worried when it had been in submission for around two weeks without a decision – we then figured that because of the controversy of using the gaming medium to cover an ongoing war meant passing the game had become an issue for them.”

Tomas continued, “Our aim is to use games as a format to bring news to a new audience and submission processes such as this do make it a lot harder for us. I get that Apple want to make sure really offensive titles don’t pass into their store, but ours is far from that. In fact the response to the game has been broadly positive with much of the mainstream media picking up on the story. We’ll be making changes to the game and re-submitting it but it does mean we’ll have to strip some of the meaning and context from it to pass Apple’s submission process and that is not ideal.”

Shame. I hate the idea of anyone having to tweak content for any reason, but…here’s the thing. While it’s a setback, it’s not necessarily game over!

Endgame: Syria runs as a HTML5 application, so it CAN BE PLAYED on an iPhone or iPad without an app install!

Check it out on your iOS device right here.

Tony Sadowski

Tony is a Philadelphia-based writer and producer with a taste for the quirky and comical. A lifelong gamer and pop culture addict, he is also 1/3 of the team behind the You Like the Worst Stuff podcast. Connect with him using the links below, especially on Twitter @TweetsByTheTony. Or send your thoughts to tony@ggsgamer.com!

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