App Store Rejects "Uncomfortable" Sweatshop Game

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

App Store Rejects "Uncomfortable" Sweatshop Game

Sweatshop HD, a game that "challenges young people to think about the origin of the clothes we buy," is the latest app to fall afoul of Apple's content rules.

"Sweatshop challenges players to manage an off-shore clothing factory, producing the latest in cheap designer fashions for Britain's high streets," says the Sweatshop page on developer Littleloud's website. But it's not a conventional management game; if you want to turn a profit you'll have to turn a blind eye to the less savory aspects of the business. Te idea is to make players think about how the apparel they love so much is actually made, but that critical eye goes a little too far for the comfort of Apple censors.

The game was originally released in November 2012 but was pulled from the App Store earlier this year. Apple told Littleloud that it was "uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop" in which players could boost their scores by blocking fire escapes, forcing laborers to work long hours and hiring low-cost child labor.

In response, the developer updated the game to clarify that it is a work of fiction created in conjunction with the Labor Behind the Label charity and that players aren't forced to do anything they do want to do. "Sadly, these clarifications and changes weren't enough to see the game reinstated for sale," Littleloud's Simon Parkin said.

It's an unfortunate omission, but not a terribly surprising one. Apple has a history of keeping controversial content off the App Store and made it clear in January that it intends to maintain its role of content gatekeeper, stating succinctly, "If you want to criticize religion, write a book." Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of modern internet, you can still sample the "fun" of Sweatshop online at playsweatshop.com.

Source: Pocket Gamer

Permalink

uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

Uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop, but not enough to stop running real ones.

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

^This
It really hit a little too close to home for Apple. Seems like a good idea for a game, I've played flash games about running companies so to have one where you run a sweatshop seems an interesting idea.

Pretty hypocritical. Feel uncomfortable about seatshops but have all your devices produced in them? Pah!

There isn't an android version of this? Doesn't look too bad... I can't find anything on the google play store but maybe I'm just to distracted to find it.

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

DVS BSTrD:
Uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop, but not enough to stop running real ones.

These two posts sum up how I feel about this matter.

Not sure how the quality of the game is, but it would be interesting to test it out I guess.

Y'know what the saddest part here is? ...I mean aside from the whole censorship etc. etc. stuff and turning a blind eye to a real issue.

It's that the game is actually pretty fun. It's got nice cartoony graphics, pretty hilarious dialogue, and the game just flows pretty nicely.

I would love to play it on my iPod Touch.

Wait, don't Apple have games where you kill things/people? So murder is more acceptable than the sweatshops in which their products are made. Someone should make Foxconn: The game, where you just jump off the iPad factory because of the horrendous working conditions. Available on Android of course.

I played the Sweatshop game and it was okay, not too preachy but it still makes it obvious about the issues involved which was good. It was just a bit boring after a while.

If you want to criticize religion, write a book.

Real visionaries there at App Store. I understand what they are doing from business perspective, but such a lack of balls disappoints me.

Apple: Protecting the world from information since 2008

I don't use Apple products because I don't like the closed platform; this is why
(also not a fan of the UI, but that's mostly just personal preference)

We all knew that Apple's new "content guidelines" would end up wrecking important stuff.

This one is just particularly funny because Apple themselves run sweatshops in China that are so bad, they've had to install nets on the sides of the outer walls to catch the people that jump off the building to KILL THEMSELVES.

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

Yep sounds like Apple all right. Clean, sleek and user friendly on the outside, cheap Third World labour and censorship on the inside.

Yopaz:

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

DVS BSTrD:
Uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop, but not enough to stop running real ones.

These two posts sum up how I feel about this matter.

Not sure how the quality of the game is, but it would be interesting to test it out I guess.

It started as a flash game two years ago, I remember playing it. It's O.K. I guess but if you really are interested here: http://www.kongregate.com/games/channelfour/sweatshop

I'm pretty sure that this game wasn't "uncomfortable" for anyone but themselves. If I were an indie developer I'd be "uncomfortable" with making a game or anything for them, trying to fit their stupid guidelines as opposed to artistic expression. How many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of mowing down zombies with machine guns? Let's pull all of those too.

As if anyone who played this would be anything but a massive ass-hole, people would just play it like a even more fucked up Dungeon Keeper. Not that I don't commend their efforts to spread awareness.

EDIT: I worded that badly, I mean't to say those who play would proberly play AS a complete ass hole, like how most people play God games like Black & White. Im not saying those who played it are actually bad people.

Well of course. You don't want children to think of all the children's fingers lost in the Apple machinery. Then they might start demanding you change your ways. Ignorance is the best business strategy, after all you can't feel bad about what you don't know.

Keep on trucking Apple. Soon all are sweatshops belong to you.

Also PunkRex you really think people play Dungeon Keeper because they are massive asshole sadists? I think you never played the game to start with and that you are jumping to a bit of a conclusion assuming that because a game asks you to run something that can't be considered angelic pure goodness it must only appeal to assholes.

What a narrow view.

Apple doesn't like game about sweatshop. In unrelated news, Irony has reached overwhelming levels and all life on earth has begun to die as a result

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

Am I too evil if I say i just don't really care? (evil Dwight smile)
No, really, your point is more than valid though. However, the real issue is not that Apple does the almost-slave working scheme in poor countries, the real issue is that most companies the size of Apple do that, I'm pretty aware that most things I own were probably made like that, but what does it mean? Even worse, a lot of those low moral standards aren't even illegal in some countries where they're practiced. And there are huge clusterfucks that protect the big company, for instance small factory with kids produces stuff for Apple, Samsung and Dell, if they're caught the factory gets fucked up, but legally, Apple and Samsung can just slam a good lawyer who'll say they had no idea that was the way things were being built and all they get is a bad reputation, until the next big release.
It's the way capitalism is rolling right now, you wanna keep a competitive production cost you gotta look for loopholes, and it's a cycle, because the cheaper it gets the more cheating the law there will be, lowering the prices even further and so on. (production prices that is)

MarlonBlazed:

Yopaz:

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

DVS BSTrD:
Uncomfortable selling a game based around the theme of running a sweatshop, but not enough to stop running real ones.

These two posts sum up how I feel about this matter.

Not sure how the quality of the game is, but it would be interesting to test it out I guess.

It started as a flash game two years ago, I remember playing it. It's O.K. I guess but if you really are interested here: http://www.kongregate.com/games/channelfour/sweatshop

Thanks for that. Though stupid me also noticed a link to the game was posted in the article after I had posted...

Anyway, I agree with your judgment. It's OK. I played the first few levels and didn't really bother to go on after that.

Hit a little bit too close to home, aye?
Well, no matter. I don't have an "i" device (or any smartphone) anyway. I'm oldschool like that.

Edit: The game's commentary seems a little too blunt and too "in your face" imho. But I guess I just find commentary with a bit suptlety more effective.

Strain42:
Y'know what the saddest part here is? ...I mean aside from the whole censorship etc. etc. stuff and turning a blind eye to a real issue.

It's that the game is actually pretty fun. It's got nice cartoony graphics, pretty hilarious dialogue, and the game just flows pretty nicely.

I would love to play it on my iPod Touch.

So tell that to Apple. I'm not being a smartass here, I mean literally tell that to Apple. If enough customers make noise they may start paying attention.

Who makes these type of decisions at corporations? If they had just let the game go by there'd be next to no publicity, next to no fuss. But because they DID oppose the game the media is going to lap this up.

How stupid. How very, very stupid.

The website to play the game on is running extremely slow. No doubt because of all the free publicity it just got from Apple removing it from the app store.

Reminds me of Phone Story, which did the same thing for smartphones and was barred from the App Store for its trouble (probably because it was aimed, with not much in the way of subtlety, at Apple itself). Except it was then released for Android devices. It'd be nice to see the same thing happen here.

Well Apple said a long time ago that anything not completely brain dead has no place on their store, their legacy continues.

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

thread's over, we can go home

Perhaps it's for the best.

If anyone tried to play a game about working in sweatshops on a device built by workers in a sweatshop the hypocrisy would probably reach critical mass and open up some sort of black hole.

Apple just want to make phones and sell gimmicks, why do people have to complicated that with all their messy emotions?

Zombie_Moogle:
Apple: Protecting the world from information since 2008

I don't use Apple products because I don't like the closed platform; this is why
(also not a fan of the UI, but that's mostly just personal preference)

Should read: "Apple: Protecting the world from information since always!"

Yet another reason why Apple is just the worst!

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

That's total crap.

...Apple's products are manufactured in mainland sweatshops, not offshore sweatshops!

OlasDAlmighty:
Perhaps it's for the best.

If anyone tried to play a game about working in sweatshops on a device built by workers in a sweatshop the hypocrisy would probably reach critical mass and open up some sort of black hole.

No, that would happen when they used their sweatshop-produced products to tweet about how horribly wrong it is to support sweatshop-produced products.

"If you want to criticize religion, write a book."

Writes a book, tries to sell it on the Apple store, gets banned. :-P

Zachary Amaranth:

rebus_forever:
uncomfortable with consumers learning how their "i" device was manufactured, a more accurate description.

That's total crap.

...Apple's products are manufactured in mainland sweatshops, not offshore sweatshops!

It really depends on what you consider 'Mainland.'

See:

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.403301-Poll-Where-do-you-live-Now-with-better-poll-options

Only 30% of Escapists who answered the poll live on the North America continent, and an very small number live in China.

This seems like an appropriate action to take by a company guilty of what's being represented.
I don't see anything particularly wrong about the title, but it may be because it can encourage thought and questioning in regards to consumerism. And for ethics to get in the way of business, that's bad mmmkay?

Ed130:

It really depends on what you consider 'Mainland.'

"mainland" doesn't refer to your home country. Well, it can, but doesn't automatically.

also, more specific to this case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainland_China

But still, I can't believe someone decided to not only bust down a joke for semantics, but incorrect semantics at that.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here