Google Really Messed Up With Bomb Gaza Game
As a society, unfortunately, we have come to a point where we normalize violence. We no longer find it unusual when we hear about mass shootings at schools, we create extremely violent video games that allow us to kill our opponents in a variety of ways, and we videotape fights and post them online. But now, now we’ve taken it one step too far. A developer who uses the moniker PlayFTW uploaded a Bomb Gaza game where users can drop bombs on draped figures who are supposed to represent the Palestinian organization Hamas, while trying to avoid killing civilians. The game was downloaded around 1,000 times before it was pulled by Google’s app store according to Fox.
Both Palestinians and Israelis have been prominent in sharing their views on the matter. Since the conflict started over a month ago there have been numerous online mementos; from the simple hashtag of #freepalestine, to the statuses saying “I stand with Gaza.” Our generation makes it a point to use technology to voice their opinions on matters, and I often find it commendable. But when people use said technology to glorify the ongoing violence occurring in Gaza, it is utterly shocking and despicable. It also raises red flags on what Google’s standards and policies are for their Play Store applications.
A Google spokesman said that the company doesn’t “comment on individual apps, but will remove apps that breach our guidelines,” which prohibit some speech, bullying, and violence. The app’s maturity setting was set to ‘low,’ which means that the game was deemed suitable for kids, according to the Guardian.
Google: I don’t know how you could allow a game like this to be put up.
PlayFTW: I don’t understand why you would create a game like this in the first place.
Android users: I don’t understand why you would download and play an insensitive game titled “Bomb Gaza.”
I’m just full of confusion at the moment.
What is going on in Gaza is horrendous. So far, more than 1,800 Palestinians have died, and many of those are children. Children who don’t have any say in the matter. Children who hardly have any idea what the conflict is about. Children who simply radiate innocence. I just don’t understand. I don’t understand how someone could take something so serious and turn it into a game.
Now I concede, I have played the earlier Call of Duty games that were set during World War II, but “Bomb Gaza” is so much different. You cannot play as the German army in the Call of Duty games; you cannot imprison Jews and gas people as the Nazis did; and you cannot strip people of their dignity. You simply cannot recreate the emotions felt during WW2, because they are still too raw. With “Bomb Gaza” you’re supposed to aim for the ‘terrorists’ but can easily hit a civilian, and although it’s only a game, it still hits a deep, deep nerve.
I have no ‘true’ connection with this conflict. I am not Palestinian, and I am not Israeli; but I am a human. And it saddens me every time I hear about a village being taken out. It saddens me when I see a picture of a father holding the remains of his son. It saddens me when innocent people are caught in the crossfire of a conflict they never asked for. And it saddens me when an app is developed to perpetuate the conflict, to add fuel to the fire, to glorify and normalize the bombings of Gaza, and to do it now at the height of the conflict.
Hate perpetuates hate, violence perpetuates violence. But you know what? Peace perpetuates peace, and love perpetuates love and instead of using our technology to provoke the situation, why don’t we use it to try and solve this issue peacefully?
Featured image courtesy of [Plantronicsgermany via Flickr]