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Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Rockets and iron domes

US soldiers fire a Javelin missile. Credit: US Army

Google has removed the games Bomb Gaza and Gaza Assault: Code Red from its Play app store.

The games tasked players with destroying Hamas combatants and rockets without killing civilians, and have been criticised as glorifying violence.

Unlike Apple, which pre-approves all games on iTunes, Google does not have a rigorous approval process and an increasing number of games have popped up that are themed around the current conflict. These come from both sides. The game Iron Dome borrows heavily from Missile Command, while Game Missile Pride has you piloting a Hamas rocket Flappy Bird style through the Iron Dome at Israel.

There's also Gaza Defender, which much like the banned games seems to be an opportunistic title as the developer also has an anti-Taliban game.

Predictably the votes and comments for these games have more to do with political leanings with either five-star or one-star votes.

Google doesn’t have to justify why it removes any title from the Play store, and it is after all in Google’s interest to have as many apps – particularly revenue-generating ones – as possible, but there are clauses in the Google Play Developer Program Policies which single out Hate speech and Violence & Bullying as unacceptable. ®

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