Google removes 'Slavery Simulator' game from Play Store, here's why
Google has removed a highly controversial game, named Slavery Simulator from Play Store. According to a report by BBC, the tech giant was forced to take down the title from its app store after it caused an outrage in Brazil. Slavery Simulator was launched by Magnus Games on April 20. This game allowed players to "buy and sell" black characters and had more than 1,000 downloads before it was removed. The developer mentioned that users can "exchange, buy and sell slaves" in the description of the game. This title also allowed users to inflict various forms of torture on black characters. Slavery Simulator faced outcry in Brazil as the nation has a legacy of slavery which was abolished in the country in 1888.
The images of the game depicted that users had options to either liberate the enslaved characters or "use slaves for your own enrichment. Prevent the abolition of slavery and accumulate wealth".
As per the report, the game had a rating of four out of five stars at the time of its removal. The game also had a single review that read: "Great game to pass the time. But I think it lacked more torture options."
How Brazil reacted to the game
Brazilian social media users expressed fury over the game. Multiple eminent politicians also urged officials to hold tech companies to a higher standard.
"Blatant racism. The image illustrating the game has a white man surrounded by black men. It is absurdly violent. Google and the developer must answer for this crime of hatred and racism," tweeted Renata Souza, a black activist and regional politician from Rio de Janeiro.
"IT IS ABSURD that a game that spreads cruelty and hate speech against black people is available. Our country was built with the blood of the black population. People were killed, tortured. A 'Slavery Simulator' is no joke,” Denise Pessoa, a lawmaker with the governing PT political party wrote in another tweet.
Google with Taito working on AR game
The report mentioned that the office of Brazil's Public Prosecutor has also opened an investigation into how the game - called Simulador de Escravidão in Portuguese - was allowed to be placed on the Google Play Store.
Moreover, Brazil's Ministry for Racial Equality has also arranged a meeting with Google. This meeting is set to help build "anti-racist content moderation" policies. The ministry also informed that the developers will be held legally responsible.
What Google had to say
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said that the Play Store does not allow "apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities. "When violations are found, we take appropriate action.”
What Magnus Games said
Magnus Games is yet to comment on this issue. However, in the description of the game, the company said it was "created solely for entertainment purposes. Our studio condemns slavery in any form. All game content is fictional and not tied to specific historical events. All coincidences are accidental.