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Friday, June 26, 2015

War Between The States: Apple vs. Common Sense

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Even history is censored.

And you really thought that RawkHawk2010 was just connecting unrelated concepts in his article on the Confederate Flag and Rare Ltd. on Tuesday? No, the ongoing debate and controversy over the Confederate Flag is intricately related to the videogame industry.

How? Well, just look at Apple and their new move on their App Store:
"Apple appears to have joined the growing list of companies removing merchandise depicting the Confederate battle flag, pulling a number of Civil War games from its App Store."
One such game was Ultimate General: Gettysburg from Game Labs LLC. According to Game Labs, the game is the
"most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield."
And out of the desire to be accurate and true to history, Game Labs has rejected Apple's consolation of "if you remove the flag from the game you can put the game back on the App Store."

Now, it is extremely important to note this: Game Labs is (presumably) not made up of whacky extremist dudes trying to make a social point with their games. All they're trying to do is put out a historically accurate, challenging simulation of the Battle of Gettysburg. 

See the low-res flags? That's what got the game banned. Also, note the current dude selected is named "Wright". (Related to our lawyer pal?)
Screen-grab from DiplexHeated on YouTube.

The "Confederate Flag" we talk about so much that has such a spectacular admirable design that I did art of it, is actually the Army of Northern Virginia battle flag used by General Robert E. Lee's unit, among others. The actual flag used by the Confederate States of America went through an iterative design process that graphic designers today could learn from, but none of those flags were exactly the battle flag design we think is awesome today. There's a reason that people now simply call it the "Confederate Flag", 'cause the other flags aren't anywhere near as good.

Anyway, Apple doesn't care for history, or anything that could possibly cause controversy. According to people who follow Apple (I'm not one of them), the only history Apple concerns itself with is its own, which is marked by a long series of similar knee-jerk removals of a wide variety of things. Makes me wonder why Capcom would even bother putting up the Ace Attorney games in such a hostile environment, despite appearances that it's a very welcoming one.

How welcoming is an environment that boasts that games are not art in their submission guidelines, and that the guidelines are a "living document" that may change specifically to exclude you? 


Apple Personal Attacks App Store Review Guidelines satirists
This is from Apple's guidelines. Does KoopaTV count as "professional political satirists and humorists"?

Oh, and don't think that Google is any better. They're removing all Confederate-branded merchandise from their own online marketplace, though that does not appear to include the Google Play store at the moment. According to Google, the Confederate flag breaks Google's anti-expressing-hate policy.

Super unfortunate disclosure: Google hosts KoopaTV's servers and website. Look forward to Google removing KoopaTV from existence sometime in the future.

Apple is apparently working with developers to reverse its blanket ban of apps with the Confederate Flag contained within them, though I'd say this is yet another reminder to just avoid the mobile space altogether. Would consoles be better in this regard? That's unknown as of now, but boycotting mobile games is a good idea in general. 

Actually, as of publishing, Ultimate General: Gettysburg is back on the App Store, and may experience a swell of new purchases due to all of the media spectacle on it. But only after exerted effort that should have never been wasted on dealing with Apple that could've been avoided entirely.


Ultimate General Gettysburg App Store screenshot listing details Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee speaking wise words on the App Store listing for Ultimate General: Gettysburg:
"I would rather die a thousand deaths than surrender."
(Also, is it "Gamelabs", "Game Labs", or "Game-Labs" as said on their site?)

Either way, KoopaTV hates this sort of censorship. Yes, these are private sector companies. However, these heavy-handed decisions are still based in the ideology of authoritarianism, the very ideology that the Confederate forefathers rebelled against — now with KoopaTV continuing that struggle in the present-day. Look forward to our next game — whatever it may be (we're working on it now) — explicitly going after the notion of these "symbols" and your notions of them.

And we'll distribute it one way or another, no matter how much Apple may object to it. You think I care what they think? They're... rotten to the core!


If you're using an Apple product to browse KoopaTV, chances are your KoopaTV experience (and your Internet experience in general) is suffering. Switch to a PC and use desktop KoopaTV! Then you can actually play KoopaTV's flash-based games.


Ludwig has been defending portrayal of Confederate symbols since KoopaTV began.
While Confederate imagery may not be allowed on Apple, it is allowed on KoopaTV, where we've developed a whole game you can play for free based on it!

12 comments :

  1. "Then you can actually play KoopaTV's flash-based games."

    Lmaoooo.
    I don't think Apple users know what flash is.
    Apple is a terrible company and I wish someone would kamikaze into the Apple HQ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For some reason, your comment reminds me of this (flash) game:
      http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/528055

      (Now I'm linking to the one it actually reminds me of.)

      Delete

    2. Sounds like a lovely game.
      With tags about suicide, the IRS, and taxes, it is probably a fine game indeed.

      Delete
    3. It's the type of thing KoopaTV would make, though we'd give it a bit more depth.

      Delete
    4. Wow, KoopaTV sounds great!
      Everyone should read KoopaTV!

      Delete
    5. ...Yeah! But don't just preach to the choir...
      Tell your friends!

      Delete
    6. Hey Ludwig, KoopaTV is great! You should read it! Here is one of their articles: http://koopatv.blogspot.com/2015/06/war-between-states-apple-vs-common-sense.html?m=1

      Delete
    7. Yoooooooo don't ever ever ever link mobile version to anyone.

      Get rid of that ?m=1 stuff.

      Delete
    8. Okay.

      It's just that the hundreds of people who clicked the article link in the third post here:
      http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3597224&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=306

      ...All went to see mobile KoopaTV, which is a depriving experience.

      Delete

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