A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

"Endgame: Syria" Computer Game Blocked by Apple

As it happens, the Winter 2013 issue of The Middle East Journal, which will mail to subscribers soon, has an unusual lead Book Review Article: a group review by Prof. Rex Brynen of a number of computer games dealing with conflict in the Middle East.

As if right on cue, comes word of a new game called "Endgame: Syria," a simulation game which allows one to play out various endgames for the Syrian civil war. It is making news largely because Apple has rejected it for the App Store:
Weeks passed after the game was submitted to the App Store, and eventually Rawlings found out it would not be accepted — it did not abide by the store’s terms and conditions, which state that no game should “solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity.”
“I’d like to see them clarify it a little more,” Rawlings told Wired.co.uk. “They should trust their users to make their own judgments a little more; I think they would see the difference between something exploitative and something respectful, so they should err on the side of letting apps pass.”
Another account here. The British developers argue that the game educates players about real events in the news and is not exploitative. Though the Apple version has been rejected, it's also available for Android and as an HTML5 game. If you want, you can try it out online here.

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