Google deleted a game titled Simulation of slavery from its app store after backlash from users in Brazil.
The app — developed by Malaysian mobile game company Magnus Games — allows players to play the role of owners of enslaved people, with the developer taking pride in what the game brings to its users. the opportunity to “trade, buy and sell slaves”. Players are said to be able to torture black characters in the game as well.
It was removed from Google’s Play Store on Wednesday.
local media report that in the month since it was added and removed from the Google Play Store, the game has been downloaded more than 1,000 times. Some Google Play users have complained about the game’s content in app store reviews.
Google Play allows “Simulador de Escravidão” to request sponsorship for us to use
The existence and creation of a “game” that normalizes or breaks world records in order to encourage sportsmen as a producer, supplier and some escravizadas and criminals. @Google Play app market pic.twitter.com/N7RcyYww08
– Africanization (@africanize_) May 24, 2023
《Amidst discussions about racism, until this Wednesday (24), Google had a game called ‘Slavery Simulator’ in its app store. The game simulates blacks who can be punished during matches.
The app went offline this afternoon.》https://t.co/g5hOWTtDtt
– Michele Prado (@MichelePradoBa) May 24, 2023
Spokespeople for Magnus Games and Google were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Luck.
However, Google told BBC in a statement that the Play Store does not allow “apps that incite violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin or depict or promote gratuitous violence.” or other dangerous activities.”
“When a violation is detected, we will take appropriate action,” the company said.
Magnus Games said in the description about Simulation of slavery that the company “condemns slavery in all its forms” and that the game is “created solely for entertainment purposes.”
Brazilian Congressman Orlando Silva said in a tweet on Thursday that he had submitted a request to the country’s Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation into the game and what he described as “a scandalous racism case.”
“We cannot naturalize barbarism,” he wrote.
Local media reported that the Prosecutor’s Office had opened an investigation into how the game was allowed to be sold to users through the Google Play Store.
Silva is not the only lawmaker to publicly criticize the game. Racial equality activist and politician Renata Souza said in a tweet on Thursday that the game is proof that more internet regulation is needed.
“Google demonstrates its lack of commitment to denouncing human rights abuses and allowing this type of content to be distributed on its platform,” she said. “We cannot allow big tech companies to take advantage of free speech to promote hate crimes. Profit cannot be higher than life!”
Their comments came after Brazil’s Ministry of Racial Equality released a statement about Simulation of slavery games, with the government department saying on Wednesday that it had scheduled a meeting with Google to discuss its responsibility for moderating racist content.
Slavery spanning over 300 years in Brazil, with about 4 million Africans immigrating to the country. More than 40% of the slaves brought from Africa to the New World ended up in Brazil, based on historian Emilia Viotti da Costa.