Google has removed a game titled Slavery simulation from the App Store after a backlash from users in Brazil.
The app – developed by Malaysian mobile game company Magnus Games – allowed players to act as a slave owner, with the developer boasting about the game offering users the chance to “exchange, buy and sell slaves”. Players have also reportedly been able to torture black characters within the game.
It was removed from the Google Play Store on Wednesday.
Local media reported that in the month between its addition and removal from the Google Play Store, the game had been downloaded more than 1,000 times. A number of Google Play users were reported to have complained about the game’s content in reviews on the App Store.
Statement on Google Play “Simulador de Escravidão” fosse disponibilizado aos seus usuários
A being and writing “jogo” que normaliza o período escravocrata ao ponto de stimivar o jogador a consar, vender e açoitar pessoas escravizadas é criminoso. @google apps pic.twitter.com/N7RcyYww08
– Africanize (@africanize_) May 24, 2023
《In the midst of discussions about racism, as of Wednesday (24), Google had a game called “Slavery Simulator” in its App Store. The game simulates black people who can be punished throughout the matches.
The app stopped working 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 luck.
However, Google told the BBC in a statement 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 discovered, we take appropriate action,” the company said.
Magnus Games said in the description Slavery simulation that the company “condemns slavery in any form” and that the game was “created for entertainment purposes only”.
Brazilian legislator Orlando Silva he said in a tweet On Thursday, he said he had submitted a request to the country’s attorney general’s office to launch an investigation into the game and what he described as an “egregious case of racism”.
He wrote: “We cannot normalize barbarism.”
Local media reported that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into how the game was allowed to be sold to users via the Google Play Store.
Silva wasn’t the only MP to publicly criticize the game. Racial equality activist and politician Renata Souza he said in a tweet on Thursday that the match was evidence of the need for more internet regulation.
“Google shows no commitment to condemning human rights violations and allows this type of content to be appropriated on its platform,” she said. We cannot allow Big Tech to take advantage of free speech to promote hate crimes. Profit cannot be above life! “
Their comments came after Brazil’s Ministry of Racial Equality issued a statement regarding Slavery simulation On Wednesday, the government department said it had scheduled a meeting with Google to discuss its responsibilities regarding the moderation of racist content.
Slavery lasted for more than 300 years in Brazil, with about 4 million Africans imported into the country. More than 40% of the enslaved people brought from Africa to the New World ended up in Brazil, according to historian Emilia Viotti da Costa.