“Your app contains content that is offensive and would be considered objectionable by many users, which is not allowed on the App Store.

This quote, taken from a report issued by GOP Arcade, highlights how services such as Apple’s App Store can be unfriendly to satirical games. It’s also meant to explain why the App Store has refused to accept GOP Arcade games. But to me it’s no explanation at all; instead it only raises more questions.

Although I do not agree, I could see why a mega-corporation such as Apple would not want to compromise its brand by association with inflammatory content. But this is a bit rich when there is so much killing and bombing going on in games which are freely available at the App Store. Playing these games, you can set fire to as many things as you like! The App Store’s decision to ban GOP Arcade’s output is even more questionable when you think that the fire-raising games it does allow, are not normally laugh-out-loud, whereas everything on the GOP Arcade site – from the title onwards – is clearly meant to be satirical.

Perhaps Apple does not want to be associated with material targeting Donald Trump which could be deemed offensive. But even this does not add up since there are three games cited in GOP’s report which make fun of the Trump in an explicitly crude manner.

“Search for “Donald Trump” in the App Store. You will find at least three games where you literally take a shit on Donald Trump’s head. And more where you physically assault Trump and other well-known figures.”

As someone who considers videogames as a relatively unexplored yet versatile form of satire, it pains me to see it stifled like this. This kind of censorious attitude will put off developers from experimenting with games and satire; and its arbitrary implementation just makes matters worse.

Far better to have consistent safeguards for freedom of expression.