updated 11:40 am EDT, Mon March 30, 2009
Britain vs. gun apps
Anti-gun organizations in the UK are expressing "outrage" over a collection of gun-based iPhone applications at the App Store, according to regional newspapers. Leading these is an advisory group for the Operation Trident program at the London Metropolitan Police, which is aiming to suppress gun crime. "This [gun app collection] is hugely irresponsible in a climate when we are trying to get guns off the streets," says the advisory group's chair, Claudia Webbe.
At the center of the controversy are several titles from a French company, Damabia, which simulate firing guns. Users can toggle a safety switch, pull a trigger, and reload shells or bullets. The apps are either free or 59p locally, and have an age rating of only 9+ for "Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes" and "Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence."
John Beyer -- the director of morality watchdog mediawatch UK -- adds that "in view of recent events in Northern Ireland and elsewhere," he feels that the app is in "extremely poor taste." Beyer is calling for the parties involved to withdraw the apps from sale, though a response may be unlikely given the French and American connections of the companies. The apps also comply with the rules of Apple's submission guidelines, and do not feature any direct violence.