Apple, who is known for its sterling approach to curating the games in its App store, has removed all applications – including several American Civil War games — featuring the Confederate flag. According to a report by Touch Arcade, affected games include Ultimate General: Gettysburg and several other well-known Civil War titles.
This is in response to the debate following the horrific murder of nine black parishioners by a white supremacist at the Charleston church in the state of South Carolina, which still prominently displays the Confederate flag at its state capitol. A bit of context: the Confederacy was a collection of southern states who supported the practice of slavery, so its continued use in state structures is seen as troublesome and insensitive in a progressive America.
Many of these games are using the Confederate flag in the interest of historical accuracy, reflecting past real-world factions. Says Andrew of HexWar games, “We’re in no way sympathetic to the use of the flag in an offensive way, we used it purely because historically that was the flag that was used at the time.”
Questions around the morality and ethics of playing games based on real-world wars and battles is a hot debate within the actual wargaming community (if you want an excellent discussion on this, please check out this Three Moves Ahead podcast, “Ethics, Morality and Motivation”), but it feels like Apple’s overstepped the mark here.
Perhaps I’m wrong, though? Does the nature of games mean that their use delves into waters not touched by, say, historical novels or movies of the same? Should we be allowing people to play as the Confederacy in Civil War games, or the Nazis in WWII games like Hearts of Iron or Unity of Command, given what they stood for? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Touch Arcade