Google is facing criticism after a series of violent games based on the conflict in Gaza appeared in its Play app store. Games such as ‘Bomb Gaza’, ‘Gaza Assault: Code Red’ and ‘Whack the Hamas’ are available to download onto Android smart phones from the store, despite receiving numerous angry reviews, according to the Telegraph.
In ‘Gaza Assault: Code Red’, players direct an Israeli drone over Gaza, searching for Hamas militants. The game’s description reads: “Terrorist cells are launching rockets into your country, do you have what it takes to protect your citizens?”
Another game, ‘Bomb Gaza’, allows users to take control of an Israeli F16 fighter jet. Users must “drop bombs and avoid killing civilians”, according to the description. The game has so far been downloaded over 500 times.
One angry reviewer wrote on ‘Bomb Gaza’: “To think that you can turn genocide, murder and ethnic cleansing into a game is absolutely disgusting,” while another said: “My beloved brothers and sisters are dying in Gaza and some stupid ignoramus decides to make a game like this.”
A third game called ‘Whack the Hamas’, based on the popular arcade game ‘Whack-a-mole’, says that it is “inspired by the operation ‘Tzuk Eitan’ [the Hebrew name for ‘Protective Shield’].” Its description says: “The Hamasites are coming out of their tunnels! Don’t let them escape, otherwise they will hurt innocent civilians!”
Chris Doyle of the Council for Arab-British Understanding told the Telegraph that the games were in “very, very poor taste.”
He added: “You can have video games that deal with war, but when you base it in a reality of a conflict that’ going on right now it’s extremely problematic… it doesn’t create a culture of peace – and we need to, more than ever before.”