Google has finally removed a controversial mobile game that allowed players to buy, sell and even torture black characters.
The ‘all ages’ Android game, called ‘Simulador de Escravidão’ (or ‘Slavery Simulator’), was created by Malaysian games developer Magnus Games.
It was released on Google’s Play Store on April 20 and downloaded more than 1,000 times before being taken down on Wednesday after a social media outcry.
But it will remain available to people who have already downloaded it, according to Brazilian daily Folha de S Paulo.
It follows that the hugely popular FIFA football video game perpetuates racist myths and stereotypes about black people.
Called ‘Simulador de Escravidão (or ‘Slavery Simulator’), the game is made by Malaysian company Magnus Games
Brazil’s racial equality ministry said it had contacted Magnus and Google and those behind Slavery Simulator will be held legally responsible, according to the guard.
What is Magnus Games?
Magnus Games is the Malaysian ‘indie’ game company behind the offensive ‘Slavery Simulator’ game.
Slavery Simulator allows players to “buy and sell” and even torture black characters.
Magnus Games is also behind Re:Legend, which is said to be “the highest-funded Kickstarter video game in Southeast Asia.”
Re:Legend lets players “adventure with friends in a beautiful world of wonder and fantastic creatures” and “build, craft, farm and fish while raising and breeding amazing companion animals.”
It is unclear whether the offensive game was made exclusively for the Brazilian market or whether it was also available in other countries.
Slavery Simulator allows players to “garner wealth as they trade, buy, and sell slaves,” while avoiding “running away or rebelling” by hiring guards.
According to CNNAt the beginning of the game, players choose one of two objectives: the path of the tyrant or the path of the liberator.
Instead of becoming “a wealthy slave owner,” by choosing the “Path of the Liberator,” they can achieve the abolition of slavery,” the game’s description reads.
The Magnus Games Facebook page still has a screenshot of the gameplay, which shows a wealthy white slave owner and a black character behind bars.
Brazilian figures took to social media to condemn the game and its creators, as well as Google for releasing it.
In a tweet, Brazilian politician Renata Souza called it “blatant racism” and added: “The image illustrating the game has a white man surrounded by black men.
“It’s absurdly violent. Google and the developer must answer for this crime of hate and racism.”
Magnus Games’ Facebook page features another gameplay screenshot, showing a wealthy white slave owner and a black character behind bars
Bruno Cândido, a black lawyer from Rio de Janeiro, posted disturbing screenshots of the game on Twitter
According to Souza, some of the comments about the game on the app store were “great for killing time, missing more torture options” and “would love to do it in real life.”
Another comment said, “I have a black friend and it was cool playing co-op with him.”
Bruno Cândido, a black lawyer from Rio de Janeiro, posted disturbing screenshots of the game on Twitter, one of which showed a black man in handcuffs.
Cândido said, “Your black child may at any moment encounter a game in which it is reduced to slavery, and if your child is white, it will be taught through recreational racism to become a slave in real life.”
Meanwhile, Quilombo Periférico, a collective mandate of black city councilors in São Paulo, said, “Racism is not entertainment, it’s a crime!”
Slavery Simulator had no age rating, so it’s possible even kids are still playing it after it’s been removed.
The Brazilian Public Prosecution Service has opened an investigation into why the game is available on the Play Store, according to CNN.
Prosecutors asked Google for “specific information about the game,” citing the “large number of racist comments” from users.
Regarding the issue, a Google spokesperson told MailOnline: “The said apps have been removed from Play.
Google confirmed the game has been removed from the Play Store, the company’s app store on Android certified devices (file photo)
“Google Play has robust package policies to keep users safe that all developers must follow.
We don’t 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.
Anyone who believes they’ve found an app that violates our rules can report it to Google Play. We will take appropriate measures if violations are found.’
Magnus Games has yet to respond to MailOnline’s request for comment.
Racism remains a problem in Brazil, which abolished slavery in 1888, more than 20 years after the US.
By then, Brazil had imported an estimated 4,000,000 slaves from Africa—about 40 percent of all slaves shipped to the Americas.
The controversy follows a report that revealed that black stereotypes are still rife in the video game FIFA, developed by US company Electronic Arts (EA).
Study authors say top black players in the game of FIFA gained greater physical attributes, such as sprint speed and jumping (file photo)
It found that top black players in the game gain greater physical attributes, such as sprinting speed and jumping, while whites had higher scores in cognitive and technical areas.
EA Sports, the division of EA that publishes FIFA, criticized the research, saying there is “no correlation between skin color and skill in our game.”
The company had to change the name of its successful game after its two-decade partnership with the global football governing body ended.
One of the earlier racist video games was called ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ and was released by Microsoft in early 2002.
In the first-person shooter, the player controlled a neo-Nazi skinhead and was tasked with killing stereotypical African American, Latino, and Jewish enemies.
People who identify as “gamers” are more likely to engage in sexist, racist and aggressive behavior, research shows
If you’re a member of a gaming clan online, a new study suggests you’re more susceptible to socially harmful behavior, especially if you’re playing Call of Duty.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 American gamers about their beliefs and personality traits, as well as their level of “identity fusion” with other gamers.
Identity fusion is a psychological phenomenon that produces a deep sense of belonging to a group or cause, and is especially common among gamers.
The researchers found links between identity fusion and multiple undesirable traits, including sexism, racism, and recently aggressive behavior.
The research also found that specific gaming communities, namely Call of Duty players, may encourage “highly fused” gamers to embrace antisocial tendencies more than others.