I recently did two roundups of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton apps. Some of the apps poked fun at both candidates and provide plenty of amusement for partisans on both sides of the political divide.
But there was one app about Hillary Clinton that Apple initially refused to publish. The company has finally changed its mind, and now you can download the Capitol HillAwry game for free from the iOS App Store.
Here’s the official description of the game:
Capitol HillAwry is a political satirical game where the objective is to collect as much money through email donations as possible while maintaining a decent approval rating in the polls.
Once you have booted up your server you will begin to receive various emails and spam. It is your objective to delete any confidential information off of the server by swiping the emails to the right. Removing confidential emails will improve your poll rating. You will also receive political donor emails, which will help earn you money through speeches and foundation donations. Be sure to swipe those to the left to respond.
The more donations you take, the more your poll rating will go down and if you do nothing with the emails, they will eventually expire and have consequences. Good luck, and try not to get caught deleting your emails! After all, you would not want people to know that capitol hill has really gone awry.
All of the “Confidential” emails in this game have been populated using the officially declassified and released State Department Benghazi emails and all of the “Political Donor” emails and satire is based off foundation donations listed on the Clinton Foundation Donors page. All content is drafted, written, and edited by professional satirist and woody award winner David Ross.
Charlie Nash reports on Apple’s change of heart for Breitbart:
The developer, John Matze from Base10, had been attempting to get the game published on the platform since 2015, but was repeatedly denied, with Apple representatives branding the game as “offensive” and “objectionable,” despite the dozens of graphic anti-Trump games that currently reside on the App Store.
After Breitbart published the story last Monday, Matze received an email stating that the game had now been accepted for publication, and the game is now available for users to download for free.
The aim of the game is “to collect as much money through email donations as possible while maintaining a decent approval rating in the polls.”
I give Breitbart credit for drawing public attention to Apple's refusal to publish the game in the iOS App Store. But it's a shame that the site had to do so in the first place. From what I can see, there was nothing in the game that warranted being banned by Apple.
Apple’s political bias in favor of Hillary Clinton?
I was actually very surprised that Apple had blocked Capitol HillAwry from the iOS App Store. After doing my roundups of Trump and Clinton apps, it seemed clear to me that there were already plenty of political apps available about both candidates.
However, Apple is known to tilt to the left in its politics, so perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. In fairness though, it could have been simply one app reviewer who was blocking the availability of Capitol HillAwry game. There's no way to know exactly what went on inside Apple during the decision making process about the Clinton app.
I hope that Tim Cook and other Apple executives use this situation as a "teachable moment" for the folks who review apps in the iOS App Store. Reviewers really need to be aware of their own potential for political bias, and should strive to be fair to all sides when it comes to satirical political apps.
I’m very glad that Apple relented and allowed the game into the iOS App Store. No political candidate should be regarded as a “sacred cow” and all of them should be fair game for satire. And Apple should be as even-handed as possible when deciding to allow such apps in the iOS App Store.
As I noted in my app roundups, I voted for Trump in my state’s primary and will vote for him in November. But I have absolutely no problem with apps or games that poke fun at him. He is a public figure after all, and that means that he is going to get his share of zingers, one way or another.
And let’s face it folks, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton there is simply so much material to work with in terms of satire! Their respective personalities offer up huge targets for anyone who wants to create an app or game.
I suspect we’ll see even more apps about Trump and Clinton between now and November. They are just absolutely irresistible targets for humorists and app developers. And why not? People often take politics too seriously, so let's all enjoy a few laughs at Trump and Clinton's expense.
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