A new app, Survival Island 3, has caused outrage for encouraging its players to bludgeon Aborigines to death prompting calls for the app to be banned and removed from stores.
The app, which was available through Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play, warned users to “beware of Aborigines” as players navigated through the outback avoiding animals, the wilderness as well as the indigenous people of Australia.
It was released in December and marketed at those who were 12+ by Apple for “infrequent/mild realistic violence” with a retail price tag of $4.49 AUD.
Here is how the game, developed by NIL Entertainment, described itself:
Your goal is to survive. Beware of angry animals, especially if you don’t have any weapon. At nights there is really dangerous, try to hide somewhere. In your own house, for example. Hunt animals or grow plants – you have to eat something. You also have to fight with aboriginals – you invaded their home
The screengrab below comes from a Youtube video, “Found the Aborigines/Survival Island 3 Finale”, in which a user attempts to locate Aborigines in the outback and kill them with the option of different weaponry, such as boomerangs and stone axes. Other videos, showing the apparent deaths of Aborigines in the games, have since been removed on Youtube.
A change.org petition has since been set up demanding the “racist game be pulled with an apology from NIL Entertainment for its racist conduct.” The petition, created by Georgia Mantle, has garnered 80,000 supporters.
The game shamelessly promotes the fact that you will “have to fight with aboriginals” and uses warning messages like, “Beware of Aborigines!” when Indigenous people appear on screen. The game portrays Indigenous Australian’s as violent and aggressive. As well as trying to promote the Indigenous characters as authentic representations of a diverse culture through the description phrasing, “Meet real aboriginals”.
Indigenous Australians face daily racism and discrimination. Indigenous Australians are over policed and continue to die at the hands of the state. This app further perpetuates the denial of Indigenous Australians humanity. It associates us with flora and fauna of the Australian landscape.
By shooting ‘dangerous Aboriginals’, this app makes us inhuman, it re-enforces racial violence, lack of punishment for white people taking black lives, it makes fun and sport of massacres and Frontier violence. This App is another colonialist frontier and continues to exploit the deaths of many Aboriginal people without regard to the trauma that it instigates.
However, a user on anonymous bulletin board, 4 chan, recently posted a link to a counter petition to keep the app saying that the “PC-culture continues to be toxic to our right to free speech and this example is simply symbolic of that.” That petition was started by Matthew Stone from Australia but has only received 10 supporters so far.
Links to the game on both the Apple’s iTunes App Store and Google Play directed users to a page saying that it had either been removed or could not be found.
But that hasn’t stopped people from criticising the app for its racist undertones, describing it as “intolerable” and “despicable”.
— Miriam Cosic (@MiriamCosic) January 15, 2016
— Bianca Jagger (@BiancaJagger) January 15, 2016
Not sure how to express how appalled I am at this online game that expects you to bludgeon Aborigines. Wow! Tota… https://t.co/txfeITLl5N
— Jason Pilgrim (@JasonPilgrim) January 16, 2016
— Kristen Amiet (@KrissiAmiet) January 16, 2016