Zombie School. Sounds harmless (kind of, but not really). But the game, created for the iPhone and now available on the Apple App Store, turns school students and faculty into zombies, which you are then supposed to shoot. That’s right. Zombie School is a game all about school shootings. Sensitive subject, but one that is clearly not above reproach for the development group behind the Zombie School game.
Is this the type of content we want for the iPhone? TechCrunch questions Apple’s own ability to recognize flaws in its application approval process, as it seems inconsistent and clearly allows games such as Zombie School to make the cut. But there are a few larger issues surround the game itself, as well as the mobile platform for which it was created, and the future of the iPhone device.
I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a lot of content out there that is questionable and tacky. Zombie School seems to be just a small part of that content. But where does the responsibility lie when such content is made available on highly accessible platforms such as Apple’s mobile platform?
The video game industry itself is already riddled with shooting games–it’s become a corner stone for many game development companies, and a favorite pastime for teens and grown men alike. But the presence of Zombie School merely reminds us that the same issues we’ve had to deal with for radio and television programing, ten video and computer games, has not escaped the mobile phone. It puts Apple at the front and center of subsequent discussions on the content that will be able to become available through direct purchases on iTunes versus other mobile devices and other platforms.
Just as the Internet became a platform for unregulated content, so too will mobile platforms. Though many of these mobile platforms have the ability to further regulate the type of content that’s pushed through to consumers. The question then becomes how mobile platforms will regulate content, and how they can remain fair and objective for the benefit of the developer community, their own end goals as a platform, as well as the end consumers.
It’s a sticky situation, but it’s one that needs to be discussed. What are your thoughts, and how does Apple actually fit into the big picture here?