Pacific Islanders are expressing outrage over a popular iPhone game which they say encourages the torture and killing of characters who resemble them.
The Brisbane Times reports that the Pacific Women’s Information Network has targeted Pocket God, which puts the player in a deity-like position of power over "primitive islanders." Group spokesperson Elaine Howard – who lives in the United States – told the newspaper:
How do you think people would react if you created a game where you were God and you could create and kill as many Mexicans as you wanted? Or Asians? People would be outraged.
I hope you don’t decide to advertise your application in New Zealand or Australia because you will get a backlash of the same intensity.
Dr. Malakai Koloamatangi of New Zealand’s Canterbury University added:
To claim [the characters] are not Pacific islanders is ridiculous. Everything about them is Polynesian. How can they justify encouraging the torture of a race in this way? It’s disgusting.
I’m not saying let’s bring in the thought police but there needs to be limits on what is acceptable, and this surpasses those.
Bolt Creative, which developed the 99-cent app, denied that it intended to depict any actual ethnic group in the game.