A British advocacy group is criticizing games on Google Play and Facebook that glorify or minimize the tragedies surrounding the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The group, Council for Arab British Understanding, said in a statement to the BBC that these games glorify violence and normalize the conflict.
"Games that glorify violence or normalize conflict when referring to an actual conflict that is happening as we speak are deeply problematic and deeply distasteful," Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab British Understanding, told the BBC.
"Google, Facebook or any other company that host such games, should be reviewing their policies and making absolutely all efforts to ensure that such games are not hosted on their platforms."
The BBC also reports that several games have been yanked from Google Play such as Gaza Assault: Code Red, a game where the player controls an Israeli drone that drops bombs on people and buildings from above; Whack the Hamas, where players target members of Hamas as they emerge from tunnels; and Bomb Gaza (pictured, left), a game where the player attempts to kill militants while avoiding civilian casualties.
Some of these games related to the conflict have been removed but plenty of them still remain on Google Play. A cursory search of Google Play turned up several games related to the conflict including Gaza Missiles Assassins, Gaza Hero, Gaza Defender, and Gaza Missiles Assassins – just to name a few.
A spokeswoman for Google would not discuss specific apps with the BBC, but said: "We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies."
While Google Play is singled out in the report, there are plenty of apps and games on both the Apple App Store and Facebook that use the conflict as the a setting. DailyDot, which first broke this story has plenty of details on all these games here.