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Apple bans firing squad parody of North Korean propaganda on iOS

Joyful Executions, a mobile game that casts the player as the commander of a North Korean firing squad, has been banned by Apple for containing "excessively objectionable or crude content," reports Pocket Gamer.

"Help North Korean commissar Kim Bok Kyong punish the traitors! Command a firing squad of four soldiers and process endless waves of various enemies of the state to keep the Divine Leader happy," reads Joyful Executions' description on Google Play, where Norwegian studio 8-Bit Underpants launched it July 15 for Android tablets.

Later in the description, the studio explicitly states that the wave-based survival title is intended as "a parody game on North Korean propaganda for children and a satire on our willingness to accept morally questionable acts through gamification."

In rejecting Joyful Executions, Apple did not give 8-Bit Underpants' sole member, Fredrik Nordstrom, any guidance on how he could alter the game to get it on the iTunes App Store. "It's Apple's right to decide what they want and don't want for whatever reason they fancy," Nordstrom told Pocket Gamer. "However, as a developer, I would appreciate a more consequent and traceable implementation of their guidelines."

"The [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] leadership's tactics of bullying their way to concessions by use of aggressive threats must not be tolerated," said Nordstrom, when asked about Joyful Executions' subject matter. "I believe it is imperative for us to not grant them the respect they demand by acknowledging them as equals."

Nordstrom will not attempt to get Joyful Executions on iOS. Instead, he has built a neutered version, the Little Girls Training Edition — which he refers to as the "stillborn iOS version" — that replaces the North Korean dissidents with dummies and their blood with urine. It will be released this month for Android phones.

Apple has a history of rejecting games with politically charged content or content that addresses unseemly real-life topics, such as Sweatshop and Endgame: Syria.

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