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More Discussion of Apple’s App Store Policy

February 1, 2013

The release of Endgame:Syria certainly stirred up debate about how companies with platforms (like Apple) handle content. Given the size and scope and therefore cultural power they now wield, it is natural that this debate would become intense. Jonathan Blow, designer of the excellent Braid, weighed in on the debate with an interesting take on it, suggesting that perhaps game developers need to look more that the work they make:

I think this is the wrong attitude about games, but look, ultimately it is game developers’ fault, not Apple’s. Apple is treating games as shallow commercial entertainment experiences because they have been taught by game developers that that is what games are.

If we had built a world where games routinely work with serious issues in ways that people care about, Apple would not be able to take this stance, because it would not make any sense.

Which is a very interesting point. Indiestatik also wrote about the game and I was pleased to see, got totally what we were trying to do:

Every action you make here will have a big impact on each of these topics and your endgame will take into account everything you do. Ultimately, though, things may be out of your control as you learn the power of the world’s media to swing interest in and out of your favor. It’s a powerful message that emerges in reality. Replaying does have different outcomes but the results contain similar teachings about how politics work.

The whole article is well worth a read and is a good discussion of games, politics and the publishing rights and wrongs of Apple. There is also another couple of articles about the game on nachrichten.at (German) and youphil.com (French, but mainly about Climate Defense but Syria gets a nod).  Also there is an article about a classroom session where the students were playing the game, here.

(There are more responses to the game here, here, here and finally here.) 

Endgame:Syria Military Phase

Endgame:Syria Military Phase

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