Google’s Android Market Under Fire

26 June

Google’s Android Market Under Fire

New name, same game. Google’s Android Market was the recipient of strong criticism when it allowed the game, Dog Wars, to be sold. This game tells players that they can “Raise your dog to beat the best,” while allowing them to train typical “attack” breeds, like pit bulls and Rottweilers to fight. Everyone from the head of the Los Angeles Police Department’s officers union to Michael Vick spoke out against the game – and Google yanked it. It is now back under a different name, KG Dogfighting.

The search engine is getting the heat for allowing its Android Market to continue selling the game, which, despite intense protests, has been downloaded over 100,000 times. LA’s police union head, Paul M. Weber, says, “The entire concept is repulsive and sickening, and it is absolutely the wrong message to send to our children. We once again call on Google to follow the lead of Apple and ban this game from its website…” He indicates that anything less will show that Google wants to profit at the risk to public safety.

Kage Games, the creator of the application, says that they wanted to educate the public “on the evils of animal cruelty.” Clearly, training a dog to attack other dogs, while building your “cred” and making money, is the best way to do this.

Google has said that it pulled the first iteration of the game from the Market because it infringed on copyrights. It has not indicated whether or not it will pull the game on the basis of the many complaints it has received from around the country.
Would Google taking KG Dog Fighting off the market be tantamount to censorship or simply a good PR move in the face of vocal criticism from animal rights groups, including the Humane Society?

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