Apple’s App Store Delisting Civil War Games

Tasos Lazarides:

If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ll know of the huge debate in the U.S over the role of the Confederate flag in contemporary America. Many see it as a reminder of the many pre-Civil War injustices while others see it simply as a way to honor the soldiers who died for the Confederacy. Many large US companies, like Walmart and Amazon, have already banned the sale of any Confederate flag merchandise as a reaction to the recent events. Now, it appears that Apple has decided to join them by pulling many Civil War wargames from the App Store

All of the Wolfenstein games and their sequels had to be altered in order to be released in Germany due to laws in that country. It takes some of the fun out of virtually kicking Nazi ass in those games, but to be fair it does give game developers a chance to be more creative in the depiction of them.

It’s not difficult to see how an overreaction like this takes place after recent events and that overreaction could be corrected by removing any games that are truly hateful and offensive but Tasos’ article pulls an official quote from Apple that these American Civil War games won’t be allowed back in the App Store without removing or replacing the flags entirely. It just doesn’t make sense to pull games that contain those flags unless the games are white supremacist bullshit, which these American Civil War games aren’t.

Stores choosing to not sell literal confederate flags is reasonable. They can choose to sell or not sell anything they want. I’ll still be disappointed the next time I want to kick some confederate ass on my iPad during a long plane ride and these games either aren’t there or have been altered.

gfxCardStatus

gfxCardStatus is n open-source menu bar application that keeps track of which graphics card your dual-GPU (late 2008/2009 w/ 9400M/9600M GT, or 2010 i5/i7 w/ Intel HD/330M) MacBook Pro is using at any given time, and allows you to switch between them on demand.

via gfxCardStatus: menu bar gpu status monitor for os x / cody krieger – mobile, desktop & web developer.

Hook Champ Preview

Rocketcat Games has been running a pre-release adhoc beta of Hook Champ. It is an 8-bit style side-scroller with very simple touch controls.

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You’re an infamous adventurer that starts each mission by swapping out a fancy idol for a fake one, of course it never works and you’re left to run away with your treasure.

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Not from a boulder, but from something that seems like a more extreme version of chain chomp from Mario’s games.

The gameplay is more like Sonic. You’ve gotta hook onto the ceiling and various other objects that stick out from the background without stopping or that fellow will eat you.

Make it through a level picking up lesser trophies along the way and you can buy some awesome new hats before heading out on your next adventure.

I’ve enjoyed it so far, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the video:

When it is released Hook Champ will have a 99¢ sale, down from the normal $3 price.

MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)

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I’ve been listening to MLB.app since the start of the season and as rocky as it has been for the fighting phils, the app has been great.

It streams audio from the Phillies home radio station, even though I’m in San Francisco.

It plays highlight videos from mlb.tv.

It costs $10 per season, whereas the streaming audio feature from mlb.com costs $15.

Most importantly, it gives you a box score and play-by-play text.

Overall, I’ve had few issues with At Bat. Mainly, I’d appreciate it if there were full streaming video of the game, but I suspect they’ll do that for next season and charge $10-$20 more for the app.

The lesser issue is with my connectivity. I live in SF and AT&T’s network stinks, but the inability (on the part of the app or the iPhone) to switch between edge/3G while streaming the in-game audio is terrible. I have to wake my phone up just to get it to realize it should keep trying to get signal.

If you are usually in a wifi-zone like I am, though, you’ll be fine. We’re lucky to have At Bat on the iPhone and it is a steal at $9.99. As far as I know there are no blackouts for the radio stream.

Check out the gallery after the break for all the screens. Then go buy it from the app store.

Continue reading “MLB At Bat 2009 Review (iPhone)”

Hoping to Make iPhone Toys as a Full-Time Job

The New York Times has an article up about the “iPhone Gold Rush”. It features iShoot developer Ethan Nicholas, and is pretty well written, go check it out. I’m not quite sure why it is in the fashion section, but at least it has some good sources. Like Ars Technica’s Erica Sadun.