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babyshaker.jpgEven if you don’t own an iPhone or iTouch you’ve probably heard about the plethora of “apps”–downloadable programs–created for the iPhone. There are apps to help you find recipes, get directions, read books, and up until earlier this week, practice your baby shaking skills.
“Baby Shaker,” developed by the company Sikalosoft, features a crying baby which you must quiet by shaking your phone. To be successful, you kill the baby– two red X’s will appear over his or her eyes–in the least amount of time.
Apple finally pulled “Baby Shaker” from its online App Store on Wednesday.
The app’s intro says this:

On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don’t want them to be! They’re always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker there was nothing you could do about it. …See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!”

It also says, “Never, never shake a baby.”
Now, while I’m baffled on how an app essentially promoting Shaken Baby Syndrome was ever approved by Apple in the first place, and completely disgusted that anyone would want to actually use it, I’m also wondering what the difference is between an app like “Baby Shaker” and a video games like the “Grand Theft Auto” series–which also promotes stealing, killing, etc. Sure, “GTA,” “Halo,” and other games have had their share of controversy, but they’re still out there, more popular than ever before.
So why did “Baby Shaker” get pulled so quickly, yet campaigns to remove violent video games have largely been unsuccessful?
It seems as if killing an adult in a video game is completely fine, but murdering a baby is taking it a step too far. If one thinks there is nothing wrong with violent video games–since they are, after all, just games, then why wouldn’t the same hold true for an iPhone app?
Just food for thought. What do you think?

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