Baby Shaker (lost banned iOS game; 2009)
Baby Shaker was a controversial game released on the App Store in 2009 by Sikalosoft for $0.99. As the name suggests, the game has you shake your iPhone to stop a crying infant until two X marks appear on their eyes.
History[edit | edit source]
The game was released on the App Store on Monday, April 20th, 2009. At 10:00 pm, a website called KRAPPS discovered the app and published an article on their website. They would later announce the article on Twitter. The following day at 9:18 am, a founder of a non-profit organization (Stop Shaken Baby Syndrome, Inc.) named Jennipher Dickens saw the article. She would later tweet about it and send the article for a press release to 30,000 media companies about the game.
Once both the media and the public became aware of the app's existence, people were outraged. Many child advocacy groups accused the app of both making fun of and glorifying Shaken Baby Syndrome, a form of brain injury that occurs when a baby or a toddler is shaken (Ironic or not, the game was even released around the same time of Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week and National Child Abuse Prevention Month). Several people even contacted Apple to remove the app, which they did.
One day later, Apple pulled Baby Shaker from the App Store. The app would reappear the next day before being taken down again that afternoon. This time, it was permanent.
An Apple spokesperson would later issue an apology in an interview with Macworld with the following statement:
This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store. When we learned of this mistake, the app was removed immediately. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and thank our customers for bringing this to our attention.
- A spokesperson on the controversy.
The app's developer would respond to the backlash on their website. They admitted it was a bad idea and that the app was "greatly lacking in taste" while also stating:
It was later taken down because it was a baby-shaking video game! While GTA is a video game that pushes the limits, it is still yet to have a baby-shaking mini-game in it.
- The developer on the game's removal.
Availability[edit | edit source]
Unless someone still has the app installed on their old iPhone, all that is left of the game is one gameplay footage and a few screenshots. There are news articles and reports talking about the app that also exist. It even got its own section on the iPhone page on the parody site, Encyclopedia Dramatica.
Considering the app's treatment of the subject matter and how fast it was pulled from the App Store, it's safe to say that the game is lost.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
External Links[edit | edit source]
- An article detailing how the game inspired an SBS prevention effort. Retrieved 25 May '22
References[edit | edit source]
- NBC article about the game. Retrieved 25 May '22
- KRAPPS article about the game. Retrieved 25 May '22
- KRAPPS article talking about the backlash and aftermath. Retrieved 25 May '22
- Macworld article featuring an apology from a spokesperson. Retrieved 25 May '22
- The developer's response to the backlash. Retrieved 25 May '22
- An Encyclopedia Dramatica article about the iPhone features a section about the game and the events surrounding it. Retrieved 25 May '22