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The iOS version of the sobering border-guard simulator Papers, Please is out today, but it doesn’t include one of the its most invasive aspects — but that will change.
Yesterday, we reported that developer Lucas Pope planned to release Papers, Please on iOS but without the feature that shows immigrants completely nude during the security scan. That’s because Apple rejected the app when Pope originally submitted it, and the company explained it was because it is “pornographic.” Today, Apple is stepping back from that classification, according to Pope.
Just talked to Apple. The initial rejection for porn was a misunderstanding on their part. They suggested I resubmit with the nudity option.
— Lucas Pope (@dukope) December 12, 2014
Papers, Please has players controlling a border agent who must decide who to let into the fictional country of Arstotzka. You base your decisions on the information you get from people’s documentation and by invading their privacy. The point is to make players feel complicit in ripping dignity away from people in the name of security.
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Pope was planning on appealing Apple’s original ruling, but that is now unnecessary. Pope explained that Apple should approve Papers, Please, nudity and all, if he submits it again.
While this is a win for Pope, Apple’s control over its closed system will likely continue to trouble other developers. The company has previously banned games that explore the Syrian civil war, conditions in sweatshops, and the joys of female masturbation. And since Apple’s iOS App Store is the only way to get content for your iPhone or iPad, this prevents people from using their devices to access content that they may want to experience.
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