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Plastic surgery game removed from sale

Apple, Google yank child-focused Plastic Surgery for Barbie game from App Store and Google Play

A free-to-play kids game about plastic surgery has been pulled from the Apple App Store and Google Play. As reported by BBC News, Plastic Surgery for Barbie (iOS) and Plastic Surgery (Android) have been removed from the online storefronts.

The game drew criticism for encouraging children to perform plastic surgery on an overweight girl described as ugly. It had been rated as appropriate for players ages 9 and up. Former British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons president Nigel Mercer called the app "sickening" and socially irresponsible.

"This app blatantly and shamelessly uses child-friendly brand names [such as Barbie] to target young, vulnerable children and exposes them to sexist and disturbing rhetoric as the 'game' critiques the body of a cartoon character who does not conform to an unrealistic beauty standard," Mercer said.

Despite the title, the game had no connection to the well-known line of dolls from Mattel. A representative with the company said Mattel "work[s] hard to ensure there are no unauthorized uses of our brands that may be unsafe or inappropriate for children." A Google spokesperson said the company does not comment on individual apps, but added it will remove titles that violate developer guidelines.

The developer, corina rodriguez, has dozens of games still available on the App Store, including the similarly unlicensed Barbie Dentist & Barbie Dress-Up, as well as Leg & Foot Surgery & Doctor & Hospital Office for Barbie Version.

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Latest comments (10)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
Eek. And I thought the Trauma Center games were kind of over the top for the wee ones... this is just awful, period.
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Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis2 years ago
Was surprised it wasn't pulled by Mattel for using the brand name "Barbie" before it was pulled for being "distasteful"
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
"Leg & Foot Surgery & Doctor & Hospital Office for Barbie"... ??? If that's ONE title, she needs to be sued just for coming up with dumb names for those apps. Mattel must be sleeping at the switch or just is too busy to bother tracking these obvious violations. Yeah, yeah, I should be with the little guy or gal on this because you know, "indies!" and all. But nope, this seems to be someone with some talent who has no problem foisting body image issues onto children who don't need to even think about such stuff...
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Show all comments (10)
Daniel Kromand Producer, Studio 492 years ago
And here I thought that it was some clever joke to take the implications from girls' toys to its absurd extreme, but apparently they just stopped at awful?
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
I'm against censorship and against limiting peoples creativity, but a full creative liberty must always be tied to a lot of responsibility and this topic is not something for a game.

Distances aside, of course, I must say I celebrate its removal like I celebrated "RapeLay"'s European ban a few years ago.
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Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Ubisoft Reflections2 years ago
Just wow...
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd2 years ago
I think this was the right decision. It was annoying to see this bandied about social media as "Apple marketing inappropriate game to 9 year olds" though, as if they had some grand plan to allow some random bit of inconsequential shovelware to corrupt the nation's youth.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
What's wrong with performing plastic surgery on a plastic toy anyways...
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Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University2 years ago
The fact that this exists...
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
@Paul
It's the trivialization of a serious and kinda touchy subject. Teenager surgery is an issue in some European countries as you may know.
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