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Plastic surgery game removed from sale

Plastic surgery game removed from sale

Thu 16 Jan 2014 3:35pm GMT / 10:35am EST / 7:35am PST
Mobile

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.

10 Comments

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Eek. And I thought the Trauma Center games were kind of over the top for the wee ones... this is just awful, period.

Posted:9 months ago

#1

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

381 181 0.5
Was surprised it wasn't pulled by Mattel for using the brand name "Barbie" before it was pulled for being "distasteful"

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
"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...

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Daniel Kromand Product Manager - Games, Mobile, GameDuell

25 37 1.5
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?

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

820 652 0.8
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.

Posted:9 months ago

#5

Helen Merete Simm Senior UI Artist, Codemasters

49 262 5.3
Just wow...

Posted:9 months ago

#6

Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd

321 748 2.3
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.

Posted:9 months ago

#7

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

886 1,304 1.5
What's wrong with performing plastic surgery on a plastic toy anyways...

Posted:9 months ago

#8

Jack Pochop Studying Telecommunications, Indiana University

27 16 0.6
The fact that this exists...

Posted:9 months ago

#9

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

820 652 0.8
@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.

Posted:8 months ago

#10

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