Outrage At Google ‘Slavery Simulation’ Game

A game named “Simulador de Escravidão,” or “Slavery Simulator,” was taken down by Google Play on Wednesday following outrage in Brazil.

For about a month, Google Play users in Brazil could download a game that simulated what the South American nation looked like in the 1600s — a Portuguese colony and major hub of the Atlantic slave trade. In fact, that’s the whole premise of the game called “Simulador de Escravidão,” or “Slavery Simulator”: to use accumulated, make-believe wealth to buy, sell, punish or sexualize enslaved people.

“Choose one of two goals at the beginning of the slave owner simulator: the Path of the Tyrant or the Path of the Liberator. Become a wealthy slave owner or achieve the abolition of slavery. Everything is in your hands,” the game’s description read.

The game was taken down by Google Play on Wednesday after it first popped up on the app marketplace April 20. But now it’s at the center of several complaints — and a wave of backlash that has reignited a debate about regulation in digital spaces.

“It’s something unbelievable that in a country where racism is a crime, a country that lived through the wounds of slavery, a digital platform makes a macabre and barbaric game like this one,” Orlando Silva de Jesus Junior, a federal lawmaker, said in Portuguese during a congressional debate. “Young teens are the ones who consume the most games. It’s unacceptable that something like this happened.”

On Wednesday, Silva joined André Alexandre Garcia da Silva, from the racial justice advocacy group Unegro, in filing a complaint with the nation’s Public Prosecutor’s Office. The complaint accuses Google of violating a Brazilian law that bans “practicing, inducing or inciting discrimination or prejudice of race, color, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” Silva vowed on Twitter to seek the highest possible consequences, “preferably the arrest of those responsible.”

Silva’s complaint also asked the government agency to investigate a slew of offensive reviews on Google Play — including one that praised the simulation for “portraying well what I would like to do in real life,” according to screenshots included in the document.

“Great game to pass the time, but it lacks more torture options,” one user allegedly wrote. “They could also include an option to whip a slave, too. Other than that, the game is perfect.”

The West hoped Lula would be a partner. He’s got his own plans.

According to Reuters, the Minister of State for Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has announced that India will take action against Google for an antitrust breach.

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