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[UPDATE 26-6-2015 Restored on AppStore] Our game has been removed from AppStore


Nick Thomadis
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[uPDATE 26-6-2015]
Ultimate General is back! Unchanged.
After several late night phone calls with Apple yesterday and today the game has returned to AppStore the way it was... in 1863.
Read Facebook link

 

Old announcement
As you may have been already informed (Read Facebook link), Apple has removed our game from AppStore because of usage of the Confederate Flag. Ultimate General: Gettysburg could be accepted back if the flag is removed from the game's content.

 

Please read our official response:
http://www.ultimategeneral.com/blog/our-game-has-been-removed-from-appstore

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What. The Fuck.

 

 

This is teachable moment, actually. So-called political correctness is just decent people showing each other respect... until the idea gets taken up by large controversy-averse corporations with more cowardice than brains.

 

 

 

Give Apple this message, from all the sane people who don't have their heads full of social justice bullcrap:

Yeah, we don't need that social justice bullcrap. Not like a bunch of people were just murdered for their skin color or anything...

 

Here's your gif right back at you:

982785273632438193.gif

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@Maturin: Sigh. "Not like a bunch of people were just murdered for their skin color or anything..." And that has anything to do with the existence of the Confederate flag in an historically-accurate setting in a video game, does it? No, it doesn't. This was A.) social justice warriors getting offended on behalf of other people purely because that's what they do for a living, and B.) Apple being afraid that said SJWs were going to affect their sales unless they did something to appease them. So, anybody who has games on the AppStore with the Confederate flag in them has to either bend over willingly or be screwed over, all because of these SJW idiots. 

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I can understand not wanting the flag in some situations, but in a educational or historical context (which this clearly is) that's ridiculous.  Of course Apple are within their rights to sell or not sell any product as they wish, but I think this is a mistake on their part.

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William the Drake, on 25 Jun 2015 - 06:00 AM, said:

I live in a southern state. I was born and raised in a city with numerous monuments and commemorations of Confederate leaders, in a manner that is very much prideful in nature. I, for one, believe that the reexamination of the importance and pertinence of these memorials and symbols is long overdue, as I have seen and heard the tension they can cause first-hand. I am in agreement that said icons and images are to be removed from United States of America government property, state or federal.

 

This said, GL has my full support for getting UGG back up and running; It is a superb strategy game that portrays the Confederate Flag in its historical setting.

 

As a corporation, apple has the right to remove content as it sees fit, and I believe what this is is simply an initial, reactionary purge, albeit rash, for anything that depicts the Virginia Battle Standard. If their is an appeals process, take it, and I think you should have little issue getting the game back up. 

 

Once more, I am fully on the side of Game Labs in this situation: Make no concession to change anything in-game, as it is a historical representation of the conflict and symbols used in it. If there is any type of appeal process that keeps the game as it is, I say go for it.

Edited by William the Drake
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This was A.) social justice warriors getting offended on behalf of other people purely because that's what they do for a living, and B.) pple being afraid that said SJWs were going to affect their sales unless they did something to appease them.

No it wasn't. That is just a paranoid fantasy shared by you and craven corporations like Apple. No one is offended by depictions of historical symbols in historical context. No one is campaigning against swastikas and battle flags on the covers of games and history books. A few posts on Tumblr do not constitute a political debate or a force worth fearing. Apple is behaving as corporations always have when it comes to the perceived threat of litigation and negative publicity: overwhelming overreaction. This is 100% Apple's fault for behaving like fools.

 

But let's talk about you instead.

 

You're choosing the days following a hate crime and terrorist attack to complain about people who speak out against racism and terrorism. That's pretty troubling, and certainly puts you in some interesting company.

 

Especially since you are really just voicing some bullshit complaint about a tiny (mostly imaginary) minority on the internet, that has pretty much nothing to do with the actual social and political movements at work here. I'll remind you that you just labeled social justice "bullcrap." As a whole. So I'll ask: are you a white supremacist? Or do you just not understand the words you are using?

 

You are using the classical tactic to discredit social movements everywhere: conjuring up an imaginary laughably extreme position that is supposedly indicative of the movement as a whole. And again, you're doing this in the wake of a national tragedy that proves how badly these "idiots" are needed. You're being a provocateur and so far as I'm concerned, a bigger idiot than anyone at Apple.

 

 

And as we all know, Apple's store has an extraordinarily rich history of removing apps that supposedly have sexual or political content. There are dozens of cases more bizarre and ridiculous than this one, and in most of them it is impossible to imagine how a fear of Tumblr users could have provoked the removal.

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If that is the case then all wargames with Nazi content should be removed from the App Store. Additionally if this stupidity is to continue then the flag of the United States should be removed based upon the subjugation and attempted democide of my Native American ancestors. Knee jerk liberalism.

So, no more updates either for iOS users...

Chief

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Knee jerk liberalism.

 

Again, I'm calling out any of this bullshit in the thread.

 

You might want to fantasize that Apple is acting like a manic liberal, but it isn't. Apple is acting like every other corporation with a PR department, and this kind of stupidity is bipartisan.

 

You must not be familiar with Apple Store's track record. They love applying tortured and inconsistent interpretations of their ToS in order to remove apps for no good reason. Especially when it comes to apps with some tiny amount of sexual content, Apple's most-publicized app removals tend to evoke groans and eye-rolling from the liberal side of the aisle.

 

 

Of course, it may be that Apple unleashed some sort of flag-hunting bot on their store, and any confederate symbol that didn't meet whitelist criteria was removed automatically. After all, the store is massive, and there are probably a few extremist apps that slip past the net at any given time. So it would be rational of them to choose this moment to catch everything up in a dragnet, because the discovery of a KKK app at this juncture would indeed be news, and not just for Social Justice Warrior types. Of course, this would only be acceptable on Apple's part if Ultimate General is speedily restored, with an apology.

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Of course, it may be that Apple unleashed some sort of flag-hunting bot on their store, and any confederate symbol that didn't meet whitelist criteria was removed automatically. After all, the store is massive, and there are probably a few extremist apps that slip past the net at any given time. So it would be rational of them to choose this moment to catch everything up in a dragnet, because the discovery of a KKK app at this juncture would indeed be news, and not just for Social Justice Warrior types. Of course, this would only be acceptable on Apple's part if Ultimate General is speedily restored, with an apology.

 

This is in fact the case: almost any game concerning the Civil War has been (or is in the process of being) removed due to the presence of the Rebel flag. (I believe one such game was "Civil War: 1863). It seems at this point it is a blanket system, rather than case-by-case, which is, again, quite rash in my opinion.

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Maybe they're actually scared of Taylor Swift, lol.

 

But seriously, it always astounds me that companies do this sort of thing without even releasing a statement. Do these people who run a multi-million dollar online business not understand how the internet works?

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But let's talk about you instead.

 

You're choosing the days following a hate crime and terrorist attack to complain about people who speak out against racism and terrorism. That's pretty troubling, and certainly puts you in some interesting company.

 

Especially since you are really just voicing some bullshit complaint about a tiny (mostly imaginary) minority on the internet, that has pretty much nothing to do with the actual social and political movements at work here. I'll remind you that you just labeled social justice "bullcrap." As a whole. So I'll ask: are you a white supremacist? Or do you just not understand the words you are using?

 

You are using the classical tactic to discredit social movements everywhere: conjuring up an imaginary laughably extreme position that is supposedly indicative of the movement as a whole. And again, you're doing this in the wake of a national tragedy that proves how badly these "idiots" are needed. You're being a provocateur and so far as I'm concerned, a bigger idiot than anyone at Apple.

"You're choosing the days following a hate crime and terrorist attack to complain about people who speak out against racism and terrorism." That's not why I spoke out against them, in case you hadn't noticed. "I'll remind you that you just labeled social justice "bullcrap." As a whole." I was referring to SJW/Tumblr-type social justice, which is bullcrap. A quick glance at the context of what I said might make this abundantly clear: it certainly seemed that way to me. I've nothing against down-to-earth social justice movements, but down-to-earth social justice movements would've, I think, had the intelligence to not be offended at the portrayal of the Confederate flag in a video game. "are you a white supremacist?" Hahahaha. If I was to go so far into the world of overreactively grabbing imagined implications from the posts of others, I might ask you if you're a troll and a retard. But I won't. Part of the reason why I won't is because it looks like I can think more clearly and be more polite than you. Oh, and "provocateur"? I do believe that's you.

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maturin I am indeed very familiar with Apple and their policies and have been a customer since 1983 when I purchased an Appke //e. All this flag removal is BS. But as I said before, if flag removal is appropriate and this rediculosness is to continue then let's be fair to all minorities, especially to the ones that lived here first and faced genocide at the hand of the United States. Or are corporate PR wonks that narrow minded...?

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Or are corporate PR wonks that narrow minded...?

Definitely.

 

They're not thinking about this in any terms of logic or politics. It's just spur-of-the-moment ass covering.

 

There's probably someone in the middle of the hierarchy who has the authority to take action by preemptively going after confederate flags. But crafting a fair and common sense response in a big company takes action from higher up.

 

It's a bad hotfix, not a patch.

 

 

 

I was referring to SJW/Tumblr-type social justice, which is bullcrap.

Dude, your post is still in this thread. You said "this social justice bullcrap."

 

There is nothing there to specify that you are talking about kneejerk internet crazies, and I see no reason to give you the benefit of the doubt at a time like this. If that's what you meant, then the correction is noted. And your apology for being careless with your terms would be accepted, if offered.

 

If you can't say what you mean and mean what you say, I suggest steering clear of political discussion in the wake of mass murder.

 

 

but down-to-earth social justice movements would've, I think, had the intelligence to not be offended at the portrayal of the Confederate flag in a video game

 

Strawman. Apple isn't a SJW. And there is zero indication that Apple was motivated by protests against flags in videogames. And if so, it is obvious that almost no one takes such protests (if we can find any evidence that they exist) seriously.

 

So you understand why I find your rush to judgment and strawman construction troubling.

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Apple is entitled as a private company to adopt whatever policies it chooses, including barring its services from being used to distribute racist paraphernalia.

 

That is probably Apple's intention. Being a giant corporation, it probably hasn't figured out yet how to distinguish racist paraphernalia from non-racist historical depiction.

 

As a historical gaming community, we should help them sort that out, because it is certainly not our intention as civil war gamers to in any way endorse the racist cause of the South. We just like the sound of the rebel yell as Pickett rallies his troops for the great and tragic charge.

Edited by jimbursch
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I (hope) that this purge is only an initial response and a case-by-case response will follow suite. However this is being optimistic. 

 

I have no doubts that we are not the only historical community of gamers that are having this discussion (as I pointed out before, that UGG was not the only Civil War game to be removed) and believe Apple will be receiving numerous complaints and requests to have their games reinstated, as I plan to do as well.

 

Apple is entitled as a private company to adopt whatever policies it chooses, including barring its services from being used to distribute racist paraphernalia.

 

That is probably Apple's intention. Being a giant corporation, it probably hasn't figured out yet how to distinguish racist paraphernalia from non-racist historical depiction.

 

As a historical gaming community, we should help them sort that out, because it is certainly not our intention as civil war gamers to in any way endorse the racist cause of the South. We just like the sound of the rebel yell as Pickett rallies his troops for the great and tragic charge.

 Very well said!

Edited by William the Drake
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I post here less than I'd like due to life being ... well, life. However, this brought me back to also applaud the decision to not change the graphics. While I understand and broadly support the recent 'discussion' over the modern cultural placement of 'that flag', the current furor is really just a clanging white noise in response to the racial upheaval in the USA. Given the spate of publicized police shootings, white supremacist/terrorism shootings, people latch on to 'something must be done' and since tackling deeply rooted issues like race, justice and guns is so complex and slow, the common jump is to something simple that can actually be tackled. Hence, the flag and various marketting ploys by Walmart, Sears, etc, to remove it from their stores. That's just damage control, of course. Even if they take some heat for removing these items, it's potentially far greater if they keep them. Unfortunately, I have to work around some such corporate marketing and risk analysis types now and then and get to see their approach to such issues, albeit on a smaller scale. It's dismaying, to put it mildly.

 

Of course, context is the key here. Using a cultural symbol as an artistic or intellectual representation of a time/place/event is profoundly different from flying it from your car hood, putting it on a coffee mug or a t-shirt. This shouldn't be so difficult to relate to but alas, we see it is, here and now. Corporations making this call care far more about avoiding risk/damage than reasoned argument, I'm afraid. It's hardly 'knee-jerk liberalism' either - it's not a social political consideration at all!

 

It is certainly a direct hipocracy that the Apple store continues to sell the Gettysburg movie or other articles containing the flag, since this game is a similarly aimed cultural/artistic entity. Society is broadly founded on hipocrisy, however.

 

Anyway, plaudits again to the devs who decided to do the right thing, even if it hurts the bottom line. All too infrequent.

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Apple is entitled as a private company to adopt whatever policies it chooses, including barring its services from being used to distribute racist paraphernalia.

 

This being said, I think we'd have broad agreement here that use of a Confederate flag in a motion picture or seriously themed video game, painting or photograph, etc, would not be considered 'racist paraphernalia', in the same sense that a serious, scholarly book about Nazi Germany may well and should include images of both swastika and SS emblem, including their ironic origins, and that we wouldn't consider those as 'fascist paraphernalia' either - no?

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This being said, I think we'd have broad agreement here that use of a Confederate flag in a motion picture or seriously themed video game, painting or photograph, etc, would not be considered 'racist paraphernalia', in the same sense that a serious, scholarly book about Nazi Germany may well and should include images of both swastika and SS emblem, including their ironic origins, and that we wouldn't consider those as 'fascist paraphernalia' either - no?

 

Correct. As you said, context matters.

 

And if we are going to ask others to consider the context in which we use these symbols, I think we should also be sensitive to the context in which those same symbols are repulsive.

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Correct. As you said, context matters.

 

And if we are going to ask others to consider the context in which we use these symbols, I think we should also be sensitive to the context in which those same symbols are repulsive.

 

Agreed, entirely. You can't bandy about a swastika without due reverence to its cultural significance. Same with the Confederate flag. While I was born in the UK some 30 years after WW2, I've been to Auschwitz-Birkenau and one of the best friends I ever had in my life was a prisoner there and lost most of his family. I can never see a Swastika or something like Schlinder's List without a very visceral link to 'the real world' experiences he and others I've known had, and without the complex context those artistic images carry. What's repulsive or shocking to me may not be to another, or what is to another may not be to me. It's not a great leap of empathy to understand this.

 

I live in the south and have friends who are black (cliche alarm!) whose families have lived here all the way back to early immigration and went through slavery and segregation and are going through whatever we'd call this, now. You have to be an Insensitive Beast (Johnny Cash Quote!) to not see symbols like this continue to carry a great weight.

 

Corporations may do away with them for the 'wrong reasons', at least not from an entirely intellectual ethical perspective, but they're better gone, regardless. We can discect the reasons separately.

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