By Victor Ochieng
The video game, Survival Island 3 – Australia Story, urges users to find ways to survive in “one of the most dangerous places in the world” and tells them that to stay alive, they have to “fight with aboriginals — you invaded their home!”
The change.org petition to withdraw the video game was set up on Friday and had already garnered more than 65,000 signatures by Saturday. Besides demanding for the removal of the game from mobile stores, it also asserted that “killing indigenous Australians is not a game.”
The petition went further to say that “selling games that promote racism and negative stereotypes of indigenous Australians is not acceptable.”
Describing the kind of damage the app has on the community of Aboriginals, the petition says: “Indigenous Australians face daily racism and discrimination. Indigenous Australians are over policed and continue to die at the hands of the state. This app further perpetuates the denial of Indigenous Australians humanity. It associates us with flora and fauna of the Australian landscape.”
By mid-day Saturday, major app sellers like Google and Apple had already removed the racial video game from their stores.
Unfortunately, even after the issue was raised and petition signed to “victory,” Amazon was still selling the game. This prompted users to bombard the online retailer with emails, compelling it to bring it down.
An update to the petition titled “Amazon still selling racism app!” by Georgia Mantle from Sydney, Australia, said “It’s so outrageous – I have just found out that the ‘Survival Island’ game that encourages the killing of indigenous people for points is still being sold on Amazon!”
The update reveals that this app was still on Amazon at a time when other big sellers had already pulled it down.
“Over the weekend, with the help of almost 85,000 of you who signed this petition, we managed to get Apple and Google to take down the ‘Survival Island’ racist app from their app stores,” continued Mantle. “Let’s get Amazon to urgently remove the app from its site too – please continue to share this petition with friends and family.”
A Google spokesperson didn’t comment on the game, but said they wouldn’t hesitate to pull down “applications that violate our policies.”
Both Apple and the game developer NIL Entertainment didn’t immediately comment on the issue.