The game allowed to buy, sell and even torture black characters. (photo: clone)
Educafro Brasil filed a public civil action against Google after the platform made available the “Game” “Simulador de Escravidão” on its app store, the Play Store, where a user could simulate being the owner of enslaved people. The NGO is asking the company to pay compensation in the amount of R$100 million for collective moral damages.
Consumer law specialist Leonardo Amarante, who advises the NGO — which specializes in vocational training in the digital area for the black community — criticized the availability of the Android Store app and deemed the offer itself a “racist attitude”.
“This unfortunate game reinforces one of the most cowardly chapters in Brazilian history and violates the most fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution: the standards that protect human honor and dignity and the standards that protect black populations from racism,” he said.
According to the petition opened by the NGO, the R$100 million claimed in compensation to Google is “the nature of reparation for collective moral damage.” [quando o dano é presumido e não necessita de provas] and its punitive, educational character.
Launched on the Play Store on April 20, the app has received more than 1,000 downloads and was available on the platform until last Wednesday (24). On the same day, the Federal Public Ministry took action to investigate the “game” and asked Google for clarification.
Google said it had no comment on Educafro’s action, but confirmed in a note that the game had indeed been removed from the platform and said users should report apps that conflict with its policies.
“We do not allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities,” the company said in a statement.
“Anyone who believes they have found an app that violates our rules can file a report. When we identify a policy violation, we take appropriate action. In severe cases, we may take more drastic action, including preventing the developer from publishing new apps on Google Play.”
In a note, the Brazilian Association of Game Developers (Abragames) said it condemns any behavior, speeches or initiatives that go beyond respect for human dignity and harm the honor of individuals or groups, including games.
How it works
The responsible producer, Magnus Games, stated in the app that the user was able to “exchange, buy and sell slaves”.
“Choose one of two goals at the beginning of the slave owner simulation: the path of the tyrant or the path of the liberator. Become a wealthy slave owner or achieve the abolition of slavery. It’s all in your hands,” wrote the description provided by the company.
In one of the presented methods, the description was given: “Use slaves to enrich you. Prevent the abolition of slavery and collect a certain amount of money.”
Magnus Games claims that “the game was created for entertainment purposes only”. “Our studio condemns slavery in any form. All game content is fictional and not associated with specific historical events. All coincidences are accidental,” the app notice writes.