Apple Pulls iPhone Shaken Baby Game
Sleek, glossy and the best possible taste in cell phones? The Apple iPhone might be these things but a game recently approved by Apple for use on the iPhone is none of the above.
The Baby Shaker game depicts black-and-white drawings of babies, and plays a crying sound while challenging the user to shake the phone to shut the baby up. Shaking the motion-sensitive phone draws cartoon-style red Xs over the baby’s eyes.
Baby Shaker was developed by software company Sikalosoft, and described by the company as follows: “On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don’t want them to be! They’re always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying. Before Baby Shaker, there was nothing you could do about it. See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!”
So the game was approved by Apple, put on sale for 99¢ in the iPhone store on Monday, and after a barrage of complaints, withdrawn on Wednesday.
Just about everything has become a subject for humor these days. But this is plain not funny. What was Apple thinking approving this game?
Shaking a baby can have horrific consequences. About one quarter of severely shaken babies die from their injuries and many of the survivors suffer brain damage, blindness, and other debilitating injuries. About half of all infant fatalities in child abuse cases were shaken to death.
Sikalosoft posted a statement on their website “Yes, the Baby Shaker iPhone app was a bad idea. You should never shake a baby!” with a little information on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
A better place to get information about shaken baby syndrome is the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Ironically, April 20-24 is National Shaken Baby Week, designed to raise awareness of the damage shaking a baby can cause.
Hey, maybe the outrage over this game will actually have a positive result in promoting the work of NCSBS and other child abuse prevention organizations. Let’s hope so.
And I’m still lusting after the iPhone. It will have to wait until I have a spare $199 plus a spare monthly $80 for the plan. This is unlikely. And also until Daycare Baby stops trying to eat any cellphone that comes within range. Daycare Baby will search diaper bags to find cellphones to eat, and tries to climb up my boyfriend’s leg to get his phone out of his pocket – this is before she can walk. See what ingenious creatures our babies become when they aren’t shaken.