Apple Rejects HappyPlayTime Sex-Ed Game

| 21 May 2014 17:25
HappyPlayTime

Apple says HappyPlayTime, a non-pornographic game designed to "eliminate the stigma around female masturbation," is too racy for the App Store.

The title doesn't really give it away, but HappyPlayTime is a game about "making female masturbation friendly." It's not pornographic, though, but educational, and stars a smiling, interactive vulva named Happy.

"Sexuality is one of the most basic instincts of human beings. Being comfortable with your own sexual pleasure is a prerequisite to both being able to healthily accept pleasure from others, and pleasing others," the HappyPlayTime website explains. "Unfortunately for many women, there has been a cultural stigma that blocks access to self-stimulation. HappyPlayTime is here to eliminate this barrier as much as possible. By talking openly and lightheartedly about female masturbation, we are taking the first step to becoming truly sexually liberated."

It's an admirable goal, but apparently not one that Apple feels comfortable supporting. Despite the complete absence of graphic content in the HappyPlayTime app, it rejected both the initial App Store submission and an appeal filed last week by creator Tina Gong, saying it violated two restrictions: One against "excessively objectionable or crude content," and one forbidding "pornographic material."

"While we understand your intentions behind the app, we find that the app concept is not appropriate for the store at this time," Apple wrote in its rejection letter. "We also found that your app currently includes erotic and mature themes that are not appropriate for the App Store. We encourage you to review your app content and evaluate whether you can modify the content to bring it into compliance with the Guidelines."

The HappyPlayTime site says the game will be "recoded" but Gong told GamesIndustry that she doesn't intend to change it. "I have a feeling that if I changed the way this game was designed, taking out the central core of it being an app where you can literally play with the character, invest emotionally in her well-being, it would get through. They mentioned that the 'concept' was objectionable. My feeling is that they don't mean female masturbation, but just this gaming aspect," she said.

"My guess is that Apple might have understood the purpose of it being educational, and that it was built with a mission, but wants to force me to strip out all the things that make this game what it is," she added. "And I can't accept that."

Gong said she's trying to make direct contact with the App Store decision-makers in order to plead her case, and while the touch-screen design means that a PC release isn't likely, she also holds out hope for an Android release.

Sources: HappyPlayTime, GamesIndustry International

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Vegosiux:

soren7550:
I'm kinda on Apple's side here, if not by much. With the cartoony lady bits, it (at a brief glance) appears to be more geared towards children, and a game/app about masturbating really shouldn't be aimed at kids. Teenagers, maybe, but the game/app in question is still a bit of a touchy subject.

I, uh disagree. No really, the sooner we get over this entire "You'll understand when you're older" shtick, the better. Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, seriously. And one mistake we're making especially often is thinking that just because we tell them "Not til you're older", they're just going to go "Oh, okay, I'll just forget it for half a decade".

What they're going to do is what's pretentiously called "explore sexuality". When I was younger we simply called it "fooling around". It's fun, it's exciting, and it doesn't have to be made up as if it's some kind of a profound learning experience. Now all that's left to do is tell 'em how to go about it in a responsible way.

And let's face it, Sex Ed is terrible and awkward.

No it isn't. Hell, I've had "the talk" with my parents when I was like, eight. It was all very technical, none of that "birds and bees" nonsense. Then we had sex-ed a few years later in school and I was baffled as to how pretty much only me in the entire class seemed to know anything about it.

It's only terrible and awkward if you're terribly awkward at explaining it.

Now, as for Apple...

Andy Chalk:
-snip-

Wait, what? Ooooookay. Well, I rest my case...

While that may be true, a lot of people have problems with little kids being even aware of sex. I'm kinda on both sides of that. Yes, it'd be good if people were well educated while young so that it's second nature when they're older, but then again, a five year old should be far more concerned about Pokemon than proper masturbation and safe sex.
And there's the whole possible shitstorm of parents losing their shits over an app trying to peddle sex to little kids (even if it isn't).

And while the idea behind Sex Ed is all well and fine, the practice isn't as much. The one year I had the class, the teacher wasn't really qualified to teach it, and she more often than not showed movies that barely, if at all related to the subject. (we were once made to watch a movie about Wal*Mart) And from what I've heard/been led to believe, my situation is hardly unique.
Add to the fact that there are government funded abstinence only Sex Ed classes, and there's probably a lot of parents that just don't tell their kids anything because they're delusional enough to believe that if they don't mention it ever, then their kid will never do anything.

soren7550:
I'm kinda on Apple's side here, if not by much. With the cartoony lady bits, it (at a brief glance) appears to be more geared towards children, and a game/app about masturbating really shouldn't be aimed at kids. Teenagers, maybe, but the game/app in question is still a bit of a touchy subject.

I, uh disagree. No really, the sooner we get over this entire "You'll understand when you're older" shtick, the better. Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for, seriously. And one mistake we're making especially often is thinking that just because we tell them "Not til you're older", they're just going to go "Oh, okay, I'll just forget it for half a decade".

What they're going to do is what's pretentiously called "explore sexuality". When I was younger we simply called it "fooling around". It's fun, it's exciting, and it doesn't have to be made up as if it's some kind of a profound learning experience. Now all that's left to do is tell 'em how to go about it in a responsible way.

And let's face it, Sex Ed is terrible and awkward.

No it isn't. Hell, I've had "the talk" with my parents when I was like, eight. It was all very technical, none of that "birds and bees" nonsense. Then we had sex-ed a few years later in school and I was baffled as to how pretty much only me in the entire class seemed to know anything about it.

It's only terrible and awkward if you're terribly awkward at explaining it.

Now, as for Apple...

Andy Chalk:
-snip-

Wait, what? Ooooookay. Well, I rest my case...

I'm kinda on Apple's side here, if not by much. With the cartoony lady bits, it (at a brief glance) appears to be more geared towards children, and a game/app about masturbating really shouldn't be aimed at kids. Teenagers, maybe, but the game/app in question is still a bit of a touchy subject.

While the creator's intent is to be educational, it's still kinda pornographic. And Apple does have a right to deny such things approval from their app store.

But, I do stand behind Miss Gong in creating such a thing to better educate women about masturbation, as I'm sure that many women (such as myself) were led to believe that the only sexual pleasure to be had is the penis entering the vagina kind, and nothing else. (if that sentence was too graphic, please tell me and I'll fix it)

And let's face it, Sex Ed is terrible and awkward. Having an educational app would do a lot of good, and not only that, it'd probably be better for squeamish people to go to the app than to search the internet.

Andy Chalk:
Just a brief reminder that Rack Stare, the "adults only!" game about leering at hot, luscious tits without getting caught by the life support systems they're attached to, remains available for purchase in the App Store.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rack-stare/id385786751?mt=8

image

Apparently, it's not "pornographic" if it only has "strong sexual innuendo" overtones instead of "openly non-pornographic" undertones... *shrugs*

OT: Huh... Even as a dude, that game sounds like it could have been really fun to play... and, on top of being educational too?

Apple, what do you have against learning games for [growing] adults, huh?

seris:
This is the weirdest idea for a game ive ever seen. What if a kid saw this?

OMG! They might get a healthy education! WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!

OT: Apple gonna Apple, I suppose. We all know how mind-numbingly dumb they can be when it comes to their marketplace. All I can say to Ms. Gong is convert it to Android and see what Google say.

Andy Chalk:
Just a brief reminder that Rack Stare, the "adults only!" game about leering at hot, luscious tits without getting caught by the life support systems they're attached to, remains available for purchase in the App Store.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rack-stare/id385786751?mt=8

image

Wuh... why the hell does this exist?

MisterM2402:

shirkbot:
One last question: Is there actually a stigma attached to female masturbation? I'm genuinely not aware of one, but I usually don't ask and kind of eschew gender and sexuality in general.

Yeah, same here, I had no idea this was a thing. Don't doubt it at all, just never heard of it. Can anyone shed some light?

I think its an imagined stigma. Sure it's not actually a topic that's often out in public debate- but It's not as if people talk about Male Masturbation more than Female Masturbation... And unlike actual sex, the chance of someone getting an STD or becoming Pregnant from the lack of education on the matter is quite low, making the importance of school-ed on the matter a bit less important.. Besides, usually I reckon kids have an easy enough time figuring out the know-hows on their own and that's fine.

Only exception I could see is the religious zealots going about in the Middleeast/United States or what have you try to guilt-trip their kids into feeling like Hitler for touching their genitals, but I doubt those are going to let their kids get their hands on this game in the first place so it can't be marketed towards them either. Really I'm just a bit confused as to whom the game is meant for.

Doesn't mean I'm against it appearing in the app-store, there are much worse things with far less reasons to be there.

Samsont:

CriticalMiss:
If it had manipulative microtransactions that Apple were getting a cut of then it'd probably be accepted in a heartbeat. Maybe she could change it to a match-3 game called Clit Crush Saga?

How about "African Tribal Coming of Age Simulator"? That has pretty much the same meaning.

That's in such poor taste.

I love it.

OP: Good, kids have it too easy anyways. I had to discover masterbation via word of mouth from my cousin and sleeping in a dorm room with three other boys at age 11. Had to do it damn careful too, but now I can fap it anywhere quite as a cockroach.

Anyways, would this actually help anyone? I get the feeling that playing this would feel patronizing at best and downright creepy at worst.

Not news. Apple does not accept anything that does not fit their bland hipster stnadard coting bullshit reasons. it happens all the time.

UberPubert:
I get it, sex ed isn't always up to the task of letting young people feel comfortable with their sexuality, but I don't think I'd feel any more comfortable about letting a game like this teach kids than just telling them myself.

by the time your kids get interested in games like this you should have already told them already.

seris:
This is the weirdest idea for a game ive ever seen. What if a kid saw this?

thats the idea - kids are supposed to see this.

Kinitawowi received a warning for this post.

Oh, fine.

"The subject matter and content of this topic are beyond my ability to comprehend. My reaction is thus one of sheer disbelief and bewilderment."

Happy, mods?

(No, seriously, what the hell is this? Who thought they could put up a talking vulva next to a sign that says "Love Your Vagina" and thought that it would be immediately acceptable? Just... what?!)

shirkbot:
One last question: Is there actually a stigma attached to female masturbation? I'm genuinely not aware of one, but I usually don't ask and kind of eschew gender and sexuality in general.

Yeah, same here, I had no idea this was a thing. Don't doubt it at all, just never heard of it. Can anyone shed some light?

On the one hand, Apple has a pissweak attitude to classification in the App Store.

On the other, using cartoon mascots to teach sex ed usually ends up being either creepy or condescending.

seris:
This is the weirdest idea for a game ive ever seen. What if a kid saw this?

Harping on 'What about the children?' is just another step to fascism and a threat to personal freedom.

Captcha: ad for Sarasota County. Um be smart ad company, I live in coastal Florida. Why would I go to Sarasota for beaches when Sanibel is 20 minutes away?

Apple, you disappoint me, but I've gotten used to it, and we're going to proceed as always: With me ignoring you in favor of anything else that does the exact same thing for less money. At least the Apple App Store isn't the end of the line. I wish the creator much success with an Android release, or whatever other platform they so choose.

One last question: Is there actually a stigma attached to female masturbation? I'm genuinely not aware of one, but I usually don't ask and kind of eschew gender and sexuality in general.

Andy Chalk:
Just a brief reminder that Rack Stare, the "adults only!" game about leering at hot, luscious tits without getting caught by the life support systems they're attached to, remains available for purchase in the App Store.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rack-stare/id385786751?mt=8

image

Okay. You got me. I didn't think i could be insulted by the content of the app store any more after "Happy Poo Flap" but you did it, you actually made my disgust with mobile game stores that much deeper. The idea that Apple bans all sexual content is bogus, if you spout that you need to look at the app store again. They remove things they consider EXPLICIT. As uncomfortable as a cartoon vulva makes us, the only thing is does wrong is.... make us uncomfortable.

I think sexual education apps should be behind certain projections for squeamish parents but if "Rack Stare" can exist, so can an app promoting a healthy relationship between women and their lady bits. I speak as an objective vagina fan of course.

Next time on app-store refusal; FGM simulator: "Allah hates your clitoris" Edition

Samsont:

CriticalMiss:
If it had manipulative microtransactions that Apple were getting a cut of then it'd probably be accepted in a heartbeat. Maybe she could change it to a match-3 game called Clit Crush Saga?

How about "African Tribal Coming of Age Simulator"? That has pretty much the same meaning.

Hmm, good point. How about Vulva Victory Odyssey?

I would have been somewhat disappointed and annoyed if this wasn't Apple.

But it is Apple and I've long since learned that Apple doesn't give a shit about anyone but Apple.

I can only say that there's a slight lingering sadness that I rate what was, perhaps, once a passionate company below the likes of Microsoft and, hell, even EA now.

It kinda looks like it's meant to appeal to 8 year olds. Not good.

CriticalMiss:
Clit Crush Saga

That sounds painful. o_0

CriticalMiss:
If it had manipulative microtransactions that Apple were getting a cut of then it'd probably be accepted in a heartbeat. Maybe she could change it to a match-3 game called Clit Crush Saga?

How about "African Tribal Coming of Age Simulator"? That has pretty much the same meaning.

This is the weirdest idea for a game ive ever seen. What if a kid saw this?

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