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After 1.5 billion downloads, is it time for Apple to redesign the App Store?

By Matthew Shaer / July 20, 2009

'Zombie School,' a new game for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch, encourages players to blast their way out of a campus infested by monsters. Is this another slip up for the folks at Apple's app store?

Courtesy of Retarded Arts


Sometimes, the qualities that makes a product great are the same qualities that makes it such a huge headache. Take Apple's App Store. Here's an invention that has transformed the iPhone – already a font of cultural cache – into the hottest new gaming platform around.

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By lowering the fee for fledgling developers, and opening their doors wide, Apple has ushered in a new generation of whip-smart titles – games created not by a sprawling corporation in California, but one dude working out of his mom's basement.

Last week, Apple announced that it hit another landmark: 1.5 billion applications downloaded.

At the same time, the App Store's relatively low bar-of-entry has yielded a couple media firestorms. In April, for instance, the "Baby Shaker" game hit the market. The idea for the game was pretty simple: quiet down a baby by shaking your iPhone or iPod. Shake long enough, and a couple of X’s materialized over the baby’s eyes.

After child protection groups protested, Apple yanked the game off the market. A month later, the same ruling was meted out to “Me So Holy,” an application which let users snap a photo of themselves, and affix it to the body of Jesus.

Zombie hunting

The latest game to raise the pulse of the blogosphere is "Zombie School," a shooter produced by a company called Retarded Arts. Long story, short, "Zombie School" puts the gamer on a campus invested by zombies, and encourages him to blast his way out, with the help of a small arsenal of weapons.

The game, PC World's Brandon Slattery wrote today, "[pushes] the boundaries of good taste in a post-Columbine society," and "essentially glorifies school shootings, thinly veiled under the guise of a zombie game."

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