Saturday, April 25, 2009

Witz Pickz: iPhone Baby Shakin' Application

Everyone has been up in arms about the new Baby Shaker Application for the iphone (but not Shaker Babies, because the Shakers didn't believe in sex and that's why there aren't anymore Shakers, just their furniture, which, not surprisingly, is rigid, joyless, and creaky...) and I think it's ridiculous. I have to give Ash Good As It Gets(formerly Titan AE) credit for bringing this to my attention, but since then, I have heard the story on CNN, Facebook, and most of my friends. Steve Jobs (who should also change his name because he sounds like a porn star) pulled the application and publicly apologized for ever having it, which seems very extreme to me.

I guess I just thought this was America. Shaking babies is as American as a British Nanny-- wait, that's not quite right. Regardless, one woman was heard above everyone else because she had a baby that was shaken and died? What about all their other games??* What about "Pirate Treasure Hunt?" Isnt' that a bit touchy right now? Or how about fucking HANGMAN???

Player: Um, is there a g?
Game: Nope. Now you get hung. Just like when your best friend Tommy killed himself.

There's a much greater chance of people knowing someone who hung themself (or are considering it themselves) than of people knowing a baby that was shaken to death. There's an entire series of tower defense games where you shoot down planes-- what about those? "My husband was shot down in a balloon by an arrow tower!" Or what about sports games? "My life was ruined when I broke my back playing football! I find this DEEPLY offensive!"

That's what the spokeswoman for Apple told people. She said, "This application was deeply offensive and should not have been approved for distribution on the App Store." TO WHOM IS IT OFFENSIVE?? People who shook their babies?? I'm not entirely sure we should be concerned with their feelings! Is it offensive to babies?? It shouldn't be-- the more people shaking iphones, the fewer people out shaking babies. Nobody's shaking their iphone and saying, "Hey, this is pretty fun, but it just makes me want to try the real thing!" And if someone IS saying that, then they were ALREADY going to be a problem.

Which brings me to my next point-- it's educational. Parents don't shake their babies because they want to kill them, they shake their babies to shut them up. If nothing else, the baby shaking application can show them why that's not a good idea. Shake, shake, shake, dead baby. Shake, shake, shake, dead baby. Shake, shake, shake, dead baby. Hm. I can't shut this kid up without killing it-- maybe I'll rethink my strategy for quietting my child (which is why I not only endorse the baby shaking application, but also think it's important that we come up with a "Baby Plastic Bag Helmet Application" and a "Sim Dumpster" game). Educational tools have been disguised as games for years, and not all education is pretty-- just take all the STD pictures they showed us in school. Nobody's running around saying, "Schindler's List went WAY overboard!"

Besides, have you even seen the game?

It's boring as hell! I can't imagine anyone spending more than 2 minutes using it before it just becomes super annoying. In fact, it would probably deter people from shaking real babies: "Man, I thought shaking babies would be fun and satisfying, but it's actually just really really boring and annoying....I'm gonna go stab some pets." ("Want to stab some pets? There's an app for that.") Ultimately, while the baby shaking app might have been in poor taste, it's not offensive-- it's just a shock value product for 99 cents. If you want to spend 99 cents and be truly offended, buy something at Taco Bell.

I Like My Babies Like My Martinis: Shaken,

*There's also an app called "Quickjack" which just for the name amuses 12 year old me


Bates Bobcat said...

I believe the correct terminology for the past tense of "to hang someone" is "hanged" not hung. Sounds like someone used a patented penis stretcher if you say "hung" ie "Jimmy was hung".

Witz said...

Three things here:

1) You're absolutely correct, but I obviously meant "hanged himself with their own post-patented-penis-stretcher genitalia" and hung abbreviated the whole explanation.

2) What a very specific part of the post to pick out and comment on! Witz Pickz pulls intelligent readers.

3) Thanks for reading!