Apple Inc. didn’t win any votes with parents, child advocacy groups or health experts across North America this week by offering a game called Baby Shaker to iPhone customers.
Reaction to the game was so vociferous that Apple pulled it from its App Store on Wednesday — only two days after it became available.
The 99-cent game, designed by Sikalosoft, asked players to quiet a crying baby by vigorously shaking their iPhone. According to an Associated Press story, once the shaking worked, the onscreen baby developed large red Xs over its eyes.
Parents, experts and advocacy groups like the Utah-based National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome condemned the game, pointing to the real dangers of causing brain injury or even death when an infant is physically mistreated in that way.
“I can’t imagine why someone would think it would be funny to shake your hand (holding an iPhone) to silence a crying infant,” said Richard Volpe, a psychologist and professor at University of Toronto’s Institute of Child Study.
“It’s inappropriate and very unfortunate to cast this serious problem in a lighthearted way,” said Volpe, who has co-authored an Ontario study on Shaken Baby Syndrome.
A spokesperson at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., issued a statement calling the game “deeply offensive” and said it should not have been approved for sale.
“We sincerely apologize for this mistake,” Natalie Kerris said.