Sometimes, you just have to shake your head in bufuddlement.
Somehow, someone at Apple thought it would be acceptable to release a “Baby Shaker” game for the iPhone. The game is simple and simple-minded: an image of an infant is presented on the screen, and when you shake the iPhone hard enough, two red “Xs” appear over the infants eyes.
Mission accomplished: the baby is dead. You are scored on how quickly you can kill the infant.
Here’s a lesson in the obvious: Making fun of shaken baby syndrome — or any other type of traumatic brain injury — doesn’t make for uproarious comedy or light entertainment. It’s also not great for public relations.
Apple just learned that lesson the hard way. The company apologized Thursday for selling a 99-cent iPhone application called “Baby Shaker” in its online store. The application allowed iPhone users to silence a virtual crying infant by shaking the device. After enough shakes, the baby on the screen stopped screaming and a large red “X” appeared over each eye. Apple first posted the application Monday, the start of Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week.
“Anybody with any decency would be appalled by this,” said Jennipher Dickens, the mother of a child with the syndrome and a spokeswoman for the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. “An application that simulates killing a baby, because it’s crying? What sick person would come up with that?”
I don’t care for the iPhone for a number of reasons (See: Why iDon’t Like the iPhone At All). But an application to simulate the death of an infant?
Apple can have their iPhone.