Survival Island 3 — Australia Story 3-D, a game released on Dec. 14 on iTunes and available on other platforms such as Google Play, lets players bludgeon Aboriginal Australians to death before looting their belongings. It's rated 12+.
"Your goal is to survive. ... At nights there is really dangerous [sic], try to hide somewhere. In your own house, for example," the iTunes description reads. "You also have to fight with aboriginals."
YouTube user R2 Darksaber posted a series of instructional videos on how to master the game, one of which shows the viewer how to kill an Aborigine with a hatchet. The player is rewarded with the deceased Aborigine's belongings, which appear to consist of a boomerang and a primitive weapon or tool.
R2 Darksaber's next video begins with the commentary, "This lost tribe have forgiven me for killing one of their members. They said that they were going to kill him anyway. He was a bit of a dopey ass, causing trouble all the time, and they said that their place was a bit overcrowded anyway."
Nonetheless, players are still advised to fear indigenous people, as evidenced by one of the screen shots in the iTunes Store, which is emblazoned with "Beware of Aborigines!" in capitalized, red letters.
The history: Aboriginals have endured a long and bloody history of exploitation and suppression by European settlers, who first colonized parts of Australia in 1770.
Systematic violence and human rights abuses against the Aboriginals ensued, including the forcible removal of children from their families.
"Indigenous children have been forcibly separated from their families and communities since the very first days of the European occupation of Australia," the Australian Human Rights Commission, which reports to the federal government, explained on its website.
"Violent battles over rights to land, food and water sources characterized race relations in the 19th century. Throughout this conflict, indigenous children were kidnapped and exploited for their labor," AHRC noted.
Historically contextualizing Survival Island 3 — Australia Story 3-D intensifies the discomfort many feel regarding its racism, violence and condescendence (particularly regarding Aboriginals thanking the virtual settler for killing one of their own).
A Change.org petition, asking app stores not to sell the game, is already underway.
"Indigenous Australians face daily racism and discrimination," Georgia Mantle, the person who started the petition, wrote. "Indigenous Australians are overpoliced and continue to die at the hands of the state. This app further perpetuates the denial of indigenous Australians' humanity. It associates us with flora and fauna of the Australian landscape."
If public disapproval gains enough traction, it might be Game Over for Survival Island 3.
An excerpt of the game can be seen here:
h/t New Matilda