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Apple says politically-charged Palestinian game isn’t a “game” at all

Liyla and the Shadows of War is a game about a young girl living in Gaza during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much more than that because Apple has declared it too political to count as a game in its App Store. On Tuesday afternoon, developer Rasheed Abueideh said Liyla had been rejected for not being appropriate for the “Game” category and shared a message from Apple that read: As we discussed, please revise the app category for your app and remove it from Games, since we found that your app is not appropriate in the Games category. It…

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This videogame about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict makes peace uncomfortably achievable

I solved the Israeli-Palestinian situation over the weekend, and the experience didn’t fill me with hope for the future. Let’s backtrack a little: Benjamin Netanyahu is still Israel’s prime minister, Palestinian statehood is still far from a reality, and international pressure or support for any just outcome is lukewarm at best. All of which is to say, my solution could only exist in a fictional universe. And so it does—I was playing ImpactGames’ PeaceMaker: Israeli Palestinian Conflict, which was recently updated for iOS and Android. PeaceMaker tries to play down its fictional side. It is very much of this world,…