Apple pulls baby shaking iPod game

SICK: Screen grabs of the Baby Shaker games pulled from Apple's online App Store.
SICK: Screen grabs of the Baby Shaker games pulled from Apple's online App Store.

Apple has removed a downloadable iPod/iPhone game from its online iTunes App Store where the point is to shake a crying baby to death.

The $1.19 game - one of thousands of so-called "apps" that Apple sells on its iTunes App Store - was called Baby Shaker and was taken down overnight after scores of complaints.

According to people who downloaded and played the game, in order to stop the crying sound, the player had to shake the phone vigorously. The game ends when two red crosses appear on the baby's eyes, signifying that it has died.

The screen invites players to play again.

The iPhone and iPod touch have a device called an accelerometer which senses movement and it is the basis of many games and applications designed for the popular devices.

"On a plane, on the bus, in a theater. Babies are everywhere you don't want them to be! They're always distracting you from preparing for that big presentation at work with their incessant crying," reads the app's blurb.

"Before Baby Shaker there was nothing you could do about it.

"Now, Baby Shaker gives you a charming drawing of a baby sure to make those with a less than iron will fawn. True to life, it begins to annoy you immediately. See how long you can endure his or her adorable cries before you just have to find a way to quiet the baby down!

"Never, never shake a baby."

The game was uploaded to the App Store by a company called Sikalosoft. The company's website was hosted on the free Google Sites web platform and has since been taken down.

However, a history of activity on the site remains showing that a person called Alex Talbot had been updating it between April 14 and April 22.

The company's email address is a generic, free Gmail account.

Sikalosoft sells another iPhone/iPod app called Dice Mosaic which can transform photos into mosaics made of dice. The app was added to the Apple store on April 13.

According to a report in the Boston Herald newspaper, the application was removed on Tuesday (US time), but reappeared on Wednesday morning before it disappeard again on Wednesday afternoon.

Apple has strict rules regarding the content contained in apps that are sold or given away on its site. It is unusual that such a distateful game made it past Apple's screening process.

Apple has sold or given away almost one billion applications since the App Store was launched in July last year. The company has not commented on the Baby Shaker game.


Sydney Morning Herald