- An app that simulated colonial Brazil in the 17th century allowed users to be slave masters.
- The game was called “Slavery Simulator” and was available in Brazil for about a month.
- A Brazilian lawmaker filed a complaint against Google and alleged that some users praised the app.
A game available on Google Play that allowed users to act as slave masters in 17th-century colonial Brazil has sparked outrage with some Brazilian lawmakers, The Washington Post reported.
The game — called “Simulador de Escravidão” or “Slavery Simulator” — was available to Google Play users in Brazil starting April 20 before it was taken down on Wednesday, according to The Post.
Based on the game’s description, users could “become a wealthy slave owner or achieve the abolition of slavery.” As a slave owner, players could amass wealth and buy, sell, punish, or sexualize enslaved people, The Post reported.
Orlando Silva de Jesus Junior, a federal lawmaker in the Chamber of Deputies, raised concerns about the app on Twitter and joined Unegro, a racial justice advocacy nonprofit, to file a complaint against Google with Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The complaint accuses Google of violating an anti-discrimination law in Brazil.
—Orlando Silva (@orlandosilva) May 24, 2023
“It’s something unbelievable that in a country where racism is a crime, a country that lived through the wounds of slavery, a digital platform makes a macabre and barbaric game like this one,” Silva said during a congressional debate, according to The Post.
The complaint reviewed by The Post said some people praised the app. One user, the complaint alleged, wrote that the app was a “great game to pass the time, but it lacks more torture options.”
Another user said the game portrayed “well what I would like to do in real life,” according to the complaint.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside of working hours.
In a statement to the Post, a Google Brazil spokesperson said the company does not “allow apps that promote violence or incite hatred against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, or that depict or promote gratuitous violence or other dangerous activities.”
The game was downloaded more than 1,000 times before it was removed from the digital store, the Post reported.
A few other lawmakers, including Ivan Valente, another member of the Chamber of Deputies, filed their own complaints.
The app’s developer, Magnus Games, has other simulation-style games, such as “Mafia Offline Killer Simulator,” CNN reported.
A spokesperson for the game studio did not respond to a request for comment.