'Angry Trayvon' gaming app pulled after backlash
The trial of George Zimmerman charged with 2nd degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin has heightened sensitivity to how principals in the case are portrayed outside the courthouse, even if the portrayals are fictional.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and says he shot Martin in self-defense. But in cyberspace, a game developed by Trade Digital, Inc., has been pulled from the market following an angry backlash by social media users.
The description of the game, entitled Angry Trayvon, states: “Trayvon is angry and nobody can stop him from completing his world tour of revenge on the bad guys who terrorize cities every day.”
Trayvon Martin is not directly identified as the main character in the game Angry Trayvon. But there are similarities to the Florida teen who was fatally shot by the neighborhood watch volunteer while walking home from a local convenience store.
In addition to the name, the game’s character in Angry Trayvon is wearing a hoodie, similar to the attire Trayvon Martin was wearing on the night of his death.
The gaming app’s Twitter account, which has since been shut down, denied any connection to Martin, saying, “Angry Trayvon is fictitious and is was not intended to portray any people in real life.”
Social media users have taken to Facebook and Twitter to voice their displeasure with the new game, calling it “tasteless” and “disrespectful.”
Here is a sampling of some user reaction:
— Hendrix Monae (@HendrixMonae) July 9, 2013
@RobinRoberts please please look into this Angry Trayvon game that Google has in their app store..this is outrageous!
— Tameya Tarkington (@tameyat) July 9, 2013
Y'all heard of the Angry Trayvon app?? Ignorance at its best.
— summernicoleee (@_ImYoGrandpa) July 9, 2013
The people spoke out therefore this game was removed from the app stores. Sorry for the inconvenience as this was just an action game for entertainment. This was by no means a racist game. Nonetheless, it was removed as will this page and anything associated with the game will be removed.
One of the post’s top comments says, “You knew all along what you were doing with the imagery and title of this game. We are not stupid. I hope you get banned from submitting any more apps on all platforms. A**holes.”
A petition on Change.org was also started in the wake of the game’s release, urging Google Play to remove the app from their store. The petition said:
This application unnecessarily promotes violence and exploits the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin. I am sure his parents not appreciate the image of their son as a gun toting vigilante. The death of this young man is NOT A GAME. This developer is using the Google Marketplace to exploit the death of an unarmed teen for profit while simultaneously promoting violence. Given the racial and social climate surrounding this issue and the unfair depiction of a deceased minor who perished as a result of gun violence, we are asking that this application be moved from the Google Play marketplace immediately.
The game was removed Tuesday morning from Google Play which had been selling it at $1.99.
A request for comment from the game’s developer has not been returned.
Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals.