Commentary

A teenage boy looks at his phone.

Parents have enough to worry about what their children and teenagers can see on the internet. But Google was reportedly caught marketing a sexual-abuse themed game to what it had to know were younger computer users. (Africa Studio / Shutterstock)

 By C. Douglas Golden  September 27, 2021 at 9:06am

A game that was purportedly being promoted by the Google Play Store featured a scene in which players could undress a sleeping stepsister, according to video posted to the social media site TikTok.

The New York Post reported last week that the game, “LUV,” has been deleted from the store. However, before that, a parent from a now-deleted TikTok account documented the ad for the creepy game.

Ads for the deleted app would apparently appear to users playing other games. So-called “free” games typically display advertisements in between levels as a source of revenue.

Florida filmmaker Michael McWhorter saw the original video and made his own TikTok video complaining about “LUV.”

“Hey google, why is this in your play store?” the caption on McWhorter’s video reads.

The video advertisement features an illustration of a pink-haired woman in scanty clothing sleeping on a bed. A young man with a sexually suggestive T-shirt is shown saying, “My stepsister passed out after the party.”

The player, who’s supposed to be controlling the stepbrother, is given a choice: “Don’t disturb her” or “Help her undress.”

In the advertisement, if the player takes her top off and wakes her up, at first she’s scandalized — but then she bites her lower lip and smiles.

“The goal is to get her naked without waking her, but the message is, ‘if you do wake her, don’t worry, she’s into it,’” McWhorter said in his video. “Google, how the f*** is this game available in your app store?”

Are Google’s values out of sync with America?

“And then being advertised on other games — a game that my son could easily be playing,” he continued. “What do you think this teaches young preteen boys about how women should be valued and treated?”

According to U.K. Metro, the app held a 17+ “Mature” rating on the Google Play Store. However, the article also noted it was being advertised in other “free-to-play” games, which are popular among children since they don’t cost money to install and play.

WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers will find offensive.

Here’s McWhorter’s video, which features footage from “LUV”:

Why is this in the Google play store? pic.twitter.com/5BvwKNXcIR

— Michael Mc (@TizzyEnt) September 17, 2021

The game has since been removed, although it’s unclear how it made it onto the store in the first place.

Consider Google’s Inappropriate Content policy, which bars “apps that contain or promote sexual content or profanity, including pornography, or any content or services intended to be sexually gratifying.”

“We don’t allow apps or app content that appear to promote a sexual act in exchange for compensation,” it continues. “Content that contains nudity may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic, and is not gratuitous.”

I’m operating under the assumption that “LUV” did not get a pass for artistic merit. The game, which boasted “addictive gameplay” and an “interactive story” according to Metro, in what the newspaper described as “a badly written blurb inviting players to get involved,” has since been deleted.

The app’s developer, Afivad Limited, didn’t have any other listed titles in the store. However, it’s worth noting that the Metro article contained a screenshot of a host of other soft-porn titles featuring similar themes in the Google Play Store. Whether any of those featured incest or sexual assault was unclear, as was whether they were being advertised on free-to-play titles.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Google reportedly blocked the pro-life organization Live Action from running advertisements on its platform — while allowing pro-abortion organizations to run their ads without similar restrictions:

.@Google has also banned the promotion of our Baby Olivia video, a medically accurate (& accredited by OBGYNs), lifelike animation of human development in the womb, citing “unreliable claims.”

This is the video banned from ads: https://t.co/CwR2L2hKug

Unacceptable. pic.twitter.com/Jnz0bqqLyA

— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) September 14, 2021

Meanwhile, Google is permitting abortion facilities to advertise next-day abortions & abortion via mail

This is a blatant, political double standard: Google is ok with ads promoting life-ending drugs, but not life-saving treatments.

Where’s the “choice?” for women, @Google? pic.twitter.com/YIcXE3yYld

— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) September 14, 2021

Google has also censored Project Veritas on their YouTube platform — in a video where the controversial group was exposing Google’s censorship of conservative sources.

But a game that advertised itself on free-to-play apps that children tend to use with a clip featuring incestuous sexual abuse? That, somehow, just happened to have slipped through the cracks.

Parents need to monitor what their kids do online, granted, and not just because of apps like “LUV.”

However, is it too much to hope for that one of big tech’s biggest companies couldn’t monitor games that advertise through its store for odious content like this?

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.

C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he’s written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).

Birthplace

Morristown, New Jersey

Education

Catholic University of America

Languages Spoken

English, Spanish

Topics of Expertise

American Politics, World Politics, Culture

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