Pocket God, which started as a gaming app for smart phones and tablets and has since expanded to include a comic collection and various forms of merchandise, has come under scrutiny for being racist since its launch in 2009. Game players are able to "play god" over a group of primitive, island-dwelling "pygmies" by controlling the pygmies every move and even deciding whether they live or die. The caricatured features of the pygmies have drawn the ire of those who see the pygmies as a distasteful representation of Pacific Islanders, and, at the same time, the Pocket God pygmies could be seen as eerily similar to the early cartoon depictions of African Americans as savages. Additionally, the term "pygmy" is used by anthropologists to describe various forest-dwelling, indigenous tribes of Africa and Southeast Asia. The creators of the Pocket God franchise originally agreed to no longer refer to the characters as pygmies after an initial round of criticism, but they quickly reverted to the use of "pygmy"shortly afterward and have defended their characters by stating, "The fictional characters in Pocket God do not directly or indirectly represent any human nationality, race or cultural people." What do you think?
Link to Pocket God (accessed 5/25/2017)
"What kind of god would you be? Benevolent or vengeful? Play Pocket God and discover the answer within yourself. On a remote island, you are an all-powerful god, ruling over the simple natives. You can bring new life, and take it away just as quickly. Exercise your power by lifting your subjects in the air, altering gravity, striking them with lightning: you control their universe! Pocket God is filled with hilarious interactive situations and mini-games where you can use your godly powers. Can you find them all?"