Angry Trayvon game to shut down following complaints

The makers of the controversial mobile game have promised to pull it in the wake of an online petition and user protests.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

A game called Angry Trayvon has managed to anger enough people that the developer has promised to shut it down.

Available through Google Play, Angry Trayvon depicts a man in a hooded sweatshirt walking through such areas as Brooklyn to complete "his world tour of revenge on the bad guys who terrorize cities everyday." Players of the game can use a variety of weapons to take down attackers from around the world.

What triggered the online outrage is the game's apparent reference to Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American who was fatally shot last year. The shooter, George Zimmerman, claims self defense. But the circumstances surrounding the shooting have been less than clear, prompting protests and charges of racism. The case has been in the news again since Zimmerman's trial began last month.

Trade Digital, the developer of Angry Trayvon, has promised to remove all traces of the game, both from its Facebook page and from Google Play. In a Facebook post, Trade Digital denied any charges of racism on its part:

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.

At this point, the game is still selling on Google Play for $1.99.

A Change.org petition urging Google to remove the game from Google Play described its objections over the app:

This application unnecessarily promotes violence and exploits the unfortunate death of Trayvon Martin. I am sure his parents [do] 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 Change.org petition garnered just 65 signatures before it concluded. But that petition, along with other public complaints, apparently convinced the developer that the game should be retired.

Correction, 9:45 a.m. PT: The game was never submitted to Apple's App Store.