Appeal Rejected: It’s Final, HPT is not coming to iTunes.

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Hey everyone,

The outcry from you all, our supporters, has been amazing. In fact it was so wonderful, that I attempted to reach out to appeal to Apple again.

Below is a copy of the letter I sent for the appeals process. Thank you to L, master wordsmith, who helped me fix up the tone <3

Hi Apple,

I understand that HPT was rejected for sexual content. But I wanted to make sure that Apple understands that this was done for educational purposes.

1. Learn by Playing
HPT is game that allows users to learn through action, so it is not meant to follow the same standard procedures of learning as typical educational apps do. We’re trying to use the medium of touch in a more innovative way, and giving hands on guidance and practice for users. We intersperse game portions with standard sexual-education material.

2. Non-graphic content
Although there is “explicit” content, showing human genitalia, the character and the mascot was designed intentionally to be a very abstract representation of a vulva. We’ve gotten many compliments on this – and, ironically, we’ve also got requests to make the character itself MORE graphic, because older users thought that it was TOO abstract. But we stuck with the design because we wanted it to have this ambiguity, knowing that the App Store would reject graphic content. Please take a moment to look at the character herself, who is linked on our website.

3. Our mission
There are countless women out there that have grown up with a disconnection with their own sexuality and their bodies, who feel guilty and shamed because they desire something that is completely natural and human.

Your slogan is to “Think Different”. Apple has always been a leader, fearless in its choice to take risks and overcome design challenges in a thoughtful, more human manner. Please, I’m asking you to act along the same company ethos that has guided the creation of your products for decades.

When a global leader such as yourself, makes the choice to publish something like HappyPlayTime, you’re also setting the standard for so many people that look on you as a leader – you’re choosing to embrace the new, and not to reinforce the same cultural taboo that tells women and young girls that their own sexuality is something to be feared, not accepted.

4. An international group of supporters
Our app has already gotten numerous coverage on sites such The Guardian, Jezebel, New York Magazine, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29. We have a huge base of international supporters that are waiting for the download of this app. We don’t want to disappoint our users, and we’re sure that Apple does not want to be villanized (we don’t want you to be either!). From a business standpoint, it would make sense for Apple as well, since downloads are sure to happen.

If you allow HappyPlayTime in iTunes, you’ll be viewed as a champion for women and girls, and for initiating a huge step forward in having a more positive view of human sexuality everywhere.

Please reconsider your decision.

Attached are links to our website, and links to our press page.

http://happyplaytime.com/press/

http://happyplaytime.com/about/

http://happyplaytime.com

Sincerely,
Tina

I just got a response from them a few hours ago. They’re not budging. HPT won’t be in iTunes.

Appeal Rejected. Apple's Response.

But like I said, this is just another hurdle, not the end. HPT is going to be recoded. Thank you all for your encouragement, it means so much more than I could ever be able to communicate.

Love,
T

26 Comments

  1. Rebecca Reply

    I hope that you bring the app as it was intended to android.

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca, will do. :D

    • Ursula Reply

      I agree. Bring to Android and charge for it. Please don’t put it in the Play Store as a free app with ads! Thanks!

  2. Fruhorn Reply

    No one cares about apple store or whatever, release the game for pc please! :) I’m a guy but I would love to know how to make my girlfriend happier, if you know what I mean :P

    • Author

      Ahaha, sure thing Fruhorn, we might not make it for PC, since touch screens are integral to the game experience, but we’re definitely releasing it for other platforms. :)

      • Alex Reply

        Most modern PCs have touch screens, Mac OSX is the only platform that does not support touch interface by default.

      • Anon65 Reply

        So you can also provide it for MS Phones and Tablets

  3. Tara Reply

    You guys should port the app to google play for Android phones. Many of the android devices these days are just as capable as iOS 7 and google play allows a lot of things Apple would reject (example: sperm games and touch the wiener games). Also for iOS, it’d be possible to crack the market through jailbreak app markets. Then people could install the app through Cydia.

    I do think this is a great concept! Honestly we live in an age where we have the potential to become more open and free as women to talk about and not be embarrassed of things that have always been considered taboo. I think this is a great app, as most women really don’t know what to do with their bodies and then end up having sex and not enjoying it because they don’t know what’s good and what’s not quite hitting them right. This teaches them how to explore and figure out their bodies, an experience every woman should have.

    • Author

      Hey Tara, that’s exactly the reason why I thought something like this was necessary! Hmmm, my first iPhone I had jailbroken, so I know exactly what you’re talking about – I never really explored thinking about getting it out through Cydia though, I’ll do some more research about going that route. And yes, Android is going to happen one way or another. :)

  4. Richard Reply

    Someone remind me why Apple has actual fans rather than grudging users. Somewhere along the line, this loathsome company made it cool to not have executive control over the programs you can run on your device – disempowering users and emboldening other companies to do the same. Now developers and users alike are at the mercy of capricious, anticompetitive, puritanical assholes who (ironically) probably get off a little on censoring sexual health resources, James Joyce comic strips, drone bombing information and competing products. Groovy.

    I hope that the recode isn’t too painful and that this app makes a neat stack of money wherever it ends up being deployed, hopefully without any supposed moral guardians taking their cut.

  5. Evilyn Reply

    I find it odd that there is a kamasutra app in the store (has been for a while) that depicts numerous sex positions, but an app featuring an adorable abstract of a vulva meant to educate and empower women to be more comfortable with their bodies is suddenly a problem. I’m really rooting for this.

  6. Beth Reply

    I am shocked Apple wouldn’t want to publish this. But as you say, it’s just a hurdle. I really look forward to seeing this on the Android market. :)

  7. Teresa Reply

    Tina! I hope you’ll make a web app for this. I know hundreds and thousands of women have been waiting to see your hard work. If Apple won’t support it, then boo on them. But you can always make it a web app that we can air drop to your homescreen. I just switched to an iPhone from an Andriod, so I’ll be really said if it only gets accepted on, and is only available on what I don’t have anymore :(…

    Keep up the good work, we know you’ll do all you can to make this game available to everyone <3

  8. tim Reply

    I see other people have suggested it as well. But Android would be the way to go.
    When the app hits it big as an honest to god education app on android then apple will be kicking themselves.

    I’m sorry to say, but even if you re-code it to make the vagina look like a big square, they will still know who it came from and what its purpose is. Idk if they will ever be like “oh ok, that’s fine then”.

  9. Svelte Reply

    I don’t understand why there are so many erotic apps available on the app store and even ones that objectify women (like Kawaii Personal Assistant) and yet they won’t accept an innovative app like this. If you opened this app in public I doubt anyone would suspect a thing; they’d be more likely to think Happy was a matrioshka doll than a vulva.
    I’m 17 years old and I was really looking forward to this. I really hope Apple will reconsider. If not, then a PC version would be wonderful–there are plenty of touch screen laptops available today, and if not, it can be made playable by mouse.

  10. Madison Reply

    I am incredibly upset to hear that your app won’t be in the App Store! I was extremely looking forward to it’s release! Do you think there is any possibility that the app could be transformed into a website somehow?

  11. Patka Reply

    Apple is f….. Up! They allow games full of violent, gore, and gross content to their store. Horror games or action games or games killing animals for fun.
    As we all know Female private times are still tabu in this century, but if its male thing all is great and noone has a problem w it.
    Btw, apple isnt going hold up for łong, android is better and bigger market. Sale it over there.
    You can still make apple version and let people download it from your web. No need jerky overhelming apple store.

  12. Dovah Reply

    he is well provided for android? =)

  13. Mafi Reply

    It’s sad that they don’t want the app but don’t give up!!! I’m so happy this app will be launched that I would buy a cellphone or tablet just for it, Windows Phone or Android! I hope you have luck in this project, you’re an amazing team for developing this!

    Best Regards <3

  14. Shayri Reply

    I also say android is the way to go. I have another thing to add though. You should make the app free if you’re making it for educational purposes .I’m seventeen and i doubt my conservative parents would let me buy HPT .Plus not many minors or teenagers have access to credit cards or money in other forms than cash so it’ll be pointless in educating if the younger generation can’t buy it. You could also develop the app as a third party app so you don’t have to go through app store, Like adobe flash player

    • Andy Reply

      I have to say I agree about making it free. A good option would be to make it free for your target users (teens) and allow for donations, or make paid extensions (like themes, or ways you can dress up the character lol).

  15. Andy Reply

    I wish I could say “I can’t believe Apple would reject this app!” but unfortunately we still live in a society that would find something like this “objectionable.” But the fact that HPT was rejected is even more proof of how much your app is needed!!! We shouldn’t be shamed and shunned for having a vagina (and not knowing what to do with it!!). Our society oversexualizes women while simultaneously rejecting the idea of female sexuality – in other words, our sexuality is not ours to enjoy, it’s only for the pleasure of men! Using our bodies for our own pleasure is unthinkable! How cruel and unfair! I wish I had an app like this when I was younger. When I started masturbating I felt inexplicably ashamed and alone. I had no resources and I always felt guilty, not to mention the fact that I was terrible at it, and it was often a fruitless and ultimately unpleasant venture. I’m much older now, but those thoughts of guilt and shame that I had when I was a child still linger, even though I know there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m just angry that I had to experience such unnecessary misery, and that our society will continue to inflict that upon other young people.

    I look forward to seeing this app on the Android market!

  16. Ayla Reply

    I think it would be a good web app, so it’s usable for both iPhone and android users.

  17. NaBUru38 Reply

    To claim that this game is “intended to stimulate erotic” is an insult. That’s what happens with walled gardens.

  18. Courtney Reply

    Well I am so disappointed in Apple. I have been waiting for HPT for so many months. It’s a fantastic app idea and I was looking forward to learning and even recommending it to friends. I wish I had more control over what apps I want on my phone rather than only what is in the Store. You were certainly right, Tina, about disappointing the many users that have been anticipating your release. How disheartening! I don’t want to switch to an Android phone, but could that be the only way to experience the app? *deep sigh*

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