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