Shaking Babies: Yeah, There’s an App for That

If I didn’t want to shake babies, I’d have bought a Blackberry.

EMILY SAIDEL: If you give me a virtual sandbox, then let me play. I’m not buying a $50 videogame to develop my sense of morality; I just want to have fun. First I approach the Playstation 3. Fallout 3 seems to be the perfect choice to explore a fantasy world with all its vices. Post-apocalyptic environment, check. Mutants and the opportunity to kill them, check. Numerous best-of-the-year awards, check. Big guns and children to shoot with them–hold on a minute. I can kill everything in this game, except children? Not good enough.

Xbox, here’s your chance to gain my allegiance. What do you have to offer? Fable 2, eh? An award for kicking chickens, nice. NPCs who can be plied with drink to make them susceptible to sexual advances, clever. Getting paid to be an assassin, fantastic! I’m just going to get this family ofillegitimate children I’ve spawned out of the way. What? What is this patch that seems to be in the way? You mean, if I’d gotten to this game earlier I could have killed them, but now Lionhead Studios and Microsoft has blocked it. Screw you, Xbox.

PC, my old friend, you won’t fail me will you? World of Warcraft is a sandbox that lets me craft, mine, or engage in physical and magical xenophobic battles. Fishing, dressing up in fancy armor, killing orphans…et tu, WoW. You will let me change my hair style, but I can’t slice open one virtual child?

Iphone, you’re the new kid on the block and your sandbox is very small and specific, but you got it just right. Baby Shaker satisfied where all other failed. And now it, too, is gone. Mourn for the loss of the only virtual game to allow me to kill virtual kids. Some day it will rise again.

Is it Bad to Shake a Baby?  I Used To Know.

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Just when I thought the iPhone had come out with an application that would be useful to me in everyday life, it was cruelly rescinded!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy playing Snood and making my iPhone look like a frosty mug of beer as much as the next person, but when it comes to spending $3.99, I’d just as soon purchase an application which teaches me a lesson that will really enrich my life—and leave it filled with babies. Alive babies.

So, it turns out you’re not supposed to vigorously shake an infant. Who’s supposed to teach me that, now that my iPhone is no longer permitted to? From what source am I to glean the knowledge that a rapid back-and-forth jerky motion causes X’s to appear over the eyes of a newborn? Do I pick that kind of information up on a street corner? At the local library? In school—a daycare, perhaps?

Videogames have long educated me on the ways of the world. From them I have learned that jumping on a giant  mushroom with eyes and squashing it will keep me safe. I have discovered that shooting a dragon in the face with a crossbow rewards me with extra life and energy points. And I was on my way to learning what happens when you briskly shake an infant—but that knowledge has been unfairly ripped away. I vaguely believe that the results were bad, but I’m not completely sure anymore. How is this my fault?

Apple, return the Baby Shaker App to its rightful place in my iPhone. Some of us really need it.

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