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Plugged In

Controversial app lets you beat up your boyfriend

Plugged In

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Boyfriend Trainer (Credit: Games2Win)

Apple has a zero-tolerance policy for apps that contain nudity, and they're usually quick to shut down any that promote violence against women. But an app that encourages girls to abuse their significant other is apparently fair game.

Boyfriend Trainer, which is available in both the App Store and the Android market, lets players slap, electrocute, or mace a virtual boyfriend for what most people would call minor transgressions, including drinking their girlfriend’s drink or leaving his shirt on the ground.

"Crack that whip and teach your guy a thing or two about being the Perfect Boyfriend!" reads the game's description. "When scolding doesn’t work, just zap him, whack him and train him to be your ideal man!"

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Players lead their boyfriend around on a leash (Credit: Games2Win)

It's all cartoonish, of course. There's no actual violence, but what's shown on screen is fairly rough stuff. For instance, when the boyfriend eyes another girl at what appears to be a prom (or some other formal dance), the girlfriend/player whips out a can of mace and sprays it into his eyes as surrounding dancers laugh at his misfortune.

The game, rated for players aged 4 and up, also includes pithy advice as players begin each level. "Girlfriends don't like their boyfriends to look at other girls,” it instructs. “About time he got the message. Slap him silly!"

Obviously, despite the app's implied "girl power" theme, it's not exactly flattering toward either sex. As Jezebel points out, the odds of this app remaining in the App Store if it encouraged you to put your girlfriend on a leash, choke her, and hammer her with a tennis racket are pretty low.

Players seem to agree.

“I hate how this game is so abusive,” writes users Jazzy1289 in a one-star review. “I understand its [sic] just a game but kids play this and u don't want this to be an influence on them.”

The app was developed by Games2Win, a Mumbai-based company that has a notable presence in the Web gaming market. A look at other titles available on its Website reveals games across the spectrum, from mature fare like Naughty College Dorm (tagline: Let the wild times begin!) to far more subdued content like Baby Day Care.

There's even a sequel to Boyfriend Trainer online, telling players to "Get your whips out and teach those boyfriends a thing or two … again!"

We've reached out to Apple for comment but they've yet to respond. In the past, the company has pulled apps that seem to endorse violence against people, such as the short-lived "Baby Shaker App". It does not talk about its screening process, though, which is somewhat arbitrary.

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