HoboHunt: Google Android app under fire

  • Idea for app came from someone who used to ‘joke’ about ‘hunting hobos’

By
Ted Thornhill

Last updated at 11:36 AM on 23rd February 2012

An Android app called HoboHunt in which users take photographs of homeless people and ‘hunt’ them has come under fierce criticism.

Made by U.S developer Synventus, the game was rejected three times by Apple, but is available on Google’s Android Market.

The idea for the app apparently came from a friend of Synventus’s CEO, Joel Usher, who used to ‘joke’ about ‘hunting hobos’.

HoboHunt has come under fire

HoboHunt has come under fire

Under fire: HoboHunt was rejected by Apple, but is available on the Android Market, where is has come under fierce criticism

Violent: Users are given an array of weapons to 'attack' with

Violent: Users are given an array of weapons to ‘attack’ with

Usher told Vice.com: ‘The “Hobo” part [of the title] came about as a friend of mine, who commutes through Washington DC, was constantly sending me camera phone pictures of hobos along his route, and making jokes about “hunting” them as he drove.

‘He also told me that a group of attorneys – at a prestigious firm I won’t name – all do the same, and that really triggered the idea behind the app.’

The game’s website explains that users join in by taking photographs of people they want to hunt, then arming themselves with a weapon of their choice.

It says: ‘Point your camera at a goofy hobo. Click Shoot. That’s it. Hunt real hobos, your friends, family, teachers, bosses, anyone!  Sweet crosshairs and real weapons sound effects bring the hunt to life. Badges sweeten the pot and reward you for your awesome hunting abilities! Sharing lets you post your hunts on Facebook and Twitter!’

A press release for the game warned that it’s ‘not for the faint-hearted’, but many Android users just think it’s immoral and have been taking to Twitter to voice their concerns.

Erin Ruston described it as ‘appalling’, while Sarah Brinton tweeted: ‘This is sick’.

Joao Marques, meanwhile, wrote: ‘There really is an app for everything, shocking!’ 

A Google spokesman told MailOnline that the app is being investigated.

The makers of HoboHunt have re-submitted the app to Apple with a new name – PhotoSlap.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

It’s only a game ,calm down DM ,stop being outraged at everything .

It’s un believable that in this day and age people have to sleep in the cold!!

Sounds briiliant… I got Bunny Shooter.. Is that illegal?

Thanks DM, would have never found this game if it wasn’t for you!

So glad I have an android phone. This app is a hoot!

Its ok to shoot russians, koreans, afghans and arabs in the face in incredibly high details on xbox though, but a quirky Android game!? OUTRAGE!!!

Thank you to the Daily Mail for letting us all know about this free app. I wasn’t aware of its existence until now but I have now downloaded it and look forward to enjoying many hours of fun playing.

There’s lots of games out there, set in the middle east, where you try to kill as many arabs as possible. What’s new here?

Sounds fun…..bet they LOVE the free publicity you have given them!

Unfortunate people living on the streets are regularly attacked for no reason by out of control youths as it is without this garbage to inspire them! Its time a government with guts emerged somewhere to ban this perfidios crap from ever being produced.

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