Dec 11, 2014 · 2 minutes

Apple has allowed an award-winning game to come to the App Store, but first it asked the developer to remove a section where players can choose to use a tool built into full-body scanners that allowed them to view nude subjects, because it was "pornographic."

The game is called "Papers, Please," and it tasks players with becoming an immigration officer who has to decide if potential immigrants are allowed to enter a fictional country. The option of viewing those immigrants' nude bodies was meant to further the game's message about the despair caused by holding someone's life in your bureaucratic hands.

The Guardian has questioned this censorship in light of Apple's decision to approve an app that allows its users to superimpose a friend's face over the images of a woman being fucked from behind -- or at least posing as if she is -- by a male porn star. (Seriously, this is an application that both exists and was allowed into the normally-prudish App Store.)

There's also a business-focused argument to be made for allowing games to tackle harder issues than "How good can you fling this bird at wooden structures?" or "I betcha can't line these saccharine icons up better than your friends can!" Apple relies on games for App Store revenues, as Quartz noted on Wednesday, so it should support their evolution.

Gamers are willing to pay for games that aren't as vapid as most casual games. "Papers, Please" costs about $10 on the iPad. A game about relationships formed during a war, "Valiant Hearts: The Great War," costs about $5. Other games that involve more than a cute character, loud noises, and pastel colors often cost at least a few dollars, if not more.

There's no reason for Apple not to accept the money from consumers who want to play those games, and others like them with interesting, important stories. They might not make as much as casual games -- many casual games are financially successful because they nickel-and-dime their players -- but they can still contribute to the overall market. And since that market is increasingly important, Apple should accept all those games.

The company doesn't have to buy into the argument that games are an art form that shouldn't be censored any more than the films available on iTunes, the books purchased through iBooks, or the music streamed via Beats Music should be censored. That argument is spot-on (I've long believed that dismissing games as toys incapable of exploring the same issues as other media is just bonkers) but Apple can ignore it.

What it shouldn't ignore is the fact that people want these games, they're willing to pay for them, and they're contributing to a market that can be built on important games instead of vapid experiences made by the next company trying to monetize its flash-in-the-pan software before casual gamers find another gimmick to become obsessed with.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman for Pando]