It looks like The Onion has taken a satire of ultra-violent video games — a fictitious game called “Close Range,” meant to mock first-person-shooters — and pushed it further by actually developing the game and submitting it to Apple for approval.
According to Jeff Bercovici, the app was — what a surprise — rejected for its realistic portrayals of violence.
The joke started in April with an Onion review of a “new” video game consisting entirely of shooting people (and animals) in the face at very close range. According to Bercovici, Close Range was eventually developed by The Onion into a real iPhone app.
Bercovici writes that the Onion declined to comment on the process — and he provides no sources for his reporting — so the entire episode could merely be a joke within a joke. But he does raise an interesting point about Apple’s treatment of humor and satire: