With the app uploaded and verified with google and apple, I am delighted to announce that RememBear will be available for you to buy on the 3rd September. I even have a new rhyme for you:
Remember RememBear, the third of SeptemBear!
— Michael Bowerman (@Mikey_PB) August 17, 2015
Feel free to retweet that 🙂
The app submission process is straightforward enough, though it can be quite different depending on which platform you are targeting. Whether iOS or Android, as part of the process you must answer questions to receive an app content rating. I have noticed, however, that the two questionnaires can bring about rather differing results:
That’s right, when RememBear launches on Google Play, it will have a PEGI-18 rating. On the App store it will be 12+. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one seems to be this question in Google’s questionnaire:
This is a game in which children will probably get eaten by a bear. Nay, certainly. I can only answer this question honestly, and I do agree with the question, but I’m also interested in what the question is implying:
No, the player isn’t rewarded. The player isn’t actually partaking in the violence, rather, the player is trying to prevent it.
Forgive me if I’m making a huge jump here, but it seems there is an assumption that if a game contains violence, the player must be the perpetrator. The context of the violence isn’t established in the questionnaire, beyond how the player is treated after performing it.
But should that even matter? If RememBear was a film, surely the fact that the violence was appearing on screen would be enough to warrant an 18+ rating.
Jack Reacher, 12a
Star Wars, PG
The Woman in Black, 12a
So why the difference between app stores? The only criteria I can positively answer from Apple’s questionnaire is that it has cartoon/fantasy violence – I cannot say that the violence is either ‘realistic’, nor ‘prolonged graphic or sadistic realistic’. I suppose this is the broader brush stroke that allows someone being executed in a Jack Reacher film to be deemed suitable for a 12a audience, so long as it is detached from any realism or consequence by the lack of blood and gore.
The alternative seems to be a questionnaire that makes incorrect assumptions about the content and penalises all violence equally, when not all violence is equal. Violence can be harmful, harrowing and distasteful but also affirming, heroic or even funny. In RememBear’s case, I hope it is shocking, gross, silly and childish. The game doesn’t glamorise violence, which I consider the most harmful (widespread, and accepted) application of violence in media, rather it exists to set a tone much like the violence in old fairy tales, where exaggeration and gratuity would warn children away from playing with bears.
Should RememBear be an 18+ game? Watch the gameplay video in the tweet above and let me know!