Game rules Question


#1

The rules say no sexual violence or racist themes, however I have a question about it. What if I wanted to make a game like “Roots” so historic racism and sexual violence exist? Or like the movie “The Last Samurai” where there’s an almost casual unintended racism? Or if i were to make a game about Nazi Germany, like a half Jewish resistance fighter, racism and such would be a major element of game play. I would admit the need to limit it definitely, and to maybe cut back on graphic details, however is it completely no tolerance or what?

Also if it IS zero tolerance, maybe hosted games/ choice of games should make an 18+ section of games, that way the games can still get made. And it would work (in theory) with apple and such as an “explicit content” item where you have to be 18 to purchase the app. (But that’s just an idea I had while making this post)


#2

Some of the published games already have the 18+ stamp, so I don’t think that part is really an issue. For all other things, I don’t really know what is or isn’t acceptable, and wether or not Apple’d be alright with that kind of stuff if it did get such a stamp.


#3

For Hosted Games the term “grossly offensive” is determined with context (so, zero tolerance is indeed a bad descriptor). As a note (considering your examples), I’d point you to Nightmare Maze, which touches on elements of antisemitism, and anti-irish sentiments if I recall correctly. (As an additional note, our own guidelines are whole separate from Apple’s.)

As for the forums, however, that’s a different matter that can be essentially boiled down to disrupting the community (which is only rarely a problem).


#4

I think it’s more like as long as the game isn’t a male power fantasy or something similar where the player is the one commuting the crime. I don’t see any problem portraying accurately the struggles of racism and sexual violence. I could be wrong.


#5

I’d agree with @CitizenShawn, I feel like there’s a difference between leaning and making it seem like sexual violence or racism was okay as to just bringing up the topics and pointing them out and having them occur . . . I hope that made sense.:sweat_smile:


#6

Ah, ok thanks for the answers. But if what is written is controversial, could it still be published? Or would one have to edit out everything. Like if it was as controversial as say, Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” or Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita”, would it still get published as a hosted game? Or only as something in the forums which someone could download?


#7

There are many controversial things within titles - there was one WiP in which the MC was forced to be nude at all times… there is a Samurai title in which traditional Japanese bias is explored and there is a title in which you help your drug dealer buddy hide evidence from the FBI.

There are Mafia games, a game with villains succeeding and even a game in which you murder people so they can’t come back as zombies to kill you.

What the publishing rules are trying to define as outside of the boundaries are titles like Mein Kampf which is defined by the main purpose of a racial agenda. An Uncle Tom type of work, or another work written in a specific period’s style of writing is allowed.

For example many of our community use the classic Greek writing as a base for our work… rape and a lot more is something that is seen in that type of writing and can be done within context.

The exception to this (it would seem) would be whistle-coded words … even if period appropriate there may be words that have evolved in our current time to be excluded based on their modern meaning - but this last part is my opinion on how I’d handle it only.


#8

Ah, ok, that makes much more sense. But what whistle-coded words would there be? Like say the word “faggot”. Modern day its a sexual slur, or in England another word for cigarette, but traditionally it means a bundle of wood. Where as using the word savage, like all those Indians are savages is probably acceptable if historically accurate. So where do you think the differences are?


#9

Context is the measuring stick there.

If, in your story, the MC (main character) is outside on a smoke break in the alley, and he says: “Pass me a fag” … most, even in today’s society would understand that. Using terms in a historical manner can cross-translate and this should be the line.

The N-word is both a historical and modern word. However, the racial undertones of the word has cross-translated itself over time and different regions of the world. Using the N-word to describe an African native captured by a Portuguese slaver in the 16th century has the same racial undertones (or worse) in 1960’s Jim Crow South and in 2016 inner city gang territory of L.A.

Edit: I use a lot of historical based and archaic based words in my writing; my current WiP takes place in the Classical world where the racism was much different. The concept of us vs them was the basis of discrimination. If you were a Roman, you were accepted as a Roman, regardless of which racial tribe your ancestors came from. If you were a Berber, then you were not a Roman and suffered because of it, again no matter the racial tribe you originated in.

I use modern words to convey this in a way that my modern audience can relate to. If I tried using the terms and phrases that the classic writers used, not only would my writing seem farcical to my audience, they would not really understand what I am trying to get across to them.


#10

As long as you comport yourself with respect and the attitudes you’ve presented so far in the forums you should be fine. No one will read it as race-hating or bigotry unless you just have a character who greets the player with that word every day for no reason at all, and the character never acknowledges anything wrong or does anything to rectify the situation. If you go too far, of course there will be people who are upset.

CoG might ask you to tone it down if you go the route of, say, Django Unchained, which I really enjoyed, but not everyone is so comfortable watching. Even I don’t watch the movie “regularly,” in fact I’ve only seen it twice, because I think constant exposure to those kind of slurs might be a little too much for my brain to process out. Will history ultimately vindicate that movie? I honestly doubt it, sorry Tarantino! Sometimes being vulgar for vulgarity’s sake only serves to attract an audience, but not teach any valuable lessons. It was entertaining and to some extent accurate, but you’ll have to think long and hard and maybe write an essay about it to really do any good.


#11

The word for cigarette is fag, not faggot. (And yes, to much hilarity “can I bum a fag” does mean “can you give me a cigarette”.)

It’s was also a term for a practice used in boarding schools. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fagging

Faggot can be a food item. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_(food)

is a genuine product sold in supermarkets.

And a faggot is a bundle of sticks.

But really, I’d prefer not to see the word used at all as a slur.


#12

Lol, I went to the Mr. Brain website just to see and its true. “Did you know? That faggots are known as “ducks” in the Midlands?”

Edit: The specific site: http://mrbrains.co.uk/products/


#13

So, personally, since “ducks” is an acceptable alternative with less secondary meaning attached, I’d actually use “ducks” for the food as a descriptor - this is an example of adaptation I was talking about above.


#14

In this case, that wouldn’t work, because that’s a very localised term. I’d just say to use meatball instead, it’s not exactly the same, but near enough.


#15

That’s not a bad idea to an extent, but if i was writing about say, historic colonial Africa as a British soldier, there aren’t to many viable safe alternative terms I could use. Say for the n-word, alternatives might be (that they would use) boy, black, negro, and savage. There might be others, but I’m pressed to find a realistic alternative in this example. I’m personally a fan of historic fiction, and alternate history, maybe some steampunk thrown in, and fantasy. I’m considering making a game that’s like in the late 1700’s to mid 1800’s era of history, possibly with steampunk/ alternate history elements. However, the terms would still be there because of the historic realism. The author “George Alfred Henty” has several historical fiction books, and they were written in the late 1800’s/ early 1900’s and even the more “modern” (using the term loosely, 1900’s) beliefs, there is kind of a casual racism/ superiority. Who the character is will greatly affect game play. Like if it was based in India, a half caste would have trouble adjusting to British superiority/ racism.


#16

I stand corrected. sorry.


#17

There are historical fiction entries in both CoG and Hosted libraries you can look at for guidance - both what works and what does not.

In example: Tin Star is one of the most popular published works and one that is critically acclaimed by the community as well. The Chinese workers on the railroads are handled in such a manor that their historical position in society was conveyed but without the word “Coolie” being thrown around as if it were candy.

If you are planning the type of story-game you outlined here, I have a feeling the Hosted label would be easier to get published under than the CoG label.


#18

Choice of Games has considered an adult games label but no word on when (if ever) that will start.

Otherwise, the biggest factor in publishing is Apple. They reject games with “objectionable” content. So Hosted Games’s guidelines are in part to ensure Apple accepts the game. Here are some details of Apple’s content guidelines:
https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/


#19

Ah, the famous “Know it when I see it” rule. Sorta figured that was what Apple went by.


#20

I wonder if there’s an Apple reviewer employee that has to play every single game, or do they just trust CoG at a certain point? Maybe they have access to the code and command F all the bad words and check for context? Who knows?!