RMMV Beer in game rating?

Cqualt

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Hey there ! Hope this is the right forum.

Just wanted to ask a general question to you educated peeps out there. Thinking of putting "beer" in my game Hahaha .

If I was to do so would that affect the mature Rating ? Like M for mature or MA 15+ ETC ? Basically would 12 year olds be able to play this even though there "beer" in the game thx !!
 

Kes

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This doesn't meet the rules for Games in Development.
[mod]I am moving this to Game Ideas and Prototypes[/mod]
 

Poryg

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There's beer in Tom & Jerry. Does it make it not eligible for kids?
Of course not.
Just because there's beer, doesn't really mean anything. If you were to promote beer drinking with profanity, that might be a different story.
 

SepulcherGeist

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You commonly see the notation "use of alcohol" beside rating. But all things are taken into consideration when coming up with a rating, and you'd be surprised what you can get away with. I'd check with an official game-ratings rules site for more information, but keep in mind rating a game, show, or film is a complicated and inconsistent process where context, frequency, and personal opinions matter.

If you're worried about it, you can do what a lot of shows and games do and "beat around the bush," conveying the concept for mature players while keeping younger players in the dark (at least, "presumably" in the dark).

For example, Homestar Runner is a well beloved web cartoon (that's now a YouTube cartoon, games, and a host of other things) that is widely regarded as appropriate for everyone, while still being relevant and humorous to the most mature adults. They often relate to adult concepts while keeping it light or vague for children. For example, they make up their own curse words, syntax, and just "way of speaking" that conveys mature topics. They refer to beer as "a cold one." That reference went further and further: some characters drink "cold one dry," and other variations. There is even artwork in a characters house of a brown bottle that says "a one that isn't cold is scarcely a one at all."

In that example we see they had their cake and ate it too, and then some! They have the reference for adults, harmlessness for the kiddos, made it funny and original, AND expanded on it to become a world-building cultural thing within the universe. Now fans have that same poster on their wall of the cold one! There's a perfect answer for everything, you just have to find it.

Now do some kids "understand" the reference that a "cold one" is booze and the characters are drinking alcohol? Of course. But it's still acceptable: the kids aware of adult concepts aren't being harmed because they already possess the knowledge, the cartoon wasn't providing it. There's the saying: If you get the reference, you're mature enough to be exposed to it.

Majora's Mask did a similar deal where they had a "milk bar." It looks, acts, and behaves like a regular bar, but they serve milk. For some reason in Tamriel milk is treated like booze. Another charming world-building quirk that had it's cake and ate it too.

So why not come up with your OWN world-building quirks to get around this issue? Name your drink something interesting, that isn't necessarily alcohol but isn't necessarily not. Call sparking wine "the bubbles." Call hefeweisen "The Heff." Be creative. That's the whole point of making a game, after all!
 

Heirukichi

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@Poryg I must disagree with you. Tom & Jerry is a cartoon that was born back in 1940 when rules on what was appropriate for children and what not were less strict (be it right or wrong, this is not the place to discuss it).

Characters explicitly drinking alcohol make a game not fit for the PEGI 12 criteria, as explicit consumption of alcohol is clearly one of the parameters that differentiate a PEGI 16 game from those suitable for younger people (you can review an explanation here).

Of course, you could make it less explicit, as @SepulcherGeist said. You could name your beer differently or make it look like a beer, but be something different. The purpose it serves in the game still remains untouched, but your game will fit the PEGI 12 criteria.

Anyway, refrain from picking what was made back in the past as an example, especially if it was a distant past. A lot of Disney cartoons would have never received approval nowadays. Just check the updated rules an follow them instead, it is a much safer option.
 

Cqualt

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Thx for all your input guys :)
 

empresskiova

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Since it was already linked here, and because this is a topic already along the lines of mature content, I’ll go ahead and ask you guys here (instead of opening a new thread).

For my game, Postworld (post apoc setting), the MC actually loses their arm in the course of story, having it replaced with a robotic one. Graphically, it won’t be possible (nor would I actually show it) to show the actual dismemberment of the arm. After the fact the arm would be gone, and the game continues on with the player being well informed of the MC’s lack of limb. I’m quite fine with the game having to have an adult rating, but I’d like to know if it’s possible to stay with the rating of PEGI 16?

For the ESRB, an M rating is pretty much already expected because of the material. But, I know ESRB quite a bit better being American and all :p
 

Heirukichi

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@empresskiova I think a new thread might have been a better place to ask such a question, as his thread is specifically oriented toward the presence of alcohol in games. Anyway, since you took your time to ask, I can take my time to answer.

As you can read from the link in my previous post, even if there are gory injuries, the game still fits in the PEGI 16 criteria. Even more so if the act of amputating the arm is not shown in a realistic way. Even so, since losing an arm cannot be considered a minor injury, it might not fit the PEGI 12 criteria, unless the character losing an arm is not a human, but some fantasy character - in which case, combined with the fact that the act itself is not shown, it might still fit the PEGI 12 criteria.

However, this only takes into account the fact the scene that you mentioned and it does not take into account anything else. I am assuming you have other things that do not fit the PEGI 12 criteria since you mentioned that in the ESRB system it fits the Mature (17+) criteria. After all, a dismembered body without gore fits the Teen (13+) criteria in the ESRB system as well.

ESRB said:
TEEN
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.

[...]
  • Violence - Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment.
(Source: esrb.org)

I underlined and highlighted that part in red to show that, in the ESRB system, as long as it is not shown in a gory way, it still fits the Teen criteria.

PEGI said:
PEGI 12
Video games that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy characters or non-realistic violence towards human-like characters would fall in this age category. Sexual innuendo or sexual posturing can be present, while any bad language in this category must be mild. Gambling as it is normally carried out in real life in casinos or gambling halls can also be present (e.g. card games that in real life would be played for money).
(Source: pegi.info)

As you can see, even here it might still fit, provided that it is not shown in a realistic way and that there is no gore.

On the contrary, if the violence is more realistic, then it falls in the PEGI 16 category.
PEGI said:
PEGI 16
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. The use of bad language in games with a PEGI 16 rating can be more extreme, while games of chance, and the use of tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs can also be present.
 

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