If I were making a movie on this basis, I'd feel covering subjects such as racism, slavery and violence would not be considered out of the ordinary, but part of representing the time period and part of the 'art' of the movie.
However for games there are 'content guidelines' for selling your games via certain outlets. If you include certain elements, certain outlets won't touch the product. I know for consoles you can get the more mature ratings and be allowed a reasonable amount of leeway, presumably with the idea that a 'shop owner' would be responsible for not selling to younger customers.
But for mobile games, there seems to be a bit of a 'disney child friendly' thing going on, where stores won't touch your game if it is at all risque. I'd guess this was particularly true for iOS, but I just had a look at the google play guidelines, and they say:
Sexually Explicit Material: We don't allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography. If we become aware of content with child pornography, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.
Violence and Bullying: Depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed. Applications should not contain materials that threaten, harass or bully other users.
Hate Speech: We don't allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
So basically that seems to rule out gratuitous decapitation, cannibalism, racism and beast action.
In a movie for instance, it is regarded as ok to have, for example an obnoxious racist character. Usually this will be reinforced because they'll get their commeuppance in the movie. But is this kind of subject too far to even broach in a game? This is what characters are all about, some you will root for, but some might be unpleasant characters. Just because a character does some action, it doesn't mean the movie condones that action. But is this even allowed in games?
I know the big publishers won't risk things if they aren't sure it will be allowed, but as an indie you have more freedom.
Anyway what do you guys think of this situation, any views / experience? I'm currently considering hedging my bets with 2 sets of content for conversations for example.
Where do you think the line should be drawn?