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Mar 1, 2022

Is Obey Me! safe for kids? App Safety Guide for parents

Qustodio team

Qustodio team

Experts in digital safety

Is Obey Me safe for teenagers to play
If the name “Obey Me!” for a roleplay game wasn’t enough to set alarm bells ringing in any parent’s head, then the premise of attempting to separately seduce seven brothers during gameplay might just do it. But, despite the suggestive name, is Obey Me! safe for kids to play? Here’s everything you as a parent need to know about the game before making your decision.

Obey Me! app ratings

Qustodio: 18+

Apple: 12+

Android: Teen (generally suitable for ages 13 and up)

What is Obey Me?

Obey Me! is a romance simulation game, or otome game, produced by NTT Solmare Corporation as part of the “Shall We Date?” series, where users create their own story through a mix of battle games and role play experiences. In Obey Me, players are brought to life as a human exchange student, sent to the fictional underworld academy, Devildom. While there, the player meets seven demon brothers, and the storyline revolves around their connected relationships and different personality traits, based on the seven deadly sins. One of the main goals of the game is to win the brothers’ hearts – or as the game puts it, to increase the player’s “intimacy level” with them. 

In order to progress through the game, players must follow the storyline – often getting to choose their own path or shape their own version of events – while also taking part in daily tasks and “dance battles” in order to collect cards, in-game currency, and items. While many of these cards and items are free, the game does have some in-game purchase elements, including a loot-box style “rewards system”, but these are not necessary to purchase in order to progress.

What are otome games, and why do kids like them?

Otome games are story-based video games, in which establishing a romantic relationship with one of the characters, or several, is one of the main goals of the game. Otome means “maiden”, and the games are usually targeted towards women, as the character the user plays is often female. Obey Me! is slightly different in this sense, as the central character is gender neutral – whether the player is male or female is not key to the plot. 

Otome games are very similar in style to “choose your own adventure” books or games, but with romance added as a key plot point. The genre is relatively popular in Japan among teenagers and younger women, as they tap into fantasy and ideation while giving the player control over the romantic storyline. Many otome games offer intricate storylines which help keep the player interested – there are so many variations in games like Obey Me! that kids can get heavily invested in where their storyline will end. 

Is Obey Me! safe for kids?

Potential pros of the game for players include a multi-faceted storyline, which allows users to choose their own destiny to a certain degree, and some elements of mythology are introduced, which add to the storyline and could encourage users to learn more of their own accord. However, there are many elements to Obey Me! which make it inappropriate for children: the occasional occurrence of bad language, the sexually suggestive themes (for example, there is an option to “whip” the brothers during a section of gameplay), and the huge push for in-game spending. And, while the game’s ratings suggest it’s suitable for teenagers to play, Obey Me’s service agreement sends out the opposite message, stating under-20s need parental consent to be able to play: 

“A person under the age of 20 may use the Services only if consent of their legal representative (such as a person in parental authority) is obtained for the Service Agreement”. 

In addition, although the initial download is free, Obey Me! is designed to encourage in-app purchases, as the more items and in-game currency the user has, the more enjoyable the game becomes. Those who are invested in the storyline would have more incentive to spend on in-app purchases. In addition to an addictive roleplay style storyline, wherein the player learns new information bit by bit, the game also rewards users who spend more time on the app with additional items to collect, incentivising increased playtime.

Is Obey Me safe

How can I make Obey Me! safe for my kids?

The game’s name is a good enough indicator for parents that children won’t be coming up against age-appropriate material during gameplay, and while Obey Me! has managed to secure teen-friendly ratings on the Google Play Store and App Store, it’s clear that they have managed to do so by toeing a very fine line with sexually suggestive content: while no overtly explicit material is encountered, sexual activity and romance is implicit.

There’s no real way to make Obey Me! safe for kids if your worry is its romantic aspect and storyline. While there is not much in the way of explicit sexual content encountered during gameplay, the game’s entire premise is based on the seduction of various male characters. This type of game is more suitable for those who have the emotional maturity to understand the relationships and intimacies detailed during gameplay – which most teenagers and young children lack.

Qustodio’s final advice on Obey Me!

If you decide that your child has the emotional maturity to play the game, then there are other additional aspects you should bear in mind: one being its in-app purchases, and the other being its addictive nature. It’s important to consider these facets of gameplay before making the right decision for your child and what they are allowed to play on their device. 

In addition, if you’re interested in your child spending quality time on their device, or want to encourage them to play games that either boost skills in some way (such as educational games, or logic-based games) or which boost their decision-making skills and thought processes, Obey Me! is not the game for this. While not every game needs to educate your child in some way – playing for fun is a huge aspect of video gaming – the gameplay itself is relatively mindless, with no real skills other than reading and screen pressing required to advance.

In addition, the romantic elements of the storyline are highly unrealistic, tapping into young adult and teenage fantasies, and not much more. Considering the nature of gameplay, the suggestive themes, and the heavy pressure on players to spend money, overall we find Obey Me! to be unsuitable for young players under 18.

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