Bear Simulator is a highly-rated Kickstarter-funded FPB (First Person Bear) game created to bring bears into the gaming industry. As we all know, bears are a highly under-represented minority in the gaming industry. When they do appear they are objectified as enemies to be slaughtered and rarely fleshed out characters. This could be linked to violence against bears in the real world (studies have shown police officers are far more likely to shoot a bear than a human). Farjay, a bold new developer, wanted to help fight the good fight for equal bear representation in media with Bear Simulator. This bold and innovative game raised over $100,000 to create an experience that would allow humans to walk on the wild side. It is hoped that being able to experience things from a bear’s point of view will help people empathize with the character and show not all bears are vicious, like stereotypes would have you believe. Stretch goals allowed the developer to support a real Polar Bear to help support bear diversity in the wild.
The game was met with a warm and fuzzy response. It was everything we had dreamed of, a real bear simulator. We could eat, explore, terrorise humans and dress as Rastafarians all in our furry glory. The King of Squirrels Markiplier played the game and gave it his blessing along with the Game Grumps who also enjoyed the game’s positive message. However, Bear Simulator was not out of the woods yet, for on the horizon was the dark shadow of the bear-hating Pewdiepie. In just six and a half minutes he managed to crush the developers hopes of Bear treatment. Pewdiepie attempted to refund the game live on air, which may be understandable since we know he is only a poor YouTuber struggling to make ends meet. He also flipped off the developer at the end of his video for laughs.
The joke was lost on the advocates of bear representation in video games and things quickly got hairy for Pewdiepie. After the developer released an update with every intention of quitting working on the game, enraged bear enthusiasts took to Twitter and things got grizzly. Pewdiepie originally made his video private but eventually made it public again with a vague apology. He was called out by his own fans for saying ‘it was just one video’ when clearly it only takes one video from the world’s largest YouTuber to send the fur flying. The questions hung in the air, was Pewdiepie an Arkoudaphobic? Or a hume-supremacist? Would he have been so critical if this were a Polar Bear? Would PewDiePie’s actions cause further intolerance toward bearkind?
Well, PewDiePie has decided to clear his name by donating the money raised by his bear bashing video to WWF. PewDiePie told his fans he wasn’t interested in hurting anyone’s feelings and said: “Here’s to hoping the developer has a change of heart.” If you would also like to support the bears here is a link to the WWFs website. What do you think? Is PewDiePie a reformed speciesist? Will bear representation improve in video games soon? Comment your thoughts and feelings down below.