Controversial Video Games

Artwork, Technology, Video Games

The debate about whether or not video games are art is in many ways the crux of the debate about controversial games.  A video game depicting Nazis is decried, while a film about the same topic receives Oscar buzz.  Every year games come out (or don’t as the case may be) that raise the ire of people that feel the games are not suitable for public consumption.  Here are some of the most controversial video games.

Bully

Bully

Rockstar Games has a long history of making people angry, but they did an especially good job of it with the game Bully.  While plenty of their games depicted violence, this game depicted violence amongst school-age children.  In light of the attacks at Columbine and other schools around the country and the globe, some of the anger could be understood.

Six Days in Fallujah

Six Days in Fallujah

A third person shooter focusing on the Second Battle of Fallujah, the game follows a squad of US Marines during the course of six days.  The game was met with immediate opposition from families that had lost members during the battle, and publisher Konami decided not to release the Atomic Games developed game in light of the controversy.

Grand Theft Auto Series

Grand Theft Auto

Since the release of the original Grand Theft Auto game, controversy has followed the game, however it wasn’t until Grand Theft Auto III was released, featuring advanced graphics that things got really heated.  Coupled with an unlockable sexual mini-game in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that could be unlocked in the Windows version, and it’s easy to see how this game that allows you to roam an open world stealing cars and firing weapons could draw the attention of those with an agenda against video games.

Postal

Postal

While certainly not the first first-person shooter to draw attention for what was deemed excessive violence, Postal was unique in that it was one of the first to allow the player to kill innocent bystanders.  Also, instead of trying to stay alive, the goal of the game was to kill a certain percentage of the NPCs on the map.

Doom

Doom

While it followed Wolfenstein 3D, which had its own level of controversy, the commercial success of Doom made it a lightning rod for those railing against violence in video games.  With graphics that were cutting edge at the time, this game was our first real step into mainstream first-person shooters with hyper-violence.



Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat

There had been plenty of fighting games in the past that featured some level of blood, but nothing on the scale of Mortal Kombat.  Coupled with it’s arcade appeal, the Fatalities option to finish your opponent was a big sticking point with critics of the game.

Custer’s Revenge

Custer's Revenge

Arguably the granddaddy of all controversial games, the graphics were terrible, but the message was equally so.  Your goal?  To get across the screen while avoiding arrows and sexually assault the bound native american female on the other side.  Great message.

Night Trap

Night Trap

While laughable now, at the time, this game was a real source of controversy.  Featuring footage from a film that was never released, the game premiered on the Sega CD platform.  As one of the games cited for the ESRB rating system, the game doesn’t actually feature any nudity or graphic acts of violence.

Manhunt/Manhunt 2

Manhunt

You’re playing a serial killer.  I don’t know that much else really needs to be said.  With graphic murder scenes, and a murder blamed on it, the game has been banned in several countries and is hard to come by even in those where it isn’t banned.

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

You can play as the Taliban in multiplayer.  Much like Six Days in Fallujah, this deals with an area where we’re still at war, and that does tend to rile up feelings.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Designed by WPZOOM