Just like every other form of entertainment, video games have not been immune from stirring up media storms. Ever since the first games were released, certain portions of society have looked down upon them and tried to blame particular crimes on their influence. This has been particularly true of violent games that some have claimed are able to incite aggression in players. It is little wonder then that there have been so many controversial video games.
Violent games, like first person shooters, are not the only type of video games that upset people. Some are wildly inappropriate video games that should never have been released because of the content they contained. Others were controversial because they included themes that some found offensive, such as titles that seemingly supported the LGBT community. In some instances, a game might have led to anger for no logical reason whatsoever. Whatever the case, check out these games that caused a ton of controversy when they were released, and vote up the ones that blatantly crossed the line.
The Goal Of Custer’s Revenge Is To Rape A Native American Girl
Though it may seem like a rather crude flash game, Custer’s Revenge was a fully-fledged title that was released on the Atari 2600 in 1982 by Mystique. It is arguably one of the most offensive games to have ever been released. Set in the American frontier, players have to get their fully erect character across a field while avoiding obstacles such as flying arrows. The target is a naked Native American girl tied to a pole.
The fact that Custer’s Revenge is basically just a rape game caused outrage. Atari sued the creators for damaging their brand, rights groups representing women and Native Americans protested it, and the publisher eventually pulled the game from store shelves.
Although the Call of Duty franchise has never been afraid to shy away from portraying controversial themes, the “No Russian” mission from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 might have overstepped the line. The level had players acting as an undercover CIA agent who has to participate in a terrorist attack in a Russian airport, opening fire on dozens of civilians.
The issue proved to be contentious as soon as it became public knowledge. In order to avoid censure in both Japan and Germany, the developers altered the mission so that shooting the civilians would fail the mission. For Russian releases, the scene was removed completely. For the rest of the world, players are given the option to skip a "disturbing or offensive" mission, meaning you can still play as a terrorist and shoot up innocents in a CoD game as a US soldier.
The sequel to the equally controversial Postal, the sequel released in 2003 across a range of PC platforms. The first-person shooter attracted criticism from the media and charities due to its inclusion of hyper violence. It allows players to murder hundreds of civilians. Outrage also stemmed from the apparent racist, sexist, and homophobic themes present in the title.
Several countries have banned the sale of Postal 2 and New Zealand has even made it an offense to be in possession of the game. The Office of Film and Literature Classification said, "The game is designed, and has the capacity, to allow the player to test how much violence and humiliation he or she can inflict on human beings." Anyone caught with the game faces a fine of up to $1,400.
Created by the same team behind the Grand Theft Auto series, Manhunt is arguably the most controversial of all the Rockstar franchises. The main problem with the game is the sadistic and graphic ways in which the player has to kill his opponents. Many felt that these violent acts would encourage copycats, and some even blamed the game for a murder in the UK. Despite protests by politicians around the world, the developer even went on to create a sequel that was just as controversial.