Video games have taken many forms, too many interpretations and if you were gaming long enough – many of them produced a lot of heated arguments not only within the gaming community but people living on Earth. Many have spoken that video games cause violence and promote murder among young adults, thus it should be part of the world’s long list of mental illnesses or are they taking it too far? Some also believe that the stories these video games show is just an inspiration from what truly happened in the real world or are these video games their real inspiration to do these violent and atrocious act? You be the better judge of that since I will be pointing out the most Talked about video games in history.
Also known as Westward Ho produced by Mystique for Atari 2600 and released in September 1982. I wasn’t even born yet but you ask why I know this game? Because folks couldn’t get enough controversy out of this notorious game. The game featured a character named after a famous American Civil War commander General George Armstrong Custer. He is depicted as a man butt naked with nothing but a cavalry hat, a bandana and sporting a visible erection.
Gameplay is very simple – the player just needs to avoid the arrows thrown at him to cross the other side so he can have sex as many times who happens to be a Native Indian woman tied to a pole. The 1980s is actually the time when women activist started to take lead and for a game to feature a certain race and is tied to a pole clearly stirred up a lot of not only hate by a feminist group since it simulated rape but a lot of talks from Native American races as well. Activist pressured Government bodies to outlaw the video game which successfully happened in Oklahoma City. Multiple lawsuits later the game was withdrawn from circulation.
Released in 2008 in PC as a digital download, this game features an adult adventure video game and it is highly sexually explicit in nature. Mainly, you as a man that runs around town, and your goal is to have sex with as many women as you can; completing racist missions and raising your health bar using drugs. At the start of the game, are only limited to bang obese women which don’t really pose a lot of challenges. The more attractive (skinny) the woman is – you will have to do various missions to get them.
It literally doesn’t get offensive than that. I mean, yeah. That could be somewhat what is happening in the real world since weight really bugs a lot of women and in America, bulimia and anorexia is a serious mental issue. To have it mainstreamed in a game is just really calling for another war among women activist. Going back to the racist missions that you need to do. You will be asked to beat up an African gang of pygmies that is sexually assaulting them. I just don’t know how to react to that at some point. Well enough, upon its release, the game only attracted negative reviews because of its mediocre gameplay, lack of gameplay substance and juvenile humor.
Call of Duty: Modern Day Warfare 2
COD has always stirred controversy but the discussion on this series have gone far and wide and I don’t think it is ever going away. During the single-player campaign on mission four, you take the character of an undercover CIA agent Joseph Allen. Not only you have successfully infiltrated a famous Russian terrorist but you have to convince them that you are one of them. You walk out in an elevator together with four other gunman, walk in an overcrowded airport and starts to open fire. You then accompany the gunmen to proceed killing the remaining civilians. The scene was very horrific, it was bashed and shunned by the community as they promote terrorism and highly criticized as being apathetic to what happened following the 2009 Ford Hood shooting.
Who would’ve thought a pixelated game can stir such squabble in the video game community? This game is one of the most influential and historical games of all time as it helped pioneer the now sought after first-person shooter genre games. Highly criticized for its notorious graphics as the gameplay lets you kill different aggressive monsters in every possible way. The effects of blood and gore when you hit a monster with a rocket is just showcasing its high level of graphic violence. Satanic images stirred a lot of angry religious groups for its demonic undertones and also dubbed as a ‘mass murder simulator’ by critic David Grossman.
On April 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed one of the US school shoutouts which called the Columbine High School Massacre. Rumors spread that both young adults are such massive fans of the game. Harris created a map level dungeon in Doom that depicted the school, created representations of Harris’ classmates and teachers. Harris also practiced the shootout by playing the levels over and over again. Later, these maps were now called ‘Harris Levels’. While planning the massacre, Harris wrote in his journal that the killing would be ‘like playing in Doom’ and that his shotgun was ‘straight out of the game’. I am quite perplexed how this game really influenced this player.
Grand Theft Auto V
Created by Rockstar Games and released in September 2013 for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this game received a lot of reviews, a lot of media and controversies. The game broke through industry sales and records and became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history earning US$1 billion in its first three days. Now the controversy part, although this game received highly acclaimed reviews – they received major criticisms in how they portray women and violence.
One particular mission is when they have to torture an alleged witness to cough out information while dialogue consists of political commentaries thus heavily disturbing political entities as well as anti-torture charity groups. Television personality Karen Gravano and actress Lindsay Lohan filed lawsuits against Rockstar in allegations that characters in the game looked like them. Australia’s Target pulled out the game from their 300 stores following a Change.org petition that claimed the game ‘encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women”. But then again, what could be so disturbing about following a story of three men who gives us an overview of how the world exists for a redneck, a black man, and a rich American.