One of the most iconic fighting games of all time is also one of the most controversial titles within video game history. It has been blamed for a number of violent incidents involving students and children killing and hurting each other, lawsuits, and violent commercials. In one court case a thirteen year old boy stabbed his friend in the chest, the mother of the boy attempted to sue Midway. The mother of the victim stated that the boy who killed her son (Noah Wilson) was completely obsessed with the game and even more so with the character Cyrax (who is awesome). She also stated that Noah Wilson was imitating one of Cyrax’s finishing moves where Cyrax stabs his enemy in the chest, her claim about the finishing move didn’t get anywhere in court on account of the move being non-existent.
The Grand Theft Auto series has to be the only series of games that has found heavy criticism, negative media coverage, and attempted lawsuits with more than one entry in its series. Grand Theft Auto has been blamed for shootings, it has been called a “cop killing simulator”, and according to Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 the GTA series is the most controversial series in the world. A former lawyer Jack Thompson spent much of his time attempting to get families and the loved ones of murder victims to hold the GTA series accountable for the deaths, he was disbarred in 2008 by the Florida Bar Association and fined more than $100,000.
Aside from the hookers, drug use, car theft, murder, and cop killing, the GTA series has also gathered controversy after the Hot Coffee mod which appeared in the San Andrea’s entry in the series. The mod shows a graphic scene of sex between the player-character and their at the time current girlfriend in the game.
DOOM is one of the best first-person-shooters that has ever been developed and in it’s hay-day was a center-piece for a lot of controversy.
The biggest was of course the Columbine School Shooting in 1999. It was found that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who had orchestrated the Columbine Massacre were avid players of the game, and because of this many school shootings that took place after Columbine were blamed on DOOM, and many other games like it. The fact that the two killers played DOOM regularly played its own part in the after stories that surrounded the Columbine Massacre, with stories of Eric Harris creating DOOM levels that looked exactly like Columbine and filling them with enemies that mimicked his school mates. He also had been quoted as saying the the masscre will be ”like fucking Doom“, and “it’ll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam Duke ‘Em and Doom all mixed together”, and that his shotgun was “straight out of the game”. While it does seem that Eric Harris was a bit too obsessed with the game, multiple studies have found no correlation between school shootings and violent video games.
Excessively violent, perverse, cruel, and just plain offensive are a few of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Postal 2. In Postal 2 the player has the absolute freedom to do as they wish within a small city called Paradise which is inside of Arizona. Players can murder the citizenry of this city with a variety of weapons from an M16 to shovels. Players also have the ability to flash the characters genitals at people, use cats as silencers, and urinate on anyone and anything. For the most part there’s no plot to the game, just a few mindless tasks here-and-there like picking up the milk from the grocery store, or getting a copy of a book signed by Garey Coleman. It’s the way that the player decides to go about these tasks that makes the game fun. Will you patiently wait in line to get Garey Coleman’s autograph or will you murder Garey Coleman and take the autographed copy off of his desk?
Although the game is exceedingly violent and offensive in a variety of ways its only real controversy came on the heels of the 2006 Dawson College shooting. Since the perpetrator of the shooting had been known to player the game from time to time it was put in the spotlight in the media directly following the shooting.
The game never sold very well, but despite this it has still managed to gather something of a cult following and even has a movie adaptation.
RapeLay is by far the most controversial video game that has ever been made. This is because RapeLay is a game where you, well, rape people. To be more specific you don’t rape just anyone, no, you rape a mother and her three daughters. I will not be further illustrating the story. If you’re that interested, you can look the game up yourself, or even better, seek psychiatric help.
The game was made by Illusion Soft whose games are only made available inside of Japan. RapeLay however found its way onto Amazon and because of this mistake was able to be distributed throughout The United Kingdom. The game was heavily criticized in reviews made for the game and immediate action was sought by Keith Vaz (a member of the British Parliament). He vowed to bring the game to the full attention of the British Parliament and to have the game banned from being sold in the U.K. Before he could effectively act on this promise the game was removed from Amazon’s website. This did not end the games controversy however.
RapeLay came to the attention of Equality Now (a global women’s rights organization). Equality Now urged activists to write to Illusion Soft and the Prime Minister of Japan Taro Aso stating that the game breaches Japans obligations under the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. These actions have helped the game become restricted from being produced or sold in any country.