Let me just start by saying that I have never actually played or owned any of these games. However, I have researched them thoroughly through online articles and videos. I certainly could have made the list longer than 10 but these are the ones I found that I consider the most controversial. I just thought it would be something interesting for people to read and it’s possible it could even shock you.
We’re all familiar with controversy over movies, television and books, but games can have a similar effect on people, games have always been influential. This list counts down from the controversial, yet popular, to the controversial and extremely unpopular. I have left out traditionally controversial games such as Grand Theft Auto, because these are simply widely regarded as some of the best games ever made. They are only controversial because of their use of violence, sex and occasionally racism. There are plenty of games out there that have been made with a sole purpose of inciting racism, or exploiting crimes and sexism, murder, and rape. Note: This list contains content that may be disturbing; I apologize in advance for any offenses it may cause.
Beat ‘em and Eat ‘em
This game was released in the 80s on the Atari 2600 by a company called Mystique. The idea of the game is to control 2 nude women, who move back and forth across the bottom of a building, catching semen from a man on top of the building constantly masturbating. Catching semen gives you points and you gain an extra life for every 69 points you get. Another, gender-reversed version of the game was released later, called “Philly Flasher.” In this game, you play 2 nude men who move across a building catching breast milk from a witch (you read that right). Upon catching all the milk, the men masturbate and ejaculate. Although it was unbelievably risqué as well as becoming rated as one of the worst games of all time, it became infamous.
It is a top-down shoot ‘em up video game with the protagonist being an American hero parachuted into the Middle East with the aim of killing as many Muslims as possible. There are numerous weapons including pistols, a shotgun, a machine gun, grenades and rocket launchers, with some enemies being civilians (which you must also kill) and some being suicide bombers than can do damage to you.
The games Bosses included; Osama Bin Laden, Mohammed and Allah. Game companies tried to ignore the controversial nature and branded it “boring and tedious,” while many Muslim groups branded it “unacceptable, tasteless, and deeply offensive” claiming it encourages young people to kill Muslims. Two days after a September 11th anniversary, the game was taken down and an apology issued, due to large amounts of negative comments. However, the apology was found to be a fake and the game is still in circulation for free online download.
Among the sex games that were released by Mystique on the Atari 2600, Custer’s Revenge is perhaps the most notorious. It was the center of an $11 million dollar lawsuit, as well as numerous protests from Native American groups, woman’s rights activists, and critics of the video game industry in general. It is widely regarded as one of the worst games of all time, in both appearance (with the characters looking like Lego blocks), and gameplay. In the game, the player controls the character of Custer, depicted as a man wearing nothing but a cavalry hat, boots and a bandana, sporting a visible erection. Custer has to overcome arrow attacks to reach the other side of the screen. His goal is to have sex with (Or rape) a naked Native American woman tied to a pole.
The Battle Raper games were made by a Japanese games company called ‘Illusion.’ Illusion is famous for developing 3D ‘eroticism’ games. Games in this genre feature anime-style eroticism and are usually either visual novels or romance simulators. There are numerous games released under this pretense, some are harmless such as girlfriend simulators, whilst others include voyeurism, rape and molestation. Battle Raper is, as the name suggests a fight game (which has been likened to Tekken 2 & Soul Calibur), with moves involving molestation and humiliation, as well as taking off your opponent’s clothes, along with the usual punches and kicks. The winner of a match can then rape the loser how he/she wants, with rape cut scenes being unlocked at the end of the game.
This game was released for download in 2004 by Scottish company ‘Traffic Games’, the release date coinciding with the 41st anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in 1963. The game puts you in the position of Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, as he attempts to assassinate Kennedy. The playability of the game comes from a points system, where you must try and accurately recreate the actual bullet path of the assassination, and the events described in the Warren Commission report.
It has been argued that JFK Reloaded isn’t so much a game, as a historical simulation. The company ran a competition in 2005 to see who could get the highest score and get closest to a 100% accurate simulation of JFK’s death. A man from France won $10,000 with a score of 782 out of 1000. A spokesman for Edward Kennedy, John Kennedy’s brother, has been quoted as calling the game, “…Despicable. Why would someone make this game? This should have never been allowed on the market.”
‘Baby Shaker’ was an iPhone application that had to be seen to be believed. As with most iPhone apps, the phone can be shaken and moved to control the action on screen. In this primitive “game” however, you were presented with a cartoon picture of a baby and had to shake the iPhone to stop them crying. When you had shaken them enough, red crosses appeared over their eyes, signifying the fact they had died. The game caused huge upset with the public and two parents, whose babies were victims of being shaken, protested outside an Apple store and subsequently, the application has been taken off the iPhone store as of 2009.
RapeLay is another Japanese 3D ‘Eroge’ video game, released for PC in 2006. It follows the story of a man who stalks and rapes a mother and two daughters, with the player, of course, helping him do this. The game is a sexual simulator with mouse clicks and scrolls allowing clothing to be removed and molestation to occur. Many different game modes are available, ranging from stalking the girls and watching wind blow up their skirts, to having full sexual intercourse with all three females at once.
The game even features an “internal ejaculation” counter which can result in pregnancy, or ‘game over.’ Obviously the game received a negative reaction from every critic that reviewed it with some even claiming to be “horrified” at the game content, and saying that games like RapeLay are the reason tighter laws must be applied to control game content. On the other hand, some people defending the game have argued that rape is considered a less-serious crime than murder, and that the majority of games out now feature the murder of numerous people in order to finish the game.
The premise of this game is to control either a skin-headed white supremacist or a member of the KKK, moving through the ghetto, shooting and killing any black and Latino people you find. You then descend into the subway and kill Jewish people, before finding a Jewish Control Centre, and killing the former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. The game was released in 2002 by an underground record label specializing in Neo-Nazi and white supremacist music, called Resistance Records.
The game has been protested over, and the game engine that was used to create it, Genesis3D, has even been encouraged to change they’re licensing to prohibit the creation of racist games. The game’s description is as follows: “The Race War has begun. Your skin is your uniform in this battle for the survival of your kind. The White Race depends on you to secure its existence. Your peoples enemies surround you in a sea of decay and filth that they have brought to your once clean and White nation. Not one of their numbers shall be spared….”
Super Columbine Massacre RPG!
The idea behind ‘SCMRPG!’ was to in a way, parody video games and their supposed role in the 1999 Columbine shootings, as well as represent a critique on how media sensationalized the shootings. The opinions of this game differ greatly. Some believe it to be a game that glamorizes of an unjust crime and the impact it had on numerous victims. Others find the game’s cartoon graphics and side plot into the shooter’s perdition in hell, original and worthy of praise. Either way, the game puts the player in control of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in a 16-bit recreated high school.
The majority of the game is carried out with an overhead view of your character as you move around, collecting weapons and experiencing flashbacks of the shooter’s lives including things that may have inspired them to carry out the shooting. “Battles” are fought with various people around the school, in a way similar to early Pokémon battles on the Game Boy games, with digital photos of the actual high school and sound clips in the background. In these battles, weapons can be chosen and used to take the “enemies” health.
KZ Manager Millennium
Numerous versions of KZ manager have been made since 1990 on the Commodore 64, MS DOS and on Windows. The game is a text-based, resource management game which simulates the construction and running of a Nazi Concentration Camp. Many other management Sims are hugely successful, such as the Sims City series or Tropico, but instead of resources like water, electricity and food to manage, KZ Manager has the player manage the prisoners (Jews, Gypsies or Turks – your choice), poison gas and money, as well as monitoring public opinion and the camp productivity.
Money can be made by forcing the prisoners to work, with public opinion being raised with regular killing of these prisoners. More prisoners can be bought, with the corpses of those you have killed being put on a garbage pile. Spending too much time without a “sufficient” number of executions makes “public satisfaction” drop, and having too few working prisoners will soon drive to a resource shortage, and closing of the camp, thus losing the game. Also, prisoners must be “purchased” by the camp’s “manager”,
Most versions of KZ Manager are in German, which is strange considering the modern day German regulations against the uses of Nazi symbols and practices. KZ Manager is free and can still be downloaded. In 2001 KZ Manager won the award for “The most unnecessary game” which was awarded by IGN.