The 10 Most Overblown Video Game Controversies
So-called "responsible" adults have always tried to find scapegoats for bad behavior since the dawn of time. These days, video games take the most heat, even though some controversies just aren't very well thought out.
Source: Digital Pictures
10. Night Trap
The Sega CD system used live action film to turn games into realistic feeling adventures, if "real life" featured fuzzy views and dialogue so cheesy that it contained three times the recommended allowance of vitamin A.
Night Trap stood out as a source of controversy because it featured scenes of extreme violence towards young, scantily-clad women, particularly a scene in which a hot blonde in a nightgown is dragged offscreen in a shock collar by a group of henchmen. Unfortunately, it was the only scene of violence in the whole game.
Other reports said the object of the game was to trap and kill the coeds when, in fact, the object was to trap the evil “Ogs” meandering through the house who were actually trying to kidnap the coeds. All of this could have been avoided if professional outrage artists like Sen. Byron Dorgan had actually played the game, but asking any politician to thoroughly research an issue before speaking out about it is like asking a monkey to do your taxes. Both produce the same results, although the monkey usually has more legible handwriting.
9. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Turning a villain into the hero of a video game was unheard of in the days of the Atari 2600. So when horror movie auteur Charles Band got his bloody hands in the video game market, he caused a bigger stink than your Dad in the bathroom on Thanksgiving.
He turned the classic slasher masterpiece The Texas Chainsaw Massacre into a grind-'em-up game that puts the player behind the human skin mask of Leatherface and lets them chase down innocents with a gear-grinding chainsaw for points. Stores either refused to stock the game or hid it behind the counter where only adults could purchase it.
The concept of the game may have sounded violent, but the rest was far from bloody. Thanks to the limited graphics and extremely crude sounds, Leatherface just looked like a walking Jack-o-Lantern with a hot dog shaped tumor sticking out of his gut. So really, the only people who had a right to be offended by it were people with encephalitis or victims of kielbasa impalement.
8. The Getaway
Source: Team Soho
Games have long used corporate and business brands to gain a few extra advertising dollars to help developers go from “super mega mighty rich” to “super mega colossal mighty rich.” That only works, of course, when you get their permission.
The makers of the British crime thriller The Getaway used the name of “British Telecom” in one of the game’s more violent levels in which the player must steal a BT van and go on a murderous rampage through the streets of London at the behest of a crime boss.
No one, however, really would've noticed it or even seen it since the game is harder than a diamond with a Viagra boner. The first level was next to impossible to complete without taking the disc out of the console and replacing it with something relatively easier like Sim Rocket Scientist or Calculus Wars: Journey to the Tangent Line.
7. Grand Theft Auto IV
Source: Rockstar Games
Just about every time Rockstar releases a game, someone is bound to find some moral flaw or objectionable material in it. Even some 90-year-old, do-goody, namby-pamby probably filed a complaint with the SEC about the overly-meaty pecs of the athletes in their Table Tennis title.
GTA, however, has always been a lightning rod for whining and complaining since the open sandbox nature of the game lets players do everything from throw grenades into a busy intersection or force-feed the business end of a rocket launcher into the "business end" of an old lady’s cat.
The latest installment brought the wrath of New York City who claimed that Liberty City’s eerily similar appearance to the actual Big Apple portrayed their homestead as a crime-ridden cesspool where only thugs, murderers, and thieves lived, thrived, and survived. Of course, NYC never had any problems when it came to edgy movies like The French Connection and Midnight Cowboy or TV shows like NYPD Blue that portrayed them in a similar light. And say what you will about violent video games, but GTA IV never subjected their viewers to the unrelenting horror and sheer terror of Dennis Franz’s naked ass.
6. BMX XXX
Source: Acclaim Entertainment
Sometimes, outraged parents who are shocked to learn that they have to be parents and politicians looking for an easy way to win “the ol’ fogey vote” are right. It happens about as often as an entertaining and thought-provoking Hee Haw reunion show, but it still happens.
This sandbox sports title was supposed to star BMX superstar Dave Mirra, but he pulled out of the project when he learned that developers decided to change the title to an edgier game with tons of potty humor, sexual innuendo, and footage of strippers as rewards for beating the game. Parents were similarly outraged for fear of having to actually monitor what their child consumes instead of having that afternoon martini during Maury.