The video game or the gaming industry is growing faster than ever before reaching a phase where new games are releasing every week. The worldwide gaming industry grosses at $93 billion currently. With such huge success, the fair share of gaming critics is also inevitable. While many have known to provide an immersive open-world experience, some of these video games have been banned due to their controversial nature and have raised several eyebrows.
Most impressionable violent games like first or third-person shooters are the type of games that most children are usually refrained from playing. Some video games, however, are also inappropriate for certain age groups as they contain sensitive graphics. Many others become controversial due to offensive titles and content like disapproval of the LGBTQ community for instance. Some cases have also been reported where the game has led to anger or provocation for no apparent reason whatsoever.
We all remember the case of Blue Whale Game which mysteriously took its players to the verge of suicide. There were hundreds of cases throughout the world where players hurt themselves and finally took their own lives after playing the game.
There are plenty of equally or perhaps more controversial games in the world that shook the industry. Here we have compiled the list of 7 most controversial video games ever to be released.
7 Most Controversial Video Games That Are Now Banned
DEATH RACE (1976)
Released in 1976 by Exidy, Death Race was the first arcade game to create massive controversy The classic retro game with pixelated graphics was reported to be “hideous” and “morbid” by National Safety Council as it revolved around massacring Gremlins in order to progress through its levels. Several cases were reported, claiming that it had a huge psychological impact on kids. The world’s first most scandalous game also bears the blame for promoting vehicular violence during that year.
Due to its feature of killing humanoid figures, the game faced a huge amount of backlash from the media, being accused of promoting violence virtually.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
Published by Scotland’s Rockstar Games, one of the most successful game developers, like most controversial games, State of Emergency was a huge success as well. Due to its morbid storyline, the video game contained graphics of political assassination and is, therefore, now banned.
The game was heavily denounced by the politicians of Washington for the uncanny resemblance of characters, incidents, and situations to the 1999 World Trade Centre protests. State of Emergency also features the ‘American Trade Organization’ as the antagonist establishment in the video game.
Being one of the few video games to have been banned in some parts of the world, Postal received a large amount of “hatred” in the media. Both Postal and its sequel faced backlash and it was even made illegal in New Zealand, with players facing possible jail time if found possessing this game. The game encourages mass shooting on-road and thus promote discriminations and exploitation of gun laws.
The game was officially banned in the year 2004 by the Office of Film and Literature Classifications in NZ stating the reasons to be the promotion of violent content and animal cruelty.
The case was registered under the Swedish freedom-of-speech act.
This one video game has not only promoted crimes but has actually been the inspiration of a plenty of them with its graphical violence and satanical representation.
Developed by renowned game developers Besthesda Games, Doom is the first installment of the four sequels. The media condemned its hellish theme and gameplay and forbade the purchase of this game. Things got further controversial as in 2015, Eric Harris, a local shooter, mentioned the video game in one of his tapes.
MANHUNT SERIES (2003)
Yet another Rockstar Games production, the Manhunt series faced large criticism due to its inhumane and gory-filled storyline. With its sequel being rated “adults only”, it still remains one of the few games to have been given that title. The game was even referred to as a ‘murder simulator’ due to the player’s interactivity with the killings in-game.
MORTAL COMBAT SERIES (1992- PRESENT)
The Mortal Combat series is one of the fan-favorite video games and is one of the best games ever to grace the industry with it receiving huge acclamation in the early 2000s. However, the series also faces a large amount of criticism and controversies. With it being a primarily violent game, the original game caused the most uproar in the media. It was one of the games that caused the formation of the ESRB or the Entertainment Software Rating Board which is responsible for age and content rating for consumer virtual simulators and video games.
Grand Theft Auto series
Yet again Rockstar Games has graced this list. The Grand Theft Auto or more commonly known as the GTA series is one of the most revolutionary games ever to have been created and developed. Based in an open world environment, the player is given full control of the character in the game. The game is strictly rated R and 18+ by PEGI as it involves several mission and tasks which are against basic morals. Players are free to do as they please and it is very impressionable especially for kids.