Last year we looked at how love can be used as an attack, this year we are just looking at games that really are about love just in time for Valentines Day. Either the premise or the whole reason of the game. Unlike movies, games aren’t really subtle about love, it’s pretty much in your face, but there are some games that are all about saving the one you love or finding the one you love and it’s hard to remember that, without love there probably wouldn’t be a game. This is Top Ten Games Based Around Love
This week the ParaNerds speak about Alan Wake, Splatterhouse, Dead Rising 2: Case West, and Zombies and Pterodactyls. They also speak about News (see Below). Rooster reviews Portal 2 and Kevin has a bone to pick with Best Buy and Canada Post because he has yet received his awesome Tournament Edition preorder of Mortal Kombat.
Join the Paranerds as they celebrate their 50th podcast. This week they are joined with special guest: Casual James.They speak about Tiny Wings, Dragon Age 2, Duke Nukem 3D on iPhone, new releases and news (see below) along with Top Twenty Most Controversial Games split into two parts with an interview with Iron Liz in the middle thanks to Gareth Evans. They also have a special announcement to make and to find out what it is, you must listen.
So here it is: part two of the Top 20 Most Controversial Games. ( Click here if you missed the first part) This was actually a really hard list write , not only because we were thinking about the top ten games but also because a lot of the following games (according to the media) played some part in real life tragedies. This means that I had to look them up to make sure they were legit. Compared to Part 1 these games might be darker and actually pretty damn depressing to read about. Having played (most) of the games too was hard enough but writing about them was even harder. The stories that accompany the games and the reasons why they are controversial are generally deceptive, but the fact is that some people believe that these games do cause harm. So here are the Top Ten Most Controversial Games.
10. Left Behind: Eternal Forces
This is a touchy subject because religion and I don’t really see eye to eye. Regardless I believe that everyone should have their own beliefs and I’m not going to judge anyone based on these beliefs. But I am Catholic (that’s what it says on my…actually I don’t know where it says that), and I know how horse-shit crazy people can get when it comes to religion. Thus we have the game Left Behind: Eternal Forces. A real time strategy game about converting people to Christianity where you can either convert them or kill them if they don’t behave. Jack Thompson (surprisingly) was also against the game because according to him, “The game is about killing people for their lack of faith in Jesus”. I mean that game looks fun and the idea is strange. Just like Billy Graham’s Bible Blaster the game is about converting people and making them become Christians, heathens or not. As if we don’t get enough of that at Airports. (Boom Satire).
With a name like Bulletstorm you would hope the game would be ridiculous, and it is. It’s aware how ridiculous it is by poking fun at itself (kind of like Duke Nukem). If there was any kind of controversy I personally expected it to be because of all the violence, but according to…wait for it…Fox News, Bulletstorm increases rape. Wow. Awkward. We all know that cutting someone in half (in the game) and calling that “topless” makes rape possible. Also the kids (won’t someone think of the kids) that play this will become dark-allley people, or we could enforce the M-RATING ON THE BOX and not sell these M rated games to minors. Being able to buy M rated games once you’re 18 should be a reward, because honestly nothing good happens after that. A psychiatrist named Carole Lieberman told Fox News that “sexual situations and acts in video games — highlighted so well in Bulletstorm — have led to real-world sexual violence”. Yes all those sick rapists out there played Bulletstorm and thought “that’s what I’ll do…Rape!| The game has nothing to do with sex besides a few innuendos and like I mentioned earlier, it’s supposed to be stupid. The game is called Bulletstorm! Looks like all that attention Fox gave it really ruined the sales of the game.
8. Super Columbine Massacre RPG!
At first this game was higher (meaning closer to 1, so lower on the list..gah!) on the list because of the name of the game. Super Columbine Massacre RPG. The tragedy at Columbine High School affected everyone and many issues were brought to hand: Teen Bullying, Violence, Guns, Music and Video Games. Doom and Counter-Strike were the games being blamed by the media..that and Marilyn Manson. So when I found out that there was a game based on the tragedy, I too, (as much as i hate to admit it) jumped on the band wagon of “this is wrong!!” But not being like the media, I downloaded the game (which is free online, you can find it yourself) and tried it out. The game created by Danny Ledonne, “Columbin” was a re-creation of the Columbine tragedy in a sort of 16-Bit RPG style created with RPG maker. The game isn’t that great, and I couldn’t get too far into it because to me it didn’t feel right. What did feel right was the dialogue between Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. You can feel the anger and the way they were outcasts, you feel what they felt and how alone they probably were. I’m not in any way condoning what they did because I am against violence of any kind, but we’re all gamers, and I’m sure we were all bullied and we too understand what it was like. Was the game necessary? No. It does dive into their minds and let us see what they saw. The levels dive into a random Hell level later on but still it was a game. This controversial game caught the media’s attention (again) when a killer of another school shooting was reported that he too played this game.
Splatterhouse (2010) tried its hardest to be controversial. It had blood, curse words and nudity. Unfortunately after 2 Girls 1 Cup we’ve all been desensitized. But back in the day seeing blood in a game was equivalent to killing four puppies. It was unheard of. Splatterhouse wasn’t the best game; it was interesting yes, but not the greatest game. Its controls were stiff, the story was pretty forgettable but the blood… oh god the blood. This was one of the first games to receive a somewhat rating, well no, not a rating, a statement.
In case you can’t read the blurry JPEG it states: “The horrifying theme of this game may be inappropriate for young children…and cowards” This parental advisory was the first time any kind of warning appeared on a game, even four years before Mortal Kombat was released. It had some pretty gnarly enemies including an upside down cross, which was removed in the North American version so people wouldn’t freak out. Also there were hanging fetuses as enemies.
6. Duke Nukem 3D
“Shake it Baby” says the Duke as he hands a stripper a handful of money. Duke Nukem 3D was controversial because it “promoted pornography and violence”. Duken Nukem 3D did surprise me as a kid too (yes I shouldn’t have been playing this). When you see a pixelated naked woman on a stripper pole you know this isn’t your typical game. Like Bulletstorm this game was a parody. Duke Nukem is ridiculous and that’s why we love it. As for the treating women like objects, well yeah I must admit that the only reason why women are in this game is to dance for Duke Nukem not for him to kill them. If you do shoot them, enemies will appear so doing this was never a smart idea. It was even hard to watch a woman compound in some kind of shell moaning “help me”. Duke Nukem 3D really pushed the envelope back in the day and was one of the first games to mix “sex and violence”. Although people have claimed that Duke Nukem is killing women, the actual point of the game is that aliens have taken the women and it pisses Duke off. Thus we have the game. It was a silly and boyish but it was fun.
He’s definitely not done with the controversy, in Duke Nukem Forever there is a new multiplayer mode called “Capture the Babe” in which you capture a babe (instead of a flag) and she’ll freak out and put her hands over his eyes, after which you must spank her butt (assuming you’re carrying her over your shoulder) to make her stop. Guess who has a problem with this? Duke Nukem is a hardcore, gun crazy, womanizing guy. That’s the point!
So imagine playing a game where the whole point is to kill people with household objects just for the sake of entertainment. That’s Manhunt. Manhunt puts you in the shoes of a man looking for the truth; in order to find himself he must kill people for a snuff-like film. The real controversy behind this is that the deaths have three different settings. Green for not so bloody, Yellow for pretty bloody and Red for Bloody-bloody. I mean the game wasn’t too bad, it kind of loses its momentum towards the end when it focuses less on stealth and becomes more action oriented. The controversy stemmed from the type of objects he could use. e.g. a plastic bag, a shard of glass. Manhunt has (tried) to be linked to the tragic murder of14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah. The murderer, 17-year-old Warren Leblanc, used a hammer as his weapon. The game Manhunt happened to be the game that he was “obsessed with”. His mother, Mrs. Pakeerah stated, “It should not be available and it should not be available to young people”. I completely agree this… it should not be available to young people. Not because it may cause a teen to kill, but because it’s not meant for them. Manhunt was banned in New Zealand on December 11, 2003. Manhunt 2 on the other hand would have been here but because they censored the killing, there really was nothing to worry about. It still did gain the attention of…you know who. Honestly I’m not going after Fox here – they just happen to be the only media outlet that consistently takes a negative stance towards video games.
Like the reporter says “when you play this game on Wii as opposed to Nintendo or PlayStation, you do the stabbing, you grab the knife and stab” Let me fix that sentence for her… “When you play the game on the Nintendo Wii, you replicate a stabbing motion with the Wii remote controller and in the game you will stab a character”. There, better. She’s right though, the controversy surrounding Manhunt 2 was that you mimic the motions of killing someone. By mimicing I mean thrusting the controller either up or down or side to side. It wasn’t that good.
4. Grand Theft Auto/ San Andreas
What kind of list would this be without Grand Theft Auto? The game itself is obviously controversial due to…well everything. You can do what you want. Go ahead and blow up that car. Sure, kill that civilian and get the cops after you. Actually, while you’re at it-kill them too! And then die as well. I believe that’s the first time i used the word “kill” that many times in a sentence. Of course news outlets, this NBC (Finally) did a story on it with (again) Jack Thompson. I’m not purposely looking for interviews with this guy but he’s like poop that’s stuck on the bottom of your shoe… it just spreads and makes things worse.
Jack Thompsons states that “There is a direct causal link between these games and teen violence”. This is strange because this site begs to differ. Could there be a direct link between video game violence and unstable teens? Possibly. Then again you shouldn’t allow an individual who has a disorder to play such graphic games but I digress; the real controversy was something as stupid as a code “left behind” by Rock Star Games. Although Grand Theft Auto was already up there and NEVER INTENDED FOR MINORS. There was a public outcry when a patch came out. You all know what I’m talking about, but in case you’ve been living under a rock this was called “The Hot Coffee mod”
(You can watch it HERE because I know you want to see it… NSFW!!)
The “Hot Coffee Mod” not only got news outlets going nuts, it also got Hilary Clinton involved. She was sure that Rock Star was distributing porn to kids. There are many arguments to be made like A) This game is rated M (17+) B) This game is called Grand Theft Auto where killing people and stealing cars are just part of the game and C) The game is called GRAND THEFT AUTO! If there was a code “Left Behind” in Super Mario Galaxy where Mario and Peach do the dirty, then fine, yes, that is wrong because the game is rated E and such content should not be shown to minors…only to weirdos (seriously type that in Google.com) . A family friendly game meant for kids where a sex scene appears would be an issue. But in a game like Grand Theft Auto you expect that, just like you expect that Scarface should have a scar on his face. They already had sex in the car. The only difference was that this time you had to press “X” to thrust. Needless to say the game was taken off the shelves for a while and then re-released with an AO (Adults Only) rating, making this the first game to be rated AO.
3. Custer’s Revenge
Of course this game is going to be on the list. Truthfully if you’re a gamer you’re already aware of this game. If not, let me fill you in. Back in the day Atari games did not have to have any kind of quality or control over what is made or played on the system. Nintendo would soon change this by offering the “Nintendo Seal of Approval” which somehow has disappeared in today’s Nintendo’s games….WII MUSIC, REALLY?! The media focuses a lot more on the “porn and violence” in today’s games when truthfully they’ve always been around except there was no internet to spread the word…well there was but the computer was the size of a room and the internet was as fast as a snails’ reaction to you poking it in the eye. I guess in 1982 is when games hit the media.
Custer’s Revenge (among the many Atari Porn games) involved a character named Custer, and what looks like an Indian woman tied to a cactus. I say what looks like because the game looks like crap (NSFW I think) Object of the game – have sex with her… but she is tied up and probably not condoning this sex. That means that you are in fact raping her. Wow…just wow. Feminists hate it, parents hate it and you know what? Gamers hate it. This is one of those rare games that everyone hates. It’s not fun, it’s not satisfying, the graphics and sound are terrible. The lightning bolts strike at random (you have to avoid the lighting) and it is disgusting. I mean what would make anyone say “how about we create a game where you rape a woman tied to a cactus?” I mean any movie or book that has a rape scene is already hard enough to read or watch (eg. the scene in the movie Blindness and the scene in the book Blindness) but playing it was just wrong, even if it only involved one button. Maybe if the graphics were better it would be alright….
…NO! It’s still wrong even with improved graphics! RapeLay was a game only released in Japan. It involved you, a rapist on his journey to rape a mother and her two (young) children! This is not what gaming is about! It’s not pushing the envelope, it is the envelope! It’s just a game that lets you live the fantasy of a sick-o. But wait, how is murdering many people in games different than raping people in games? That’s a very good question. I guess it’s easier to hear “I killed like 14 guys online” rather than “I raped 14 guys online”, although the latter is still used in online slang (stupid XBox Live users). I guess the difference between a rape “simulator” and a “murder simulator” is that in games like Call of Duty you’re fighting soldiers. Kill or be kill is the name of the game.
In other games like Left 4 Dead or Resident Evil you’re killing Zombies and we all know that Zombies have no souls, so it’s OK to kill them. But in RapeLay you are literally raping a mother and her kids and that is the point of the game. There is no defence and there is no possible reasoning behind it. In Grand Theft Auto if you kill any civilians you will have the cops on your ass. If you kill a cop you will have the military on your ass. There are repercussions to your actions. Killing people is not the point of the game-it is a part of the game. If Grand Theft Auto was a game about just killing civilians you can bet that it wouldn’t do as well. It’s the story and voice acting that makes it a great game. RapeLay on the other hand (from what I have read) is just about raping. I refuse to play it because it will look really bad when the mailman delivers a game called RapeLay on my doorstep. That will be the last time I will feature the word “Rape” on this site.
1. Mortal Kombat
Now I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with me on this one. Yes there are games on this list that are more controversial than this, but let’s be honest, this game is the Godfather of controversy. It was the first time a game made it in the media (other than Custer’s Revenge in 1982). There were plenty of fighting games before Mortal Kombat but none offered the fatalities that Mortal Kombat did. As I mention in my “What Happened” article, as a kid this game scared the crap out of me. I wasn’t used to seeing a man rip off another man’s head, while his spine hung there dangling. Or where a man rips another man’s heart out and holds it as some sort of victory trophy. This was new. This never happened before. It wasn’t the fact that this game offered a lot of blood it was also the fact that it was open to a younger audience, in Arcades, right next to the Donkey Kong arcade machine. Kids lined up to play this game and I can relate. The surprise of someone already knowing the fatality of Scorpion made him an instant king. Yes I’m aware that Doom was released before Mortal Kombat and yes I’m also aware that Doom was pure blood. But did Doom have this?
Probably, but that’s not the point. If only Fox knew that they would keep this trend of “are your kids safe?!!?” in the future. Mortal Kombat was and still is the poster boy for Video Game Violence. In Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine he says something along the lines of “most video games come from Japan” (when stating where violence comes from) then shows an inaccurate screen cap of Mortal Kombat (Inaccurate because the game was made in the USA *adjusts glasses*) It’s because of Mortal Kombat that games now have a rating system. Due to the violence and parental complaints the video game industry created the ESRB, the rating system that should help parents in buying a game for their wiener kids. It’s because of Mortal Kombat that we have E-Rated and M-Rated games. Grand Theft Auto just added another layer with AO-Rated games. Without Mortal Kombat‘s controversy we’d have a bunch of crazy-ass psycho killers on the loose, instead of crazy-ass sport fans on the loose. Although I do stand by what the ESRB rating says it’s the responsibility of everyone else to enforce it. Just saying…