Back again with more controversial video games! Even this article itself is considered controversial according to Google! Let’s not waste anytime here, and let’s get right into it.
(Have you read the first two articles yet? Read those first! Part 1 and Part 2)
Gotcha (1973 – Atari)
This was only the fourth game made by Atari, and was one of the first to stir up any controversy. The game play was essentially two players going through a maze trying to catch the other player. Sounds simple enough, but this game featured unique “controllers”.
Yes, they were breasts! The joke at the time was that many Atari employees felt that the joysticks used were “phallic” and so the idea was to create a game controlled with breasts. It didn’t catch on so eventually new models came out with regular joysticks. For all the controversy surrounding this early title, it did not generate much fanfare.
Thrill Kill (1998 – PlayStation)
Thrill Kill? You haven’t played this one, because it actually was cancelled before it was ever released. EA basically cancelled this game once development was complete because they didn’t want to harm their image supposedly. The big selling point behind this game was the ability to have four players fight on screen, which at the time was a big feature. The controversy comes in when you look at the playable fighters in the game. The idea behind the game was that all these people had tragically died from one where or another and would now compete in a tournament to the death.
Let’s do a quick run down of some of the characters in the game: A redneck who uses a severed leg as a weapon, masochistic gimp, a midget, a female demon goddess, a teenage girl from the circus, a pyromaniac, and a housewife turned dominatrix who had a finishing move that looked like she was performing oral sex only to turn out that she was just tickling the opponent’s feet. This move was removed from the game. The game had alot of hype in the gaming community, and controversy surrounding the game play elements built the hype up even more. However, the only way to ever play it is via emulator. The developers finished the coding, and released it online since it was never going to be published. Interesting characters and concept, but apparently the game ended up sucking anyway. Go figure.
Harvester (1996 – MS DOS)
How would you like to play a game that has sex, suicide, murder, swearing, prostitution, pedophilia, std’s, and stereotyping? No, I’m not talking about Grand Theft Auto. I’m talking about a point and click adventure game from 1996. It did not do well financially, but due to its storytelling, characters, and re-playablity, it sustained a niche audience. It was banned in Germany, was censored in Great Britain, and was all over the nighttime news at the time talking about the need for a Video Game Rating System (This was before establishing the ESRB). You play as a character in the 1950’s waking up with amnesia. You meet everyone in town, and play through open-ended game play. Its one of the few point and click adventure games that feature a fighting system. Ultimately, the game concludes with the main character finding out that he is in a virtual reality unit, and he has an ultimatum to decide whether to continue to live in the facade of happiness or join the real world. Or in another words, you can decide to take the blue pill… or the red pill. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes…
Chiller (1986 – Arcade/NES)
We’ve all walked by an arcade and seen the machines with the light guns. Alot of us have probably tried it at one point as well. This game was a bit different. Instead of zombies coming at you trying to kill you, or fellow gunman shooting you back, the name of the game here is torture, mutilation, and murdering the defenseless. This game was made for the arcade, but due to its violent nature, not many machines were bought so the game never did very well. It eventually made its way to the NES as well, albeit the game was unlicensed. The way to showcase why this game was controversial is to simply show you a screenshot. Keep in mind, this is a game from 1986.
Cho Aniki (1995 to 2010 Multiple Systems)
This is just a quick game I wanted to show you guys. It hasn’t sparked much controversy, but I wanted to just show a bit of the game play of this particular franchise. It’s a quirky Japanese title but it has its surprising niche. The most simple way to explain the game is to “think Galaga but add as much penis as possible“. I know your thinking “umm.. what?” but yes, this is probably one of the most homo-erotic games in history. Just, check out the game play in the link below, and here are few screenshots as well.
Microsoft Flight Simulator (PC)
This game has no controversial elements on it’s own right, however after the 9/11 attacks occurred, it was believed that some of the terrorists had used the game as a tool to practice the attacks with. In fact, some of the terrorists who had received certification in Florida, were required to have used the game for 27 hours.
The rumors alone caused controversy, coupled with the fact that Microsoft decided to remove the WTC towers from the game, and in-able crashing in the game, as well as send out a patch that could remove the towers from any previous incarnation of the game. Whether that is the right decision or not is up for debate, but either way the 9/11 tragedy caused lots of current and past media to be possibly offensive. Such as this NES Die Hard game cover. Hmmm. Anyway, let’s move on.
Phantasmagoria (1995 – PC)
This game is a point and click adventure that plays out more like an interactive movie than a video game. A lot of hard work was put into this video game, with the script being four times longer than an average movie. The filming took four months alone, with hundreds of people involved in the production. This is a major feat considering this is a title from 1995! The game received above average ratings and was the best selling PC game of 1995. The game had its fair share of violence, and vulgarity. But the controversy comes from this one infamous scene in video game history. Be for warned, its uncomfortable.
Thanks for checking out another installment of the most controversial video games in history. Stay Tuned!