Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top 10 Most Controversial Video Games

Yahoo! lists down the top 10 most controversial video games of all time. Love 'em or hate 'em, I'm quite sute these games made a mark on the video game industry by providing their unique and, ehem, "deviant" touch on the gamers' sensibility as such.

So, without any further ado, let us start off.

10. Death Race
Inspired by the cult film Death Race 2000, this 1976 coin-op challenged players to run down humanoid "gremlins" while avoiding tombstones left in their wake. While its graphics seem primitive by today's standards, it was labeled "sick" by countless media outlets, earning it the title of the world's first controversial video game.

9. Mortal Kombat
This legendary fighting game series hasn't always enjoyed flawless victories. Though its slick graphics and instantly iconic characters made it a breakout hit, its sheer brutality and chilling "Fatalities" made it an easy target for anti-violence crusaders. Eventually, the game was brought before Congress in hearings that led to the creation of the body that puts age certificates on games to this day, the ESRB.

8. Doom

Landmark Martian monster mash Doom has been riling up religious groups since flying out of Hell in 1993, but it didn't truly hit the big time until it was tied to the tragic 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. Several victims' families filed lawsuits against the film and video game industries, which were ultimately dismissed.

7. Postal
Naming a game after a slang term describing homicides by disgruntled U.S. Postal employees during the '80s and '90s might be considered a lapse in judgment...which is exactly what the USPS sought when they sued the pants off the developers for trademark infringement. The case would eventually be tossed out of court.

6. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Remember Hot Coffee? Oh cmon, I'm pretty sure you do.

Calling "Hot Coffee" -- the game's infamous, sexually-explicit mini-game -- a significant controversy is an embarrassing understatement; the incident opened the floodgates of video game legislation, resulted in a massive recall and re-rating of San Andreas, and obliterated the 2005 fiscal earnings of Take 2 Interactive. Maybe they sh
ould have ordered tea.

5. Resistance: Fall of Man
This acclaimed first-person shooter was one of the PS3's bright spots during its first year. Unfortunately, the designers forgot to ask the Church of England for permission to use Manchester Cathedral in a game featuring guns, bullets and alien hordes. Both sides eventually made nice, though the seemingly negative publicity led to a significant increase in sales.

4. Manhunt 2
Officially destroying the Wii's innocence, Manhunt 2 allowed users to perform horrific executions using the system's motion-sensitive controllers. Th at quickly earned it the dreaded AO rating by the ESRB, effectively rendering it banned until the developers edited the offending content. Sadly, all that hubbub was for naught, as the game received low scores and marginal sales.

3. Mass Effect

When Fox News and psychologist Cooper Lawrence heard that players could consummate a romantic relationship in this role-playing adventure, they went on the offensive. Unfortunately, they also got the facts wrong, resulting in a deluge of angry words from game publisher EA and tons of free publicity for the award-winning game.

2. LittleBigPlanet

This groundbreaking platform game inadvertently raised the ire of the Muslim world when it was discovered that one of the game's licensed songs contained sacred passages from the Qur'an. Sony issued a full recall only days before releasing, costing the company both revenue and peace of mind during the busy holiday season.

1. Resident Evil 5

Alright, the top spot is reserved for.... (drumroll please...)... Resident Evil 5!

Set in an African nation teeming with undead monsters, the latest in the acclaimed horror series has been accused of promoting racist imagery by featuring a white protagonist killing hordes of black zombies. Despite the controversy, the game has already shipped over 4 million units worldwide.

And there you go, your top 10 most controversial games of all time. Well, that's out top 10 for now. Sooner, there will be more deviant and controversial games than what we have right now.

Well, for me, it's not the controversy that surrounds a game that counts, but rather, it's the feeling of being able to enjoy playing a game to its fullest, right?

That's it. Before you log-out, make sure you'll subscribe to my feeds or follow my blog for updates. Till' then, ciao!

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