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Posted on May 18th 2021 at 05:44:56 AM by (RossyJo)
Posted under videogames, gaming, oldschool, videogames, top

Video games were a technological revolution that allowed us to enter the world of fantasy. Before we only watched movies or comics with fantasy narratives, but with video games, we could be part of all the action.

However, fantasy got out of control and there were some video games that caused a stir because of their themes of violence and explicit abuse. The era of virtual entertainment was just beginning in the 1970s, but people were shocked by some titles that showed massacres and destruction in a graphic way.

Even if you think there are much worse ones around today, these old-school titles caused a lot of controversies, some even faced heavy lawsuits and there were massive campaigns to get them banned. If your aunts are now screaming their heads off over things like Resident Evil or Halo, a few years ago they would have really swooned over games like Custer's Revenge or Splatterhouse. Below is a list of 17 video games that caused the most controversy.

1. Gotcha (1973)
This video game was the fourth title for the Atari console and was a graphic version of something like "run, I'll catch you". It basically consisted of two players chasing each other in a maze. There was nothing wrong with the game itself. What shocked the world was its advertising and the shape of the game in the arcade version. The image was of a dark-haired man chasing a blonde in a dress, and the game controls were a pair of pink spheres that you had to squeeze and stroke to make the character move.

2. Death Race (1976)
The company Exidy released this title as a prequel to the arcade Death Derby. The controversy originated because in this one the car was running over human-shaped figures, which were replaced by crosses when it ran over them.

3. Custer's Revenge (1982)
This Mystique game is basically an ode to political incorrectness and immorality. The main character appeared naked with a large erection and his objective was to get to a female figure tied to a pole, with whom he had sex and got points for doing so. Although the creators said it was consensual, to other people it was abusive. The strange thing is that it still sold more than 80,000 copies.

4. Punch-Out (1987)
It was one of Nintendo's best games in its early days, however, it aroused protests because most of its characters belonged to different nations and therefore it was seen as a racist game. Maybe that's why Mike Tyson didn't like it.

5. International Karate (1985)
The controversy of this game was that it was a cheap copy of another title: Karate Champ. The company System 3 faced a strong lawsuit from the company Data East USA for intellectual property rights.

6. 177 (1987)
This consisted of the main character going around the city looking for dates with attractive girls. However, the dynamics of interaction with the virtual women suggested that it was actually abuse.

7. Chiller (1986)
This game by Exidy is quite simple and macabre: it's about torturing characters in a sinister chamber. Simple but creepy. In America it wasn't very successful, but in the world markets it was in third place in sales.

8. Barbarian, The Ultimate Warrior (1987)
This fighting game caused controversy because of its bloody encounters, but mainly because of its cover. Model Michael van Wijk was shown wielding a large sword, while Maria Whittaker stood at his feet in a very suggestive pose and in tiny clothes. People organised to ban it.

9. Super Monaco GP (1987)
What could be wrong with an innocent racing game? Well, this title featured several advertisements that resembled Marlboro cigarettes and the tobacco company sued heavily for unauthorised use of its trademark.

10. The Land of the Lounge Lizards (1987)
The plot of this game became a saga centred on the character of Larry Laffer, who had to roam the city in search of easy money and hooking up with ladies of the gallant life. The themes of robbery, murder and prostitution were too explicit and upset parents. It was like the predecessor of GTA.

11. Splatterhouse (1988)
This game was one of the first games to have gory objectives: murder everything in front of you. It had too much violence and grotesque characters.

12. J.B. Harold Murder Club (1991)
If being a murderer wasn't enough, in this game from the NEC company the murderers met and organised themselves in a sinister club. It was supposed to be a mystery game, but it was all about murder, abuse and prostitution.

13. Wolfenstein 3D (1992)
Speaking of sensitive topics, this game was full of icons and themes from Nazi Germany. It included over-the-top violence and the final boss was none other than a giant robot very similar to Hitler.

14. Mortal Kombat (1992)
Although it is now one of the biggest video game franchises, when the first Mortal Kombat title appeared on the market it caused a huge uproar. It was the game that attracted the most attention in those years because of its explicit violence and bloody moves. Fortunately, it overcame the critics and became a classic for its fatalities.

15. Night Trap (1992)
Specially for voyeurs, this Sega game consisted in becoming a special agent who had to take care of a group of girls. The downside was that to look after them you had to spy on them in their house and the storyline featured elements of abuse and violence.

16. Carmageddon (1997)
A racing game that had nothing wrong with it, except that as you made it to the finish line you earned points for running over people and animals. Because of its gory graphics, it had to be modified to make it seem like the zombies you ran over were zombies and the violence was morally justified.

17. Postcard (1997)
This was a game by the company Running With Scissors in which you also had to kill everything. It was controversial because the character took his anger out on innocent civilians and animals. Although they tried to lessen the impact by saying that the protagonist had a mental illness, this only made things worse and many people sabotaged the sales of the title.

Article created by Ross Jones, Paperhelp editor ( )

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