Controversial Video Games Part Deaux!
Little Big Planet, the all-inclusive global game featuring user-generated content, caused controversy for having included a little too much: community members realized a background song used two lines from the Qur'an.
This was deemed potentially offensive to some Muslims and Sony enacted a worldwide recall of all copies of the game before it was shipped to players. For players who had received their copies early, the game received a patch that removed the vocal track
Left Behind, a game based on the evangelical Christian book series, came under fire as many thought it promoted religious warfare given that, in the game, players are charged with "converting" some units and killing nonbelievers. The Christian Alliance for Progress described it as "antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ;" American Atheists called it a "violent Christian video game that promotes religious bigotry and intolerance;" and attorney Jack Thompson decried it as "about killing people for their lack of faith in Jesus."
The game was also charged with both sexism and racism as female units in the game had gender-delineated jobs and many enemy units had African or Arabic names.
The video game, released in 2002, was the brainchild of Rsistance Records, a music label that features Neo-Nazi and white supremacist bands. Techland explains the concept of the game: "it has players killing blacks, Latinos and Jews until they reach the "Jewish Control Center," where they're tasked with taking out the Israeli prime minister before he executes his plan for a world takeover."
Described as a "mass murder simulator," Doom has gained notoriety for its graphic imagery, violence, and satanic references. It has also been linked to school shootings, including the Columbine High School shooting wherein the two shooters were cited as avid Doom players.
A rumor circulated that one of the Columbine shooters had created a level in Doom that resembled his high school and was populated with characters resembling his teachers and peers in order to prepare for the shooting rampage. However, this was never proven, as the level was never found.
Mortal Kombat was one of the first and most popular ultraviolent fighting games featuring "photorealistic" characters, copious amounts of blood, and highly graphic fatalities. Parents were outraged when they saw their children playing a game that allowed them to rip their opponents heads off in a spray of blood.
The violence in Mortal Kombat caused the Senate to launch hearings about violent video games and resulted in the formation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
You might be interested