Video gaming has been without a doubt the most revolutionary and profitable form of art among young people for over three decades now, with U.S. gaming revenue alone currently estimated at about $22 billion. With millions of hard-core fans across the globe, the world of video games keeps growing each day, while many pop culture experts believe that in a few years it will officially be the leading type of entertainment, ahead of music and film. What’s even more encouraging is that the benefits of playing video games have been highlighted by many recent scientific studies, and they are not viewed anymore, for the most part, in as bad of a light as they were when they first became popular in the early 1980’s.
Despite the rise of video games in modern culture, there have been more than a handful of cases where things went wrong and the industry received many blows. Even from the early ’70’s, the gaming world has been a minefield of criticism and censorship, where games have been viciously attacked or even banned for their content or objective. The following 25 Most Disputed Video Games That Shocked The World are absolute proof that video games have a greater impact on society than some of us might think.
Whiplash shocked many with its grotesque cartoonish cruelty in its depiction of animal product testing, despite the premise of the game supposedly being against this. Many people felt like it condoned violence and made a joke of animal suffering, even though the game designers claimed the purpose of the game was to raise awareness of this issue among children.
The Stanley Parable
An image in this game was enough to offend many players and cause big controversy, and how could it not when that image portrayed an adult white male setting a black child on fire? The maker of The Stanley Parable promised to change the image and apologized to all those who took offense to the racist content, stating that he didn’t think in terms of race when he created the image.
Survival Island 3
This 3D first-person survival-action game was released on the App Store and Google Play in December 2015 and depicts a white male killing indigenous Australians in order to survive. As expected, the game attracted strong criticism in Australia for its racist presentation of indigenous Australians, who were presented as “real Aboriginals” and a threat to the fair-skinned player’s survival.
Resistance: Fall of Man
The controversy this game caused in the UK back in 2006 was one of a kind. The Church of England objected to the game’s use of Manchester Cathedral’s interior as a backdrop during a gun battle, and called for the game to be withdrawn, or for the cathedral to be removed from the game. They also made several legal threats against Sony, but eventually the whole controversy ended outside the courts.
Postal 2 is a first-person-shooter and the sequel to 1997’s Postal. Both are considered controversial within gaming circles, mainly due to high levels of violence and stereotyping. To get an idea, violence against pedestrians and police officers, racism, sexual themes, drug use, and animal cruelty are some of the basic elements of the game. Unsurprisingly, the game got banned in New Zealand, Sweden, and Australia.