Many people have argued that morality is a matter of personal conviction but isn’t there a standard with which we gauge things to expose to the public and which ones not to?
Sometimes entertainment does cross the boundaries of morality and when this happens, people and especially parents who are in a daily struggle to instill morality on the children feel helpless. Think of all the factors that cause a movie to be rated as unsuitable for children of below a certain age; in most cases controversy does not stem from this but from an obvious refusal to honor the laws of common decency. Many people have argued that morality is a matter of personal conviction but isn’t there a standard with which we gauge things to expose to the public and which ones not to?
The gaming industry as a whole are free to do whatever they want in terms of the nature of entertainment they would like to provide. The only thing to keep in mind is that the audience and the players have the final say as far as the success of a release is concerned. While it may not be possible to totally ban the development of electronic games, some people are inclined into thinking that the greatest evils against humanity as a whole stem from the influence sparked by these games. If we were to accommodate all the controversial games as fielded over the years, it would take days to make a conclusive compiling. This review focuses on one game per year termed as controversial from the present day dating backwards.
Pokémon Go (2016)
Probably the latest sensation in the gaming world, it has taken the world by storm. Everybody is talking about the game but for others, the thrill is beyond entertainment. With a geo-location feature incorporated in the game, it has been reported that criminals found this game inspiring for criminal activities.
Survival Island 3 (2015)
Based on a first action game setting, a fair skinned character played by the person playing the game must engage in mortal combat with indigenous Australians. While it must have made players to feel powerful, the game focused on demeaning the Australian indigenous tribes and natural habitat. How do you convince a white child living in Australia of the need to respect the Australian ancient tribes as they grow into adulthood?
South Park: the stick of truth (2014)
With different versions released all around the world, it was censored in Australia and Europe for its outright depiction of anal probing and abortion albeit by an alien population. In Germany, the use of Nazi inspired imagery and salutes deemed it unacceptable.
Tomb Raider (2013)
A defining moment in the life of the character of Lara is when she is forced to take the life of another human being for attempting to rape her. While the producers did state categorically that sexual assault was never their theme of interest, the sequence of events surrounding the “rape” ordeal is uncomfortable for some people.
Persona 4 arena (2012)
Much of the controversy on this game borders on player access to the game based on the region they come from. While it has been known for a long time that PlayStation games do not have geographical location limitation, it does indeed causes an outrage for people who own the console not being able to play the games because of the regions they are based in.
Portal 2 (2011)
The initial complaint against the game was filed by an adopted individual after it emerged that the protagonist in the game seemed to be always on the receiving end of insults due to the fact that they did not have parents.
Medal of Honor (2010)
The game allows for players to lay any character they wish but it is highly controversial that there is an option allowing players to take the position of the Taliban. This feature received opposition from veteran organizations and officials in the military for it’s downplay of Taliban forces. While it was necessary to completely remove the word Taliban from the games features, the other requirement for marketing it was not to classify it under military developments.
Fat Princess (2009)
The concept of the game plus the subjective title has been termed by feminists to be insensitive to women.
Muslim Massacre (2008)
Developed amid the already fragile Muslim prejudice, the game was strongly shot down by the Muslim council everywhere for its promotion of negativity towards Muslims in general. The argument from most quarters is that instead of promoting Muslim marginalization, the world should be influenced to coexist with Muslims among their populations.
Mario Party 8 (2007)
The word spastic is offensive in the UK and it goes without saying that it would not be acceptable as per UK and commonwealth standards. This controversy led to a recall of the game which was released later with a different word in place of spastic.
People are different in their beliefs and value systems and while video games are inspired mostly by what happens around us, there is no telling what will be offensive to a certain group of people. Controversy on game releases has existed since 1973 when Gotcha was accused of demeaning women sexuality because they used pink buttons which could be interpreted to mean breasts. The list of controversial games can therefore not be fully conclusive but at least it highlights issues that are of concern to society at every stage.
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