The 10 Worst Games of All Time

Numbers 2 and 3

2. Super Columbine Massacre RPG (Danny Ledonne, 2005)

Platform: Windows

Do violent video games inspire horrific, violent acts in the real world? No one really knows for sure. Do horrific, violent acts in the real world inspire violent video games? Absolutely.

One of the most recent, Super Columbine Massacre RPG (or SCMRPG), re-created Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, from the perspective of the two disturbed teenagers. Deriving the game's content largely from video footage of the events, the pair's diaries, and quotes from various media figures, creator Danny Ledonne strove for a certain level of verisimilitude--though the part of the game where Harris and Klebold find themselves embarking on further adventures in Hell after their suicides is, presumably, conjecture.

Like the developers of JFK Reloaded, another re-creation of a historic murder, the creator of SCMRPG claimed lofty aims. On his Web site--whose illegible look (blue and red text on a black background) is some sort of crime against good design itself--Ledonne says the game "asks more of its audience than rudimentary button-pushing and map navigation; it implores introspection." The site also links to press coverage of the game (typical example: the Denver Post's "Columbine Game Makes Us Ill") and a forum for discussion of the game and the actual shootings.

Whether Ledonne's site has any constructive value whatsoever is still up in the air. But as a game, Super Columbine Massacre RPG is appalling.

3. Custer's Revenge (Mystique, 1982)

Platform: Atari 2600

I can just imagine what they were thinking over at game company Mystique: Create an adults-only game under a well-known porn brand (Swedish Erotica) for a platform known for family-friendly titles (Atari 2600). Sex, novelty, and, hopefully, a touch of scandal should make for runaway success, right?

Well, no--not if one of your releases is Custer's Revenge, starring a mostly naked General Custer (he wore boots and a hat) and a mostly naked Native American woman (she wore a feathered headband), who is tied to a post. Your job was to guide Custer through a hail of arrows and a field of cacti to reach the woman and engage in the type of behavior one expects in a Swedish Erotica production.

Not only was game play unnecessarily difficult and the objective questionable on multiple levels, but the game's crude graphics gave the impression that your Lego collection was getting freaky.

In recent years, some games (most notably, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) have pushed the raciness envelope further than most people could have imagined 24 years ago. That may or may not be a good thing, but at least the graphics and game mechanics have gotten a heck of a lot better.

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