Another outrageous, outlandish, and downright offensive video games dossier? No, it’s not a slam list packing in games like Grand Theft Auto, Dead Space, Fallout 3, and Saints Row 2, or thoroughly flogged oldies like Mortal Kombat, Night Trap, Postal, and Carmageddon. In fact those games look fairly quaint compared to some of titles here.
A few of these games claim to be ironic, others are defiantly perverse, some are downright juvenile, and the rest…well, the rest you’ll just have to decide for yourself. (Note these are in no particular order.)
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The Scoop: Modern Warfare 2; By: Infinity Ward; From: Activision; For: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
What’s the bestselling first-person shooter of all time doing on our list of shame? Two words: “No Russian,” a mechanically pointless, crudely sensational level in this otherwise respectable modern military-themed sequel. Want to play a terrorist and shoot screaming civilians? Automatically lose if you try to thwart your terrorist pals? Automatically lose anyway? It’s not the violence that’s offensive, it’s the level’s pointless gameplay.
The Scoop: Bonetown; By: D-Dub Software; From: D-Dub Software; For: PC
It’s “the video game where you get laid,” except for the part where you don’t. Bonetown describes itself as a “naughty role playing game with the free roaming atmosphere of Grand Theft Auto,” in which you battle to thwart a prude killjoy (“The Man”) with the help of Jesus and Ron Jeremy, wielding “mighty fists, tasty booze, crazy drugs,” and of course, your libido. Bonus: Don’t miss the just-released Bonetown mini-game, “Tiger Woods Affair Tour 2010.”
The Scoop: Rapelay; By: Illusion Soft; From: Illusion Soft; For: PC
It’s hard to describe the Japan-only Rapelay without throwing up your mouth: A male character stalks and eventually rapes a mother and her two daughters. No, it’s not ironic–it’s an extremely detailed fetish-specific rape simulator that invites you to engage in forced intercourse with up to three women at once.
You didn’t need advanced graphics to simulate ethnically-tinged sexual assault back in 1982. In this game, players maneuvered a naked cowboy inspired by the infamous George Custer sporting an undisguised (albeit pixelated) erection. The goal was to advance across a crude desert landscape, avoiding obstacles like incoming arrows, in order to rape a naked, anatomically exaggerated Native American woman tethered to a post.
5. V-Tech Rampage
The Scoop: V-Tech Rampage; By: Ryan Lambourn; From: Newgrounds; For: PC
Appearing just after Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people in a campus shooting spree, this Flash-based game, which allows you to massacre dozens of pixelated students, felt like a shallow cry for clicks. It’s a poorly designed shooter without a trace of irony. Can games address national tragedies and complex social issues? Absolutely. Is V-Tech Rampage trying to? Absolutely not.
Next: Columbine revisited, ethnic cleansing celebrated, and pedophile priests exposed.
Super Columbine Massacre RPG! lets players reenact the Columbine student massacre playing as students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, though with a significant op-ed twist. It was met with media outrage, but found partial validity in thoughtful critiques by games theorists like Ian Bogost: “This game is not fun, it is challenging, and difficult to play–not technically difficult, but conceptually difficult,” opined Bogost, adding “We need more of that.”
From nuanced back to nauseating, Resistance: Ethnic Cleansing was a crudely wrought 2002 first-person shooter by neo-Nazis, for neo-Nazis. Claiming that “[t]he Race War has begun,” the game’s website says “[y]our skin is your uniform in this battle for the survival of your kind,” that “[t]he White Race depends on you to secure its existence,” and that “[y]our peoples [sic] enemies surround you in a sea of decay and filth that they have brought to your once clean and White nation.”
8. Battle Raper
The Scoop: Battle Raper; By: Illusion Soft; From: Illusion Soft; For: PC
Another perverse Japan-only game celebrating sexual assault by the company responsible for Rapelay, Battle Raper and it’s sequel, Battle Raper II, look a lot like modern fighting games. But where the goal in games like Tekken or Virtua Fighter is to land punches and kicks to score points or lower your opponent’s health, here it’s to beat the clothes off voluptuous women in order to (eventually) have your way with them.
9. JFK Reloaded
The Scoop: JFK Reloaded; By: Traffic Software; From: Traffic Software; For: PC
Another history-minded game that straddles the line between educational and offensive, JFK Reloaded drops players into Lee Harvey Oswald‘s boots in this simulation of the 1963 John F. Kennedy assassination. While senators Edward Kennedy and Joe Lieberman condemned the game, academics like Persuasive Games’ Ian Bogost argued its merits, describing it as “an attempt to frame a news event,” while a cohort added “I find the game to be very interesting and I think that it is important that these games are produced, even if they are distasteful…”
Tongue clearly if disturbingly in cheek, Operation Pedopriest gives you control of “silencers,” squads of “eunuchs” who will “resist any temptation to sin,” and thus be able “to intimidate victims and witnesses of sexual crimes.” Your goal it to protect lustful priests from the police (lured by crying children) and escalating media attention, which could undermine the “very important battle in defense of [the clergy’s] lifestyle and…autonomy.”
Next: Torture for fun, slaughtering muslims, and virtual jihads.
In 2008’s The Torture Game 2, you can torture and eventually kill a creepy-looking “live” human rag doll using various instruments of destruction, e.g. guns, chainsaws, spikes, and razors. It’s actually debatable whether it’s a game or not, since win or fail states are nonexistent, and no skill’s required to creatively pummel, lacerate, impale, eviscerate, and ultimately butcher your helpless victim.
12. Muslim Massacre: The Game of Modern Religious Genocide
2008’s Muslim Massacre billed itself as a “game of modern religious genocide,” a freeware PC action game that lets you “take control of the American hero and wipe out the Muslim race with an arsenal of the world’s most destructive weapons.” The game’s creator, Eric ‘Sigvatr’ Vaughn, tried to write it off as comedy, but when attempts were made to read it as sophisticated parody, even Vaughn admitted the game was vulgar.
In Manhunt 2, players perform visually detailed executions (styled as “hasty,” “violent,” or “gruesome”) using objects at hand, e.g. shards of glass to slit throats, toilet seats to bludgeon, and hypodermic needles to jab enemies in the neck. What’s most offensive about Manhunt 2 isn’t its violence, but its shoddy gameplay: Poor artificial intelligence, bland environments, and blurry execution animations make this one a shoe-in for 2007’s “Sound and Fury” award.
14. Virtual Jihadi
The Scoop: Virtual Jihadi; By: Wafaa Bilal; From: Wafaa Bilal; For: PC
The Scoop: Raid Gaza!; By: Raitendo; From: Newgrounds; For: PC
Raid Gaza! loads with an adventure-style logo over open Israeli fields snuggled against a cramped Palestinian Gaza Strip. Then you click “Go Raid ‘Em!” and realize it’s impossible to lose, as you–taking the role of Israel–raze Gaza’s hodgepodge of hovels. It wants to be an anti-Israeli satire masquerading as a casual Flash-based shoot-em-up. But is it effective? I didn’t think so.