Despite good intentions, some games push all the wrong buttons. And with a new Grand Theft Auto hitting the kid-friendly Nintendo DS this week, another firestorm of controversy could be on the horizon. Brace yourself with this look back at some of the touchiest titles in gaming history.
Link to all the games
Here are a few I thought were interesting:
Mortal Kombat (1992, Arcade)
This legendary fighting game series hasn't always enjoyed flawless victories. Though its slick graphics and instantly iconic characters made it a breakout hit, its sheer brutality and chilling "Fatalities" made it an easy target for anti-violence crusaders. Eventually, the game was brought before Congress in hearings that led to the creation of the body that puts age certificates on games to this day, the ESRB.
Doom (1993, PC)
Landmark Martian monster mash Doom has been riling up religious groups since flying out of Hell in 1993, but it didn't truly hit the big time until it was tied to the tragic 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. Several victims' families filed lawsuits against the film and video game industries, which were ultimately dismissed.
Resistance: Fall of Man (2006, Playstation 3)
This acclaimed first-person shooter was one of the PS3's bright spots during its first year. Unfortunately, the designers forgot to ask the Church of England for permission to use Manchester Cathedral in a game featuring guns, bullets and alien hordes. Both sides eventually made nice, though the seemingly negative publicity led to a significant increase in sales.
LittleBigPlanet (2008, Playstation 3)
This groundbreaking platform game inadvertently raised the ire of the Muslim world when it was discovered that one of the game's licensed songs contained sacred passages from the Qur'an. Sony issued a full recall only days before releasing, costing the company both revenue and peace of mind during the busy holiday season.
Resident Evil 5 (2009; Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
Set in an African nation teeming with undead monsters, the latest in the acclaimed horror series has been accused of promoting racist imagery by featuring a white protagonist killing hordes of black zombies. Despite the controversy, the game has already shipped over 4 million units worldwide.
Lol at Resident Evil. I don't think that one can be a racist zombie killer. As for me, I don't racially profile when I kill zombies...don't know about you guys.