Violence and Sexuality in Video Games Essay

Violence and Sexuality in Video Games Essay

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Violence and Sexuality in Video Games

Unlike popular belief, the first violent video game was not Mortal Kombat. The killing started with a game called Death Race 2000 released in 1976 by Exidy Software. It was based on a B movie by the same title and features the main theme of the movie in the game: to run people over. You control the car to run over people, and the people you have killed become a cross. Needless to say, the game was quick to draw attentions towards it. The criticism from Americans all over the nation eventually got the game pulled off the market. One would think that the game must have been pretty intense and gruesome if it attracted such a response. Nope…not a bit…in fact, this is how the game looks:

Things stay quiet until the 1980’s in which the Atari 2600 debuts. Out of the flood of titles being produced, someone decided that sex sells, even in videogames (geez…what a concept…). So a company by Mystique released Custer’s Revenge. The game had the player control a man named General George Custer going after a Native American maiden named Revenge, hence the title, Custer’s Revenge. Unfortunately, this game did not involve anyone saving a Native American princess; instead, the player has to control Custer and help him cross the playing field safely, while dodging cactus and arrows from Native Americans. Awaiting Custer on the other side of the field is Revenge, and the reward was that Custer gets to have sex with Revenge, on the screen, depicted by a group of flesh colored pixels (as shown on the left).

The game received heat from women’s advocate groups and the Native American communities. Custer’s Revenge was so bad that many retailers refused to car...


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...t that a 9 or 10 year old can have easy access to games such as Grand Theft Auto is just scary. I found option number 3 to be too extreme. Regulations are necessary, but option 3 would leave companies very restricted in terms of creativity and set a sense of fear in the game developers. Also, option 3 will impede one’s right to purchase the game one wants, without the eyes of big brother watching. Overall, option 2 is the most balanced, it deals with the weakest part of the rating system, and that is the enforcement of the ratings. Most retails now do not enforce the ESRB’s rating system; almost anyone can buy whatever game they want without fail. With option 2, the retailers are now more responsible than before in watching what their customers buy. This way, we can keep Mature games out of the hands of young children, yet adults can buy them if they wish to.

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