Categories: GAMING

The most controversial elements in video game history

Playing games has always been something we have liked to do. They not only give us a break from normal life but also allow us to have some fun. While this may have been a round of charades in the old days, things are a lot different now. Modern technology allows us to play online casino games at the PA online casino and others or to enjoy a video game on our PC’s or consoles. While online casino play is growing in popularity fast, people still love to enjoy video games after a long day at work or school.

Of course, the video game sector is not a new one. Starting out in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, it has gone on since then to become a huge industry in its own right. In the U.S. alone, 2018 saw $43.4 billion games sold! This journey has not always been a smooth one though and there have been some controversies over elements contained in video games during that time.

But which are the most contentious to know about? 

Addition of working casino to Grand Theft Auto 5

One element of the popular GTA range of video games which caused a massive stir in 2019 was the opening of an in-game casino in GTA 5.

In truth, this had always been in the game, but players had never been able to actually enter and enjoy casino games. This changed in July 2019 though when the game developer Rockstar brought this in-game casino to life and allowed players to enjoy games like Poker and Roulette. It led to a quick backlash though from concerned campaigners who worried about the way it promoted gambling to gamers and could lead to real-life issues with problem gambling. 

It has also been criticized for making players use real money to buy in-game chips in order to play. Eventually this led Rockstar to suspend the casino games in 50 places where gambling is not legal in real-life. Many feel that it is best for people to play casino games at dedicated online casino sites rather than blur the lines between video games and gambling.

Extreme on-screen violence

The 1990’s may seem a quaint and far off place now but that did not mean it was without its controversies. One of the most well remembered from that time centered around the Mortal Kombat title released in the early part of the decade. The element which got many people hot under the collar was the extreme levels of gore and violence it contained. Even for a fighting game, it was pretty out there for the time! 

This is just one example of an issue that has dogged video games for a long, long time – the levels of extreme violence that some show. Many critics feel that this is not good for society and exposes gamers to levels of violence they should not be seeing. This has become more pressing in recent years as games get ever more realistic in their look and feel. 

First-person perspectives

From Doom to Postal 2, many violent or controversial games make use of the fist-person perspective. This sees players take control of in-game characters in the first person and see the action unfold as if they were actually doing it themselves. While this is okay for flower arranging or playing soccer, it is a controversial element in more violent games. Critics argue that this view gets people used to carrying out violent acts and might desensitize them to it over time. The fear is that they will then carry on acting in the same way when they go out into the real world. 

Is sexism an issue for some games?

Like extreme violence, sexism is a controversial element in some video games. This is not only in how women are depicted but also how some games seem to allow violence against women. Grand Theft Auto III is a good example of this as it allowed players to hire prostitutes in-game and then attack them for no reason if they wished. Even older games like Super Mario Bros have been lampooned for their reliance on gender stereotypes which saw male characters rescuing weak female ones from distress. Interestingly, it is not all about how women are portrayed in video games. The way many male characters are shown as aggressive meatheads with bulging muscles has also come in for some flack.

Video games continue to push boundaries

From Death Race in 1976 to more modern games like GTA, video games have always liked to push the boundaries of what is acceptable. After all, a bit of controversy never hurt sales! Sometimes though this desire to provoke or create can lead to rampant criticism from others in society. The above shows just what kind of thing can get game makers in trouble. 

Nathan Goufas

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