Monday, November 12, 2007

pica who!?

Video games have a long, storied history of going a little too far. It's only natural: controversial games get publicity, and violence seems to sell almost as well as sex. Game developers eager to capture the baser instincts of their audiences tend to push the envelope, and they've overstepped the bounds of good taste on no shortage of occasions.

Although the First Amendment protects these developers to some extent in the U.S. (for the time being, at least), the industry-run body responsible for age-rating video games has the power to hand out the dreaded 'AO' (adults only) certificate that effectively prevents any mainstream store from stocking a game: a de facto ban, in other words. Overseas, governmental bodies have censored or banned games in countries like the UK, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and China -- and not necessarily the ones you might expect. Read on for an overview of gaming's most infamous banned games.

Nintendo's smash hit Pokemon series earned a ban not for its devastating addictiveness or terrible TV show spinoffs, but for promoting Zionism. Who'd do something like that? That Mecca of religious tolerance, Saudi Arabia, that's who. The Islamic state's religious authorities handed down a ban on all Pokemon material in 2001 over the game's use of six-pointed Star of David symbols and alleged encouragement of gambling. Pikachu, I ban you!

story grabbed from here