As soon as any form of media gets big enough, it will have its scandals. Remember when music was turning us all into drug addicts? Remember when violent movies were making us all psycho murderers? Remember the ten million and one scandals surrounding television personalities? Heck, we turned some of them into reality shows. Well, now it's time for gaming to be dragged through the mud. Here are the top ten gaming scandals of our time.
You can't call something a legitimate sport until there is a gambling scandal over it. So in a sense, South Korea's StarCraft scandal totally legitimized e-sports across the board. This was the classic betting scandal in every way: someone would fix a match, bet on the winner, and rake in the rewards. Only this time it occurred with "Additional Pylons."
Jack Thompson is the guy who said we were all becoming serial killers because we were spending too much time playing murder simulators. This is the guy who offered to donate ten thousand dollars to charity if anyone made a game depicting the murder of Take-Two boss Paul Eibeler, and then refused when someone actually did. This is the man who was disbarred for his openly inflammatory comments about the gaming industry, and worse, the families of those who support gaming. I'm not going to dignify this scumbag by putting him any higher than slot nine on our list.
Jeff Gertsmann didn't like Kane and Lynch very much, and all of the sudden he was fired by GameSpot. Coincidence? We never really found out. However, this scandal made all of us look at the entire game review world differently. We had to wonder how many writers were getting paid off to give good scores to games that were running advertisements with their respective publication, and why the heck the average review score is a 7.5 when average on a scale of 1-10 should be 5. It makes you think, doesn't it?
When Mass Effect first hit the scene, the news exploded about how the game was an alien sex simulator. This was hilarious, considering it was anything but. If you worked hard—and I mean really hard—you may have managed to see some implied sexual activity between Shepard and Liara. That's pretty much it. Oh Fox News, you can make a scandal out of anything.
Activision is, unfortunately, no stranger to the courtroom. Harmonix split from RedOctane after finishing Guitar Hero II and went on to make Rock Band. You know who bought RedOctane shortly thereafter? Activision, of course. So when Guitar Hero III started seeing successful sales, Harmonix wanted their piece of the pie, and justifiably so. Harmonix sued Activision over the Guitar Hero III royalties, but then quickly dropped the suit in favor of out-of-court negotiations. While the court proceedings faded with a whimper, the split divided the rhythm game fanbase into two. That divide remains today.