There have been several titles that have been censored for content issues and to align the title with the law of the country. But sometimes, a governing body will decide that censorship is not enough and decide to completely ban a title or series from being sold–or in some more rare cases, ban video games altogether. Here are the famous few bans that topped our list.
Ban Them All!
Greece decided that it would be in its best interest to ban video games altogether. This all started as a ban on video gambling games but the law was written in such a vague manner that when it came to enforcement, all games were banned. But it wasn’t only games; anything that required a hardware/software interface for entertainment fell under the blanket law. You can imagine the mayhem that an act of idiocy such as this would cause in America.
You Make Us Look Bad
Any real gamer knows that the Assassin’s Creed series began with Altair Ibn la-Ahad, an assassin of Arabic origin who tries desperately to stamp out the Templar oppression against his people and foils a plot of a traitor in the midst of the brotherhood. Sounds like a good thing right? Apparently in Saudi Arabia, this game was banned for two weeks for “Negatively Portraying Arabs.” Seriously?! The main character is a freakin’ hero and it makes Arabs look bad?! Fortunately they figured out how stupid this idea was and repealed the ban.
Our Towns Don’t Look Like That
Counter Strike was banned in Brazil for accurately depicting a Favela. For those of you who don’t know, they are terribly poor and nearly third world style places where the destitute go because there isn’t anywhere else for them. These shanty towns are something that the Brazilians don’t like being made public. It tarnishes fun and lucrative events like Carnivale and Justin Bieber’s new favorite whorehouse. So since the game accurately portrayed that kind of squalor, they banned it…naturally.
They Are NOT a Country
Football Manager 2005 was banned in China because it recognized Tibet as an independent country instead of showing it as a repressed and bullied territory of the Chinese government. They also apparently didn’t bother to ask China if that was okay. So when a new and edited version of the game was released internationally, with Tibet omitted, it was then allowed to be released in China. Can’t let those pesky Tibetans go and start having hope for being their own country with their own soccer team…not even in games.
That’s Not Us
The whole world knows that not all Germans are or were Nazis. However, Naziism is still a part of Germany’s history, whether they like it or not. But they decided that rather than just owning up to the fact that the greatest genocidal maniac of all time came to power there, they would just erase the memory of the event from German pop culture forever. Here’s the list of games banned for Nazi references. Wolfenstein, Mortyr, KZ Manager, Commandoes: Behind Enemy Lines as well as several others. It’s like being that guy who pisses off the biggest dude at a party and then trying to weasel your way out of it. Just own up to it, take your lumps and go on. It’s history now.
That’s Not Nice!
FarCry 3 , the most popular game in the series and probably the best of them (except Blood Dragon , but I don’t think that really counts), but don’t go looking to buy it if you are ever in Indonesia. You won’t find it. Why is that you ask? Why would you not be able to find this award-winner blockbuster title? I’ll tell you. Because they made a negative reference to living in Indonesia. Well duh! When hunger, disease and starvation plague your country, how many people outside of it do you think would really want to live there?
So if you played Dante’s Inferno you know that it was based on the first canticle of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy . And if you didn’t know that, now you do. This poem is born of Judeo-Christian imagery and iconography concerning Hell and all it’s demons. That being said, the Jabatan Agama Islam in Malaysia had the game banned for cruelty, hellish visions and sexuality. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but why would a Muslim group be playing games based on Judeo-Christian context anyway? Hmmm…
Shhh, They Might Hear You
If you played Homefront , then you know it’s about a fictitious North Korean Invasion of the United States and you’re a rebel who leads the fight against them. Well, if you live in South Korea, you won’t be able to buy this game. I guess they figured that if the North Koreans got wind of it, they might either use it for the basis of their next attack strategy or they might be so offended that they set off the imminent attack on South Korea that everyone has been trying to avoid since the late forties. Probably a good idea for them to have banned this one, just to be sure.
That’s Just Too Intense
The United Kingdom banned the Punisher video game due to excessive violence in interactive interrogation sequences that they thought would be “damaging to the public.” This game would later be watered down by the developer and released for retail sale. It seems to me, that this is really a moot point. That game was so bad that they should have just kept the ban on it for being a s****y game. But I guess your game sucking isn’t enough to get it banned. Honestly, I thought it was more torturous to have to actually play the game than to see the torture scenes in it.
I Didn’t Vote For Him
Back in 2009, the President of Venzuela, Hugo Chavez, supported a ban of all video games depicting shooting of any kind. He claimed that video games (even Mario, who can throw fireballs, which Is apparently a form of shooting), were a poison to the people of Venezuela and that some games even gave people the opportunity to shoot him in the game and “kill him.” Doesn’t he know that allowing people to kill you for being a bad president in a video game can reduce the risk of someone actually killing you? It seems to me that if you were a crappy president, you would want to release a series of games where people can kill you. Odds are they won’t actually try it if they can do it everyday in new and exciting ways in their games.