Feature: Some games set out to offend – and there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. It’s when the excuses come out that things get really bizarre. Join us for a tour around some of gaming’s most offensive oddities – and how their creators tried to defend them.
There’s nothing wrong with offending people. For example, your mother was extremely good fun in the bedroom last night. See? Nothing happened! You just felt a bit taken aback for a second, then got over it when you realised I’m actually full of joy and roses and there’s really nothing to worry about.
Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with making a game that’s provocative or shocking, providing you make it good and convincing. Series like Grand Theft Auto grab your attention with guns and boobs, then channel it into a searing social satire that expertly pokes fun at some of our culture’s more ludicrous elements. Meanwhile, another Rockstar game, Manhunt, used horrific violence to convey the terror of the lead character’s situation and to portray a gritty atmosphere. And Saints Row, with its dildo-weapons and gimp suits, aims simply to be as over-the-top as possible, sending up an entire genre of gaming in the process.
However, from the depths of game development come certain titles which seem to miss the point. They shock without purpose – then, brilliantly, try their level best to excuse themselves as culturally relevant, or poignant, or having a deep message, maaan.