Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The Wellspring of Violent Video Game Controversy
With all the summits and task forces currently considering stronger new gun control legislation in the U.S. and the possible reasons for the rash of mass shootings plaguing the country, how about a look back at where the controversy of video game violence began?
It dates back to 1976 and the release of Exidy's Death Race, an arcade video game loosely inspired by Roger Corman's ultra-violent B-movie Death Race 2000. In Exidy's game, one or two players drove a vehicle around a playfield chasing running stick figures. When a figure was hit, it would let out an electronic shriek and turn into a cross, creating a permanent obstacle for drivers to avoid.
Considered quaint by today's standards, Death Race caused a national debate on the cultural ramifications of the burgeoning video game market, was labelled "sick" and "depraved" by various groups, and of course enjoyed a healthy run in the arcades.
For more information on Death Race and its fallout, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.