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  • You're knee-deep in the Nazi infested bunkers of Omaha Beach.

  • Your squad's been decimated by a particularly obstinate machine gun nest.

  • Reaching for a grenade, you lunge out over your trench- and are immediately cut down.

  • That's alright, you picked up a health kit in the last Nazi bunker.

  • You reach for the digital health and see that familiar... green gross?

  • Wait a minute, why don't video games use the actual red cross on health packs?

  • Turns out it's a matter of international law.

  • The Geneva Conventions actually forbids anyone or anything that is not part of the international

  • red cross from displaying the prominent symbol.

  • That's so that in war time, warring states don't try to deceive the other by using the

  • red cross symbol as camouflage, as red cross personnel are meant to be neutral so they

  • can access the sick and dying anywhere on earth, even a battlefield.

  • The red cross symbol has actually been removed from everything ranging from Halo 2 to the

  • original Doom.

  • While everyone who has good taste in video games remembers that the original game shipped

  • with the red cross symbol on health packs, it was later changed in subsequent releases.

  • Officially, the red cross symbol is not supposed to be used for any commercial aim, and while

  • the red cross on health packs isn't an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the symbol

  • for commercial gain, it's use in a commercial product is still something the red cross itself

  • isn't too hot about.

  • But while the red cross symbol has in effect been banned from games, what full-on games

  • have ended up getting the real-life ban hammer?

  • Custer's Revenge got the ban hammer- in only one state, when honestly it probably should've

  • been banned everywhere.

  • Developed in 1982 for the Atari 2600, the game features the player as a naked Colonel

  • Custer, who has to move from one end of the screen to the other while dodging flying arrows.

  • What's the big deal?

  • Well, other than being naked, Custer's march across the screen is fueled by his desire

  • to get to a tied-up native american woman.

  • Extremely offensive, even in 1982.

  • Oklahoma would go on to ban the game from being sold in the state.

  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 not only has distinction as a solid shooter

  • and unnecessarily long title length, but also as one of the few video games to immediately

  • get the ban hammer in Mexico.

  • Up until TCGRAW2's release- see, we told you the title needs to be shorter- Mexico

  • had never before banned a video game, and that's quite the accomplishment considering

  • many of the titles in this video were available for sale there as well.

  • But when the mayor of the city of Juarez sat down to play his own copy of GRAW2 he was

  • less than pleased with the opening mission, which sees the player gunning down guerillas

  • in a digital copy of Juarez.

  • Less than pleased with how GRAW2 had painted his city as a lawless purge-fest, the mayor

  • managed to convince the governor of Chihuahua to ban the game's sale.

  • He even went so far as to form a task force that hunted down copies of the game in stores

  • and seized them to prevent their being sold.

  • EverQuest is basically one of the grand daddies of the MMO genre, and you aren't playing an

  • MMO today that wasn't in some way influenced by the legendary game.

  • However, the country of Brazil thought that EverQuest posed a significant public risk-

  • and banned it from being sold in the country.

  • Citing the psychological burden of having to undertake bothgoodandevil

  • quests, the game was believed to pose risks of permanent mental harm.

  • Don't worry though, because that's not the only game banned by Brazil for crazy reasons.

  • Popular arena shooter Counter-Strike was also banned in Brazil, this time for subverting

  • public order, and for being a quote- “attack against the democratic state and the law and

  • against public security”.

  • Our next video game didn't get outright banned, but it might as well have been.

  • Devotion was a critically acclaimed slow-burn horror game developed by a Taiwanese studio.

  • When a meme of Xi Jinping, the Chinese President and leader of the Chinese Communist Party

  • being compared to Winnie the Pooh appeared in the game, China got extremely upset.

  • That's because memes comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie The Pooh are very popular in Asia,

  • despite an outright ban of Winnie the Pooh altogether by Xi Jinping.

  • Red Candle Games, the Taiwanese developer, responded by apologizing and patching out

  • the offending content- but Valve eventually pulled the game for sale from its Chinese

  • Steam platform.

  • Unexpectedly, Red Candle Games then went ahead and pulled the game off Steam globally after

  • its two publishers cut ties with them.

  • In response to the controversy, Taiwan's Vice Premier responded by saying, "Only in

  • countries with democracy and freedom can creation be free from restrictions."

  • The Chinese government responded by revoking the licenses of the game's publishers, and

  • removing millions of posts off social media with the Devotion hashtag.

  • Super Seducer would take a while to get banned, but justice eventually came with the release

  • of Super Seducer 3.

  • For those lucky enough to not know what Super Seducer is, prepare to have that ruined.

  • In the game, self-proclaimed pickup artist Richard La Ruina tries to teach players how

  • to pick up women in various scenarios.

  • The game has a player play out different scenes, and is able to pick from several different

  • options what to do next.

  • La Ruina will then faithfully play out whatever the selected choice was, in full motion video

  • glory- like this scene: While the game should have been immediately

  • banned for being the epitome of cringe, it wasn't- until Steam refused to carry the third

  • iteration of the game where you could- unsurprisingly- unlock nude options for the objects- I mean,

  • human women- in the various scenarios.

  • Valve definitely couldn't stand up for the universal right of free speech against a world

  • dictator, but at least it stood up for our right to not buy garbage video games and La

  • Ruina was left without a major distributor for his game.

  • Fortnite may be one of the most popular games in the world, but in China the game is banned-

  • only a heavily censored version is available for play.

  • But China's ban of Command & Conquer Generals is for far crazier reasons- while you can

  • spot American landmarks getting blown up in video games and movies all the time, pull

  • the same stunt with a Chinese landmark and your game gets the people's banhammer.

  • For a scene showing the destruction of the Three Gorges Dam and the Hong Kong Convention

  • and Exhibition Centre, Command & Conquer remains unplayable to Chinese citizens.

  • Plague Inc doesn't take place in any one particular country, and is as apolitical as a game could

  • get- but when the Covid 19 pandemic hit the world, China immediately banned the very popular

  • doomsday simulator.

  • Football Manager 2005 however got super-banned for recognizing Taiwan and Tibet as independent

  • countries- something that traditionally makes the Chinese Communist Party extremely upset.

  • Manhunt was developed by Rockstar Studios- no strangers to controversy- in the early

  • 2000s, and its success led to the development of Manhunt 2.

  • Both games focused on stealth gameplay where the player would carry out 'executions' of

  • increasing violence against people trying to hunt the player down.

  • The original game flirted with the banhammer back in the day, but the UK and various other

  • countries around the world outright forbade release of the game.

  • Rockstar had to make special edits for these countries which dramatically toned down the

  • violence.

  • Even then the UK barely approved the game for sale.

  • In Ukraine Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon got banned for touching on a rather sore spot for the

  • nation.

  • In the game, Russian ultranationalists- the same type Ukraine is actively at war against

  • right now- and communists come together to recreate the Soviet Union, and promptly sweep

  • Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan back into the fold.

  • This was unacceptable to the Ukranian government, which has historically been extremely frowny

  • face about ever having been a part of the Soviet Union in the first place- let alone

  • Russia's modern-day's intentions to force them back into a new Russian union.

  • Now we move to the United Arab Emirates, which might ban more games than any other country

  • aside from North Korea.

  • The UAE is famously brutally conservative, much to the shocking discovery of many foreigners

  • doing such outrageous things as kissing a girlfriend or wife in public in the wrong

  • place.

  • The UAE has banned a whole smorgasbord of games, but our favorites from that list are

  • the following:

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 got banned when quotes from the Qur'an were found in

  • some of the in-game picture frames.

  • The developer probably thought nothing of it, seeing as how popular inscribing bible

  • verses in various items is in the west- but the UAE found it offensive to the point of

  • banning.

  • A patched version of the game was later approved for sale.

  • Dragon Age: Origins was not just one of the best rpgs of the 2000s, it was the best Dragon

  • Age period.

  • And I swear to YouTube that if any of you disagree you can leave your address in the

  • comments section and I'll come fight you.

  • Anyways, the critically-acclaimed RPG got the banhammer hard in the UAE over sexual

  • themes and homosexual relationships.

  • Recently, you're able to buy the game digitally but hard copies are still illegal.

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us got banned shortly before its release, despite purposefully changing

  • its Middle Eastern name to Injustice: The Mighty Amongst Us.

  • However, because the case packaging and software title still retained the wordGod”, the

  • game was a no-go for the UAE.

  • Eventually the ban on the game was lifted, presumably when someone a lot less silly took

  • over the job of state censor.

  • Over in Iraq, both Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds are banned, allegedly fornegative

  • effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraq

  • society.”

  • For a nation reeling from two decades of war, perhaps the core concept of these games is

  • extremely unsettling.

  • While the UAE is fond of banning video games, Germany takes the absolute cake for video

  • game bannings.

  • It is important to note though that most of these video game bans simply keep the games

  • from being sold physically- the act of buying a game for a single user online, or of a player

  • owning a single copy is not actually illegal.

  • The act of selling the game is, so go figure.

  • Amongst the many, many banned titles in Germany are such masterpieces as 50 Cent: Bulletproof,

  • and the follow-up critically acclaimed 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand.

  • Actually, we'll be honest, we have no idea which game came first, because video games

  • based on rappers are terrible as movies based on rappers- unless it's that one video game

  • where you got to street fight as the Wu-Tang clan.

  • Most games get banned in Germany for being too violent or gory, but Far Cry was banned

  • not just for being too violent, but for having too realistic ragdoll effects.

  • Once the effects were toned down, the game was allowed for sale at an 18+ rating.

  • Wolfenstein and the later Wolfenstein 3d however got the ban hammer for violence and Nazi references.

  • The original Wolfenstein was approved for release after going through extreme censorship,

  • which we'd love to find out how that works as the game is predicated on you murdering

  • tons and tons of Nazis, and then fighting a dual-machine gun wielding mecha-Hitler at

  • the end.

  • Wolfenstein 3d was only recently taken off the ban list, as the German government has

  • decided it's been long enough since the Nazis.

  • Moving on to our next game, we have to ask: who doesn't love Pikachu, the adorable face

  • of the global Pokemon phenomenon?

  • Saudi Arabia, that's who- or more precisely, they're not big fans of the Pokemon Trading

  • Card Game, or any Pokemon title really, which have been banned in both digital and physical

  • forms.

  • It's no normal ban either, Pokemon is banned on the basis of being a threat to national

  • security.

  • The Pokemon ban went so far as to have a formal fatwa issued against it.

  • What was so insidious about Pokemon that Saudi Arabia had to invoke clerical power to ban

  • it?

  • Turns out the game has a laundry list of offensive material to the deeply religious country,

  • including promoting Darwin's theory of evolution, encouraging illegal gambling behavior by trading

  • pokemon or pokemon cards, and for promoting the Shinto and Christian religions through

  • symbolism, as well as the fact that the energy symbol in the trading card game kinda-sorta

  • looks like a low resolution Star of David, if you squint hard enough.

  • Sadly, real evolution doesn't involve intense battles or power stones- though it'd be

  • more awesome if it did- but this isn't changing Saudi Arabia's mind anytime soon and the

  • ban holds.

  • Now go watch Why Do Games Cost $60?

  • Why Hasn't The Price of Video Games Changed?

  • Or click this other video instead!

You're knee-deep in the Nazi infested bunkers of Omaha Beach.

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Real Reason Why Video Games Are Banned

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    Summer posted on 2021/10/14
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