10 Iconic Video Games Banned For Ridiculous Reasons

There are always releases in the media that try to push what is generally acceptable; come up against the limits of good taste and ask yourself: “What happens if I cross this line?”

Often the first reaction is controversy, usually followed by censorship and outright banning and there have been many examples of this throughout gaming history. Grand Theft Auto has always been a heat magnet , but it also helped expand support in so many ways and then ended up banned in various countries.

But it’s not always the obvious games that get this treatment, sometimes titles can surprise you by being censored across the globe for all sorts of different reasons.

Violence and sex are one thing, and every country in the world has different views on what is and isn’t acceptable, but some games that don’t even seek to cause controversy create controversy.

This list explores some of the weirdest cases in video games that were given the big red stop sign at the border and told to turn around and go back where they came from.

Like everywhere else in the world it came out, Half-Life was a smash hit in Singapore. And why wouldn’t it be? Half-Life is awesome.

Players were able to fully immerse themselves in the title for a full year before the Singapore government suddenly decided it was too violent. This referred to the original base game, but also all the mods and variations that had become available at that time, including the hugely popular CounterStrike.

What makes this particularly odd is that, while the country was no stranger to banning games for their violence, it has been fine with it for twelve months.

Why it took so long, we’ll never know, but when Half-Life got the ban hammer, someone in power in the land took it very seriously because they approved many raids. Police have been storming retailers as well as any location likely to host in-person events and LAN parties to collect copies and shut down its in-game content.

However, Singapore players did not accept this and online petitions gained momentum quite quickly. They argued that pulling sales of the genre-defining shooter would actually hurt the financial condition of Singapore’s electronic entertainment market.

Thousands of signatures within a week prompted the government to back down and lift the ban.


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Carolyn M. Daniel