#3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
While we're on the subject of western developers, Haitian and Cuban communities both protested the content in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, especially in missions such as "Dirty Lickin's."
The mission features a Haitian gang leader, Auntie Poulet, who uses her Voodoo powers and some hallucinogenic drugs to force protagonist Tommy Vercetti to slaughter all the Cubans on the street outside.
As upsetting as it usually is to hear someone advocate small-scale genocide, by this point in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City you've already performed a drive-by in a golf cart and chased an obese man down a public street while wielding a chainsaw. So to be fair, we're not even sure the word "genocide" means anything in a game where you accidentally kill two people every time you back up your car.
Almost As Bad...
Twelve years earlier, Kaneko released DJ Boy for the Sega Mega Drive (the Japanese Genesis) and gave us a first level boss who was a large woman with exaggerated facial features named Big Mama. She had a different kind of Voodoo, and by that we mean a fireball would shoot out of her anus on command.
Holy shit! It's one thing just to perpetuate your grandfather's decades-old stereotypes, but it's another thing to make up a new one. This is one area where we really don't need innovation, Japan.
#2. Punch-Out!! Series
The classic Punch-Out!! boxing games are interesting, in that you saw where Nintendo drew the line on what they considered offensive. For instance, when still in the arcades, Super Punch-Out!! introduced players to Vodka Drunkenski, a perennially inebriated Russian who guzzles his namesake between rounds.
Nintendo thought better when they transported it to the NES as Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. They turned Vodka Drunkenski into Soda Popinski.
However, that doesn't change the fact that the entire game involved fighting a string of wacky cultural stereotypes. So the game still featured a weak, cowardly Frenchman named Glass Joe, an effeminate Spaniard named Don Flamenco and Great Tiger, an Indian whose turban flickers when he's susceptible to an uppercut (a stereotype the people of India have fought long and hard to shed).
From the looks of the trailer of the newest installment of Punch-Out!! for the Wii, Nintendo has finally learned its lesson.
Now Little Mac can literally punch the croissants out of Glass Joe.
Almost As Bad...
In another classic sports game for the NES, RBI Baseball, everyone is white, including the African-American players.
You automatically think that it must have been some kind of technical limitation. After all, it was 1987 technology and it's not like Nintendo was completely unfamiliar with the concept of black people playing sports. But you can't avoid the fact that while the programmers successfully varied the colors of the uniforms, they were somehow unsuccessful in determining how to do the exact same thing for Kirby Puckett's face.
#1. Custer's Revenge (1982)
If you had heard of Custer's Revenge, you already knew it was going to take the top spot. We're guessing that if video games continue as an art for 100 years, this one will still not have relinquished its throne.
In fact, perhaps nothing in the world of political incorrectness will rise to the level of this game, and it did it all in about six seconds of gameplay:
Oh, yeah, that's General Custer's huge, flopping erection, and this game is a American Indian rape simulator.
Almost As Bad...
By 1989 we were all more sensitive to the idea of violence toward women, so when it came time to translate the arcade game Final Fight to the Super Nintendo, some took issue with the fact that you were frequently pounding on two female enemies named Poison and Roxy.
They even revealed a large measure of underboob cleavage when struck:
Staff at Capcom objected to the heroes brutally thrashing the ladies and, if we may say so in an article about offensive cultural generalizations, the designers came up with a uniquely Japanese solution: They decided that Poison and Roxy were actually transvestites or, possibly, that they had both male and female genitalia. You know, because then it would be okay to pound them.
The technology wouldn't allow it back then, but man, that plot point could have made for some of the most entertaining cut scenes of all time.
For games that may have been PC but went above and beyond the call for gratuitous violence, check out A History of Violence: 6 Old School Games as Brutal as GTA. Or find out which video game developers sold their souls in The 10 Least Subtle Product Placements in Video Game History. And be sure to visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to see what we're looking at instead of working.