The First Game That Truly Disturbed You

Illustration for article titled The First Game That Truly Disturbed You

Video games don't usually repel their players. Gamers are nothing if not tolerant—of horrific acts of violence, long loading times, high prices, we'll put up with a lot. But everyone has their limits. What was the first game that turned you off not because it wasn't fun, but because you found it morally repugnant?


This morning I came across a thread on the gaming forum NeoGAF that posed an interesting question: "What was the first game you actually found morally objectionable?" Let's talk this through. I'm curious to hear about the first game that truly disturbed you.

Let's do it like this, using one of my favorite games as an example we can all follow in the comments below:

God of War 3

The God of War series has always been insanely gory, even by modern gaming's supremely violent standards. But there was something about the way Kratos executed the bosses in that particular game that made me squirm. Like he was enjoying himself a bit too much when he gouged out someone's eyes, or chopped off their legs and watched them flop around helplessly on the ground. I guess I was supposed to be enjoying myself as well, which was the part that grossed me out.

Illustration for article titled The First Game That Truly Disturbed You

Now: the God of War example is an aesthetic question as much as an ethical one. Games can be morally objectionable for plenty of other reasons. Tomodachi Life offended many gamers in the U.S. because Nintendo wouldn't allow people to have gay relationships in the game. At least one critic despised Dark Souls because he thought it was offensively long. Almost 80,000 people joined together in protest against SimCity's always-online requirements back in 2013.

In other words: feel free to take this question in any direction you'd prefer. And remember to have fun!

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq.


Gore? Blood? That never disturbed me.

Psychological horror dealing with child abuse, suicide, cultism, drug use, sexual identity, self-loathing, parental weakness, isolation, and other heavy issues?

THIS game, and this series, was the first to truly disturb me.

Pyramid Head may not be as violent as Kratos... but he represents something far more disturbing than any head-rip or decapitation ever will.