Games are harmless fun. But some countries really, really hate harmless fun. So much that they’re prepared to go nuclear on them. In this listicle, we bring you the top 8 games banned around the world for the weirdest of reasons, and the countries’ rationale behind banning them.
1. Minecraft (Turkey)
We know what you’re thinking, how the hell did a game like Minecraft, so perfectly innocent and kid-friendly. Aaaaand yet the Great Turkish Nation, under the ever-wise leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, banned it anywho. Apparently, the game teaches kids that killing animals and chopping down tress are alright. Okaaaaay.
2. Mass Effect (Singapore)
Mass Effect is a wondrous sci-fi RPG where you gallivant through the Milky Way and fight Technicoloured enemies. But the most pivotal decision of the game is when you choose… who to sleep with. Whether male or female. Well, Singapore didn’t really like the idea of same-sex relationships, sooo… you can guess what happened.
3. Football Manager 2005 (Mainland China)
Football Manager 2005 got a Great Wall of China dropped on it when it listed Tibet and Taiwan as playable teams independent of the People’s Republic. Naturally, being the single largest market for products in the world, the developers acquiesced and made a version without them to appease the Chinese authorities. Sell-out.
4. Injustice: Gods Among Us (UAE)
Forget about its incredibly violent content, the UAE’s National Media Council only cares about the subtitle! Apparently, in order to prevent blasphemous… er.. jawn… everything with ‘God’ in it (excluding the Holy Quran, of course) must be mercilessly banned.
5. God of War (UAE)
6. ESPN Sports MMA (Denmark)
This fighting simulator is banned in Denmark, but not because of its violence. No, the Danes are most anal about the PRODUCT PLACEMENT. Apparently, Danish law strictly forbids marketing of energy drinks, and just one single instance of such an advert in the game got the ban hammer slammed down on it.
7. Counter-Strike (Brazil)
Counter-Strike is a game you’d normally expect to be banned over its violence or even annoying 13-year-olds constantly making insufferable bon mots about someone or other’s mother. But Brazil was pissed at Counter-Strike for another reason: its portrayal of favelas. Rio’s (in)famous slums being in the game caused quite the kerfluffle amongst Brazilian political honchos, and got the game taken off of shelves. However, in 2008, the game was once again imprimatured and allowed to be sold freely.
8. Any video game where you can shoot people (Venezuela)
His Excellency El Presidente Chavez issued a statement saying violent video games (which apparently includes Super Mario as it lets you throw fireballs at people) were ruining the morals of and had irreversibly poisoned the Venezuelan people. Of course, no one gave a damn, and black market sales of pirated games continued as usual.