When people think of video game bans, they automatically consider the violent ones: Manhunt 2, Grand Theft Auto, and Carmegeddon. Yet not all games are banned for such obvious reasons. Some countries take a disliking to certain games because they in some way cause offence, or are deemed to promote opposing ideals. Others because they’re just downright stupid. We’ve done the research, and collected 10 games that were banned from all over the world for bizarre reasons.
Where: Saudi Arabia
For most, Pokemon is a light-hearted, enjoyable role-play game, in which players can build a team of cute ‘pocket monsters’ and battle them out with other trainers. With unlimited uses of PokeCentre facilities and the ability to take proper care of your friendly animals in later editions of the game, it’ a happy game to play. Your Pokemon grow and evolve throughout the game, and you progress as a trainer with them. But not every country sees it this way.
Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa (a ruling in the name of Islamic Law) on Pokemon in 2001, which was recently renewed with the release of Pokemon Go. The ban was put in place due to the perceived gambling that the JRPG promotes, as well as its evolution mechanics supposedly representing Darwin’s famous theory, ideas rejected by Islamists. The Trading Card Game was hit even harder by the ban, as the small symbol found on electricity cards too closely resembled the Star of David, an apparent attempt at Jewish propaganda. Who ever knew Pokemon was so deep?
9. Command and Conquer: Generals
Like in all real-time strategy games, a lot of places are destroyed in Command and Conquer: Generals. The seventh instalment in the series has players setting up bases, collecting resources, building armies, and then using all of the aforementioned to destroy enemies. The U.S and China are allies in the game, fighting against the Global Liberation Army, so inevitably, as war goes, some of their own men are killed and cities decimated. Except one of them didn’t like that.
China issued a total ban on all Command and Conquer: Generals games since the original in the sub-series, and for several reasons too. After the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is taken over by enemy forces, players are made to destroy it. Obliterating the Three Gorges Damn is essential also, as it floods enemy forces. And then there’s the small issue of the whole of Beijing being incinerated by nuclear weapons. It’s safe to say none of this went down well, but it still didn’t stop the country being represented in future instalments.