L'Histoire des jeux vidéo polémiques - Volume 1: Jeux de course/action et jeux érotiques Benjamin Berget - 2013

History of videogames (focused book)

L'Histoire des jeux vidéo polémiques - Volume 1: Jeux de course/action et jeux érotiques

Author(s) : Benjamin Berget
Editor : Mon Petit Editeur
Publication date : 09-27-2013
Language : french French

A series of books dedicated to videogames considered as controversial due to their content: violence, sex, promotion of an ideology. This first book in the series is dedicated to two kinds of videogames: car-action games (Death Race, Carmageddon, Grand Theft Auto) and erotic games (the Atari 2600 games by Mystique, Rapelay, Singles, 7 sins, Playboy the Mansion...). Each title is discussed through a variable number of pages, from one or two pages to more than a dozen depending on how much the author wants to discuss the game and its controversy. In addition to the game presentations, the books features three additional and very interesting chapters: a very detailed and referenced summary of the crusade started in France by the association "Familles de France" against violent videogames (undoubtedly the best chapter in the book) ; a similar (although less detailed) summary about the topic of sexism in games and about the french controversy started by Joystick magazine due to one of their article about the game Tomb Raider (2013) which was discussing rape in a very "indelicate" manner ; and two interviews. The first one is a short interview of an otaku who apparently used too much pornographic manga and videogames. The second one is a very detailed and passionating interview with Bart "Shane Fenton" George, one of the best specialist of videogames related media controversies in France.

The topic addressed in this book is rich, complex and sensitive. Some part of the book are very good, while some others are way too short or not in-depth enough in comparison (Death Race, Carmageddon, the "erotic games" sections...). For example, the author doesn't really discusses Carmageddon, while this game and its controversial commercial release was directly responsible for setting the rules used to rate videogames violence for the whole United Kingdom. But the topics that the authors really dug into (the Shane Fenton interview, the "Familles de France" chapter, the GTA chapter...) are excellent, and a good reason alone to read this book.


Keywords : violence, sex, polemic, politics, grand theft auto, rapelay, familles de france, shane fenton