Recently I was at a 2nd and Charles perusing the used game section when I came upon Catherine. If you’re not familiar, this is a well respected puzzle-platformer that I heard about on an episode of the Completionist. Priced at $10, I was tempted to pick it up, but hesitated because…well…I mean, just look at the cover art of this game. It looks like a porno.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an article about censorship or anything. I know the game is a quality one, and I’d still like to own it, but at that moment I just didn’t desire to go to the checkout register with it and only a single female employee working there. I was perhaps a little oversensitive about exploitation and should’ve just bought it, but it’s gotten me to thinking: have you ever not bought a game because you were too embarrassed?
There are many reason you might be too embarrassed to purchase a game today. Perhaps it’s too violent…or too graphic…or too childish? American culture today is a backwards one. I can’t envision any scenario where violence or gore would prevent a purchase. A zombie game is certainly no problem. I can’t think of any really violent cover art off the top of my head, but we’re so desensitized to it that it’s hard to deny that hundreds of titles feature gun-wielding protagonists. But some boobs? For shame!
What about kids games? While I might be a little shy to buy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, it’d be too easy to make a passing comment like, “I’m buying it for my daughter.” Done.
But what about sex? Is the image of a a blonde disrobing enough to just go on Amazon and buy this one? If not, what about Lollipop Chainsaw, Bayonetta, or Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball? You’re probably shaking your head no. Then what is it? Maybe simply buying DDR or Zumba Party Fitness does it for you? Did all of the news about Grand Theft Auto IV or V preclude you from making an in-store purchase? How about Sonic ’06?!
I never expected it to happen, but it did. The next time I went I decided I was going to buy Catherine after all, but sure enough it was gone. Whoever it was, they were braver than me.
Have you ever hesitated buying a game because of the cover art or because it was the subject of controversy? Comment below and let us know!