For every kinder, gentler video game, there are still plenty of titles that take players to some pretty dark places. The Grand Theft Auto series has won notoriety for its violence (have sex with a prostitute, then beat her to death with a baseball bat!), but check out what lurks in these other popular games. Here's what your son, coworker, or the kid who mows your lawn could be doing in his spare time.
|Game:||Postal2||Outlaw golf 2||The Punisher|
|Maker:||Running With Scissors||Hypnotix||THQ|
|Actual Game Play:||Pour gasoline on a black policeman. Set him on fire. Urinate on him to put out the fire. Then shoot him.||Beat up your caddy — varying from scantily clad lass to S&M bondage guy. When one character scores a birdie, her celebration includes hooking a car battery to her caddy's nipples.||Throw your enemy into a wood chipper, stuff him in a casket with a grenade, or hold his head under a drill press. Use torture to extract information without killing your informant.|
|Actual Company Justification:||"Our criteria: Is it funny? Does it make you laugh?"||"We just try to figure out what the weirdos who buy our game want to see next."||"These things have all been in Punisher comics. We're staying true to the character."|
A version of this article appeared in the May 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.