In 2006 it was Danny Ledonne's thoughtful, yet highly controversial Super Columbine Massacre RPG which sparked outrage among politicians and pundits.
Last year it was the appalling V-Tech Rampage.
Will The Torture Game 2 be this year's controversial amateur game?
MSNBC's Winda Benedetti writes about The Torture Game 2 this week. The online-only affair is available for free on Newgrounds and other sites:
...it’s a computer game in which you, the player, are asked to do horrible, unspeakable, and totally sick, sick, sick things to a defenseless man-like person tied up in some dark room from which he has absolutely no hope of escape.
...this dangling ragdoll offers you a canvas to do with what you will — stab him with spikes, flay the skin from his body with a razor, pull his limbs off with your bare hands, paint him every color of the rainbow.
Benedetti admits to being troubled by the game, and sought out its creator, 19-year-old Carl Havemann of South Africa, who told her:
I never thought of it as a stress reliever. The only thing I meant it to be was something simple and pointless meant only for entertainment... You're supposed to make anything you want out of it... I don't mind people disliking my game, but some of them are too serious about something so simple and basically meaningless.
Likely to add to any eventual controversy is a feature which allows players to customize the face of the torture victim.
GP: Just as they have with SCMRPG and V-Tech Rampage, it seems inevitable that political figures will point to The Torture Game 2 as a justification for legislating games. However, non-commercial products like these are beyond typical legislative attempts, which focus on ratings and point-of-sale.
UPDATE: Fox News did a piece on the Torture Game...