DigiFX Interactive / Merit Studios
Genre: Horror Adventure
There are plenty of gaming discussions and topics that grab my attention and engage me, but few really stoke my fires like video game controversy and censorship. I’ve definitely hinted as to how much I love exploring the how and why of a lot of these actions (see my article on Night Trap for a sample taste of that) come to be. Even better, I love hearing the voices of the creators on these matters.
Once again, I dip my toe into a game that fought censorship and bred controversy in its day with Harvester. When Harvester released back in 1996, it shocked plenty of people with its claims of being ‘the most violent adventure game of all time’. Given its place in electronic history, I could maybe see where its claim could be valid. There was a lot of competition to push boundaries while balancing interesting gameplay not only to ‘stick it to the man’ but to also promote commentary on what was acceptable in video games and film at the time. According to Wikipedia, Gilbert P. Austin who wrote and directed the game said that he wanted to use Harvester to explore whether violence in the media created violence in real life. Sounds oddly familiar, yeah?
This brings a few questions to the table then: did Harvester achieve what Austin was looking for? Were the shock and awe worth it? Above all else- is Harvester even a good game?
Well, I’m glad you asked! Continue reading