1976 Greats #03 – DEATH RACE

DEATH RACE
Year:  1976
Platform:  Arcade
Developer:  Exidy
Genre:  Driving – Top-Down

06-DeathRace2How can you ignore this historic game? Definitely deserves its place among the legends.  Why?  Well, the purpose of Death Race was to run over as many people with your car as you could — naturally making it the first game to drum up controversy about the moral rot in videogames.

Tame by today’s standards, at the time it managed to begin the ever-present battle between violence in videogames and the uptight politicians trying to appear as upstanding citizens.  But I digress…  the people at Exidy said they weren’t trying to be controversial, indeed they had simply designed a game where they could use their existing inventory of driving cabinets.  And in so doing, Exidy discovered that controversy sells, proving the old saying “there is no such thing as bad publicity!”

To save face, a more tame description of Death Race emerged — basically that you weren’t running over people… they were Zombies (or Gremlins).  Poor Zombies… such misunderstood creatures… always getting beaten up, just because the don’t have any feelings.  Tsk-Tsk!   In the following years, Exidy continued to sell variations of this genre – such as “Demo Derby” where running over people became a much more “tame” crashing into other cars.

In any case, those who get the chance to play this game today still marvel at the screams emitting from the game speakers when they mow down their targets.  Such a sick & depraved generation!  C’mon!  You must strive to be more like those upstanding, moral and forth-wright politicians.

 

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