Author Cites 26-year Old Title for Rape Scene in Game Violence Bash

A University of Calgary professor cites 1982 game release Custer’s Revenge in an op-ed piece about current video game violence issues for the Calgary Herald.

Author Tom Keenan is described as an award-winning science writer and professional speaker. That he may be, but his knowledge of the game space is clearly limited. His article focuses in part on the well-known theories of retired Lt. Col Dave Grossman, who coined the term “murder simulator” to describe the first-person shooter genre.

Keenan also touches on U.S. Defense Department recruiting game, America’s Army. But it is his remarks about Custer’s Revenge that caught GP’s eye, particularly in a time when video games have been wrongly accused of including interactive rape by prominent political figures in the United States (see: Rape in Video Games? Top Aide to Boston Mayor Says Yes at Legislative Hearing) and Great Britain (see: Video Games Linked to Rape in Parliament Debate). Here’s what Keenan wrote:

You won’t see strippers suddenly appear [in America’s Army], or be encouraged to rape a virtual character, as happens in the hideous Custer’s Revenge game…

Cortisol is a naturally occurring hormone that’s related to stress, so the researchers claim their technique can “cut stress off at the pass,” at least for some people.

Unless of course, you’re busy playing America’s Army or, even worse, Custer’s Revenge. In that case, you’re on your own to manage your stress.

Playing Custer’s Revenge? Who can even find Custer’s Revenge, much less play it? The game was released 26 years ago by a publisher that no longer exists for a console that you might be able to locate on Ebay if you searched diligently.

Judging by its Wikipedia entry, Custer’s Revenge is surely a disgusting excuse for a game:

Custer’s Revenge (also known as Westward Ho) is a pornographic video game made for the Atari 2600 by Mystique, a company that produced a number of adult video game titles for the system. The game was first released on October 13, 1982 and has received significant criticism because of its crude simulation of an apparent rape of a physically restrained Native American woman.

Nasty business, to be sure. But as far as video games are concerned, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since 1982.

Most notably, the creation of the video game rating system now guides parental purchasing choices. Moreover, a game with an interactive rape scene would surely garner the retail-killing Adults Only rating. Additional factors preventing a modern Custers Revenge-like product include the entrance of increasing numbers of women into game development as well as the general maturation process of the video game industry.

That said, we don’t suspect that Tom Keenan is a bad guy, just badly-informed when it comes to games. It is distressing, however, to see this kind of nonsense regurgitated in a mainstream newspaper. Readership of such publications generally skews older. Misinformation like this simply tends to reinforce existing cultural stereotypes of gamers and their hobby as disreputable and depraved.

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  1. 0

    […] Permettez-moi encore une fois de cirer les pompes de GamePolitics afin de vous présenter le Docteur Tom Keenan, professeur d’université, journaliste, récompensé d’une floppée de médailles et de titres (dont celle “d’éducateur de l’année”). L’objet de ses recherches concerne la sécurité informatique, ainsi que les implications sociales de la technologie et son utilisation dans l’éducation. Non seulement c’est une pointure dans son domaine, mais en plus il est assez cultivé pour s’intéresser à d’autres sujets, et il est même capable d’utiliser ses compétences pour le bien commun. Ce devrait être un modèle pour moi, pauvre minable qui vient tout juste de décrocher sa thèse, et qui peine en ce moment à trouver une situation : post-doc, ATER ou, rêvons un peu, maître de conférences. Et “professeur d’université”, c’est la fonction au-dessus de maître de conf’, l’élite de l’élite, à laquelle n’ont accès que ceux qui ont leur habilitation à diriger des recherches, le plus haut grade universitaire. Ces gens-là réussissent à publier des articles dans des conférences ou des revues très sélectives, où seuls 20%, voire 10% d’articles sont acceptés, alors que des centaines sont soumis chaque année. Une pointure, je vous dis ! Un gars qui est habitué à publier des papiers hyper carrés et rigoureux, qui sont le fruit d’une intense recherche. […]

  2. 0
    Bearfoot says:


    The clueless will continue to beleive what they want too and those of us who know better really could care less, IMHO nothing to get overly upset about. Status Quo is normal.

  3. 0
    jccalhoun ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So this article has been up for a while and although I and I’m sure several of us submitted a comment to the website about this the only comments appearing are the 3 that were there when I first read the story.

    Clearly, the Calgary Herald don’t want people to know how inaccurate that op-ed is. They are simply more interested in sensationalism than accuracy.

  4. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Hehe. I wonder what Erzsébet Báthory’s brain scan would look like…


    Yeah, I see it too. For the moment, though, we have Jack’s insane trial to entertain us

  5. 0
    Conejo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    i’ve been thinking and this Custer’s Revenge thing is great.

    now they’ve set precedence for dredging up stuff that happened a while ago and is no longer relevant. i say we charge them with counts of violating the 18th amentment.

  6. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Elalonna

    I don’t take people seriously who start any sentence with “Like” or says at any point “My brother’s sisters friend” Also I just don’t trust politicians.

    @ Grizzam

    Yes well we don’tesent multi-billion dollar companies. And the vast majority of people under 25 can’t tell you how a vote in congress works, BUT can name all the songs and recite lyrics to them on the spot from that “Like, totally awesome band!”

  7. 0
    DarkSaber2k says:

    True, but what does that have to do with the fact that a group that wants money (or donations however you want to view it) from gamers to protect gamer rights never appears to do anything.

    Everytime junk like this is published we get a GP article saying it’s junk (which its readers already know), alot of people telling each other what they already know in the comments section and that’s it. No official debunking from the ECA, not even a little squeak from someone remotely connected to the organisation (unless GP counts).

    So the question is: If they aren’t refuting these rubbish claims in no uncertain terms whenever, wherever they appear and trying their hardest to get their refuttals into the mainstream media (which as I understand it was one of the reasons for it’s creation), what ARE they doing?

    All I see is a group grabbing glory for complete non-events. The ECA seems more concerned with getting Hal Halpins mugshot into any news source that matters once every couple of months or so.

  8. 0
    DarkSaber2k says:

    GRIZZAM 512:

    Exactly, although it doesn’t seem to stop the publicity loving head of the ECA getting his face into the news making some pithy statements he stole wholesale from various game forums. Why pay a group $15 a year to do a job we are already doing better ourselves?

  9. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Aliasalpha

    Bet the sales figures to this where nearly zip. Is it just me or do people forget it takes a lot more than a nipple or a side boob to destroy a young males mind, or even that it takes a hell of a lot more than seeing a boob to produce an offspring.

  10. 0

    […] Custer’s Revenge used to attack videogames: Wait, what!? March 22nd, 2008 | Category: Gaming News I’ve heard some pretty ridiculousness nonsense from public attempting to paint videogames in a poor light, but that is definitely in the top ten. Award-winning author Tom Keenan has decided to use Custer’s Revenge, a 26-year old videogame, to talk about contemporary day gaming issues. […]

  11. 0
    TBone Tony ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We (as gamers) have every right to be outraged when politicians could point out a game that is 26 years old as their proff that legislation is needed.

    We as gamers, must do what we can to fully explain how ignorant politicians are and why games these days have changed allot from what they were in the past.

  12. 0
    JustChris says:

    The fact that he had to go back all the way to the 80’s to refer to game of sexual nature shows that there aren’t any modern commercial (non-Japanese) video games that involve raping a woman, unlike some politicians would have people believe.

    If Custer’s Revenge made any impact on society we would’ve seen its effects 25 years ago, so you’re way late on this bandwagon.

  13. 0
    Lordwindowlicker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    To everyone who has said that the 2600 is not “8 bit”. Yes, it has an 8 bit MOS 6507 processor inside.

    So yes, the Atari 2600 was “8 bit”.

  14. 0
    Anonymous says:

    I wonder what they would say if they actually seen, and played that piece of crud.

    I not even sure I would call it 8-bit, would they take him seriously if they were to see the bootleg 70s-80s era Atari game’s “realistically detailed, graphic images”? It is awfully hilarious that is the only example he can provide!

    And like others have said, it is tame compared to the stuff churned out by Japan…

  15. 0
    Terence says:


    While you make a valid point, it still doesn’t say anything different about the videogame industry than the film industry, as far as I’m concerned. There are MANY rape scenes in quite a few CURRENT films out there, some grotesquely vivid and realistic, but of course listening to politicians and certain feel-good Canadian authors would have you believe that heavily-pixelated, archaic and outdated games with questionable content is more harmful than easily-accessible R and NC-17 rated films depicting horrific acts using real people as actors (instead of badly drawn in-game art tied to a historically-fictitious account of what cowboys probably really did to Native American women back in the day).

    Hmm, I think I lost my train of thought somewhere in that comment…

  16. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    I notice that at this point, a full day and more after the publication of that piece, there are still only 2 comments published on the Calgary Herald website. Having posted a comment myself I assume that there will be no updating, as is usually the way with tabloid website articles. Lest the reading public actually gain a fuller insight rather than the narrow preview of the rag’s editors.

    Game Over.

  17. 0

    […] GamePolitics brings our attention to an amusing op-ed piece about video game violence in the Calgary Herald. The article’s author, Tom Keenan, an “award-winning” writer and professor at the University of Calgary, targets the US Defense Department’s recruitment tool America’s Army and Custer’s Revenge — a game from 1982 (screenshot above) for its “rape” scene. […]

  18. 0
    Karsten ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t condone games that have rape in them, but like Manhunt and Condemned, I just don’t buy them. And yes, Phantasmagoria did have a non-interactive cutscene in it. I know some women games om different adventuresites that weren’t prepared for this, and after seeing this scene in Phantasmagoria couldn’t finish the game.

    The thing is though that while a game lile ‘custer’s revenge’ might not be made in this day and age, movies can still depict rape like in the French film ‘irreversible’ or the US film ‘accused’ (I think the name of the movie was accused, Jodie Foster starred in it…) I remember also seeing movies like Birth of a Nation, Soldier Blue(?), and some other movies showing women getting raped :( Normally, this happens in crime stories or the like.
    I remember seeing a movie with an ex-girlfriend once (about 10 years ago or) in which a rape scene :( clearly was depicted… And the Danish Director Lars von Trier showed a full blown rape in his movie *manderlay* as well. (i think he probably shouldn’t have – but that’s maybe another discussion…)

    And what about if you wanted to make a game in which the bad guy raped a woman. And you as the detecive have to find out who did it. Do you show the rape or don’t you? Personally, I find the way of the master, Alfred Hitchcock’s, is best. Just show untill – some part – then cut – then show what happened after the rape :( — the imagination will take care of the rest. But that’s just me.

    Apart from the fact? that this man clearly his misinformed, I think we need to discuss if (and when) videogames can (and ought) to include the same content as movies do ?

    I’m not so sure – personally…

  19. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 says:


    They never do a damn thing when this shit happens. The best thing done to defend games that wasn’t our effort was EA’s response to the Mass Effect thing.Yep. That’s it.

  20. 0
    jarrod ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    this game was created 20+ years ago it has no relevance to todays generation of gamers and developers. i would hardly call it a pornographic game either, just looking at the graphics, but i guess its the best they had back then.

  21. 0
    OtakuMan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Can we say Facepalm? Sure, I knew you could.

    I can’t believe someone would cite a game that old as RELEVANT!

    Please let me include a facepalm image here! PLEASE!


  22. 0
    DarkSaber2k says:

    To be honest, I’m more conerned about that fact the the ‘Gamers Champions’ the ECA aren’t refuting this crap whenever and where-ever it appears than I am about a mainstream paper regurgitating this crap.

  23. 0
    Gamer81 says:

    Dear Dr. Keenan,

    I have read your article “Teaching kids to kill” ( and wish to comment. First off, I find it odd that you mention the video game “Custer’s Revenge”, a game that was released back in the early 1980’s. In case you didn’t realize, we are living in the year 2008. We no longer have “Custer’s Revenge” so I don’t know where you get the notion that children today are playing this game.

    The second bit of oddity is how you use ex-Lt. Col. Dave Grossman as a credible source for attacking video games. Grossman is a proven liar and mental midget, having once called his own parents “criminals” without even realizing it! (His exact words were that violent video games should fall under the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, and anyone who gives a child a gun is a criminal. In an interview, he admits that as a child, he used to own a 12 gauge shotgun which he kept in his room, which I’m assuming his parents gave him and allowed him to keep since it was kept in his bedroom).

    This is not the only incident that exposed Grossman’s ignorance. Grossman once called Henry Jenkins, professor at MIT, a “prostitute”, alleging Jenkins had received money to speak positively about video games and oppose government regulation of them. Jenkins has said he never received money from the video game industry and in fact, has spent a great deal of his own money for his cause. Ironically, Grossman asks for a fee when presenting his views on violent media. The seMissourian newspaper stated that when Grossman spoke at Chaffee High School in Missouri, he was paid $3,500 by the local school districts and the Scott County Sheriff’s Department (check it out here: What kind of person asks schools to pay him money to tell them how “dangerous” video games are, and how getting rid of them would allegedly save lives? Maybe a “prostitute” like Grossman. If he has children’s and the public’s interests in mind, he wouldn’t do it for profit. But then again, not only is Grossman ignorant and a proven liar, he also would qualify as a profit seeking massacre chaser, waiting for tragedies to occur so he can jump on his soapbox and claim he is an expert in something he obviously knows nothing about.

    Grossman has tried to link every single school shooting to video games, including the shooting at Virginia Tech. A report released by Virginia Governor’s office found no violent video game play by the shooter, which corresponds to the statements given by the shooter’s own roommates. They stated they never once saw him play video games. An FBI search found no video games in the shooter’s dorm room. Grossman doesn’t care. He’s got a book to sell and money to make, which is why he has to lie. I wonder which video games Charles Whitman played when he decided to commit a school shooting in 1966 (when video games didn’t even exist). Leave it up to Grossman to come up with yet another lie about how video games were to blame, since Grossman has proclaimed that “every” school shooter played violent video games.

    Grossman also claims another school shooter, Michael Carneal, had previously never fired a gun before in his life, went into his high school and fired accurately at students. Grossman’s “psychic” claim that Carneal never fired a gun in his life was proven to be a fabrication. Dr. Dewey Cornell, a psychiatrist, interviewed Carneal and found out he did in fact practice using real guns prior to the shooting (check it out here: Grossman stated that Carneal had never fired a gun prior to the shooting, and proclaimed that as fact in his “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill” book you mention.

    Another individual who has debunked the “expertise” of Grossman is John Stossel of 20/20 fame. Stossel’s recent book “Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity” makes an example of the lies Grossman has told. Grossman’s theory that the military uses video games to train soldiers to kill was proven to be a lie when Stossel called the military and asked them about this. The military stated that simulators are used to build hand/eye coordination and teamwork. Period. Grossman has also stated that the Surgeon General said media violence is bad for kids. However, in the 2001 Youth Violence report, the Surgeon General stated “[t]he impact of video games on violent behavior remains to be determined.”

    As you can see from the above, you should look more into Grossman’s credibility before writing an article proclaiming him an expert at anything. If you call yourself a professional writer and speaker, I would suggest you, as the old saying goes, make sure you know who you are sleeping with before jumping into bed with them.

    Thank you for your time.

  24. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Elalonna

    I remember being raised a TV with little parent intervention, but I still took blame for the stupid crap I did. Surprisingly TV was a better parent than my birth parents. Besides those “Murder Simulators” Didn’t teach me how to shoot an assault rifle, the military did!

  25. 0
    Fuji2001 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    note: take what I am about to say with a tongue firmly placed into cheek.

    I got to thinking… How can this game properly teach our kids the right way to forcibly have unconsenting sex? For one, if the mark is conscience, then there is a whole lot of problems that are needed to be over came. Do you muffle the screams, tear asunder the clothing, use a knife to help get the point across? Not to even mention performance issues. Nothing is as embarassing as not being able to stand at attention when trying to rape someone. It’s just akward for everyone. Talk about a mood killer, “So, you going to rape me or just sit there and stay down?” it rude not to meet minimum expectations.

    Everyone knows the best way is to knock out the mark some how. How is thegame going to teach how much GHB is too much? Or everclear? How about slipping it into the drink without them knowing? Or the proper technique with chloroform.

    The majority of rape cases are done by someone the victim knows, what about that? How does it train you to be a cold heart stone hard rapist if you don’t have an emotional and interpersonal relationship with the mark. These are issues that no rape game has solved at all and I am disappointed. I demand a proper trainer for my kids!

  26. 0
    Lance20000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a sad thing to read. I live in calgary and its pathetic that someone in our university could be this stupid. I know that the UofC is not the best collage in the world but it still is a place of learning. When a Professor acts like this it drags the whole name through the mud. A sad, sad day to live in this city

  27. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Ebonheart.

    Sadly I have to agree with you there. Little Johnny or Jane can possibly be to blame! It couldn’t possibly be bad parenting! There’s no way! But wait, Johnny /Jane is a gamer! It must be GTA’s fault! And seeing as how it’s their ass on the line, Johnny and Jane wont see any reason to disagree with that…

    I’m really sick of it.

  28. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Elalonna

    Nah, I believe it’s the lack of accountability in the US.

    Surely it wasn’t that guy went out and bought a gun and 200 rounds of ammo to shoot up a mall, surely it’s the gun makers fault!

    Surely it wasn’t the kid who grabbed a shot gun and shot his friend point blank with a loaded shutgun, surely it’s GTA’s fault!

    Surely it was that kids fault who tagged the bomb spot with goatse, sick ****! I swear I hate you

    Surely it’s not the bullies at school fault that some kid defended himself!

    But if people took responcibility they would have to reap what they sowed. Off topic I hate the phrase that goes “Have you cake and eat it to”

    @ Grizzam

    Pixalated and badly shaded, badly draw and I could barely classify that as “sex.” Besides if thats “destroy the moral fabic of America” Lets put a ban on baby butts on TV thats real nudity. I’m serouse, I can’t be the only person who just showing off a babys butt isn’t alright.

  29. 0
    Ghost Coins ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So, a reputable scientist, known for through research comes across “Custer’s Revenge” after an article about the possibility of rape in video games occurs a few days prior. I am sorry GP, but I don’t see a “well, he’s probably not a bad guy, just ill-informed”. I see someone who is intentionally skewing information. Do not candy coat this horse manure. The man might as well pull out McCarthyism as to why Republicans are bad people, or point out how communist cultures are similar to the democratic party design, and therefore evil as well. He is educated, he looked for the worst case scenario, and he had to dig deep to find it. No, he could not snag hot coffee, he went for the gusto…from a decade of long hair, flock of seagulls, abba, and enough coke in corporate America to choke a heard of elephants. Very relevant by today’s societal norms.
    The thought of this man being referred to as a scientist is a farce.

  30. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 says:


    Yep. People freak out over the stupidest shit. Of all the things little kids could see, a pixelated titty is the most rediculous thing to freak out about.

  31. 0
    paul ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    what will it be next? Hmmmm, pong is evil because it has two balls?

    I mean for god’s sake, the game is 26 years of age, its nearly older than me!!!!

    Is the how they want to start pinning shootings carried out by people over 30 on games?

    The first poster had it right, this guy is a tool. Not because his view is against gaming, but because his research is PATHETIC.

  32. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Remember the Janet Jackson incident everyone yelling around going “OH MI GAWD A BOOB! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! IT’S DESTROYING THEIR FRAGILE MINDS!” Ok so what a boob, thats not what destroyed their “fragile little minds” it’s the fact their parents ran around concered over a boob where you really didn’t see anything.

    @ Elalonna

    “REALLY PIXALATED BEWBS!? AWESOME!” Also I don’t believe they’ll pick it up even if they had the chance first words out of there mouth is “It’s not 3D *%&# that!”

    Sometimes I believe that the news report fake crimes just to get a copy cat to do it for the real story sometimes. Besides I can’t wait for that fake story of some kid with a fake copy getting “caught” by the conveintly place and READY news crew.

  33. 0
    axia777 says:

    # chopperlink Says:
    March 21st, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Um….. Alright…. Why are people so deperate to make videogames look so evil?

    It is an election year.

  34. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Is any kid below the age of 15 going to be able to

    A. Have heard of it.
    B. Be able to somehow find it AND an atari that works
    C. Be able to pay for it.
    D. Play longer than 2 seconds
    E. Understand what’s going on with those graphics

    oh yeah, and purchase it for a reason other than to see that scene, and somehow hear about it without hearing about the rape thing?

  35. 0

    Who called it? Seriously, why the hell is this even being mentioned? It’s so hard to find and IF a kid found a copy, he or she would be bored within two seconds of playing it! The stupidity is so…overwhelming. I need to lie down.

  36. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How can he ask us to defend an unlicensed game that was around before some of us were even born?

    And how can anyone tell what was going on anyway if this was before 8 bit graphics? And where are you going to find a working atari 2600 and a copy of the game???

  37. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Loudspeaker

    Huh, I must be doing something wrog then, I’m dead from the shotgun blast the moment I spawn, then normally followed by tbagging and a 11 y/o screeching and questioning my sexuality.

    Hmm then again maybe thats the rape he meant to bring in. If so, I think I’m suppose to file a police report.

  38. 0
    Azhrarn, Death-of-Faxmachines says:

    Ok, so that “expert” pulled a game that was published when i was 1 out of its grave to use as “evidence” that games incite violence and deviancy?

    That’s indeed more than a little over the top. How desperate is this man, and secondly how bad are his internet skills, i can find 10 games with worse content than that in a matter of seconds using google. No need to dig up a game that was old before videogaming even had considered a rating system.

  39. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Guiguibob80


    That’s what makes me laugh when these guys bring up simulators. If Counter Strike is a murder simulater then I’m dead the minute I walk into any building due to headshot.

    This guy might as well take a scrunchy and a cucumber and call it a sex simulator.

    …Yeah I said it… A scrunchy.

  40. 0
    NeW SpEcTrUM ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thanks for saving me the trouble. I don’t condone this sort of game, regardless of age, but neither do I condemn it. People just need to back off and mind their own ****ing business.

  41. 0
    DarkTetsuya ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yeah I think he missed the boat on trying to bring that up for it’s ‘shock value’ … next thing you know you’ll be hearing about the ‘Obscene’ content in Night Trap, or Mortal Kombat (1) or DOOM (again, 1).

    So yeah it might take another 20 years just for them to catch up to us…

  42. 0
    CenturionRyan says:

    Bejebus, I wasn’t even alive when this game came out.

    To say that this man is beating a dead horse would be an understatement. More that he broke into the tomb of a 2000 year old horse with 20 others, then proceeded to bludgeon it with a crowbar.

  43. 0
    axia777 says:


    yes, to PC users who have the patient and knowledge to import them. Otherwise who plays them? There are none on consoles. And if you ask the average joe gamer about them they would have no idea what the hell you are talking about, though I imagine they would want to know after you told them.

  44. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Brian

    The point of that comment was because that’s really the only place you CAN find them, and unless you’re a dumbass that lets your kids waste your money on ebay, its not going to get into their hands that easy.

  45. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This guy needs to be slapped upside the head while getting yelled at in a Schwarzenegger like voice “WHAT’S DA MATTAH WITH YOOOOOU?!”

    I hope this was a bad case of satire…..

  46. 0
    Abadox50 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Custer’s Revenge? Are you frakkin’ serious? Gods, this really is the bottom of the barrel for the anti-game lobbyists.

    @Doctor Proctor
    Just read the wiki article. I find it ironic that in a film about sex and violence, the character of Hawkwood is played by Jack Thompson (the actor).

  47. 0
    nobeaner ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well that was a bad point to try and make with a 26 year old game. But if he wanted any recent titles he would have to look at the Manga/Hentai games coming over from Asia. Anal, bleeding, rape, etc… They aren’t mainstream but they are out there.

  48. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Bah! Sorry for the 3rd post accidently clicked submit.

    But, what do the video games train you to do? One shot, one kill, with bonus effects for head shots.”

    Doesn’t reality rewarding you with single kill shots to? Is’t the reward less ammo used? Complex problems don’t mean simple answers.

  49. 0
    Brian ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    An Atari 2600 is a system you might be able to find on Ebay if you search diligently? Funny I just typed Atari 2600 in ebay’s search engine, then clicked system in the results and 120 auctions came up. That sure was a diligent search. :rolleyes:

  50. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ mogbert

    Really a smurff game had unreported nudity?

    So I read his article, I find it funny, well this to be funny

    “In an interview with the Executive Intelligence Review, Grossman says, “Anybody who’s ever hunted with an automatic weapon, or has been in combat, will tell you that the natural thing to do is to shoot at your target, until your target drops, and then go to another. But, what do the video games train you to do? One shot, one kill, with bonus effects for head shots.”

    Who in the hell hunts with an automatic rifle? Can we say over-kill? Semi-auto yes. Anyways the “In combat the natural thing to do” Yes we call that a “survival instict.”

  51. 0
    Doctor Proctor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Fuji2001 —

    Dude, try Flesh & Blood…they’ve shown that on one of the movie channels I have quite a few times. It has a rape scene in it, and then basically Jennifer Jason Leigh is sort of held captive for the rest of the movie. It’s arguably a LOT worse than Custer’s Revenge due to the difference between 4-bit graphics and live action.

  52. 0
    jccalhoun ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s just sad.

    Everyone needs to go over to the website and leave a comment on how silly it is to bring up Custer’s Revenge.

    We all know it is silly, but without enough people pointing out how dumb it is the general public won’t know and the moral panic will just keep going.

  53. 0
    Anonymous United against JT member No. 1 (aka Prometheus) says:

    Wow… I mean… really… wow…

    Is it just me or posts more funny stuffs than comedy central and these irks? I mean seriously, I get more laughs out from this and JT articles than other comedies.

    BTW Custer’s Revenge is so totally ungodly rubbish!
    Yes, I’m unfortunate enough to play this game at me pals place.
    and we laughed hysterically like 5 to 10 minutes due to the suckiness of the game, and we just stopped playing the game.

  54. 0
    mechboy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So how long before people make a big deal over Custer’s Revenge and start demanding it be banned and pulled from store shelves?

  55. 0
    Cidas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Videogames truly did not become controversial until they became detailed enough to show explicit scenes of violence and adult material.
    Interesting read.

  56. 0
    Nick says:

    They really need to make an updated rape game with a laugh track. Regardless of the content, why not hold people responsible when they do something rather than allowing false excuses?
    Let’s just say a man listens to orson welles war of the worlds and then freaks out and kills his children claiming that he thought they were pod people, what do you do?
    A. blame him
    B. blame welles
    C. blame the evil radio industry
    D. b and c
    A man reads the bible and based on what he has read he decides that everyone at work is possessed by the devil. He kills them all. Who to blame?
    A. blame him
    B. blame god/bible
    C. blame satan

  57. 0
    Aliasalpha says:


    Actually, unless the Atari 2600 has a motion sensing device worn on the hips to detect pelvic thrusts(and such devices were I think pretty non existent then) then it simulates rape no more than GTA simulates murder.

    Well they could do that with the Wii. Basically make a straon dildo harness with a wiimote attachment. They’ve got the Wiimote, what would this be? Wiidong, Wiiknob, Wiischlong, WiiWii?

  58. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait, what? Is he saying Custer’s Revenge is a FPS too?!

    It’s better than many of those sleazy “first-person shooter” (FPS) games. You won’t see strippers suddenly appear, or be encouraged to rape a virtual character, as happens in the hideous Custer’s Revenge game.

  59. 0
    go fish says:

    26 years ago uhhhhhhh…wow
    they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for arguments this time

    im really ashamed that his last name is my first name
    im changing my name to something cool now like…….Altaïr

  60. 0
    Keenan.Beals says:

    Figures, he just has to have the same name as me. I hope he realizes that referencing something that out-of-date will negate the rest of his article, even if by some lucky chance he had any good points. Just more of the same it seems, people who want quick publicity will find it wherever they can.

    Why bother selling snake-oil when you can get the same results by writing a two page piece of garbage?

  61. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    Anyone who cites Lyndon LaRouche for anything has no argument in my opinion.


    Actually, unless the Atari 2600 has a motion sensing device worn on the hips to detect pelvic thrusts(and such devices were I think pretty non existent then) then it simulates rape no more than GTA simulates murder.

    And the game came out 26 years ago, I think a decade before the ESRB was even suggested, so yes, that is relevant.

  62. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Ok this guy is OBVIOUSLY misinformed. Yes, it is a game that includes “rape”. Look at what is in the game and tell me how you’d know that was rape. It’s less than 8 bit graphics. I don’t even think this is VGA. Native American? She’s the same skin coloring as Custer himself. Yeah… This is a huge stretch. On top of that we’re talking about a game 26 years ago before the term gamer even existed. Gaming didn’t really hit mainstream until the Nintendo Entertainment System. Yes, Atari was the pioneer, but at the time it was state-of-the-art tech and pricey to most.

    If this was 3D I’d give it some merit, but not with a poor quality 2D game.

    I was around when this was released and I didn’t even know about it until the GP article yesterday regarding rape in games and someone mentioned it in the blog.

    Hopefully this guy gets informed soon.

  63. 0
    JC ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, a good author jumps on the bandwagon to look like an idiot? I feel sorry for this guy, to look like an idiot in front of millions… it is just a wonder if he’s taken drugs or if he simply decided to not research for once because of a vision from the dope or something?

    Tom Keenan, I advise you to seek self-help and to retract your article before it becomes a permanent stain on your life. Otherwise, you’ll grow old and senile and wonder why people laugh at you for going mad and get put into a home.

  64. 0
    Skylar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have an original cartridge of Custer’s Revenge for the 2600, and it’s still in its fancy little case. I must be the devil…

  65. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, you have GOT. TO. BE. KIDDING. ME.

    It’s a freaking 4-bit game. Both in technology and in stature. Using a game that’s older than i am is NOT going make yourself look smart. Hell, the only place you can even find Atari console games anymore is on ebay. Literally. Unless your local speciality game store is some sort of uber-store, you’re not finding ’em there, let alone Mystique’s games.

    (I’m being serious about that, too. I’ve been to my fair share of game retailers that catered to retro titles and the like, and i’ve not seen one console or game that was released before the 8-bit era began. Not one. They had imported games and systems, [an SNES Fire Emblem, for example] but no Atari’s, no Commodore’s, no nothing.)

  66. 0
    DDview says:

    This just in…theft is now blamed on the 2600 game Adventure because the main character could use the bridge piece to break into a box and steal a dot!

  67. 0
    Doctor Proctor ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Bringing up Custer’s Revenge as an argument is like saying that only those 18+ should be allowed to buy cameras because someone took some nudie photos in the 1800’s.

    Atari didn’t require licenses, which led to a glut of garbage like Custer…AND it was before there even was a rating system, so it wouldn’t be covered under most legislation. This guy is just a fool…

  68. 0
    Thefremen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow. I’ve read this guy’s columns before, he also has covered the brutality of bare-knuckled boxing, racism against the recent wave of Irish Immigrants and even such recent news as the exploits of Odyssius.

  69. 0
    Grendal says:

    Really Custers Revenge? I mean if this was say 1983 I could understand the objection but it’s been over two decades since the games release, how is this in any way related to the current game market?

    Okay look I’m more than happy to have an actual debate with these guys on the merits of certain games. However it’s really hard to debate someone when all they do is use outdated data, or just fundamentally wrong data.

  70. 0
    KayleL ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Even when it was first released, you were lucky to find it in any store. If the store had it, it was hidden under the desk, and you were asked for ID before purchasing.

    You have better lucky finding real porn then finding Cluster’s Revenge.

  71. 0
    Benji says:

    The issue is that this writer is condemning the current video game industry for a game that was produced by a very different industry in a very different time. Custer’s Revenge could never be published today. So today’s proverbial VG industry sons shouldn’t be punished for the sins of, honestly, I wouldn’t even call it the fathers – more like the crazy drunken uncles that everyone avoids at family reunions.

  72. 0
    beacon80 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It DOES matter that it’s dated. This would be like amping up police patrols of a neighborhood because of a rape that happened 26 years ago, despite the fact that there’s been no rape reported in that area since.
    Let’s face it, if we’re going to acknowledge Custer’s Revenge as a valid argument, then it doesn’t matter what the video game industry does, because people will always be able to point back at this ancient game and say “Look, video games have rape in it!”

  73. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Okay okay okay. We were joking about this “game” in one of the other “OMG Vija gamez haz teh rape!” stories.

    Which one of you guys told this idiot about it? Come on, fess up now and we’ll go easy on you… Maybe…

    Joking aside: Custers revenge? CUSTERS FUCKING REVENGE???? Anyone else have the urge to find it on ebay, send it to this guy and say “Hope you can find something to play it on”?

    That or making a giant cardboard cutout of the alligators from Pitfall and then chasing him around making rather pathetic growling noises.

  74. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    PS : for those who want to email Tom Keenan personally. Beware, because there are many different Tom Keenans, so don’t pick up the bad one. From the description given in the Calgary Herald, I assume it’s this guy :

    There’s an email address on it. But if it’s the “good” Tom Keenan, please, PLEASE, let us all remain civil in our discussion with him !

  75. 0
    Quad9damage ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A bit of history: “Custer’s Revenge” and all the other Atari porno games were kept behind the counter in stores and only available to adults upon request. They also came with leather cases that could be locked to keep kids from playing.

    I know this based on what I’ve read and heard. The Playaround/Mystique series was 2 years before my time.

  76. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In a 2005 conference on pornography and prostitution, Custer’s Revenge was already mentioned ( ) :

    [Andrea Dworkin] “identified many modern examples of the racist misogyny of white men including the prevalent stereotype of American Indians as “unclean” and the video game “Custer’s Revenge” in which players score points for raping American Indian women.”

    But then, the subject was not video games, but pornography.

    Back to Keenan’s article, the big problem is that… it’s a bad article. First, he takes outdated examples : from “Custer’s Revenge” to “Duke Nukem 3D (the strippers mention), and even “America’s Army” is getting quite old. Second, he’s parroting sources that are not really the best ones. For example, Dave Grossman’s interview in Executive Intelligence Review, i.e. Lyndon LaRouche’s review. Third… uh, what was the point of this article, indeed ?

  77. 0
    Dave ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I remember when Custer’s Revenge came out. There were protests over it. You couldn’t get that game in most (if any) stores even then.

    And, oh yes, I was FIVE when it happened.

    If I can remember that non-event twenty-six years later, then what’s Mr. Keenan’s excuse for not remembering?

  78. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The Herald should be obligated to clarify the statements in this article. It is grossly misrepresentative of the current state of gaming, and should be acknowledged as such.

  79. 0
    Mark says:

    Not to defend him, but…the game does exist. Yes, he should have clarified that it’s a game that would be hard, if not impossible to actually find, however, it is a game that does simulate rape.

    It doesn’t matter that it is dated, blurry, and otherwise out of the mainstream, the fact is that the game does exist and it does have rape in it. Owning up to it and making it clear that such a thing doesn’t happen now is surely a better tactic instead of just saying “Bah, he’s so uninformed,” even if he is.

  80. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    Someone should leak a rumour that a mjor production company are going to start work on a port of Battle Raper and see how much idiocy arises.

  81. 0
    Salen says:

    Thats not under the bridge, thats water under the bridge, into the ocean, evaporated, rained upon the mountains and then under the bridge once more… 26 times over. Oy.

  82. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m actually surprised he didn’t whip out some hentai game or whatnot and use that for reference. Still, I think this is much more pathetic…wow…

  83. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    Wow. Someone found a game that promotes rape. Too bad we already knew about it and it is long dead.

    Now I encourage you to find one that has been released in major retailers in the last TEN years and then come back to me.

  84. 0
    RevenChrist says:

    Well said comment. this game was made before even the ESRB was formed to rate it. people need to forget what happened to videogames before it was even a profitable industry, hell this game was made before the Berlin wall came down!

  85. 0
    jab49 says:

    Haha, I remember seeing this game while link hoping on wikipedia. Aside from the fact it came out 6 years before I was born, have you ever seen a screenshot? It’s barely discernible, Custard is essentially a rectangle with a 1 pixel long line coming off it at a 60 degree angle.

  86. 0
    The_Peacemaker says:

    I literally fell out of my chair when I saw this. Damn this guy is diligent. I bet he knew that he was talking out of his ass when he made the allegation that games “lets kidz rape” and he shit a brick when someone called him on it. So like any good politician, instead of recanting his statement, he goes on a ‘fact finding mission’ to proof his allegation and guess what? He finds something. Kudos sir, Kudos…we shall now follow you because games promote rape.

  87. 0
    kaemmerite says:

    SERIOUSLY? Custer’s Revenge? That’s the best he can come up with, an Atari 2600 game that wasn’t even licensed?

    Custer’s Revenge is a repetitive one-screen game from what I’ve seen anyway. I doubt anyone would play it for more than about two minutes.

    I also like the fact that the graphics are so bad, that they have to say “apparent rape” because you can’t really tell what the hell is going on. XD

  88. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    It’s amusing that after everyone on this site commenting that the only game with rape in it that they could think of was Custer’s Revenge, that someone cites it a few days later in an article.
    It’s saddening that they can print that and not clarify that they’re talking about a 20-odd year old game.

  89. 0
    kurisu7885 says:

    Custer’s Revenge? Seriously? I’ve seen Legos that are more erotic than that. Not to mention as Dennis said, it’d be damn hard to find the console or the game would be damned hard, and no game like it has touched a console since. Hell, I don’t think any ROM sites even host it.

    By this man’s logic nowadays the consoles should have hundreds of such games available.

  90. 0
    Awol ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OMG they actually referred to this game? I wonder if they seen it! If you want to check out this game find “Angry Video Game Nerd’s” review of the Atari sex games.

  91. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m just going to go with “He’s a tool.” While he may not be required to do the research and can write what he wants, I’d like to see him open a dialogue with someone in the gaming industry to help correct his misconceptions. This is in no way related to JT and his requesting access to this site. I said start a dialogue, not yell and scream about things being unfair for no reason.

  92. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just… wow.

    We are talking about graphics so dated they probably wouldn’t need a pixilation censor for TV, since it wouldn’t really affect the picture. So are we going to bring back the Smurfs game for unreported nudity in a childrens game?

  93. 0
    DarkSaber2k says:


    I agree. But instead all we seem to get is Hal Halpin saying ‘I’M GREAT! LOOK HOW GREAT I AM GAMERS! I’M A GAMER TOO THAT’S HOW GREAT I AM! ME ME ME! WHEEE!’ etc etc (Exageration for comedy effect, but that’s how he comes across to me.)

  94. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Elalonna

    “no one seems to ever be concerned that games will erode a girl’s morals”

    Well those Harvard brain scans! They prove those morals are set in stone. Those Harvard brain scans! [Insert other false things attributed to] those Harvard brain scans prove it!

  95. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I wish we could do something. I’d make a big fuss myself and do something about it, but no one seems to ever be concerned that games will erode a girl’s morals. (That alone makes me madder than this Custer’s Revenge thing…)

    We need real refutations, and strong arguments. Real scientific studies, stricter analysis of supposed killer gamers. Comparing the violence levels of gamers and football players. Gamers vs. getting your phone/tv/internet taken away. Gamers vs. breaking up with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Ideally, all this and far greater exposure. Even then, there’s no guarantee.

    Whether you play a 360, ps3, pc, or the wii, we all need to be united on this.

  96. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Remember the Janet Jackson incident everyone yelling around going “OH MI GAWD A BOOB! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! IT’S DESTROYING THEIR FRAGILE MINDS!”

    The thing I found most amusing about that is that every single child who didn’t starve to death within 2 days of birth and wasn’t put on baby formula immediately has seen nipples.

    What might be interesting is to get the relese date of custers revenge and cross check the crime figures to see if there was a sizeable increase in sexual assualt cases in the months following release

  97. 0
    Ebonheart ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Karsten

    Personally the subject of rape hits very close to home, one of my sisters and my ex-girlfriend we’re raped. So the subject is touchy for me. Thing that glamorize them I have a large problem with. Thing is Custard’s Revenge has a “supposed rape scene” Few people can really say “It’s rape!” even then, is it really? Or is it glamorized BDSM?

  98. 0
    axia777 says:

    Jack Thompson has infected the minds of the public. He is a disease that has spread across the land like a plague. Las Plagas JT. I believe he was created by the Umbrella Corporation.

  99. 0
    Colonel Finn says:

    “Do we blame the government, do we blame ourselves? No! Blame Canada! Blame Canada! They’re not even a real country anyway!”

    etc.. etc..

  100. 0
    Elalonna ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, funny how a news crew is always there and ready to witness this sort of thing…

    Does it ever occur to anyone (to any non-gamers)that a kid might blame his crime on videogames to get a reduced sentence? Or his/her fifteen minutes of fame?

  101. 0
    Bill ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I believe Robert William’s (creator of King’s Quest) “Phantasmagoria” had a non-interactive rape scene in it. Not too sure how graphic it was but at least it’s more current than Custer.

  102. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    1. Make themselves look important
    2. Deflect blame
    3. Ask for money
    4. Because they can’t think of anything else that “corrupts” people
    5. They’re stupid
    6. They’re morons

    I could go on for quite some time.

  103. 0
    Guiguibob80 says:

    It’s like the guy who shows up the wrong day for a party, except this guy is 26 years late.

    And if playing FPS taught me one thing is how easy it is to be killed in a firefight. Not how to kill people.

  104. 0
    Jeremy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would like to say if he was looking for a rape game he should have gone to Japan, they have a few hentai games (even some that have been translated) that allow the player to “rape” a girl, of course the games are still frame sex scenes, they are cartoony, and last but not least most of them you die if you choose that option (one I remember has the girl beat the ever loving crap out of you and ends with you dying a just reward for such an act but thats my opinion).

    As for Custer Revenge, first off she is only restrained on the box art, if she is restrained in the game well you have to use your imagination to picture that since frankly she is more or less two boxes on a couple of rectangles for limbs. Second off that game was criticized when it came out and was hidden behind the counter as to avoid children seeing it, I truly doubt that any child from the 80s can even recall seeing that game let alone playing it (unless it was a lot later on). Claiming that game in current culture is like claiming Oedipus encourages our children to kill their fathers and marry their mothers.

    Let’s face it, another retard was given a voice in the media/world/whatever and when he spews crap out and gets called on it instead of being a real man he pulls at straws. (Actually thats not fair I should say another paris hilton brain sized individual instead of retard as lumping him in with the mentally disabled is an insult to them and their disability)

  105. 0
    vellocet says:

    It’s sad. This is probably going to be blown all out of proportion by the mainstream press.

    They care very little about context when it doesn’t serve their game bashing agenda. Someone claims rape in a game. Gamers say name one. They say Custer’s Revenge. Gamers say but that’s 26 years old! They say it doesn’t matter, we found one – and more than that my 11 year old was able to buy it easily on ebay without being carded… EVEN WORSE it wasn’t even rated by the ESRB! Down with the ESRB!

    I can just see it now.

  106. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yes, it did exist, but it existed before the ESRB even existed, and before the BBFC started to preside over Video Games, the fact is that its existence holds no bearing whatsoever on the modern Video Game situation, and had a game with the same theme been released today, it would not have passed classification. The article actively avoids making that clear.

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