The Marathon Attack Inspired the Worst Video Game of All Time

Graphic depictions of recent violent tragedies do not a good time make.

While America has long debated whether video game violence inspires real mass killings, rarely do we as a society debate the issue of whether real mass killings should inspire violent video games because … ha ha who thinks that a recent tragedy is ripe material for a video game? Oh, the makers of “Boston Marathon – The Video Game!” that’s who.

“Boston Marathon – The Video Game,” sample gameplay of which has been uploaded to YouTube and is attracting outrage on web forums like Reddit and in various news outlets this week, is an NES-like interface in which a marathon runner jumps over pressure cooker bombs that approach him from the right side of the screen. If the marathoner finishes the race, he’s told that he has “willed those asshole terrorists to stop terrorising [sic] forever!” which means he can “have sex with Obama’s wife. America forever.” (Class act, this video game designer…) If the marathoner doesn’t jump in time and hits a bomb, an incredibly gruesome and horrible image of his injuries pops up.

We’re not even going to embed the video of the game because we just don’t really recommend you watch it. Actually we’ll go so far as to suggest that each time you watch this video, somewhere in the world, a kitten dies. Don’t kill Snowflake. Instead, to give you a sense for how the game feels, here’s one of the least offensive screenshots we could capture:


We reached out to the YouTube account that uploaded the video, SonSukka, which lists itself as Finnish. In the comments, the user says, “We made this during the last weekend and wanted to get it out while the incident is still fresh and people haven’t still forgotten about it,” adding in the video description: “Yup, there goes my Boston Subscribers.”

Yup, indeed. The videogame itself is hosted on the website, which is no stranger to inflaming outrage. With that in mind, we recommend some vigorous head shaking and sighing in response to this, but we’d caution against too much passion or anger. Trolling those affected by tragedies in the form of videogames isn’t entirely new—there was a Columbine video game after all*. Your fury  just empowers people who seek to exploit situations where they can cause the most offense. But boy, did they settle on a situation ripe for offense. God almighty, this is despicable.

*A commenter argues that the motivation to make the Columbine game differed from the trolling that’s likely inspired these creators. As ever, Wikipedia has a decent summary of the controversy over it.