Web

Is this Charles Ramsey video game the worst thing on the Internet?

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 9.47.32 AMThe Internet can produce some pretty awesome stuff (especially in the realm of cat-and-puppy related things). But it can also produce the most effed up, tacky, disturbing stuff imaginable. And unfortunately, it seems like there’s an assault on common decency for every delightful video of otters holding hands.

What hath the Internet wrought this week? An example of the “awful” side of things: A new video game where you hurl hamburgers at a known sex offender. Recently, a remarkable situation in Cleveland made headlines when an eccentric man named Charles Ramsey freed a woman trying to escape from the home of his neighbor – and the woman turned out to be Amanda Berry, who had been kidnapped 10 years earlier. There were other women in the house, and they had all been trapped for years. Ramsey was feted as a hero and turned into a meme for his colorful way of describing the situation – and his funny turns of phrase and preoccupation with McDonald’s tempered the story with a dose of levity. The kidnapper, a man named Ariel Castro, was arrested, but his misdeeds were overshadowed by public fascination with Ramsey, who quickly got the auto-tune treatment.

Even though the kidnapping story is gruesome and terrifying, people got caught up in how funny Ramsey was instead of focusing on how the victims were or how this could have happened in the first place. And this video game really doesn’t help shift the attention back where it should be.

The game is called “Charles Ramsey Burger Bash” and you play the titular character. You don’t actually free any trapped, desperate women in the game – you just try to nail an avatar of Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped and tortured women with a cartoon hamburger. Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 9.47.13 AM

The game was created by NMA-TV, the same organization that makes those wacked out animated Taiwanese news summaries, and one of their slogans is “nothing is off limits.” They’ve previously done animations for the Joe Paterno scandal, and in one animation showed religious football star Tim Tebow nailed to a cross, with Jesus and Satan playing Xbox. So they’re not exactly new to messed up, controversial cartoons.

While the game does make fun of Castro, the fact that it’s turning this really harrowing, harmful, life-destroying experience for women into an entertainment makes it a pretty solid contender for Worst Thing on the Internet. Congrats, we might be witnessing a new low. 

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