VGC Top Ten: Best Videogame Conspiracy Theories

by Stephen Kelley, posted on 11 April 2010 / 62,073 Views

tinfoil.jpg picture by spdk1

 

Conspiracy theories are everywhere whether it be 9-11 truthers, JFK assassination theorists, or even health food companies. Since we are a videogame site, I’ve rounded up ten of the zaniest, goofiest, and possibly weirdest conspiracy theories out there in no particular order. Maybe we can see a shred of truth in them.

 

 

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Sony can control all PS3s remotely


Remember back in March when nobody could access their PS3 games for a few days due to date issues within PSN? All it took was one angry fan trying to figure out what was going on to create a conspiracy theory. What it boiled down to was since all the PS3s in the world supposedly stopped working at the same time, then mysteriously started up again at roughly the same time, Sony must have a “Big Brother” switch wired in to monitor what we do on our PS3. The real reason for this bug was revealed to be a hardware internal clock, which thought it was a leap year, but that doesn’t stop folks from assuming the worst.

 

 

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No PS2s at Christmas due to Iraqi mass purchase


Hot on the heels of the wild story involving Saddam Hussein planning to buy up PS2’s to launch nuclear missiles; word began to spread of another Iraqi plot on our livelihoods that seemed to confirm this rumor. Suddenly headlines began to spring up reporting that a secret Defense Intelligence Agency report stated that as many as 4,000 PS2s had been purchased in the United States and shipped to Iraq in the last two to three months of 2000. Not only did this cause the shortage of PS2s over that particular holiday season, but with the right know-how Saddam Hussein could build a crazy super-computer for his nukes. By buying Playstation 2’s rather than PCs Saddam could pass through UN sanctions as the PS2 was seen as a gaming machine rather than a computer. Sadly years of watching the movie Wargames were put to bed when reality set in. Not only would someone have had to create some unique software to run the PS2 processors, but developing such a program would have taken at least a few years.

 

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Wii naming was a publicity stunt


Not everyone was thrilled when Nintendo unveiled the now mega-hit Nintendo Wii and its branding. Once called the “Revolution” the system was seen as a war cry to the other systems, a system that would change the way we play games. The name it was eventually given – "Wii" - was immediately likened to what one would call a flaccid penis rather than a game system. Up until right before launch, there were many folks out there dying of disbelief. These folks believed that the whole “Wii” name was a huge publicity stunt and the system would return to the more fanboy-friendly “Revolution” just in time. This is the age of viral marketing after all, and what better way to gain publicity with a silly fake name? Many years later and my system is still called the Nintendo Wii, sorry tin foil hat brigade.

 

 

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Game systems purposely holding back production to make demand larger


This one is an “oldie”, but a “goodie”, and it involves pretty much any gaming system that becomes so popular that it sells out at some point. Without understanding how production contracts work, many jump to the wild conclusion that “Company X is purposely holding back production to make demand larger, that way it can keep in the news.” While many game companies may like the added attention that the media gives with a shortage, let’s be realists here. Game companies want to make money. Rather than have a billion unwanted systems sitting on a shelf, many companies make contracts, forecasts, and plans to accommodate a certain projected sales. If the system does better, they can’t really go out and make the factories work better, or divert money to speed it up. So while it may suck trying to find a “sold-out” game system, common sense will tell you that a conspiracy is off the cards.

 

 

http://blogs.technet.com/blogfiles/jbuff/WindowsLiveWriter/IamgoingtomissHDDVD_BD46/HD-DVD%20RIP%20tombstone_2.jpg

Microsoft trying to sabotage new formats in favor of digital downloads


This conspiracy comes all the way from the mouth of Michael Bay, film director behind films like the Island, Pearl Harbor, and the Transformers films. Michael bay was all on board for the HD-DVD format in its battle with Sony’s Blu-Ray technology. Confused by the apparent failings of HD-DVD Bay began to spout off a few classics such as these two that were posted in the New York Times:

“What you don't understand is corporate politics. Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about”.

And…



"That is why Microsoft is handing out $100m checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu-ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth."

Time has told, and it seems that Blu-Ray has beaten this conspiracy.

 

 

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Microsoft delays on PC in order to support consoles


PC gamers are not left out in the zany conspiracy forum, many citing the rise of the console as proof that the conspiracy exists. At the Game Developers Conference a few years ago Randy Stude, the president of the PC Gaming Alliance gave the following interview with VideoGamer.com criticizing the lack of support from Lucas arts with the PC version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed:

 

“In the last several years there have been at least 100 million PCs sold that have the capabilities or better of an Xbox 360. It’s ridiculous to say that there’s not enough audience for that game potentially and that it falls into this enthusiast extreme category when ported over to the PC. That’s an uneducated response. LucasArts hasn’t made a good PC game in a long time. That’s my opinion. They make some pretty good games for the Wii, you know those little sticks you wave in the air, that seems like a natural fit for a lightsaber game, sure. But I think the last good PC game they made was probably Jedi Knight 2, and even their strategy games weren’t that great. So I can understand why they would make that call.”



This mentality of being under-siege by consoles has lead Stude and the other members of the PC Gaming Alliance to propose that gaming delays on the PC are there for the sole purpose of killing PC sales in favor of console sales for the X-Box. Some have theorized huge money transfers, and other shenanigans to keep PC gamers in the dark. Of all the conspiracies on the list, this seems the most plausible despite the evangelistic method its proponents are spreading it.

 

 

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Game companies using DRM to push for consoles


Much like the above conspiracy, many have the feeling that game companies are willingly frustrating PC gamers with intrusive Digital Rights Management programs to make them burn out and switch to console games. Many simply feel these companies that make bad DRM schemes must be doing it on purpose because nobody would willingly screw a game up like some games have been with DRM. This rumor began to spiral out of control recently when Ubisoft’s DRM verification server went south leaving many folks with legitimate games in the cold, while pirates gloated about their lack of issue. As with above, I feel that there is a small sense of PC elitism fueling the claims

 

 

bricked-wii.png picture by spdk1

Game companies killing systems on purpose with updates


This theory sprang up a few years ago when Sony sent out a bad patch that effectively “bricked” any PSP system that it was added to. The very vocal crowd that got slammed insisted that it was a punishment for illegal activity on the system, and they were getting their rights crushed. Same thing happened with the Nintendo Wii not too long ago with a firmware patch that removed Homebrew programs and locked up many consoles. This is yet another conspiracy that seems to have some truth to it and no company has come up to deny it.

 

 

hulu-logo.jpg picture by spdk1

Hulu blocks the ps3 browser because of Microsoft


Not too long ago Sony updated their internet browser, suddenly opening up a fresh new wave of content that could be accessed on the PS3. BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and a host of other video streaming websites were suddenly free for the picking until Sony updated the browser once again, removing the functionality. Many began to theorize that Hulu threatened to sue them, or that Microsoft gave Hulu money to block them and a slew of other theories. Time will tell why this happened, but one can only assume that some deal is coming in the future.

 

 

babypalsds.jpg picture by spdk1

Nintendo DS game has subliminal Islam message


Sadly intolerance rears its ugly head many times in many situations and videogames are not immune to this. In our time of sensationalized reporting on terrorism by the media, all it takes is one unfortunate sound bite to make folks terrified of pretty much anything.

“Months ago, Rachel Jones was shocked to discover her 4-year-old's baby doll seemed to have a hidden message: Islam is the light. Imagine her surprise when a game for her 8-year-old daughter's Nintendo DS had the same message. Rachel said she bought the Nintendo game Baby Pals as a gift for her 8-year-old daughter after a good report card.”



This news story created quite a stir and had Christian groups up in arms against Japanese toy makers. The actual sound clip was basically a bunch of random noises that sort of sounded like what the lady claims if you are listening for it. Here is a news report based on the doll that had the sound the game later shared. Decide for yourself what it says:



The sound in question is actually a stock sound that a company created for use in toys and games, much like a company that creates stock photographs. Sorry folks, Nintendo does not promote a religion in its toys.

 

 

 

 

Well there you have it. With nuclear PS2s, surveillant PS3s, and the odd exploding Wii, it's probably not safe to play games anymore. You better put on your tin foil hat and live in the woods. The safe safe woods. Nah maybe not!

 

 


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24 Comments

ScuubyT (on 26 April 2010)

Yeah, Hulu's contracts with their content providers explicitly keep them from allowing the content to be played on a TV. Hulu is blocked from any piece of hardware that is intended to play on a TV as long as Hulu knows about it. Don't forget, Hulu is owned by the content providers...they don't want you watching ad free shows on your TV.


Reasonable (on 13 April 2010)

I think MS is pushing for more 360 only titles though, with Gears 2 still not on PC and Alan Wake for PC dropped, so that's not really a tin foil theory as a clear intent publicly declared. Love most of the rest, though.


Aprisaiden (on 13 April 2010)

Well while most of those are false - some are true. - Nintendo kept Wii supply levels low for a long time, as it doesn't take 18 months to increase supply (though it was less about money making and more about Nintendo's fear that Wii demand would dry up) - Microsoft did subsidize HD-DVD players and offer movie studios (warner bro's) financial incentives to support HD-DVD despite blu-ray's dominance - Also while using the PS2 to launch nukes is a stupid thing to do, it is possible. I mean look at the computers used during the cold-war (particularity with the space race) and tell me its impossible to do the same calculations using a PS2 with custom software... (even if any old computer would of been just as good, or better)


gaming_addict24 (on 12 April 2010)

Blu-Ray beats all!!!!!!


TC_Squared (on 12 April 2010)

LMFAO. Islam baby dolls... I love it.


hayeya_k (on 12 April 2010)

Microsoft Money Hatting reviewers and the Media, should be included there (Weither true or false)


Recon1O1 (on 12 April 2010)

Anyone who allegedly does not believe Ninty and now Sony have deliberately created supply constraints to boost demand is either horribly naive or 'in on it'. Zoran Industries is on the Blu-Ray support list. If Christopher Walken is C.E.O. I'll really be scared. M$'s 'Moneyhat Ninjas' was no. 11.


KingFate (on 12 April 2010)

Woah! That video is disturbing religious intolerance ftl.


Silver-Tiger (on 12 April 2010)

"Microsoft delays on PC in order to support consoles" That one is easily true. I mean, look at Gears of War 2 and Fable 2. The first games have been on PC so it would only make sense to bring the successors to the PC, too. And still, there is no GeOW2 and Fable 2 on PC. And all that just because of Microsoft so the 360 has more exclusives. If it comes to the developers, they would have brought out these two games already. After all, what's so bad about some extra sales on PC?


Kai Master (on 12 April 2010)

Sony can control all PS3s remotely : never heard of it ! No PS2s at Christmas due to Iraqi mass purchase : i didn't know it was fake!!! It was big news in France ^^ Wii naming was a publicity stunt : I was wowed and disapointed at the name too, but never thought it was a joke. Game systems purposely holding back production to make demand larger : ... a bit of truth sometimes? Microsoft trying to sabotage new formats in favor of digital downloads : not sure... But i'm sure DD is future, maybe BRD wil have a few golden years. Microsoft delays on PC in order to support consoles : ahah, I would say piracy -is- killing PC, that's why consoles have the wind in their direction. Game companies using DRM to push for consoles : that's just to fight piracy Game companies killing systems on purpose with updates : i'm sure it is true.


thismeintiel (on 11 April 2010)

Can't really call MS buying up exclusives a conspiracy, as its been proven true time and time again. Not that that includes all their exclusives. Also, I do agree with the two about ruining PC gaming to get people on consoles. Especially considering how console gaming has really blossomed these last 3 gens. Oh, and as open minded I am, that doll sure as hell sounded like it was saying "Islam is the light." Even if it doesn't it sure sounds close enough, and nowhere near enough like cooing, that if I was the company I would have changed it.


zarx (on 11 April 2010)

but it was proven that tin foil hats actually amplify the radio waves that the CIA (or aliens etc) probably no definitely use to read minds. http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/ That's right the CIA must have started the whole thing so they could read the minds of all the people that wanted to protect their thoughts. OMG RUN AWAY!!1!!!1!!@!


dib8rman (on 11 April 2010)

Yea, fun read. It does strike me as odd the author didn't put any Microsoft bought out ????... Maybe Microsoft paid him?


jdelanoy (on 11 April 2010)

Awesome article, man.


richardhutnik (on 11 April 2010)

Islama is alike?


spacemonkey086 (on 11 April 2010)

cool conspiracies bro


ghinasky (on 11 April 2010)

Nice one from Mr. Michael Bay. Of all the conspiracies here this probably got the electronics giants freaked out. Microsoft is a formidable political powerhouse. Look at all the companies that allied against Microsoft's plans. Blu-Ray Association Board of Directors: Apple, Inc. - yup first and foremost ^_^ Dell, Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company Hitachi, Ltd. Intel Corporation LG Electronics Inc. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Oracle Corporation Panasonic Corporation Philips Consumer Electronics Pioneer Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Sharp Corporation Sony Corporation - seating pretty here ^_^ TDK Corporation Technicolor S.A. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment The Walt Disney Studios Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Contributors Acer Incorporated Advanced Micro Devices Almedio Inc. Alticast Corp. ArcSoft, Inc. AudioDev AB BluFocus, Inc Canon Inc. CESI Technology Co., Ltd. China Hualu Group Co., Ltd. Cinram Manufacturing Inc. (previously General) CMC Magnetics Corporation Corel Corporation Cryptography Research, Inc. CyberLink Corporation DPHI - DataPlay DCA Inc. Deluxe Digital Studios, Inc. Dolby Laboratories, Inc. DTS, Inc. Eclipse Data Technologies Fraunhofer IIS FUJIFILM Corporation Fujitsu Limited Funai Electric Co., Ltd. Gibson Guitar Corporation Industrial Technology Research Institute Lionsgate Entertainment LITE-ON IT Corporation Marvell International Ltd MediaTek Inc. Mitsubishi Kagaku Media Co., Ltd. Monster Cable Products, Inc. Moser Baer India Limited NEC Electronics Corporation Nero NVIDIA Osmosys S.A. Paramount Pictures Corporation Pulstec Industrial Co., Ltd. RealD Ritek Corporation Rovi Corporation (formerly Macrovision) Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. Sensio Technologies Inc. Sigma Designs, Inc. Sonic Solutions Sunext Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd. Testronic Laboratories Toshiba Corp. Universal Studios Home Entertainment Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. Videon Central Visionare Corporation Warner Music Group Zoran Corporation General Members 1K Studios, LLC 3rd i Q.C. Inc. Adobe Systems Alpine Electronics, Inc. Aplix Corporation ashampoo GmbH & Co. KG ASV Corp. Avid Development GmbH Bang & Olufsen BASF AG BBK AV Electronics Brickbox Digital Media B.R. Productions GmbH CANVASs Co., Ltd. Custom Technology Corporation D&M Holdings, Inc. D-Box Technologies Daikin Industries, Ltd. DAT H.K. Limited Daxon Technology Inc dr. Schwab Inspection Technology GmbH Emfasys Corporation Expert Magnetics Corp Falcon Technologies International flag Co., Ltd Fujitsu Ten Limited Gear Software Inc. Displays & Technologies, LLC Global Machinery Gowell Electronic Limited Hie Electronics, Inc. IM Co., Ltd. Imagica Corp. Imation Corp. Info Source Multi Media Korea Intersil Corporation Kenwood Corporation Kenmec Mechanical Engineering Kobe Steel, Ltd. Lauda Co., Ltd. Lead Data Inc., Hsinchu Branch LEADER ELECTRONICS CORPORATION Lenovo LINTEC Corporation Magnum Semiconductor MainConcept AG MIT Technology Co., Ltd. Motorola MX Production Services MY EYE MEDIA LLC Myriad Group AG (formerly Esmertec AG) Naskercraft Inc. NEC Personal Products NetBlender, Inc. Newtech Infosystems Inc. NHK Media Technology Nichia Corporation Novatek NTT Electronics Corporation Omnibus Japan Inc. Onkyo Corporation Online Media Technologies Ltd. OPPO Digital, Inc. OPT Corporation Optodisc Technology Corporation Origin Electric Co., Ltd. Pico House Pixela Corporation Pony Canyon Enterprise, Inc. Q-TEC, INC. RayOne Inc Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Rolltech, Inc. (formerly VideAce) Seiko Epson Corp. Shenzhen Giec Electronics Co., LTD Singulus Technologies TEAC Corporation Teijin Chemicals Ltd. THX Ltd. Toei Video Co., Ltd. Toho Company, Ltd. Toyo Recording Co., Ltd. Trailer Park Trident Microsystems (Far East) Ltd. UmeDisc Ltd. Universal Music Group, Inc. Vinpower Digital, Inc. Yamaha Corporation Zoo Digital (Formerly ZOOtech Ltd.) This is "strength in numbers" redefined. Yes folks this is the future of Blu-Ray vs. digital downloads. Notice the other console company whose name starts with "N" is not on the alliance. All these company allied with Sony and Blu-ray. Royalties anyone?


TheTruthHurts! (on 11 April 2010)

A great list, some of those bring back some old and interesting thread topic discussions.


coolbeans (on 11 April 2010)

I expected to see more MS ones to be honest :P, bunch of other good ones out there.


radiantshadow92 (on 11 April 2010)

the remote control one really got me


KylieDog (on 11 April 2010)

Hulu commented on why the PS3 no longer works with it, the publishers of most of Hulus content did not want it accessed through TVs (and thus PS3s). They want people using HULU on PCs only for whatever reason. http://gizmodo.com/5315896/hulu-speaks-on-ps3-blocking-its-the-content-providers


alfredofroylan (on 11 April 2010)

You forgot the most famous, Nintendo and Gumpei Yoikoi accident. Even at this day some people think that Nintendo was involved in some way in that.


weaveworld (on 11 April 2010)

but... but... islam IS the light


sabestar (on 11 April 2010)

Some of these are hilarious, although I expected to see at least a conspiracy related to Microsoft spending cash to basically get anything (according to what fanboys say). It might be true or not but it is still a conspiracy lol.