THE TWELFTH NAY OF CHRISTMAS: STUBBS THE ZOMBIE

Bad For You’s special Christmas countdown of twelve of the weirdest, most outrageous, totally craziest bans, blocks, recalls and protests ever over toys. We’re not saying some of them aren’t earned, but do you think ALL of these toys are dangerous? 

WHY IT WAS FUN: Hey, everyone loves zombies – just look how many movies and TV shows feature the creatures. In this particular video game, the really cool part was that it turned the whole horror genre around by letting the player become the brain-munching monster, roaming the city, hunting humans. Stubbs was also one of the first horror games to use humor as part of the action – leading to what the game’s creator called “funny results.”

WHY IT WAS BAD: According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, Stubbs was encouraging cannibalism in kids! “It’s something we’ve never seen before,” NIMF told a crowd at their 2005 press conference to announce their annual “Games to Avoid” that year. Stubbs supposedly send “the worst kind of message to kids” and was “dangerous to your children’s health.” While the organization never had the power to actually ban a video game, for 15 years NIMF would post the list a few weeks before Christmas, hoping to scare parents away from purchasing them as gifts for their kids.Over a hundred video games made NIMF’s “Games to Avoid” over the years, some of which were super popular, including Doom, Grand Theft Auto and Halo. All these games mentioned so far were rated M for Mature. Which means they’re for 17-year-olds and not kids – so what exactly was NIMF so worked up about? By the way, the group dis-banned in 2009. Ho-Ho-Ho.

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And now that you know how dangerous toys can be…

 

HAVE A VERY WARY CHRISTMAS!

THE ELEVENTH NAY OF CHRISTMAS: EA SPORTS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

Bad For You’s special Christmas countdown of twelve of the weirdest, most outrageous, totally craziest bans, blocks, recalls and protests ever over toys. We’re not saying some of them aren’t earned, but do you think ALL of these toys are dangerous? 

WHY IT WAS FUN: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a brutal fighting game where players can pretend to punch, stomp, kick, knee-slam, elbow and karate chop the heck out of their opponents! But unlike the real cage matches the game is based on, if you get pounded by another player in this virtual world, it only pain you feel is your hurt pride.

WHY IT WAS BAD: Think it was banned because of its violence? Wrong. In Denmark, the marketing of energy drinks is prohibited, which just so happens to be the product heavily promoted throughout the game. But Venezuela did become the first country to ban all violent video games. Then-president Hugo Chavez called Nintendo DS and PlayStation “poison” (a different kind of toxic toy). PlayStation is also illegal in China. The Communist country believes its a waste of time (wonder what they think of Hula-hoops and Pokeman?).

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THE TENTH NAY OF CHRISTMAS: POKÉMON TRADING CARD GAME

Bad For You’s special Christmas countdown of twelve of the weirdest, most outrageous, totally craziest bans, blocks, recalls and protests ever over toys. We’re not saying some of them aren’t earned, but do you think ALL of these toys are dangerous? 

WHY THEY WERE FUN: There are now over 718 “revealed” species of the title “pocket monsters” franchise – which can also be divided up into “generations” of games. Think about it, the variations are almost endless. And yet, somehow, if a kid gets obsessed with them, they’ve got to try to complete the set – or in Pokemon parlance, they “gotta catch ’em all.” It becomes an all-consuming goal for a kid. It’s…addicting.

WHY THEY WERE BAD: Same reason. According to Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority, which issued the edict banning Pokemon games in 2001, they “possessed the minds” of young folks, causing them to “spend all their money to buy the cards and compete with each other to win more.” Well, duh – that’s the point!

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THE NINTH NAY OF CHRISTMAS: THE HULA-HOOP

Bad For You’s special Christmas countdown of twelve of the weirdest, most outrageous, totally craziest bans, blocks, recalls and protests ever over toys. We’re not saying some of them aren’t earned, but do you think ALL of these toys are dangerous? 

WHY IT WAS FUN: Just slip that hoop over your head and try not to rotate your hips. It’s irresistible! And it seemed especially so back in the fifties, when Hula-hoops were a top-seller and wound up under plenty of Christmas trees. Well, trees in this country.

WHY IT WAS BAD: Obviously, Hula-hoops were a “symbol of the emptiness of American culture.” Or so the former Soviet Union used to think (but aren’t hoops supposed to be empty in the middle?). Eventually, the Soviet Union collapsed and now little Russian children across the country can enjoy Hula-hooping. Let freedom swing! Its hips!

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THE EIGHTH NAY OF CHRISTMAS: HOMER SIMPSON DOLL

Bad For You’s special Christmas countdown of twelve of the weirdest, most outrageous, totally craziest bans, blocks, recalls and protests ever over toys. We’re not saying some of them aren’t earned, but do you think ALL of these toys are dangerous? 

WHY IT WAS FUN: It’s The Simpsons.

WHY IT WAS BAD: Because, as everyone knows, Homer Simpson is the ultimate promoter of “Western culture” – which is a terrible thing if you live in Iran (at least according to the country’s Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults). Barbie dolls are also banned for the same crime of promoting “Western culture.” Iran does allow Superman and Spider-Man toys into their country because superheroes help the “oppressed” (so, that part of Western Culture is OK).

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55 Days Until The Bad Begins!

519dWUo2avL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_It’s now less than two months until the release of Bad For You: Exposing the War on Fun. It’s a non-fiction comic chronicling the history of adult-led and kid-centered moral panics. Here’s the back cover text:

SHOULD U.S. COMICS BE BANNED?

“SATANIC” HARRY POTTER BOOKS BURNT

PLAYGROUNDS POSE THREAT TO CHILDREN

TEXT-MAD YOUTH LOSING WRITING ABILITIES

CHILD SUSPENDED FOR BRANDISHING CHICKEN

SOCIAL WEBSITES HARM CHILDREN’S BRAINS

STUDENT ARRESTED FOR “PASSING GAS” AT SCHOOL

These are all real headlines screaming about the terrible stuff that’s out there . . . stuff that’s supposed to be BAD FOR YOU. But, honestly—is it?!

Bad for You asks this question and many more—and not just about the things that modern parents fear like violent video games, social media, and dirty hands. Stuff in this book goes back centuries—all the way to Plato (yeah, that one) and his worries over the new “technology” of his time: the written word! Kevin C. Pyle and Scott Cunningham cleverly expose the long-standing CAMPAIGN AGAINST FUN for what it really is: a bunch of anxious adults grasping at straws, ignoring scientific data, and blindly yearning for the good old days that never were. Bad for You presents the facts, figures, and a whole lot more—in eye-grabbing graphics—to debunk these myths and give kids the power to prove there’s nothing wrong with having fun . . . or with being young.

PRE-ORDER NOW and be the first on your block to have your copy burned!

TREAT TRICKED

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Our Halloween post last week cited the research of Joel Best, a University of Delaware sociologist, who said he had yet to find a reliable example of Halloween candy tapering from this nation’s seemingly endless supply of evil psycho strangers. It’s an urban myth he’s been looking into for nearly 30 years. But now, that urban myth is a reality. At least, if you add this: the crazed stranger needs to work at a candy factory.

Like all the reports featured in last week’s Halloween post, this one comes from Pennsylvania, where a 12-year-old trick-or-treater found a rusty razor blade in his M&M bag. There appeared to have been no tampering with the bag, implying the rusty blade had to factory-sealed inside! The M&M melt-in-your-mouth brand is manufactured by Mars Chocolate, who were “disturbed…a consumer had a product safety issue within our M&M’s Funsize packaging.” Cops are calling it a “manufacturing issue,” though the case is still being investigated.

Sounds crazy – maybe even psycho-crazy – but there is another report from July 2012 of a shank knife sealed in the factory inside a Jolly Ranchers package from a factory in Brazil.

The more familiar reports are the annual hoaxes, such as the one from Panama City Beach, Fla. where a child claimed a razor was embedded in a Snickers bar she received on Halloween.  After an investigation, local police said “the girl lied about the incident and the case is now close.”

Less familiar (in fact, downright strange) is a report from Ontario: parents complaining about toxic treats of a totally different stripe. Or, rather, strip.

When Rod Murray’s daughter received a comic book as her treat, she found it “anything but comical,” reports Cambridge’s The Record. “One of three books handed out features drawings of a child being beaten with a thick wooden stick and cast out into the rain by an adult, after an unsuccessful night of begging on the street for money.” Pretty scary stuff…even for Halloween. “Another book shows a man and a woman…covered in sores and standing under a ‘sin’ tree after disobeying a faceless figure. They are later joined behind a wall, erected by the faceless figure, by other men, women and children covered in sores.” 

Were these horror comics — reprints of the ones Fredric Wertham warned about in his book Seduction of the Innocent?

Actually, they sound exactly like the famous religious tracts of the cartoonist Jack Chick

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