Death Race

Death Race (arcade)  1976


First game that inspired first ever protest over a video game, second controversial game (after Gotcha), first violent controversial game, first graphically controversial game


Monochrome game.

Arcade system: unique

Death Race arcade

Gameplay video

Death Race arcade

Review (oldest arcade game review) - Eugene Register-Guard - Dec 26, 1976

Death Race arcade

1) The game inspired by the 1975's film Death Race 2000.

2) Although the graphics are primitive and monochrome, the "gremlins" resemble stick figures, and the game's working title had been "Pedestrian". In spite of Exidy president Pete Kaufman's denial that the intent of the game was to promote violence, Death Race provoked media criticism. The National Safety Council called it "gross", the CBS news program 60 Minutes broadcast an investigation into the psychological impact of video games, and the game was covered on NBC's Weekend news show, and in the National Enquirer.

3) The game was nearly banned for explict content.The controversy had reportedly started when a AP reporter in Seattle saw children playing the game and thought that the sound effects the pedestrians made when hit sounded like 'shrieking children'. Before the controversy, the game sold only 200 copies - afterwards, Exidy produced about 3,000 (including PCB sales).

4) Game had same controversial effect on the press as Grand Theft Auto 3 had in 2001.

5) Remake for Playstation  and Sega Saturn in 1996  was canceled.

6) Game is conversion of arcade game "Destruction Derby" from 1975.

7) Game is not emulated.

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