6 Celebrities & Their Bizarre Video Games
The unusual news broke earlier this month that Judge Greg Mathis of daytime TV fame was getting his own video game. Mathis "Detroit" Street Judge will be presented through the eyes of LaRon Washington, who has just been released from prison with two strikes and the threat of a life sentence if he doesn't turn his life around. But the game won't just be a first-person community service game "“ it will feature action as Washington runs from Detroit gangs that want him dead for a murder he didn't commit. Mathis says he sees the game as an opportunity for kids to get involved in the gang lifestyle without actually joining a gang and hopes it will encourage them to stay clean.
Still, Mathis may not be the most unusual star to get a video game. Here are 5 more celebs who probably shouldn't have gone digital.
1. Michael Jackson
With Michael Jackson at the helm of a computer game, you know it's going to be weird. But Moonwalker seems beyond the realm of imagination. Released in conjunction with Jackson's collection of videos of the same name, Moonwalker featured Jackson battling the evil Mr. Big to rescue kidnapped children (you just can't make this up). Jackson is assisted by his chimp Bubbles, who can also turn into a robotic version of the singer. The game was actually well-received, especially for the signature move, Dance Magic, where the King of Pop busted out some of his signature moves, killing all the bad guys around him.
2. Shaquille O'Neal
From a rap career to Kazaam, Shaq has always tried to brand his image outside of the basketball court. But his venture into video games, Shaq Fu, was particularly ill-advised. Widely hailed as one of the worst games ever, Shaq Fu saw the star being transported to another dimension where he had to use kung fu moves to rescue a boy from a mummy named Sett-Ra. Besides the incomprehensible story, players complained that the game was impossible to play thanks to a difficult hit detection. Now the game regularly lands on all-time worst lists, but Shaq continues to use the phrase "Shaq Fu," because, well, who's going to stop him?
Shaq wasn't the only NBA star to put his face to a terrible video game. The "˜90s other big star, Michael Jordan, was the star of Michael Jordan in Chaos in the Windy City, which featured him using magic basketballs to battle villains and rescue his All-Star Game teammates.
Years before Guitar Hero brought rock to the gaming world, Journey was starring in two rock-themed games. In the simply titled Journey arcade game, players could take the form of each of Journey's five members then travel to different planets to rescue the band's instruments. Once the instruments were brought back safely, the band played a concert. Their second game, Journey Escape had the band trying to get to their Scarab Escape Vehicle without getting mobbed by groupies, photographers or promoters. It's unclear which game is more fictional: the interplanetary voyage or the threat of Journey getting completely overtaken by their groupies.
Trying to capitalize on the popularity of Steven Spielberg's E.T., Atari rushed a game starring the extraterrestrial through production in a whopping six weeks, bypassing audience testing and much of the critical planning. The result? A game that was voted the all-time worst by Electronic Gaming Monthly. E.T. the Extraterrestrial let players be the lovable alien, who wandered through levels trying to retrieve three pieces of a device that would let him phone home. He's aided along the way by energy-boosting Reese's Pieces, continuing the subtle product placement from the movie. The game sold pretty well, but was ultimately panned by audiences and critics. Legend has it that Atari even buried millions of the game's cartridges in a landfill in New Mexico.
5. General George Custer
It may not be fair to penalize General Custer, since he was in no way involved in this game. But it still merits a mention. In Custer's biography, there's plenty of action, patriotism and pride, but not enough sex. Thankfully, Mystique filled in the last part with their erotic game starring the general (warning: the link includes some very poorly animated nudity). Custer's Revenge simply had players taking the role of a visibly aroused Custer battling through enemy fire to reach a naked Indian woman tied to a cactus. Not surprisingly, the game was a public relations disaster "“ women's rights group protested the apparent rape in the game and most stores either refused to sell it or didn't display it. As if the content weren't enough to turn you off of the game, the graphics were also pretty terrible.