Controversial video game in high demand at ABQ store

Night Trap
An Albuquerque store owner now has hundreds of copies of a controversial 1990s video game that was discontinued but is now in high demand

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A video game labeled too violent and pulled off the shelves has now found its way to an Albuquerque video game store; but the owner said instead of just one copy he now has hundreds.

Jonathan Sakura, owner of Gamers Anonymous, recently got a trade-in of more than 200 copies of the game “Night Trap.” The controversial movie was released in 1992. Sakura said back then the movie element was a talker but other than that the game wasn’t that impressive. However, it became a lot more popular when congress took note.

“Its somewhat controversial or at least it was at that time,” Sakura said.

At a 1993 hearing on violence in video games, then-Senator Joseph Lieberman called “Night Trap” ultra-violent, sick and disgusting and said the full-length interactive movie was too real.

“There was a graphic depiction of violence against women,” Lieberman said. “I find this segment deeply offensive and believe that it should be taken off the market.”

Lawmakers worried it could lead to real violence among kids. Soon after, customers would start seeing ratings on video games.

The Sega CD original was eventually recalled, censored and a revised version was released.

“It actually wasn’t even that violent but because it was women technically being killed and they’re sometimes dressed in their nighties,” Sakura said. “It was way more than anybody was ready for at that time.”

Sakura said he got his stash of 203 copies from a new customer. The customer told Sakura he had bought them at a flea market from another man. That man got them from a distribution warehouse where Blockbuster had sent back the recalled game.

“It’s kind of fun thinking of how surreal it was to open this box and just laugh,” Sakura said.

He said, he’s now getting interest from people all over the world who want to buy the novelty game.

“We actually have sold a lot of the complete ones,” Sakura said. “I’ve been getting requests from Sweden, British Columbia, Las Vegas, Texas; all over the states and a handful of people out of the country.”

Sakura said the timing is also surprising because the original producers of “Night Trap” recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the re-release of the controversial video game.

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