Death Race, was a controversial video arcade game, released by Exidy in the United States in 1976, inspired by the cult 1975 film Death race 2000. Approximately 500 units of the game were made, making it a rare find. Despite it's primitive blocky black and white graphics, the game was considered too violent. The game was originally entitled Pedestrian, as in the two player game, the goal is to mow down the "pedestrians". Which were renamed as "gremlins", to make the game sound less blood thirsty. Pedestrians or gremlins, they were only vaguely humanoid shaped at best. Once run down the "victims" turn into crude cross-shaped tombstones.
The criticism of the game reached the national media, being featured on video game violence in 60 Minutes and featured on NBC's Weekend news show.
The game also made the pages of the tabloid trash, the National Enquirer, and the National Safety Council denounced the game.
Such controversy seems laughable today, by the standards of the hyper-realistic gore filled games of today. The game was part of Exidy's chase and crash style arcade games, following the popular Destruction Derby from 1975.
Death Race has gone down in retro gaming history, as the first video game to court controversy, and is considered as one of the most controversial video games of all time.