Charles Ramsey Video Game Lets You Throw Hamburgers at Ariel Castro


I’ve been uncomfy with this whole Charles Ramsey meme since about, oh, 15 seconds after I first watched the now-famous video in which Ramsey, candid and charming, describes his heroic rescue of three kidnapped Cleveland women. I’m not uncomfortable because I don’t like Ramsey—I do, as much as you can “like” a complete stranger—but, rather, for the reasons already outlined by Slate, the Atlantic Wire, Code Switch, Death and Taxes, and most eloquently (as usual) Jay Smooth. Ramsey’s meme-ification is reductive and dehumanizing, trading on racism and classism and “laughing for the wrong reasons” as much as it does on Ramsey’s inherent wit and charm.

And then, when Ramsey’s history of domestic violence was dug up and dumped into the media meat grinder, it was hard not to feel like complete shit—here’s a dude with a troubled (but ostensibly repentant) past being turned into a clown and a pariah in front of the entire world, all for trying to do one objectively very good thing. It was hard to watch. It was gross.

Or, at least, I thought I knew what “gross” meant. Earlier-today-me was so naive! Channeling some seriously fucked up Clarissa Explains It All shit, someone created a video game called “Burger Bash,” in which you, as Charles Ramsey, throw McDonalds hamburgers at goofy avatars of Ariel Castro.

Silly music plays along with random quotes from Ramsey’s now-famous TV interview, and screams can be heard in the background.
Points are racked up by hitting Castro, not innocent bystanders. You’ve got 30 seconds to smack down as many Castros as possible. If you strike too many bystanders, Castro captures you and takes you into his house of horrors.

“Screams can be heard in the background.” In case you forgot (it has been, like, a whole week!), those screams belong to the three women that Castro allegedly kidnapped and then brutally raped and tortured for a decade. Then, if you “lose” the game, Castro puts you (again, as Ramsey) on a dog leash and leads you into his house—presumably to be raped in his hilarious sex dungeon! See, it’s funny because it’s a good one.

Not to deny anyone their gallows humor here, but could you maybe leave the screams of actual human rape victims and the black-man-on-a-leash-for-no-reason out of your little internet catharsis next time? At least until the detergent has dried on the floor of the newly-scrubbed oubliette? Thanks in advance.

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