After the much publicised backlash surrounding Eidos', in development, 25 to Life, it had appeared that things had calmed down, but now the game faces more opposition.
The charity organisation, the Taser Foundation, which gives grants to families of policemen killed in the line of duty, has hit out at the controversial game. Foundation director Gerry Anderson said "games such as this actually dehumanise police," clearly angered over the possible release of the game. Anderson also claims the game badly represents law enforcement officers stating "they trivialise the real danger and risks that police officers face every day."
25 to Life had previously been subject to an attack by a US senator and TV show host, Nancy Grace, but Eidos have stood firm pointing at the rating systems in place to do their job.
"25 to Life will have a BBFC 18+ rating, which means that it is illegal to sell it to anyone under that age; retailers face a £5,000 fine and up to six months in prison if they do so," said an Eidos spokesperson.
Violent videogames always seem to get some kind of backlash, yet equally violent and possibly influential games such as the Burnout series, which reward players for causing crashes, are available to everyone having received only a 3+ rating.
The debate over 25 to Life is sure to continue leading up to its release. If the game does receive a ban in certain countries it could set a real precedent for future violent videogames. Games like the GTA series allow the player to freely kill police officers (and ambulance drivers, firemen, prostitutes, pimps and any other person you see on the street) and this is available to buy in stores, as it should be. The game carries an official 18-rating from the BBFC and as such shouldn't be sold to people under that age. If children are playing this game, that isn't the fault of the videogame developers, but the retailers and parents. Anyone over 18 should be able to make up their own mind about what they play. It is a debate that will go on and on, but as expected, we stand firmly behind the games.