Charles Schumer, senator for New York, has launched a scathing attack on publisher Eidos Interactive's forthcoming gang warfare title 25 to Life, declaring that it "lowers common decency," and that "Little Johnny should be learning how to read, not how to kill cops," before going on to argue that games "aimed and marketed at kids shouldn't desensitise them to death and destruction".
Mr Schumer is seeking to ban the game at retailers in the New York area, and has asked Sony and Microsoft, which control the PlayStation 2 and Xbox formats, to prevent Eidos from publishing the game on either platform. Neither company had responded to Mr Schumer's comments at the time of publication, but on past evidence neither is likely to side with the politician.
25 to Life, which lets gamers control either police officers or gangsters, has been positioned as Eidos' answer to the increasing gang warfare game phenomenon, which has so far been headlined by Rockstar's best-selling Grand Theft Auto series.
However, Mr Schumer believes 25 to Life is "one of the worst" of the current crop of "violent videogames" responsible for "the glorification of crime and cop killing" according to a statement issued on his website this week. Mr Schumer also mentioned Rockstar titles Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto.
"There is nowhere that the value of the police force is felt more strongly than here in New York, and to sell a video game that denigrates their value is simply unacceptable," the New York senator said. "You certainly don't need a degree in criminal justice to understand that when you make sport of behaviour that is dangerous and destructive you reinforce it. The last thing we need here in New York is to reinforce a destructive culture of violence and disrespect for the law."
Publisher Eidos, recently bought out by rival UK publisher SCi, was unable to comment at the time of publication.
25 to Life, which is due out this August in the USA, has been rated "M" for Mature in the US, where ratings are not yet strictly enforced, but has yet to be rated by European ratings body PEGI nor the British Board of Film Classification, which has the power to ban the sale of videogames to people of certain ages.