The mother of a comatose junkie is calling for a ban on the new iPhone game Underworld, saying that "impressionable kids" who play the game will end up going down the same road as her daughter.
The game is "outrageous," Thelma Pickard told The Daily Star. "My daughter's life has been ruined by drugs," she said. "If this game is allowed to come out, impressionable kids will play it and Amy's mistake will be repeated over and over again."
"Youngsters like Amy are exactly the people who download and play games like this on their mobiles," she continued. "I just want to help other families avoid the nightmare that's wrecked mine." Amy has been in a coma for the past seven years, which she apparently fell into after experimenting with heroin when she was 17.
In Underworld, players begin as small-time drug pushers, selling their wares to other players from real-world street corners, thanks to the iPhone's GPS capabilities. The game was originally known as Drug Lords, but underwent a name change last week to appease censors at Apple's App Store. The game will be free and will work with all generations of the iPhone and iPod Touch, although Wi-Fi is required for play.
"Outrageous" it may be, but it's also nothing more than the latest update of a game that first debuted almost 25 years ago, back in the days when DOS ruled the world. Underworld may add some cool new features, but the basic premise remains the same: Rule the roost by becoming a successful drug dealer. A similar complaint was made earlier this year about the drug-dealing mini-game in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, but objections to both games overlook one simple fact: Drug Wars and its many descendants have been around for a generation, and the Apocalypse has yet to come. (They're fun to play, too.)
To learn more about Underworld, have a look at the developer's web site at a-steroids.com.
(Thanks to GamePolitics for the hook-up.)