Graffiti game cops a spray

A video game in which players attempt to liberate an oppressed society through the use of graffiti has been recalled by the Federal Government for reclassification.

Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure had previously been reviewed by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) board in November 2005 and was approved for an MA15+ rating, Australia's highest classification for games.

However, under pressure from Queensland's Premier, Peter Beattie, and other Queensland Council members, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock referred the game for review.

Beattie called for a national ban on the game citing that it "glorifies high-risk, law-breaking, violent and even deadly behaviour."

"It has worrying potential to steer impressionable young people into activities that will endanger life and limb and earn them criminal records," he said.

The games' publisher, Atari, refused to comment until the OFLC's decision was finalised, but issued a release stating: "video games such as Getting Up provide amusement and escape in a fantasy world where players can vicariously experience different lifestyles and mock activities."

It concluded: "Atari does not condone or encourage the commission of any criminal act, or the wrongful suppression of the freedom of artistic expression."

The game has also come under fire in the US, where several representatives from local governments have encouraged consumers to boycott Atari products.

If the game is deemed to exceed the parameters for an MA15+ rating, it will be banned. No R18+ classification exists for computer games in Australia.

The OFLC will announce its decision on February 8.

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