The chairman of the UK's Anti-Graffiti Association has issued a statement to our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz, slamming Atari for planning to release a game which he believes could encourage vandalism.
Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, which is due out on PC, PS2 and Xbox next month, sees players taking on the role of a young graffiti artist who must use his spray-painting skills to help overthrow a corrupt local government.
AGA chairman Derek McGovern told GamesIndustry.biz that he "found it disturbing that a company such as Atari should encourage an activity such as graffiti vandalism" by publishing the game.
"Apart from opposing graffiti on the streets we are also against graffiti for commerical purposes e.g. as advertising and for commercial gain generally," McGovern continued.
"While graffiti on public buildings should not be tolerated, my particular sympathy goes to private citizens who find their homes blitzed by graffiti and who have to go to considerable effort to restore their properties back to their prime condition."
"Graffiti vandalism has a significant effect, not only for public authorities but also for individuals."
McGovern went on to say that a "considered response" will be will be issued once the association's management committee has decided on its next step.
"I am sure that we will at least write to Atari to make our views known although I have not yet decided as to the exact nature of our response," McGovern said.
This is not the first time Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure has attracted the attention of anti-graffiti campaigners. Earlier this month politicians in Florida urged Atari not to launch the game, and last August New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted to prevent Ecko from holding a party to promote its forthcoming release.
Atari was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.