25 to Life under fire again

"Rewires the brain", apparently.

Following earlier comments by a US senator that Eidos' 25 to Life "lowers common decency", TV presenter Nancy Grace has slammed the game in a panel discussion on her CNN show.

"This is what your kids will be digesting if you buy this," Grace said as game footage was shown. "One law officer after the next gunned down in the line of duty."

Prosecutor Jack Thompson described games like 25 to Life as "murder simulators", commenting: "You have to ask Bill Gates, what are you thinking?

"Here's a philanthropist and a powerful man, the richest man in the world, and yet he's making available to children around the world on Xbox a cop-killing game."

Thompson also referred to a case in Alabama where two police officers and a dispatcher were murdered "because of Grand Theft Auto", and claimed that the military uses videogames "to break down the inhibition of new recruits to kill."

But defence lawyer Dino Lombardi was less keen to point the finger, telling Grace: "People kill cops - videogames don't kill cops."

He was backed up by Debra Opri, the lawyer who represented Michael Jackson's parents during his recent trial. She accused Grace of having "used the first amendment to destroy Michael Jackson, [but] you won't use the first amendment to protect an entertainment company.

"Does anybody remember Charlie Chaplin in the early days of silent movies?" Opri continued.

"He picked on cops. He attacked cops. He was such a problem to Herbert Hoover and the FBI..."

Naturally, a shrink was on hand to offer her perspective on the issue. "When those kids are gaming and they press the button or the mouse and they actually kill somebody, there's an emotional charge that does rewire the brain," said psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall.

"A question I have with these games [is], where are the parents?"

A full transcript of the discussion is available here. 25 to Life is out on PC, PS2 and Xbox next spring.

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