New York senator and former first lady Hillary Clinton has launched an attack on violent videogames, singling out Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto titles as a "major threat" to morality.

Clinton, who is reportedly planning to seek the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2008 election, has aligned herself with hardline right-wing Republican senators in order to pressure Congress into researching the impact of electronic media on children.

"Children are playing a game that encourages them to have sex with prostitutes and then murder them," she said in a statement on the issue. "This is a silent epidemic of media desensitisation that teaches kids it's OK to diss people because they are a woman, they're a different colour or they're from a different place."

She wants a $90 million investigation to be launched into the impact of games and other electronic media on the "cognitive, social, emotional and physical development" of children, according to a Sunday Times report.

Clinton has been joined in her attack on violent games by Republican senators Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum - the latter of whom is best known for his outspoken stance on homosexuality, which he is accused of comparing to bestiality in public statements.

American political analysts have noted that Clinton has taken on some increasingly right wing stances on domestic issues in recent months, in an effort to win support from traditionally Republican voters in the next presidential race, with videogames being merely the latest political kicktoy to be adopted by the ambitious senator.

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