GTA knockoff Saints Row 2 launches today, and a spokesman for the NYPD has criticized THQ's new crime game for its graphic depictions of virtual violence against police officers.
As reported by the New York Daily News:
A blood-soaked new video game boasts enough violence, guns and gratuitous sex to make Grand Theft Auto seem as tame as Pac-Man - and it has cops hopping mad.
The over-the-top Saints Row 2 encourages players to butcher cops with chain saws, smoke drugs, annihilate rival gangsters and run prostitution rings... Many in law enforcement and politics don't find any of it remotely entertaining.
Patrick Lynch, who heads the NYPD union, told the Daily News:
These horrible and violent video games desensitize young people to violence while encouraging depravity, immorality while glorifying criminal behavior.
The newspaper also has a quote from our old pal Jack Thompson:
Jack Thompson, a Florida lawyer and longtime critic of violent video games, called Saints Row 2 a "Grand Theft Auto ripoff."
"As is true with pornography, as is true with violence, the subsequent products tend to push the envelope even more," he said.
An unnamed THQ spokesman defended SR2:
Saints Row 2 is not a gang simulation game. It's a tongue-in-cheek game.
Meanwhile, the Daily News does acknowledge some of the satirical elements in the game:
Despite the outrage, some of the scenarios depicted in the game seem hilariously over the top. Players can commit insurance fraud by faking injuries, spraying the contents of a septic tank to bring down property values or appearing on a "Cops"-like reality TV show.
If things get boring, competitors can just strip and run around naked.