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 Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 19:44 GMT
Gay activist seeks video game ban
Family play video game
The game's makers say players can choose not to kill
A Dutch gay rights campaigner is seeking a ban on a computer game in which players can shoot a variety of individuals, including homosexuals.

Henk Krol, who is also editor of the leading Dutch gay newspaper Gay Krant, has asked prosecutors to prevent the game, Postal 2, from going on sale in Dutch toyshops in March.

It's definitely not anti-gay - you know what? it's a game - get over it

Vince Desi
software company chief executive
Mr Krol described the game as "disgusting" and said he hoped to make potential buyers aware of its content.

But the chief executive of Running with Scissors, the Arizona-based software company which produced Postal 2, said that while players could shoot gays, they did not have to and could not gain any advantage by doing so.

"It's definitely not anti-gay," Vince Desi told Reuters news agency. "You know what? It's a game - get over it."

Passive or aggressive?

Postal 2 is a new version of the earlier game Postal, which has been banned in Australia but is widely sold in the Netherlands.

In Postal 2, the player is a character called Postal Dude, who lives in a town with a wide variety of people of different race, build and sexuality.

Running with Scissors officials say the player can choose an active or passive role.

A lot of these games are being bought by parents and grandparents and one of our goals is to get people to understand what they were buying

Henk Krol
campaigner
"The real point is that you can play the game at either extreme, totally passive or completely aggressive, or anywhere in between, and the game will react appropriately," says RWS president Mike Riedel in explanatory notes on the game's website.

Mr Krol said that while he did not think it possible to stop people buying the game from the website, his campaign would at least make them aware of what was involved.

"A lot of these games are being bought by parents and grandparents and one of our goals is to get people to understand what they were buying," he said.

See also:

29 Dec 02 | Technology
13 Jan 03 | Politics
10 Nov 02 | Technology
16 Jul 02 | Entertainment
20 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
17 Dec 02 | Technology
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