Senior Italian statesmen are making a concerted attempt to ban the Illusion Softworks game, Mafia. It would appear that the PC title, the aim of which is to work your way up the Mafia hierarchy by carrying out robberies and assassinations, has scandalised certain sectors in Italy.
President of the national anti-Mafia police Roberto Centaro said to the Il Giornale newspaper, "I'll do anything I can to ban the sale of the game in Italy. This is a proper instruction book for wannabe Mafiosi."
Former interior minister Carlo Taormina echoed this sentiment. "When it comes to Mafia, one simply cannot take it as a game. There's really nothing to joke about here."
“I hate stupid ‘save the world’ or ‘find seven magic artifacts, kill evil wizard and save the world’ concepts,” said Daniel Vavra, lead designer for Mafia. “Instead, I love stories based on real events, stories about real people who are strong enough to deal with serious troubles, stories which tell something important to present-day people. So the basic story is about the daily life of a gangster from the thirties.”
It is understandable that Italy, a country dogged by organised crime for centuries, would take exception to such a game. The title is set to be published by Take 2, a company that hasn’t shied away from controversy lately. On the back of Grand Theft Auto 3, a game that was banned in Australia, Take 2 plans to release State of Emergency, a rioting and looting action game, under its Rockstar label.