Gotham Racing 2 hits speed bump down under

Xbox racer comes in for harsh reviews from an Australian politician.

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Perceived bad behavior in games is a repeated target for politicians in the US, but few games in this market suffer impediments serious enough to prevent them from being sold at retail. Australia, however, is a different story. That country has historically taken a much tougher stance on games its politicians and ratings board deem too violent. In December 2001, for example, Grand Theft Auto III was unceremoniously pulled from retail shelves based on the game's mature-themed content.

Today, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that State Labor Party member Paul Gibson (who is also the chairman of the national government's Staysafe Committee) is seeking to derail the G rating previously bestowed on Project Gotham Racing 2 by the Office of Film and Literature Classification, the organization that rates games in Australia. A G rating is given to games appropriate for a general audience, of any age.

Gibson has reportedly stated, "This game sends the wrong message to young people. It is actually glorifying speed and power." He added, "It is clearly an inappropriate depiction of speed behavior. If I had my way I would ban it."

One of the game's levels takes place in Sydney. Gibson has stated his concern that copycat drivers exposed to the Bizarre Creations-developed title will mimic the high-speed antics portrayed in the game.

GameSpot readers may recall our preview of this sequel to the widely lauded Xbox launch title, which points out the "improved visuals, refined gameplay, new content, and Xbox Live features [which make] for a significant upgrade over the original Project Gotham Racing."

Microsoft has reportedly sold more than 50,000 units of the game's original iteration--without a single complaint.

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