Tagging Pits Atari Against NYC Councilman

    July 21, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Atari plans to release Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure video game in the fall; Peter Vallone says the game will glorify graffiti.

It’s a broad-based adventure game with an all-star voice cast. It’s a gateway to a lifetime of crime.

Tagging Pits Atari Against NYC Councilman

Atari announced the new title, under development by The Collective, on Monday. Set in the fictional city of New Radius, freedom of expression has been suppressed, graffiti banned. The title character, Trane, strikes back at the tyrannical government, honing his tagging skills under the tutelage of various in-game masters.

But the entirely fictional aspect of the game seems to have eluded the grasp of New York City councilman Peter Vallone. “From what Atari’s putting out, it appears they want to make crime exciting and to teach children how to get away with breaking the law,” said Mr. Vallone, a former prosecutor, in a lengthy statement today.

“I’m just glad they aren’t giving out cans of spray paint with this game.”

In “Contents Under Pressure,” Atari says Trane will earn his street cred by getting his tag all over the city of New Radius, but ends up leading an urban revolution, and expose an oppressive mayor in the process.

“I think Atari will soon learn that they are going to be a ‘Company Under Pressure,'” said Mr. Vallone. The councilman has criticized Time Magazine, claiming a large billboard it displayed featuring the work of several graffiti artists promoted vandalism.

For gamers who want to decide for themselves whether “Contents Under Pressure” is an entertaining diversion or the worst enticement to evil since Star Wars: Episode 3, Atari plans a multi-platform release of the title in the fall of this year.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.