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The Times joins the debate on Rule Of Rose

The lead article appears under the potentially misleading headline ‘Violent children’s game investigated by Europe’, which could give readers the impression that the title is intended for a young audience. It quotes European justice commissioner Franco Frattini as being "profoundly shocked" by the game.

Rule Of Rose has already been given a 16-plus rating by PEGI.

A full report appears on page nine of the newspaper, and includes a caption which reads: ‘The Rule Of Rose game features, among other horrors, a rat being pushed into a girl’s face.’

Veteran games journalist Tim Wapshott defends the industry’s position in a small article underneath the main piece. He says: ‘Games are not, in my opinion, getting more violent. But it is true to say that the increased processing power allows the graphics to be, well, more graphic. Age ratings are the way to moderate the minefield of what should and should not be played by children.’

The coverage follows a report in yesterday’s Daily Mail under the headline, ‘Call to ban “obscenely cruel” computer games’, which also quoted Mr. Frattini.

After witnessing Rule Of Rose, the EU politician said: ‘These games are dreadful examples for our children and may provoke violent behaviour. This game has shocked me profoundly for its obscene cruelty and brutality.”

Mr. Frattini used the opportunity to pour scorn on other recent titles. “An increasing number of such games glorify violence – even extreme violence,” he added.

A meeting of EU home affairs ministers has been called in the wake of Mr. Frattini’s exposure to the title. Mr. Frattini’s comments echo those of the Mayor Of Rome, who has called for the game to be banned.

Rule Of Rose, a psychological horror adventure, involves a girl kidnapped by a secret society of orphans. It is published by 505 Gamestreet in Europe, and is due for release here next Friday.

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