Controversy in videogames is nothing new, particularly in crime-based narratives like Grand Theft Auto or Mafia.
Mafia III, the latest in the franchise, features one side mission sees players take on a job of stealing cars for an Irish mob boss in the fictional city of New Bordeaux. It's heavily implied in the game that the Irish mob boss has connections with the IRA, and specifically, the Irish mob boss says that "the brothers back in Belfast appreciate" the player completing the mission.
As well as this, background imagery in the game itself shows a Unionist flag with graffiti bearing the word "TRAITORS" over it.
The game has been met with stiff criticism by Unionist politicians in the North, with some calling for the game to be removed from shelves. Speaking to the Irish News, the DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said that while "game may seem to be a work of fiction for some, it could be seen as trivialising the suffering of innocent victims and the evil that is represented by all forms of terrorism."
He continued, saying that he "(invites) the makers of this game to come to Northern Ireland and meet some of the innocent victims of the IRA and then consider whether the contents are appropriate. I hope they can be persuaded to withdraw the game and think again."
Jim Allister, MLA of the Traditional Unionist Voice party, said that the "sick glamorisation of terrorism should have no place in a world where people well beyond Northern Ireland have sadly learned of its devastating impact on human life."
"This game would appear to treat the IRA in a fashion which is grossly offensive to the many people who suffered as a result of IRA bombs."
2K Games, the studio behind Mafia III, have yet to comment on the matter.
Via The Irish News