Mafia II, Take-Two’s newest entry in the open-world crime series comes out later this month, but it has already ruffled some feathers, according to 1UP. In what is literally straight out of a Sopranos episode, UNICO National, an Italian-American advocacy group sent the publisher a letter, stating the game is an:
“inappropriate and insulting perpetuation of the pervasive and denigrating stereotype of organized crime being the exclusive domain of Italians and Italian Americans.
“Why would [Take-Two] foist a game on their target audience of young people wherein they will indoctrinate a new generation into directly associating Italians and Italian Americans with violent, murderous, organized crime, to the exclusion of all the other ‘mafias’ run by other ethnic and racial groups,”
The spokesman for UNICO, Andre DeMint, then called for the game’s release to be delayed until all references to Italians and Italian-Americans can be purged from the game.
Take-Two’s response was matter-of-fact, pointing out that no one at UNICO has to play the game and since the it is rated M for Mature, it is specifically NOT targeted at young people. And of course there was the obligatory reference to all the great crime movies, books and TV shows over the years and games have just as much right to express themselves as any other medium.
So where do you come down on this? Personally, I can’t stand when a group gets offended by this. Just having a game about the Mafia doesn’t imply that every single Italian acts this way in real life. Just like not every Italian acts like Snooki or The Situation from Jersey Shore. What say you?