LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – A computer game featuring a surveillance camera image of murder victim James Bulger is being withdrawn from sale in the UK following calls from the toddler’s mother, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
The offending image appears in Law and Order: Double or Nothing, which was released in 2003 by Legacy Interactive. A still of CCTV footage of Bulger, recorded in The Strand shopping centre in Merseyside, is visible on a bulletin board in the game.
James Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus said she was “very angry” that her two-year-old son had been treated as “public property” in Law and Order: Double or Nothing.
Ms Fergus, 37, wrote to Global Software to complain about a photograph used as a background image on a noticeboard in the game, based on the US TV series of the same name.
The picture bears a striking similarity to CCTV footage captured at the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, Merseyside, the last sighting of James before he was led to his death by his killers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.
The Times reported that Ms Fergus said: “To know that James has been turned into a clue in a game makes me very angry.
“The people who made this game have treated him as though he is public property, like some kind of fictional figure. It dehumanises the memory of my lovely son.
In a conversation with GamesIndustry.biz, Charlie Duldulao of Legacy Interactive said “Legacy has issued a formal apology which was referred to by the BBC. We did not realise the photo had made it into the game, and it was not our intention to cause offense.”
Legacy Interactive demanding that the image be removed. Her spokesman, Chris Johnson, told BBC Radio Merseyside: “It is something that she feels quite strongly about, that images of James should not be used and abused in this way as if he is some kind of public property.”
After Fergus’ objections were made public, distributor Global Software Publishing withdrew the game from sale in the UK.