An avid video gamer from Omagh has said those who claim a new game is glorifying the IRA have reacted without knowing all the facts.
Kevin Taylor said if politicians calling for Mafia III to be removed from shops had done their research they would know the hero of the game is not helping to support the IRA.
Mr Taylor criticised politicians like DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson who called for the game to be banned, asking whether anyone would demand that games about warfare should be banned as well in case it upsets someone.
The 57-year-old, who said he owns more than 600 games, said: “Would politicians not be better served putting in motion a process where the victims get what they actually want?”
Ultimately, he said, what such people are looking for is “the truth about what happened in Northern Ireland when they lost loved ones to violence”.
Mr Taylor described the Mafia III game as “a little bit crass” but added that the underlying message was one of anti-terrorism.
He said: “Of all the video games I’ve played this one has most anti-violence, anti-racism and anti-terrorism values.
“The main character is a black man who starts out in a gang, then goes off to war, comes back and tries to rejoin the gang.
“The Mafia burn down his house and kill his family.
“He survives and sets out to take down the Mafia and other gangs like the IRA.”
The mission within the game around which the controversy has arisen is called ‘IRA Don’t Ask’.
In it, the lead character is asked to steal cars to be used in bombing missions in Northern Ireland.
Kevin said: “In the mission you’re helping the IRA man, but you’re only going along with the gang boss to maintain your cover.
“A couple of chapters later you get to kill him and prevent the bombing mission.”
He added: “Violence sells in video games. It’s a sad reflection of society.
“The games are also getting more realistic by adding in real people and organisations.
“Do we ban Call of Duty [a video game where players can take part in battles ranging from the 1940s to present day] because it might bring trigger soldiers’ memories?
“We need to deal with what’s happening in real life, not video games.”