Italy's government is fighting back against a new, violently explicit video game for children called Rule of the Rose, released nationwide this month.

Justice Minister Clemente Mastella has declared that "preventative measures" would be taken by the government to safeguard Italian youth, stating, "Our youngsters have the right to be protected from such violence. Nothing has been done until now about such games and this has allowed the phenomenon to grow unchecked." Mastella said that while the Playstation game was meant for over-16s, there were no guarantees that the younger public would be protected. He has also put forward a proposal for a controlling body to regulate the sale and distribution of children's games.

Rome's mayor Walter Veltroni is also calling for a ban of the video game, stating that "the game must not enter Italian homes."

Rule of the Rose was first released in Japan by Sony last year but the company decided against buying distribution rights in Europe and America because of its level of violence and sadomasochistic and erotic innuendo. The video game has arrived in Italy through UK-based publisher 505 Games and features Jennifer, a 19-year-old girl held captive in an orphanage.