Sony PlayStation is expected to release a new video game worldwide next year called "Fat Princess," in which players are given the task of rescuing a once-skinny princess turned "chunky." The assignment is made that much more difficult as her captors hinder the rescue attempt by feeding her vast amounts of cake.
Sony sums up the game this way in a press release: "The fat princess of the title is your own over-fed royal that you must rescue from your enemy's dungeon -- if you can carry the porky madam to safety that is."
The game has advocacy groups up in arms. Feminists and child-care groups say the game promotes negative images of young girls and women.
Tam Fry of the Child Growth Foundation told ABCNews.com the video game is "particularly concerning" because of the impact it can have on impressionable young women. "Why not chose something else, like an animal?"
A contributor for the feminist blog Shakespeare's Sister sarcastically writes this about the new game on the Web site: "[What] I can't figure out is why anyone would want to rescue a fat princess in the first place, since everyone knows that fat girls are unlovable human garbage at whom any sensible bloke would sooner hurl invective than cast a longing glance."
The blog entry's writer also took an angry shot at Sony, saying, "Congrats on your awesome new game, Sony. I'm positively thrilled to see such unyielding dedication to creating a new generation of fat-hating, heteronormative a**holes."
"Fat Princess" had already made waves among gamers in the U.S. after Sony's E3 Press Conference in California in July, when it received mixed reviews on gaming sites.
Sony describes the game as "a blast of hilarious, furious multiplayer fun."
David Wilson, Sony PlayStation's head of PR in the U.K., downplayed the criticism, telling ABCNews.com that "no one has actually seen the game," referring to those voicing the opposition. He added that anyone who had seen the game would not be able to "genuinely express" the types of sentiments being battered among advocacy groups.
Fry, who says the game has a "hurtful connotation," disagreed with Sony PlayStation, saying it sent a message to its players that "fat women are abusable and a figure of fun."
Is the outcry justified, or is this just a harmless video game that is getting a little too much attention?
"The object of the game is to rescue the princess," said Wilson. "She is revered and not treated in any derogatory way."
Sony's Wilson said the game "almosts ridicules stereotypes," comparing the "fat princess" to Princess Fiona in the movie "Shrek." "It's done in a cartoony way," he added.
However, Fry says games like "Fat Princess" may force girls to live up to the celebrity image. Young girls may be "trying to look like Victoria Beckham," said Fry, referring to soccer star David Beckham's famous -- and rail-thin -- wife.
The game will be available next year, but some would like to see Sony scrap the game or at least modify it.
"I would personally withdraw the game and substitute [the princess] for something else," Fry said.
Wilson said that he hoped it went without saying that "Sony would never do any of the things its accused of," adding that the company did not "endorse or encourage bullying."
It remains to be seen if gamers will buy or boycott the video game, either judging it to be a disrespectful slam against women or an example of political incorrectness they can overlook.