SOURCE: The Graffiti Tracker

August 15, 2005 17:56 ET

Graffiti Expert Blasts New Graffiti Video Game

LONG BEACH, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 15, 2005 -- Graffiti Expert Timothy Kephart, also known as The Graffiti Tracker, declares the new video game by Atari as a disgrace and a setback for communities fighting graffiti. The game "Getting Up" is set to be released in the Fall and follows the exploits of a graffiti vandal who decides to rebel against his perceived negative views of society and government by destroying property with graffiti.

"The idea that the main character in this game is some sort of hero is simply Atari's ridiculous way to try to put a positive spin on a game that is about destroying property," says Kephart. Graffiti vandalism is a crime that decreases the quality of life in communities and breeds violence. "This game glorifies an action that costs cities throughout the world billions of dollars each year and sometimes people's lives. In the Los Angeles area there have been multiple incidents where people were shot for removing graffiti."

Timothy Kephart has been working as a consultant to cities with a graffiti problem and researching graffiti for the past five years. Through his work he has found ways for cities to reduce graffiti and discourage youth from partaking in graffiti vandalism. "It's frustrating to be out there on the front lines in reducing graffiti only to have corporate America make a criminal action appear glamorous all for the sake of greed."

About The Graffiti Tracker

Timothy Kephart has a very diverse background. A former teacher, Kephart studied graffiti as part of his Master's thesis. Through his research he discovered ways in which gang members and taggers were communicating through graffiti. He subsequently published ways in which law enforcement could employ methods to use this actionable intelligence to reduce graffiti and gang crime. In September of 2002, Kephart came back to Los Angeles to implement his recommendations in the City of Carson. In three years gang crime has declined significantly and graffiti has been reduced over 35%. Kephart continues to work in Carson and speaks to many organizations about graffiti and understanding its encoded messages. Kephart has presented numerous papers on graffiti to organizations like The American Society of Criminology, The Western Society of Criminology and The Homicide Research Working Group. For more information contact: Timothy Kephart at 310-261-8163 or on the web at www.graffititracker.us

Contact Information