[UPDATE - the game's developer has just been in touch to inform us that an English version of the game exists over at Dossergame.co.uk]

A new internet browser game called Clodogame (or "Trampgame" in English) has sparked controversy in France this week over its depiction of homeless Parisians.

Users get to play a homeless Frenchman, with the objective of the game being to fight and steal your way to success, while all the time making sure to keep your alcohol consumption under control.

Is "Trampgame" merely a harmless bit of fun? Is it even, as the developers insist, educational and enlightening?

Or is it, as the game's detractors maintain, little more than abject prejudice against the homeless?

The most talented tramp in Paris

"Trampgame" you will work your way up to become the "king of the streets" and the most "talented tramp in Paris", while being invited to "attack other homeless people" and becoming a "peerless pickpocket" on the way up from the gutter.

You also get the opportunity to steal from vending machines and public toilets, the chance to learn to play an instrument and to choose a mangy-looking pet to boost your begging skills.

"It's a disgrace, it's degrading, it's humiliating to make the homeless the butt of derision," Red Cross spokesperson Jean-François Riffaud told Le Parisien.

"The drunken thief looking for a fight, that's not me," a Parisian homeless man called François told the same newspaper.

German developer Farbflut even goes so far to claim that their game has educational value, claiming that its users were "becoming more conscious of the problem" with some having "even asked where they can send their donations," according to a Farbflut spokesman.

Via The Telegraph