Game engine freezes

The game engine is freezing and I have had to force uninstalling the package.
System specs: Debian Lenny amd64, 1.78G RAM
Radeon 300(Xpress200 igp)
ATI proprietary driver
Xorg 7.2

What could be causing this to happen?

What version of Blender are you using?
At what point does the game engine freeze?
Does the console say anything when it freezes?

Version 2.46 froze in Debian Lenny. (apt-get install)
Version 2.49 froze. (downloaded tarball)

It freezes as soon as I push [P].

The console is unresponsive. Kill, Pkill, and [Control]+[C] do not work. Only restarting the window manager has any effect. Before the manager restarts, there is a type of “static” being shown where the Blender control panel would be and the active object is frozen.