back to article Manhunt 2 banned

Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 has been to all intents and purposes banned in the UK after the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) refused to certify the PS2 and Wii title. Without a BBFC certificate, the game can't legally be sold here. The BBFC's verdict of the game is damning: "Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent …

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WTF?

Its that insane nanny again..

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Forbidden Fruit

... and watch as Manhunt 2 becomes the must-have title of the year for every game-playing teenager in the country. The torrent trackers will be groaning under the load. Don't they ever learn?

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Silver badge

And this means .....

And this means it will become incredibly popular!

Of course, since it's already illegal anyway, there won't be any good reason why anyone should prefer a bought-and-paid-for copy over a pirated copy .....

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What about us...

What about us...poor souls who have suffered post traumatic stress disorder after playing doom3!

Its like watching the exorcist with the devil on halloween that game, it has shockingly disturbed my very being!

Mind you, I still clocked it. Tremors and all :)

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Rob

A sad day for gaming...

Never played Manhunt and couldn't give a toss about MH2 specifically, but it's a sad day for gaming if some nut-job is able to tell me that I can't buy an 18 rated game, because a mother fears it might encourage her 12 year old son to attack his mates.

Parents: grow up and take responsibility for your kids yourselves!

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So it's the parents fault then?

So it seems that the reason that adult games cannot be made now is that they end up in the hands of children.

Time for there to be a back room in your local game then with brown paper bags around your purchase of resident evil?

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Anonymous Coward

Bastards

That's pretty crap. Will they be having public game-burning sessions?

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So I'll be importing it then

Not because I was a fan of Manhunt. I'm just intrigued to see what level of violence it takes to get a game banned. I've played some fairly violent games...

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Ban Everything!

I'm sure this game isn't suitable for children but once again people who, all else being equal, would be permitted to do something (play a game in this case) aren't allowed to do it because stupid / careless people can't be trusted to do the right thing. Isn't it incumbent on a parent to ensure that what their child is exposed to is suitable? Let's ban cars because children might drive them. Oh, wait, we already banned an advert for that, didn't we. Good grief.

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Anonymous Coward

lack of alternatives?

so theres a lack of alternatives?

Try another game per-chance?

oh no! I've pushed a button and some pixels left the screen! OMG!!! I must be a mad, murdering type psycho...... (yeah.....)

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Sam

"the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer".

If only they'd included the option to pick up hookers...

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Outrageous

"In short, the BBFC believes it's not worth risking the game falling into the hands of kids"

There you go, the same old story.

I can't believe we haven't banned kitchen knives, in case a child gets hold of one. Or cars, just in case someone's underage kid gets hold of the keys and takes one out for a drive.

Ridiculous

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when do we get a say

honest to god when do we get a say, ratings mean sod all if they aren't enforced now instead they are going to withdraw me from my depravity.

I want depravity, slicing someones head off is more fun than picking daisies. Besides i can legally and morally pick daisies in real life if i want to i can't on the other hand with maiming and killing.

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Anonymous Coward

Great news!

I hope this is the beginning of a trend. Someone must come to terms with the fact that HD and graphics power cannot be only vehicles for more and more sadistic simulation.

Game developers: just for a change, give it a try and think HD as a means to educate, rather than brutalise.

And yes I know this sounds so old-fashioned.

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Because Saw & Hostel are fine...

It's great to know that in order to stop parents who ignore or disagree with a rating system, I am being deprived of the right to buy something as an adult.

I'm fed up with ignorant opinionated people who don't regard the fact they have no knowledge of a subject as a reason not to comment on it.

Theirs no proof that computer games are responsible for any form of illegal behaviour or mental problem. And in simple violence terms both Hostel and Saw II / III make this tame.

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Anonymous Coward

Ulysses, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Rights of Man, The Wealth of Nations, The Well of Loneliness...

Manhunt 2

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Bronze badge

Hmmm

Difficult to respect this judgment when you see what kind of films get a 12 certificate these days.

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Yeah..

Isn't freedom great? It's this kind of thing that makes me glad that even though my government (I'm USian) is full of morons and "THINK OF THE CHILDREN" assholes we still can go out and purchase entertainment even if the government says it's naughty.

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Import time!

Let's just hope the NTSC version runs on a chipped PAL Wii!

This is only serving to hype the game up more and people will go to great lengths if the game turns out to be any good.

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Ian

The saddest part?

The BBC is STILL reporting that the original Manhunt was the cause of Stephen Pakeerah's murder despite the police pointing out that the copy of Manhunt recovered in the murder investigation was owned by Stephen Pakeerah himself - the murdered kid rather than the murderer. I have lodged formal complaints about their misreporting on this issue yet they ignore them.

Still, it was only yesterday we heard about the BBC's problem with institutionalised bias in it's reporting so that pretty much sums up the problem. The BBC is wholly incapable of putting across a fair and balanced report, often when it puts over the side of the argument it disagrees with it merely glosses over extremely important facts - in this case whilst they mentioned the police acknowledged that the game had nothing to do with the murder, the BBC has omitted the most important point above - that the murderer never actually owned Manhunt!

I'd argue the only reason a game like Manhunt 2 has really been banned is become of the fuss and lies the mainstream media like the BBC spread about the original Manhunt as opposed to it actually being so bad it needs to be banned. It's not as if there aren't other games out there that are soley about killing other human beings in various ways - Hitman springs to mind.

This kind of over the top censorship should be left to goverments like Iran and their ilk who are well known for it.

Apologies for the BBC part of the rant, but as the BBC themselves aren't willing to put up a discussion on the issue and ignore complaints sent to them then all we can really do is make the truth about the BBC's misreporting known elsewhere.

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Tom

time to dust off the ps2 then

why is it that anything that is banned becomes so attractive?

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Maybe.

Being as this is the first game to be banned by the BBFC in 10 years (and that, Carmageddon, was overturned on appeal), I suspect two things; 1) this probably isn't an assault on freedom of expression, and 2) I really don't want to play this game.

Which isn't to say I'm not afraid of the precedent this sets, but I'm prepared to believe the BBFC when they say that this game was an exception.

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...thus ensuring the game will be a runaway success!

Brilliant!

This game is now firmly on every kid's "must have" list....

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Re: Great news!

Andy S, that's a very odd comment. I can think of dozens of non-brutal, non-sadistic next-gen games, and even among the more violent fare such as Gears of War or Resistance: Fall of Man, there are none that compare to Manhunt 2.

Do you actually play videogames, or are you too busy reading the Daily Mail?

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stu-pid daily mail

"even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public,"

for public read tabloid editors out for headlines

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Rob

Just goes to show...

The BBFC aren't citing violence as the main reason for banning it yet it seems most of you have locked onto the violent aspect of the game as that reason (probably v.interesting from a frudien perspective).

"...unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing..."

They are more bothered by the general tone and judging by what they have said I would reckon it's more of a danger to a kid who could or will suffer from something like depression.

To put the BBFC in context, they are a lot more liberal than they used to be, so don't knock them too much, how much stuff have they banned in recent years.

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EC "exports"?

I wonder how long it will take for some enterprising soul from another EC country to start "exporting" them to the UK. I'd do it if I had access to PAL versions.

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Setting a precedent

Although by banning it they've instantly made it more desireable it doesn't necessarily track that everyone will be able to get it. For starters unlike DVD players standard PAL PS2s and Wiis won't play out-of-region games. Interested parties will have to mod their consoles, and modding is still a niche market - a lot of people simply won't know that this is possible.

Quite aside from this technical fact it's a bit silly for them to set a precedent like this when there are already a lot more violent (mentally and visual) films out there. Also as has already been remarked why should adults have to suffer censorship simply because the BBFC apparently cannot trust parents to regulate what their children play?

I could understand the BBFC stepping in and outlawing a game which contains elements which promote or otherwise trivialise illegal acts - but if they're going to ban something simply due to violent content then they have to apply the same rules and start banning any film like Hostel, Saw, Hellraiser, etc which do the same thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Business as usual

I truly doubt Rockstar Games would be satisfied unless their games were banned in one or more countries. Getting games banned gives them better PR than any commercial campaign could ever provide.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh dear

The poster above (Ian) puts a lot of truth into it... the police confirmed the game was not an issue in Stephen Pakeerah's murder, but rather the by-product of the robbery. Yet now on the BBC website covering the ban of Manhunt 2 they don't make it clear enough and still put things like "The original Manhunt game caused huge controversy and was blamed for the murder of Stefan Pakeerah."

This is not only a lack of impartiality, but clearly bad journalism due to the liberties it takes with the story. As for the game, I played the original Manhunt and it was fun. Again, like the (in)sane people post here parents should be aware the games industry is grown up and caters for a distinct mature audience so supervision is clearly needed. Of course what we need is the cessation of the politicisation of games as scapegoats for violent crime. There's a good quote from someone I forget when he responded to claims that TV-violence-causes-real-violence. He said "Well I see comedy on TV, but it's not causing comedy in the streets!"

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Jail time ahoy

"I wonder how long it will take for some enterprising soul from another EC country to start "exporting" them to the UK. I'd do it if I had access to PAL versions."

Only if they want to end up behind bars, what you are talking about is a criminal offence.

Must have game? Not really, you would need a chipped console to play this game, The fact of the matter is that the BBFC has stated the game had no redeeming features. We all know Saw 3 is bad, and responsible people wouldn't allow their 12 year old to watch it, but when it comes to console games, an 18 rating is meaningless.

Hopefully game makers will take note of this and put more thought into a game. Yes the BBFC has banned lots of movies in the past, and some (not all) are now unbanned, times change so for the BBFC to have banned this game it must be nothing short of gratuitous rubbish.

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Anonymous Coward

Art

I wonder if the people defending the game also connect the movie "Hostel" to "critical social statement".

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setting a precedent

This game has also been banned in Ireland, the very first time one has been (unlike the UKs attempt at it in the past). Would presume we're going to get more in the future now - the first banning of a movie in 5 years here has lead to a few being banned every year since - the film censors appear to not be able to give up.

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Anonymous Coward

Do we all feel protected now?...

they tell you what you can play, what to watch, what to read, they lie in government, they watch you on CCTV, they stop the population taking charge of its own defence, they want your DNA and fingerprints, they stop you protesting near your parliament, we have foreign wars and terror to justify your loss of liberty....

don't question, don't disagree. they know where you are....

Orwell where are you now?

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Anonymous Coward

I don't read the Daily Mail

Mark: I am not saying that violent games are responsible for anything in society; but pilots learn to fight using simulators because that makes them more comfortable when facing the real thing.

I think that a lot of games are doing just that: making violence more "comfortable" and normal. I think that's a bad thing.

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You don't need to chip PS2 to play Manhunt 2.

Assuming that not all European countries ban this game you would be able to get a PAL copy from one of the other European nations and play it without the need to chip your console.

Modchips are only needed for US and Japanese region games.

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Anonymous Coward

Silly censorship

'There's a good quote from someone I forget when he responded to claims that TV-violence-causes-real-violence. He said "Well I see comedy on TV, but it's not causing comedy in the streets!"'

That's a terrible example of course. The endless hordes of people shouting "garlic bread?!" or "computer says no" are testament to how people copy comedy TV programmes word for word.

That said I can't see any reason for the BBFC to step in on this. Either the rating system works or not, and if it doesn't and 12 year olds can get hold of 18 year old games its time to enforce the system not ban violent games.

I'd guess the game will be rubbish - however the publicity they'll be generating for Rockstar will do it a world of good. If the decision is overturned it'll get sold by the truckload and if not, imports from the EU (ebay anyone?) will rise dramatically.

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What I find depressing is...

...that Rockstar presumably went through a business appraisal and thought that there was a large enough market for this game to invest a large six-figure sum.

Whether or not the game actually causes violence is almost immaterial, I just can't understand why anyone would want to play it. (And that's from reading the 'Edge' preview, not the 'Daily Mail').

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Nix

'Safe at last'

What a tremendous relief that in an age where I can walk into a store and buy a DVD of 12 men having sex with one woman in every degrading pose possible, I'm safe from the mind-warping harm brought on by video games.

Phew!

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Anonymous Coward

Are parents accountable for anything these days?

So it seems that the reason that adult games cannot be made now is that they end up in the hands of children. The games are rated 18 so why does the media keeping blaming the game makers for the parents obvious neglect of supervision of what their children are doing?

Movies with an 18 rating are not illegal, pornography is not illegal if you want to buy it, so why are adults forbidden to buy a game because some parents are not good at looking after what their kids see and do? Oh well they can now be safe to watch the latest violent and sordid plot line in Eastenders on the BBC which is on before the watershed anyway.

I have no interest in the game Manhunt but I do have an interest in the fact that it has been decided that as an adult, I can not buy it because of other peoples poor parenting skills an inablility to take responsibility for their actions.

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Not a problem, mates

I'm not subject to UK law. Anyone want to buy the stupid game from me?

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Anonymous Coward

I thought Mary Whitehouse was dead...

First of all if the reason is that there is a possibility of it getting in to wrong hands (non adults) that it got banned, then surely the risk of centralised ID info getting into the wrong hands is possible and so the ID card should be banned as well. The point I'm making is that you can't ban something because someone may break the rules layed out thats just stupid. No cars because people might speed/drink drive... the list goes on.

As for people saying developers should make educational or non violent game..ahem BrainAge Second Life (non Violent) and many more. The thing is action sells, look at a lot of the big hit movies there is alot of action films and at least films with moderate action sequences. And films like Vacancy and Hostel.

I am a responsible adult and would like to make my own decision about which computer games i can and cannot play.

The thing is a lot of same people who say this is good probably would criticise the Muslim banning of Rushdie's Satanic Verses.

Why do u think your opinion and sensibilities are more righteous than the rest of us. If u don't like it don't play or look and let the rest of us get on with 'Our' own lives

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So...

I take it that someone from the BBFC went crazy after playing the game and started murdering hundreds of people?

Yeah, thought not....

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Bronze badge

Erm!

I wrote loads of stuff here then thought bollox to it. The BBFC have prolly saved us from a load of old tosh anyway.

Console makers - put parental control features in your consoles like almost every other consumer device available (even fridges)

Games developers - put some originality into it, killing people in video games has been done to death. I had as much fun playing Roller Coaster

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Think of the marketing!

They couldn't have wanted a better incentive for young rebelious types to by the game when they eventually work out something to get it sold here in the UK (come on do any of us believe this is a permenant situation?)

"The game they tried to ban"

Solid PR Gold.

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Anonymous Coward

Only illegal if you're "protected" by the British Government

"I wonder how long it will take for some enterprising soul from another EC country to start "exporting" them to the UK. I'd do it if I had access to PAL versions."

"Only if they want to end up behind bars, what you are talking about is a criminal offence."

I'm sure somebody will correct me if I'm wrong but surely it's only an offence for someone in the UK to sell a banned title. What can the British Government do if somebody in France buys a load of copies and sells them over the net? (other than try to seize them in the mail) Can they really get a European arrest warrant for that?

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Silver badge

My rights?

I do not recognise that the BBFC, or anyone for that matter, has any right to decide what I can and cannot view, play or experience. Yet my willing failure to recognise their right does nothing to stop them from choosing what I can legally view, play or experience.

Who the fugg are these people? And why should they have any right at all over what I, we view etc.

When I was young I thought I lived in a free society based on honesty(yup I really did). And to a much greater extent than today, it was. Getting older however has taught me a few things... There isn't a great deal of freedom here in the UK at all. We have self appointed saviours of morality telling us how we should all behave. We have the supremely arrogant running the country, who create laws to counter the slightest hint of threat to their base of power. Who then have the audacity to tell us it is for our own good! And we have media using adjectives to describe the news, not just simply reporting it. In fact there is always someone or some kind of system somewhere attempting to forge opinion and coerce our thinking. On top of all that, I cannot legally play a computer game because, according to the opinion of a group of people for whom I do not give an expletive, it might corrupt me and make me a violent killer. Or perhaps worse still, fall into the hands of a youngster and turn him into a serial killer. The one thing more likely to turn me into a violent killer above everything else is being dictated to by a bunch of pompous, self righteous fools who believe that THEY know what is best for me, ultimately deciding what I legally can and cannot do. Don't let anyone tell you that this is a free country.

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