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back to article Rockstar to battle BBFC over Manhunt 2 ban

Manhunt 2 developer Rockstar will fight the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) over the organisation's second refusal to grant the game a UK rating - a verdict it said was "unacceptable". Manhunt2 Manhunt 2: still too gory for grown-up Brits? In a statement, the game developer also branded the BBFC’s latest decision …

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The BBFC should ban it because it's a crap game

..rather than because it's gory.

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Good on them.

Good on Rockstar - how long before any game with violent content is barred on a whim by the BBFC?

Are they saying the game is TOO horrific for adults to play? The same adults that the government can send off to foreign shores to fight wars for freedom (oil)?

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Riiiight

"Rockstar said it believes gamers should be allowed to decide for themselves the level of horror they see in a videogame, just as they do in the movies that BBFC classifies for UK viewing."

Which translates as "Who cares what UK law says - we want to sell this game anyway, just as it is."

And even their sentiment (as quoted) isn't consistent. They accept that people should only have to choose between films that the BBFC approves for release. The same situation applies to film as to videogames: some are too gory for release. If they are too nasty, they can't be seen in this country. That's the law, like it or not.

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Manhunt is a step back for video games.

Such a mediocre title has never hurt the reputation of gaming so much... We cant even pretend theres a story or higher artistic purpose here... Its gore for gores sake, and its not even well done gore.

I dont have a problem with Violence, I'm part of the Doom/Wolf3d Generation after all, but those showed off what a PC can do, Manhunt just shows how sick we can be.

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Jobs Horns

BBFC = Mini Hitlers?

Why not just create a new age certificate? 21+? And if parents are going to buy it for their kids then just let em! who cares? I dont.. It not as if my next door neighbours 6yr old is going to wield a chainsaw in the playground everytime someone says 'stupid head' to him.

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Any publicity is ....

If we're going to have censorship, what's the point in not censoring when it's justified?

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Jobs Horns

Why not make Bill Gates Dream come true?!

...and sell (ok License then), the "Product" though a Web-portal, like oh I dono, let's say Valve then shall we?!

Then you, can bypass all this BS and freely create what the heck your sickest dreams might bring.

"Age Verification"?!, did I hear someone mention "Age Verification"?!

That should be a rather naft answer, just use your "CC", and or "PayPal Account"!!!

Problems solved then!!

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Paris Hilton

Let's be honest here

This game isn't going to appeal to anyone with an IQ in three figures is it? It's aimed at teens who like their violence fix (my generation had all the Stallone/Schwartzenegger nuts too but they were mostly harmless).

If the BBFC knew that parents wouldn't go out an buy an 18 game for little Timmy then they'd give it a certificate unfortunately there are so many knuckle dragging neanderthals out there that do exactly that, that they can't risk someone getting hold of a copy and facing the onslaught if that person then goes out on a rampage (the game automatically becomes responsible at that point for some reason).

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Anonymous Coward

Carmageddon?

Anyone else remember back in the day when the BBFC decided (for a while) that carmageddon was only acceptable if the people were replaced by zombies? That didn't harm game sales across the inductry - or even sales of carmageddon IIRC. It strikes me that rockstar is just trying to spin the ruling to make it seem like "the revenge of Jack Thompson" or something when really its just the bbfc telling them to GTFO and not come back till they have a title that has some substance. Lot of stuff and nonsense.

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Rubbish!

"Set back for all videogames" what utter tosh! Its a setback for sick games that glory in sadistic violence with no conscious or morality. I for one give this decision a thumbs up!

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BBFC have a tough job

By and large the BBFC have been pretty consistent in their decisions. Ultimately they have to abide by the law including the fairly draconian Obscene Publications Act and the Video Recordings Act. These games tend to get into trouble because they lack any serious artistic or dramatic merit, they are implicitly aimed at children and the levels of violence in them can't normally be justified within the context of the game. The BBFC can and do regulate things quite sensitively, in the French file Baise-Moi they removed a sexually explicit rape scene but left in the consensual sex which was nearly all fairly hard-core in nature. They don't just remove things they don't like, the have to abide what the law says is "harmful." There's no point in shooting the messenger.

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Ash
IT Angle

The game sucks, as does this ruling

BBFC wants to ban exposure to gore and wanton bloodshed for no other reason than shock and horror?

Then why the blue F*CK did it pass Saw, Saw II, Saw III, and soon Saw IV for viewing?! What can possibly be more realistic and graphic than the content of these films?!

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Paris Hilton

Double standards

@Ash - So true, and what about Hostel 2, It's ok for us to watch a woman slashing another with scythe while showering in her blood, then have another pulling a guy's genitals off with a pair of pliers IN PLAIN SIGHT, but you can't play a graphicly violent stealth/action game where you kill some pixels??????

Never mind, I'm sure the kids can just play America's Army instead, get convinced that that's a good idea and then get carted off to some shithole to get their brains blown out.

I thought Manhunt was a great game. A bit over the top perhaps but well well. At least it's taking the attention off GTA for a while.

BBFC - Ha ha, charade you are!

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@Boldman: Rubbish!

Damned right, keep sick junk like this off the streets, if the first game is anything to go by, the ability to stick claw hammers into the heads of others for the sake of it has no place in decent society.

I'm not for a nanny state, but common decency has to apply somewhere, lines need to be drawn...

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Ahem.

As an avid follower of many of El Regs more tech-savvy stories I don't usually comment on these types of "entertainment" style stories.

However; I am also an avid gamer. I thought the first Manhunt was a refreshing change to the usual Doom-esq FPS barrage of games we've had to endure in the last decade. Whilst the contact is nothing I'd like children to see, the BBFC really has no grounds to stand on - far more violent and disturbing contact can been seen on any one of numerous websites that don't require age verification. At least if they classified the game as an 18 or even as a 21 (A new certification level I'd personally welcome) then there is at least a level of control that can be maintained over it's distribution at the consumer-facing end.

I've been looking forward to this gritty and violent game. Not for the "kicks" it gives (They are, after all, computer sprites) but for the genuine interest in the twisted and horrific plot and situation the character finds themselves in.

The BBFC have again fallen foul of banning something only to get side-swiped by the pirates, torrent sites and people who will attempt to import this in order to cash in on the hype this will now inevitably generate.

The first game, whilst shocking, only got the media attention once it hadn't occured that some unhinged young man had played it and had then killed someone. He'd also no doubt read newspapers, watched the news and heard on the radio about killings, murders and other sociopathic behaviour. None of those things got accused of making him kill.

I, for one, will be getting this game. The BBFC really should stick to what they know best, which is nothing. An outdated draconian institution that it's possible to bypass quite easily with a little bit of intelligence.

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But then again

I'm not sure that I approve of any form censorship, and I'm not keen on anything being banned, because once you pop, you just can't stop.

But on the other hand, the depressingly pointless and utterly vile Manhunt disgusted me.

And as someone pointed out, we can no longer count on parents in the UK to make sensible choices about the content of the games they buy for their children.

These utter fuckwits will buy little Johnny the latest 18 rated mega slaughter blood fest, and then completely fail to take responsibility when lil J goes postal and kills his best mate, blaming the game rather their shit poor parenting. As evidenced by events last year.

If parents in the UK could teach their children the meaning of the word "No", then we probably wouldn't need the BBFC, until then we're stuck with them, and in this particular case, I applaud their decision.

This is NOT a game aimed at adults, any adult, even if not disgusted with the mindless brutality, would get bored with gameplay in about two minutes.

Rockstar have been walking down this road since the release of GTA3, and they have no one but themselves to blame for the position they now find themselves in. Serves them right for relying on gore and controversy to sell their wares.

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Ian

Ignorance must be bliss

"The same situation applies to film as to videogames: some are too gory for release. If they are too nasty, they can't be seen in this country. That's the law, like it or not."

You're correct in theory but the core issue is that there haven't been any films banned in over a decade now by the BBFC yet there are countless films such as Saw and Hostel released in the last decade that are in fact infinitely more gory than Manhunt 2.

The problem is that the BBFC clearly isn't applying the same standards to games that they apply to films, they're judging games vastly more harshly for some unknown reason. For all we know the BBFC could be as corrupt as they come, they could be in the backpockets of the movie industry and expecting the same backhanders from the games industry. Regardless of the reason something needs to be done to ensure that the BBFC either also starts banning the likes of Hostel and Saw (not the ideal option) or they start allowing games like Manhunt 2 which are no worse than Hostel and Saw through.

I'd guess part the problem is the general media's lies surrounding video games suggesting that they're somehow more influential than TV and movies without any evidence whatsoever for the claims and as a result the BBFC either being idiotic enough to believe it or feeling pressured enough to act upon it. This seems particularly true in this case due to the lies regarding Manhunt1/Stephen Pakeerah that the mainstream media such as the BBC never corrected after reporting that the killer had owned Manhunt when in fact it was the victim who had owned it.

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Some people missing the point

Saw and Hostel are not from the 1st person perspective, where as Manhunt 2 encourages the player to perform sick acts. As much as I'm against censorship until parents take the responsibility of not buying rated games for their underage kids then the BBFC has to do something.

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GOOD FOR ROCKSTAR

look i played manhunt the first one on i think the ps2 if i remember correctly yes it was violent and gory but what difference is manhunt 2 gonna be yes ripping of a guys testicals is abit strong but come on guys its only a game for gods sake it isnt real why cant the bbfc see this how come they start banning games but movies like hostal saw and canibal movies dont get banned yet they do get edited or cut slightly but not banned this just dont make any sence. the bbfc should be ashamed of themselfs bunch of c**ts i tell ya one thing though the more times they refuse this game the more im gonna buy the uncut version and i will get it and see for myself how bad it is ive played loads of violent games they dont bother me in fact i quite like the violence in the game because it makes it more fun to play i am 100% behind rockstar and i hope they release a uncut version of it as il be the first to grab it as for movies huh its a disgrace the way the bbfc go on movies are more real than games and yes people should be allowed to make there own decisions on what they buy whats happend to the human rights thease days

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Hilarious!

"This game isn't going to appeal to anyone with an IQ in three figures is it?"

Then a few comments later, we have evidence in: "GOOD FOR ROCKSTAR" - 230 words and no punctuation in sight! Love it.

Manhunt 1 was poor. Awful, sick, twisted, and poor. Let's face it, British society is going downhill, and whilst I too am against a nanny state, I have to agree that Manhunt-type stuff is a bit too much maybe. I love the Resi series, SIlent Hill's, Haunting Ground, Clock Tower, and San Andreas too, but it's just a bit different really. Anyone saying otherwise is either avoiding that fact, or already a little too warped to tell.

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but wasn't manhunt the one that....

Manhunt had the teenage kid take his mate out to a wood somewhere near London and he used a claw hammer on his head killing him. It was on the BBC news and the kid admitted "manhunt" was the reason he did it.

Rockstar didn't learn from that and come back with a second game. Genius.

Yes it is a form of censorhip, but then again it's a sick and pointless game, run round and kill people for no reason because you can. Still shocked grand theft auto which said yes to stealing cars was allowed.

Ahh the hipocracy of the censors.

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Stop

Thought Police?

"This material puts you in a state of mind of which we do not approve, no game for you."

It's not that far fetched considering it is _not_ a particular sentiment explicitly expressed in the game that is being censored (eg, Communism > Democracy, Apple > Microsoft, Linux > Both, etc. etc.), but content which they claim has a certain effect on the player's psyche.

(we really need a "watching you" icon for stories involving government creepiness)

Peace and Tinfoil hats for all!

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Lee
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Anonymous Coward

Get your story right, the kid who was killed owned the game, the teen who done it had never played the game and he did it over money

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Lee
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Gameplay

I still own the original Manhunt (32 by the way). I feel the game is a good release from a stressful day at work (it tech). There is a storyline to manhunt, you are taken away from death row, and put into some sick f@cks video nasty, you have to survive, the only way is to suffocate, stab, maim, decapitate, shoot, and numerous other ways to finish the bad guys off. My gf and her mom just laugh when I creep up behind someone and saw their head off with a garrott, then use it as a distraction.

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Unhappy

Well:

It should NOT be banned, I grew up playing SOF and GTA. I have never felt the urge to go out and shoot/stab people.

Whats next: I can also see the BBFC also banning all car games incase the local car theif kills someone in a car they cannot control while driving said stolen car at 100 mph. I can just see the papers - I could drive at 100 on my PS3!

And after that all Flight simulators incase it may teach the terrorists how to fly

After that RPGs like Final Fantasy with its sword fights.

Even Mario could be banned when kids say that they were copying Mario after jumping on someone.

I can see that in about 10 years Pong may make a serious comeback.

FFS people its about time Parents stopped letting kids play the games unless thay can bring their kids up knowing right from wrong and the REAL respect NOT Street CRED Respect

*rant over

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