When Rockstar Studios tweaked controversial video game Manhunt 2 to make it suitable for a US Mature (M) rating rather than Adults Only (AO), it didn't actually remove the offending material, it has emerged. And now hackers have worked out how to expose the supposed excisions. Rockstar owner Take-Two Interactive last night …
...not learning from your mistakes.
But are they stupid?
Just look at all the press and hype they've generated over this.
Obviously a lot of people aren't impressed, but I'm betting a lot more people are aware of the game now than there would have been without this hullabaloo.
The funny thing is, Rockstar will probably profit more from it in the long run.
I'm no fan of clickwrap agreements...
...but it's sure a bizarroworld when you can get in hot water over things your customers do in the course of violating your EULA.
How come movies that get released on DVD with deleted scenes that would push them up an MPAA rating don't get slathered with "you're murdering children!" cries from the press? Hell, they put it right out in the open!
A note for UK players
If you're interested in getting this game you should note that although the BBFC have cut off the revenue for this game for British businesses they cant do the same for Foreign businesses.
"The Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA) makes it illegal to supply any video or DVD within the UK which has not been classified by the BBFC. There are some exceptions to this (eg educational works or works predominantly concerned with sport, religion and music) but all feature films and TV programmes must be classified. Although it is not a customs offence to import an unclassified video or DVD it must be for your personal use only and the content must not breach the prohibition on the importation of indecent and obscene material which reflects other UK law (eg Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964, Protection of Children Act 1978). You are therefore entitled to purchase unclassified videos or DVDs whilst abroad, provided they contain no illegal material and are solely for personal use."
time to sideline the PC regulators
Adults must be free to make up their own minds what is or isn't suitable.
If the regulators ( with their increasingly PC agendas )refuse to grant a certificate the game producers should make it available as an unrestricted download ( and torrent ) with a simple disclaimer:
By downloading this game i confirm I am over 18 and capable of making my own decisions.
Not a problem
I've given the leaked game a bit of a whirl on the PS2, and I don't think they'll run into censorship problems - the gameplay will act as the censor. It is truly awful and my boredom levels hit critical within 5 minutes.
Still, I can see a future where a line will be drawn. The closer our games get to reality, the harder it will become to allow them. If we achieve photo-realistic of people being "killed", where do you draw the line on what a snuff movie is? Will we end up where a digital representation is enough to satisfy weirdo's needs and sidestep the law?
Providing that the CGI depraved filth is effectively fulfilling the wierdos desires and thus reducing the number who feel compelled to act out their sick fantasies in real life, I'm all for it. The question is, of course, whether it does actually substitute for the real thing, or whether it increases their desire for it. The debate on that has really only just begun.
"time to sideline the PC regulators"
"Adults must be free to make up their own minds what is or isn't suitable."
Of course they are free to do this. The reason for censorship is that CHILDREN don't watch material made for ADULTS.
If anything you should direct your ridiculous argument at Sony and Nintendo. Those are the companies that prevent you from buying AO games. Read the article again and show some comprehension.
Those last to comments I agree with
I am a gamer myself. My game of choice at this time is Battlefield 2. Think Saving Private Ryan but with a lot more virtual people on screen.
I have a long history with FPS games (that's First Person Shooters for the uninitiated), which goes right back to the original Castle Wolfenstein. In other ords, I've been playing these games since they came out.
Each new generation was carefully crafted to run on the current hardware - and each one looked better than the previous one. When Quake 2 came out I was mesmerized - hey look ! I can actually see THROUGH a window !
In short, realism has been going up all the time. Today, in BF2, it is quite realistic enough - for a game. It is NOT a slaughter party though, there are sever limitations to what you can actually do. But that's all right - it's a game.
To answer Mr. AC, as far as I'm concerned we have now all the realism we need. I've been playing the Crysis demo and the artificial blurring is not really my piece of cake. They named in motion-blur, but really I just find it blurry - period. And I somewhat resent having forked over almost €300 for a graphics card that makes things blurry. I can do that if I squint my eyes, thank you. So really, I find we have enough realism. I do not need to play a game that looks like real life. I do not even want to play a game that looks real.
However, I am tired of games that persist to limit what I can do and how I can do it. If a tank rams the side of a house, it's not the tank that should get damage, right ? If a plane drops a few bombs on a building, the building should be rather heavily damaged, right ? Well none of all that happens in BF2, and DX10 does not seem to allow that either. The only thing DX10 does is add pretty pixels. Well I say we have enough pretty pixels already. We have absolutely gorgeous pixels. So let's start working on gameplay, okay ?
Now, in response to Mr. Ball, I really have only one thing to say : I've played a lot of gory games, and I've even played Grand Theft Auto uncensored. In games, I have done atrocious things. In real life, the only thing I am atrocious with is mosquitoes.
I've never even actually punched anyone. I avoid conflict if I can at all - and that just might include running for it if I'm up against more than one guy. The sickest fantasy I have is winning the Euro Lottery. Yet I believe I would have no trouble gutting a virtual character with a sword, if a game gave me the chance. I don't think I'm a wierdo, and I don't think you'll disagree with that. We both know what a wierdo is and I'd say just about anything is capable of pushing them over the edge.
In my opinion, blood, gore and twisted acts in games is no worse than watching any given snuff film (don't know any titles, I don't watch that), of even Hollywood titles like Blade, Basic Instinct, Natural Born Killers, or Reservoir Dogs.
Hollywood has exposed more people to gore, murder and twisted minds than any game can ever hope to touch. And a game does not get reruns on TV after five years.
In any case, you're absolutely right on one point : the debate is far from finished.