The difference between 17+ and AO..
.. is that stores like Wal-Mart will refuse to stock AO games, hence the importance for Rockstar to get the certification lowered.
Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 may have been banned for sale in Britain, but it has been rated Adults Only (AO) in the US, the developer's publisher, Take-Two Interactive, has confirmed. Take-Two said it believed an M rating - for Mature - was a more appropriate classification, and said it was "exploring its options with regard to …
If the BBFC are concerned about the game falling into the hands of young, innocent and easily influenced children, why not give the game an R18 rating. This means it has to be purchased in person by an adult from an adult shop - no internet sales, mail order etc.
OK, R18 is normally used for explicit porn, but at least this would mean that "hard core" gamers over 18 could play the game in the UK with a much reduced risk of the game being given to children compared to an 18 certificate.
The Playstation has region coding which takes effort to break (normally opening up the device and replacing chips) - if the Wii is similar then unless the BBFC think out of the box no one will be able to play the game in the UK to see if the BBFC are justified in their response to this game.
Manhunt 2 most certainly wont be released in the US on 10 July as it currently stands, as both Sony AND Nintendo do not grant licences for games to be released on their system if they have an "AO" rating.
Which is why for a period of time San Andreas was withdrawn from stores, because when the "Hot Coffee" controversy was going on, the ESRB re-rated it AO and as such it wasn't allowed to be sold. So Rockstar had to completly remove any traces of the Hot Coffee code for it to be re-rated M and allowed to be back on shelves.
So although there's only a years difference between M (17+) and AO (18+), because Sony & Nintendo wont grant licences to AO games and retailers wont stock them, it's essentialy the difference between a game being released or not.
What will happen when the physics model in games and their complexity reach a point where almost any conceivable action can be carried out? Surely in such circumstances anyone who 'cut upward into a foe's groin and buttocks, motioning forward and backward with the Wii remote as you go' is just a sick twisted individual rather than the game being at fault.
In the future will we have to have games censored for perverted actions?! Or will it automatically report you to the police.
Surely killing someone with a gun in a computer game (think every WW2 game from the last 10 years) is as likely as killing someone graphically with a chainsaw to cause the individual involved to carry out such an action in real life. The outcome is still a dead person - what's the difference?
Despite it seeming like there is very little different between AO and M, there is a substantial difference. Many shops, particularly large chains, do not stock products classified as adult-only.
This is largely due to the influence of family orientated groups and effects movies to as much, if not to a much greater extent. In the later case, not only will stores not stock the DVDs but theatres will not show them either.
Oh yes there is a difference between the 18+ and 17. Major chains will not stock 18+ games because they are categorised under the same restrictions as pr0n.
Remember the "Hot Coffee" scandal around GTA:SA? Originally rated 17 in the US, it showed that violence, guns and criminal activity could be tolerated in games sold in the US, but as soon as we get a bit of flesh (albeit CGI), Hilary Clinton has to get involved to get it an 18+ rating. In the UK it wasn't a problem because the game was 18 rated to begin with. What does that say about society?
I played the original Manhunt and whilst the game mechanics were interesting and very well done, the scenery, plot and nature of the game was nasty and unpleasant.
It seems that for the sequel Rockstar have pushed things a little further and the added physicality that the Wii version brings has pushed this game squarely over the edge with the censors.
I think it is about time that the games industry takes a look at itself and decides that some self-imposed lines should be drawn. I say this as an avid gamer of 20+ years experience who finds some of the more extreme titles getting more and more disturbing. As graphics head rapidly towards photorealism, I can only see this problem getting worse, and I feel that the games industry should exercise a little more restraint in the design of their games.
Violence has been a mainstay of entertainment for many years, but there is a world of difference between Wile E Coyote being attacked by a chainsaw and the player making the motions to cut another photo-realistic human in half.
What surprises me the most is that the game was sanctioned by Nintendo. Nintendo has always been about the joy of games and I'm surprised they approved something so cruel. Sure they've done horror before with Resident Evil, but that at least had a Good Vs Evil undercurrent - Manhunt is pretty much pure sadism.
Mind you, as a film buff I don't understand the current craze for 'torture porn' movies like Hostel either. maybe I'm just getting old...
They should just make the blood blue. Then it would be ok. Kind of like how Call of Duty 3 was rated T for teen because you could shooy a guy directly in the face but there is no blood.
Part of me thinks that killing someone without the graphic screaming/bleeding is kind of unrealistic and might lead to people actually doing it because they don't get the severity of actually killing someone. Maybe if a war game had people running out of ammo, cowering in holes, pleading to spare their lives, the game would be a bit more realistic. As a kid we some friends of mine got a hold of "Faces of Death" and we got to watch all sorts of people dying. All of us who weren't screwballs to begin with found a lot of the scenes extremely disturbing. If you're mimicking what you see in a video game at age 13, something is already f'ed up with your head and Rockstar and the community at large isn't responsible for sheltering you from life.
Rockstar - If you want someone to help port your game to the PC gratis, let me know. I'd do it just to do it. Maybe we could even release it as a "software application" and f the whole ESRB.
I think we need to form GASP (Gamers Against Stupid Parents) to ensure that parents are responsible and stop pushing the responsibility of protecting their kids off. I think it is stupid that parents complain about their kids (under 17) getting games that aren't made for them if in most cases the parents buy them for their kids. I think parents should be prosecuted for contributing to the delinquency of minors if their kids get these games and become viuolent. The ESRB has screwed me out of my right as an adult to play whatever games I want to too many times already. Make the parents responsible and stop trampling on my rights! AO games are usually hard to find and buy because a lot of retailers are too scared to carry them.
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