back to article Manhunt, mods and maddened mothers

It took about 24 hours after the release of Manhunt 2 for hackers to remove filters that censor the video game's most grisly scenes. I'm crossing my fingers this one goes away quick. It's too early to tell how much media controversy will arise from the latest video game censorship gaffe, it's clear we haven't heard the last of …


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  1. Roy Isserlis
    Thumb Down

    Infactual article

    ESRB president Patricia Vance has said:

    "Contrary to some reports, however, we do not believe these modifications fully restore the product to the version that originally received an AO rating, nor is this a matter of unlocking content."

    This is completely contrary to the Registers position:

    "The content revealed by the mod is the true 'visceral killing' scenes that attracted the ire of both US and European censors — transforming the AO-rated testicle-ripping murder romp into a mere M-rated eyeball-gouging homicide tryst."

    I would suggest Austin Modine starts writing for the Sun rather than El Reg.

  2. Les Matthew

    "I'm crossing my fingers"

    A much safer bet than holding ones breath on this one methinks. ;)

  3. Alex

    Sanity has prevailed

  4. Leo Rampen
    Paris Hilton

    No outrage

    Of course there'll be no outrage. The GTA mod had ****SEX**** involved - something that children should NEVER know about.

    This mod just reveals a bit of gore. Children can have gore - it's hardly going to turn them into the paedophilic child-eating maniacs that a virtual BJ will.

  5. b shubin

    YAO (Yet Another Outrage)

    the people of the US fear any number of existential threats. here's a sample:

    [1] bare boobies on television are a grave danger to society.

    [2] a bunch of guys with WW2-vintage weapons, building improvised explosive devices in a cave in the Middle East, will destroy this country.

    [3] gay people, especially the ones who marry, will doom us all.

    [4] genetic experimentation is wrong, unless it is done for profit and we eat the result.

    as long as the ignorant, barely literate public is focused on that sort of thing, they will fail to notice that their Big-Debt, Big-War, Big-Brother, Big-Corruption, Big-Pollution, Big-Religion, Big-Government leaders are about to drive this bus over a cliff.

  6. Eric Graves

    So it's only OK when the movie studios do it?

    There's still a widespread perception that video games are for kids and therefore are in need of much stricter controls. Holywood realeases far more graphic scenes of sex and violence everyday with only an R rating, and then when they include content that the censors didn't approve, they openly brag about it, advertising the special 'unrated edition.' Yet, when someone manages to get access to content that was never meant to be released we're supposed to be outraged? Just put the same little warning you find on DVDs, something to the effect of "Additional content not designed to be accessed during play has not been rated by the ESRB." Problem solved.

  7. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @YAO (Yet Another Outrage)

    Yeah, Right on, Brother b shubin, but we don't necessarily have to copy their tactics/poison candy. That is tantamount to jumping on the bus/bandwagon but I do suppose it does have it's sweet attractions.

    It is though, rather pathetic that the situation with the Big Lead Small Minded Players is permitted to persist/exist at all.

    Do you think anyone/anything is working Diligently, Stealthily to put in The Great Fix?

  8. b shubin

    The Fix

    @ amanfromMars

    the Fix is always in.

    all empires make the same mistake, arming the have-nots. at some point, the disparity between rich and poor becomes too inequitable. humans are programmed for "fairness", not logic or reason, and that's how the empire breaks down: at some point, the Praetorian Guard decides who gets to be Emperor.

    that's when Manhunt 2 goes from social outrage to training tool.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And of course

    Leaving all the content that would lose them the rating in the code so its accessible from a mod rather than deleting it is in no way at marketing tool at all is it

    - much...

  10. Steven Knox


    "Effectively, game developers were made responsible for third-party modifications on their games."

    NO. The developers were held responsible for the CONTENT SHIPPED WITH THE GAME. In cases where the mods themselves add new content (see the Oblivion nudity kerfuffle) the developers are not held responsible for content added by third parties. Once that distinction is made clear, the rest of your article is pretty much flame-fanning.

    In the GTA San Andreas case, the content was part of the original distribution. Based on the various comments, it remains to be seen whether that is the case here.

  11. David Austin

    Online Games

    The ESRB now have a boilerplate text for games that have online functions:

    "Game Experience May Change During Online Play"

    it's a good idea, and neatly sums up the problem of smack-talking American youths tea-bagging players in Halo 2. Could form the basis of a common-sense approach to game mod ratings....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The problem here is with the retailers.

    If the big retailers shipped and enforced the AO rating, then there wouldn't be a problem.

    If the big retailers did not get involved with government bodies, then there wouldn't be this problem.

    If adult's where responsible in not buying little Jonny a game that was rated far above what he should be seeing, there wouldn't be this problem.

    Nanny states breed discontent.

    As for the GTA content.. the US masses seem to be convinced that causing virtual M/way pile ups and sniping the victims as they get out of their cars, is somehow not relevant in morality arguments.. but God forbid that someone finds some (virtual) procreation pixels, and believes that their children will be more harmed by virtual, rubber clad, dildo action, than by user created violence.

    The only pity, is that the US censor hysteria seems to have infected the British Isles; if this carries on, well have to have subliminal audio of 'This is only a game' being played constantly throughout, just so the fucktards of the human population don't take another leaf from the good o'l US of A and start litigating everything that didn't have a warning.

    I'd be more worried about the parents that keep legal glocks and semi's, and don't bother monitoring what their children do.

  13. Mark

    "So they hid sex in the game?"


    There is NO SEX in the game. There are images that can, in a certain light, with a squint and the right frame of mind look like sexual images.

    However, we don't ban dogs for bonking in the street. We don't ban nature programs showing two ding beetles doing the beast with 12 legs.

    But basically, your answer to the question was wrong. No, they didn't hide sex in the game. They won't want that story, so they'll ask more questions about how that "no" is really a "yes" and then you can put the shading of how much "yes" there was.

  14. Adam

    As a gamer..

    What I love about this is how there are more people in the media writing about this game than there are people who are going to play it.

  15. Michael Hitchins

    Re: No.

    so the bit where you *have* to fiddle with the game files to get the content doesnt count as a mod? you say that its completely legit that it was sealed off and required modification to get the stuff you saw?

    you should tell microsoft that people that fiddle with the activiation files arent doing anything bad either. I mean sure its sealed off but its completely legit to fiddle with it to get what you want, right?

    the excuse that you didnt have to create the content just unlock it and that means the developers wanted you to see it is flawed in the extreme. You are still bypassing a system put in place to prevent you doing something. Even if the bypass is trivial you are still bypassing something.

    If it was a lock on a fence and it just happened to be easy for you to pick it doesnt mean you were entitled to just waltz on through and do as you please. Every system is penetratable, it doesnt mean it was intended or right.

  16. john


    What I love is buying these banned games before they are removed from the shelves, then selling them on EBAY for twice what I paid!!!

    Keep it up Rockstar - I love your games!!

  17. The Avangelist

    Somebody has missed a fun-damental

    These parents need to shut the hell up!

    Call me a synic but you cannot buy your kid a rifle and then complain when he massacres his school mates right!?

    Well then you can't complain when you clearly pandered to your snot nosed coat tail grabbing wining sorry good for nothing kids when you cave in and buy them a adult rated game. So get off your blimmin high horses and go smell the daisies you are all responsible and you are all to blame.

    Man I feel like Billie Joe Armstrong today

  18. George Johnson

    Here we go again...

    Once again, "No such thing as bad publicity.".

    Of course they made it easy to hack, they want the middle-Engladers and the doo-gooders to be up in arms, talk about it, get it into the press. For every "outraged from Neasden", there's 5 more customers going to buy it, to find out what the fuss is about! There is even a PPF patch out there for it, patch an ISO, no manual editing. Just to make it easier for little Johnny to be turned into Johnny the Psycho, head-in-a-fridge nutter, this game will undoubtedly turn him into!

    So could everyone please just play it, realise it's just another average adventure, hack and slash style game and then we can all get on with our lives.

  19. Joe Cooper
    Thumb Down

    Disgusting games

    GTA series is an absolutely disgusting piece of shit.

    Any sex in it, even if it wasn't hidden, is easily the most benign aspect.

    It's not like Doom where you're shooting monsters, or a cop game where you're beating up some epic wanker druglord. Or even a deathmatch game, which is just friendly and fair competitive play with other players.

    It's a murder simulator. You hit women. What sort of epic pussy gets off on hitting women! What the fuck!

    I am appalled that any parent could go make a fuss about sex content their kid can't even touch by buy this game for ~anyone~ knowing what it is.

  20. shaun


    everyone's so concerned over game content they are ignoring the amount of guns available. GAMES DON"T HARM PEOPLE, GUNS DO.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    just a passing thought...

    who aproves the censors in first place?

    what authority these censors have to tell any one what is good for any one to play?

    who are these censors anyway?

    as far as i am concerned majority of these so called individuals have no idea of what and how real world is really like. so due to their feelings of insecurity thanks to living in tha fantasy land they try to impose their version of what is real or what should be real on rest of us sane people.

    any censorship should be on part of a parent if the game is this graphic. as for adults we asume that we have our own minds to think with?

  22. Register Reader

    @Joe Cooper

    Oh FFS. So should real life be banned because it's possible to hit women? Grand Theft Auto is not all about hitting women, but you happen to be able to shoot and hurt people, some of whom are WOMEN!! :O Just the same as people can use women models in deathmatch games. The game itself is about taking out a dirty cop and drug dealers, etc etc.. if you'd actually tried playing any of the missions or enjoyed the driving around and stuff rather than trying to kill everything (something I rarely do in the game, I enjoy the driving, cycling, plane/helicopter flying and skydiving rather more) you may have noticed that.

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