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Rockstar appeals Manhunt 2 ban

Rockstar appeals Manhunt 2 ban

Manhunt 2 was given an outright ban by the BBFC, but Rockstar Games is now proceeding with an official appeal.

You remember Manhunt 2, right? It was all over the news a few weeks ago and there were more bit-tech forum threads about it than you could threateningly shake a meat cleaver at.

The controversy around the game started long ago, with Jack Thompson being usually vocal over his concerns that the game was nothing more than a murder simulator. The Wii version of the game was especially noteworthy for forcing players to mimic the actions of the on-screen character as he murders innocents.

When it got around to ratings time the game was unsurprisingly refused certification (which prevented the game going on sale) in the UK by the BBFC, who cited "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone...sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged" as the main cause.

Other rating bodies soon followed and the ESRB gave the game an AO rating, which essentially meant it would not be available for sale in the US. Sony and Nintendo both backed away from the deal, not wanting an AO title on either the Wii or the PS3 and the game was finally left without a platform. Distribution was suspended and that was that.

For a bit.

Now, almost six weeks later, Rockstar Games is officially appealing against the original BBFC ban according to GI.biz.

The Video Appeals Committee will now hold a hearing between Rockstar and the BBFC and the committee itself will view the game and oversee the proceedings.

A Rockstar spokesperson told GI.biz: "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. confirmed today that Rockstar Games has appealed the BBFC decision that prohibited the release of any version of Manhunt 2 in Britain."

There's no word just yet on whether Rockstar is also appealing the AO rating issued by the ESRB and the BBFC is refusing to comment on the issue while the appeal is open.

Think the game should see a release after all, or is the BBFC right to keep it off the streets? Let us know what you think in the forums. 

24 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Da_Rude_Baboon 2nd August 2007, 11:45 Quote
Gamespot did a hands on preview of the game just before it got banned. They said it was nothing worse than what you would see in films like 'Hostel' or 'Saw'. This was the games i most looking forward to playing on the Wii. :|
mmorgue 2nd August 2007, 11:49 Quote
The game should be released and it should be up to the people to decide for themselves, not a government or higher body employing their own set of morales and guidelines.

If some people don't like it, then simply don't buy it. If some parents are worried their kids might play it, do what they are supposed to do and be P-A-R-E-N-T-S and manage, educate and monitor your kids like a parent is supposed to. Don't leave the babysitting up to others. TV and video games are no substitute for proper parenting.

In the end, I want to play the game. If i don't like it then fine. But b0ll0cks to the BBFC for deciding *for me* what I can/cannot play.
cjoyce1980 2nd August 2007, 11:58 Quote
give us the game, or we will beat you with are wii remotes
iwog 2nd August 2007, 12:22 Quote
I'm gonna have to go against the trend and say i dont think it should be released. Its just violence for the sake of violence. And the concept of the game disgusts me more than Hitman, GTA and Carmageddon for some reason. I just dont understand why people need the upclose kill factor. And it being no worse than saw and hostel doesn't make it any better in my eyes as those films disgust me too.
zr_ox 2nd August 2007, 12:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
I'm gonna have to go against the trend and say i dont think it should be released. Its just violence for the sake of violence. And the concept of the game disgusts me more than Hitman, GTA and Carmageddon for some reason. I just dont understand why people need the upclose kill factor. And it being no worse than saw and hostel doesn't make it any better in my eyes as those films disgust me too.

That's what I said a few weeks ago, som agreed but most spat their dummies.
Ayrto 2nd August 2007, 12:34 Quote
A recent newspaper poll showed support for the ban , however, the public attitude on these things is contradictory, ask people whether this sort of material should be banned ,people say yes. Ask the same people whether they agree with the proposition that some self selecting group of adults should decide what is suitable for them to see, because they're deemed incapable of judging and suddenly, put in these terms, most are totally against censorship.
Da_Rude_Baboon 2nd August 2007, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
I'm gonna have to go against the trend and say i dont think it should be released. Its just violence for the sake of violence. And the concept of the game disgusts me more than Hitman, GTA and Carmageddon for some reason. I just dont understand why people need the upclose kill factor. And it being no worse than saw and hostel doesn't make it any better in my eyes as those films disgust me too.

Thats fair enough as its your choice. :) The point is they are letting films with similar themes through.
mmorgue 2nd August 2007, 12:39 Quote
@iwog

I see what you're saying. But then, should violent movies like Saw and Hostel and Kaos and so be banned? I see that they don't interest you and the games you mention disgust you, fair enough. But I want to see those movies and I want to play those games. Not because I "desire" to kill but it's thru the main reason that most people want too -- the excitment of being scared, a form of escapism, fantasy and role play, adopt a persona, etc -- i.e., to do the things you wouldn't normally do in the real world and knowing full well it's not real so it's ok. if that makes sense.

Not that it'ss about fantasizing of "killing" because deep down that what you really want to do, but about pretenting to be/play something you're not, doing wrong things and bad things and getting away with it but KNOWING full well it's not real and you can just as easily return to the real world by turning the 'off' switch on the machine.

I think that's one of the main reasons anyone enjoys things like this -- to scare themselves, to play in a world where all the things they deal with in reality are not applicable and for a short while, can be someone they're not.

And besides, it's not even real! It's only a game/movie!
cjoyce1980 2nd August 2007, 13:17 Quote
Its only a game!
DougEdey 2nd August 2007, 13:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
Thats fair enough as its your choice. :) The point is they are letting films with similar themes through.

I personally can't stand those movies. Things like hostel, SAW and so on disgust me. I want to be entertained not left worrying for humanity.

Don't flame me please, it's just an opinion.
C-Sniper 2nd August 2007, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoyce1980
Its only a game!

EXACTLY
sapro 2nd August 2007, 15:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrto
A recent newspaper poll showed support for the ban , however, the public attitude on these things is contradictory, ask people whether this sort of material should be banned ,people say yes. Ask the same people whether they agree with the proposition that some self selecting group of adults should decide what is suitable for them to see, because they're deemed incapable of judging and suddenly, put in these terms, most are totally against censorship.

A lot of people come up with this argument - why should some high and mighty body be able to censor what we can and can't see? But there has to be some censorship. What about a game that lets you play as a rapist, or paedophile? "Oh, it's only a game, I'm not really a paedophile..!" It's naive to suggest that there shouldn't be any censorship. Extend the argument and you would have no laws whatsoever, and not enough general control to even allow the development of video games in the first place.

In Japan they have some very strange manga, including some about old men having sex with young boys. I find that pretty disturbing. I doubt those would be allowed in the UK and I think that's probably a good thing. Censorship is a grey area but to think there should be none at all just isn't realistic.
zr_ox 2nd August 2007, 16:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
Thats fair enough as its your choice. :) The point is they are letting films with similar themes through.

Thats true, but in a game it's the user participating in these acts as opposed to watching them.

The majority of us have the ability to distinguish right from wrong, but there are many who cant.

It takes so much more to shock these days, but movies and games continue to push the envelope. We all become a little more desensitized each time we see another game or movie with such graphic content, not to the point where we will imitate specific scenes but enough to alter out threshold.

Remember people it's alllll juuust aaaaan opinnnnion....noooo neeeeed tooooo flaaaaame.
LeMaltor 2nd August 2007, 17:07 Quote
I cant wait to buy this, just like with Manhunt when some idiot killed his friend and the mother blamed the game, loads of people went (inc me) to buy it just to see what the fuss was about, I've managed so far to not kill anyone in real life, dispite playing the game. I'm sure I could cope and not go off the rails from playing number 2............well maybe
bjrcboy 2nd August 2007, 19:47 Quote
Shoot, they should just sell it as an internet download. Steam maybe? the games getting such big publicity I'm sure it will sell like hot cakes just so people can see what all the fuss is about. Then when they realize its nothing more then a very graphic poorly designed game they will be let down. Haha. But hey the company will make a killing(no pun intended) whenever its released.

Personaly I wont buy it. Not because of all the killing and "casual sadism" or even the gore. Those games have nothing to offer me because.. sadly I am addicted to WoW :(:)
DXR_13KE 2nd August 2007, 23:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapro
What about a game that lets you play as a rapist, or paedophile?

what about a game that lets you re-enact the horrors of the war?

get a grip, it is not real, if someone made a game that involves raping kids then that person would be very f******* because very few people would buy it and that person would be pursued by the society ..... hey look at lula3d.....
Particle Man 3rd August 2007, 06:57 Quote
This game can't be any worse than a movie like "Saw", or anything you can see rotten.com; This is just another example of the government trying to step into your living room and control your media.

There's no reason it can't be sold to someone over the age of 18. Or someone under that age with thier parent/ guardian approval.

If they're gonna ban a freaking video game, they might as well go ahead and ban movies, pornography, and the news. To hell with freedom of speech and expression, let's just do like China or North Korea and have state controled media. And while we're at lets burn a few books, and destroy some art.
christoefar 5th August 2007, 15:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Particle Man
This game can't be any worse than a movie like "Saw", or anything you can see rotten.com; This is just another example of the government trying to step into your living room and control your media.

There's no reason it can't be sold to someone over the age of 18. Or someone under that age with thier parent/ guardian approval.

If they're gonna ban a freaking video game, they might as well go ahead and ban movies, pornography, and the news. To hell with freedom of speech and expression, let's just do like China or North Korea and have state controled media. And while we're at lets burn a few books, and destroy some art.

It's a shame, because eventually that is what will happen, we will be unable to decide matters for our sleves. Our lifes will be controlled by someone else.
boiled_elephant 6th August 2007, 01:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmorgue
If some parents are worried their kids might play it, do what they are supposed to do and be P-A-R-E-N-T-S and manage, educate and monitor your kids like a parent is supposed to. Don't leave the babysitting up to others. TV and video games are no substitute for proper parenting.

Framed, with total admiration, as the heart of the matter. Says it all.
Bladestorm 6th August 2007, 11:42 Quote
I somehow think its highly doubtfull that nintendo especially, but sony too would reverse there positions of refusing to have it on their consoles will be reversed even if the ban and AO rating were, though I guess it would open up the possibility of them releasing a PC version, or maybe 360 one if MS would have them.
kmrastegar 16th August 2007, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwog
I'm gonna have to go against the trend and say i dont think it should be released. Its just violence for the sake of violence. And the concept of the game disgusts me more than Hitman, GTA and Carmageddon for some reason. I just dont understand why people need the upclose kill factor. And it being no worse than saw and hostel doesn't make it any better in my eyes as those films disgust me too.

unfortunately for you, forunately for society, this is just your opinion. Saying you dont think it should be released on the grounds that YOU do not like the content is facism. i dont like pop music, i think it provides kids with shallow ideals, and id be happy if it was banned because i dont like it, BUT its not my choice. the choice is up to the people who buy it. and i like the fact that we can give people that choice. because it gives ME the choice to buy what I like.

Manhunt 2 should be released. Why? mostly because i want to play it. I wont lie. Manhunt was fun. i enjoyed suffocating people with plastic bags. i enjoyed stalking people and slicing their throats. its immensely fun. I dont care if theres no point to it (actually there was. it was a very dark and enthrawling storyline. i enjoyed it). But i could NEVER kill or even hurt anyone in reality. Im a big wimp. Im a big facsist. But MAN is it fun making people piss blood in video games. cos thats all it is GAMES. and whats wrong with people being honest and just saying its FUN to mutilate pixels on a screen...cos by gosh it is!!! :)

and dont to all who come back with the "kids kids kids" reply....its not FOR kids. period. tackle the real problem. bad parents and shops selling to underagers....Guns are legal to own in alot of countries. And parents can buy their kids guns if they choose in the same manner that they could be a game for their kid too. Whats the difference?? Parents dont seem to think violent games can influence their children. YES they CAN influence children. At the youngest age, children are very influenced by what is around them. it is how they learn. it is science. This is why we do not show them violent films. and it is why we shouldnt give them violent games. Tackle the real problem.

But adults can make decisions on their own. and i gurantee you, NO adult who doesnt have the capacity to kill anyway, will kill because they pick up this game. End of story. End of case. And your are an ignoramous if you think otherwise. Period.

I really hope the ban is reversed. the only thing that dissapoints me about this game is that it wasnt developed for a next gen console. Poor graphics always make me enjoy a game less (i say poor only because ive played gears of war and bioshock...i now EXPECT this level of graphics engine in games. lol. anything less starts to hurt my eyes)
whisperwolf 16th August 2007, 22:29 Quote
Do I think the game should be banned, no, censorship to that degree is wrong, however I do think it should have been given an R18 certificate and only distributed through r18 licensed premises, it would have been the only way to show the morons that buy 18 rated game for their ten year olds, that it isn't for kids.
We do seem to have a Large market in the UK that still believes that games are all for children, no matter how many 18 ratings and "this game contains graphic violence" stickers are displayed, and its not helped by having all games of all ratings intermixed on displays in shops like Game. So lets move the distribution to locations that you have to show your ID to even enter. And to the vocal 13-17 year olds that will complain about not being able to buy it, tough, grow up, it just takes time :D
fluxity 17th August 2007, 04:20 Quote
It seems stupid that they let very violent films through but ban a video game. It should obviously be an 18 if it ever gets released and places like GAME should have it in its own section with some warning signs or something. If parents end up buying it for their 12 yr old then it's their retarded fault, should be a better parent.
Da_Rude_Baboon 17th August 2007, 08:52 Quote
Fluxity has a good point there. The video game shops should have a separate 'adults' section for 18 rated games so its pretty obvious they are not for kids.
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