Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The year is 2007, but somehow it feels like 1973. Why? Because the BBFC has rejected to classify Manhunt 2, effectively making it illegal to sell the PS2 and Wii ported game in this country. This would be the first video game to be banned since Carmageddon (Later overturned. Remember that game? It was awesome). I did not like the first Manhunt, so this isn't a huge loss to me. Though it scares me to think that Suda 51's No More Heroes might get banned because apparently it contain more violent content than Manhunt 2.

The reason I didn't like the first game was the gameplay, and not the violent content (although the sadistic content is pretty nauseating) itself, so I think for a game like Manhunt 2 to be banned based on the content is irrational thinking - something akin to book burning days of yore. Which is shocking because I tend to respect the BBFC's more liberal approach (I still do, the BBFC are one of the few organisations who actually play the games rather than view a video of it) when it comes to classifying games compared to other countries, like Germany's USK - where knee jerk reaction by idiot politicians can have affect the process.

This wouldn't be the first time that video games are to be used as scapegoats. "Ban this sick filth" is already a common hysterical theme among right wing tabloids like the Daily Mail. The first Manhunt game didn't escape criticism either when some shops removed it from the shelves due to tabloid hysteria. Then there was the Rule of Rose scandal, a game that none of the MPs played, but still wanting to create a teacup storm over nothing. This and the mad demands by the Church of England over Resistance: Fall of Man is making me sick.

If you want to ban something, ban something which is rubbish, like Dan Brown's new book or the new Fantastic Four. Oh well, the game is probably rubbish anyway, like most of Rockstar's post GTA III games. But still...

via Eurogamer


RichardAM said...

The loss of the title from shelves means nothing to me really, because like you, the first game never appealed gameplay-wise to begin with. After all, there's only so many third-person-perspective action titles I can put up with.

But what does it mean anyway other than just more free publicity to the big house of Rockstar? Censorship is one of the best ways of publicity, but I fear to think games will be rejected in the future because of their out-there attitude and gutsiness when it comes to creating something.

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

Actually after reading about some of the alleged contents at neogaf (including necrophilia with a beheaded victim), I feel quite sick and can understand (although I still do not support) the BBFC's decision to ban it.

It seems R* were purposely trying to court as much controversy as possible, gaining free publicity in the process. It wouldn't be the first time they have done that and I am willing to bet that they already have a ESRB and BBFC friendly version ready to be resubmitted. Frankly it is difficult to sympathise with R* at the moment, even if I think the banning is wrong.