Yes I know its old news, The Rockstar Games, Manhunt 2 has for the moment been banned from release in the UK by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) saying “There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game,” it added, and highlighted “the game’s unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer”. Without the BBFC certificate the game in effect can not be sold in the UK legally.
Rockstar Games was given 6 weeks to appeal against this decision, Earlier this week a Take Two Interactive spokes man told GamesIndustry.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.”
A little bit of history: Rockstar Games or rather DMA Design a Scotland-based software developer, famous for the Lemmings series. DMA was acquired by Rockstar Games in September 1999 and subsequently changed its name to Rockstar North. Anyway Rockstar games are not new to this kind of publicity or out cry over their games, GTA Vice City had to be remade about three times I think because of things which were said by in game characters which caused offense to certain ethnic minorities, then there was GTA San Andreas being withdrawn from the shelves after a 3rd party modification was made which opened scenes of a sexual nature in the game, causing the game to be reclassified as an Adult only game. Rockstar did recode the game to make it incompatible with 3rd party modifications, then we have the game Bully, renamed Canis Canem Edit, for the UK market, and now Manhunt 2 and possibly GTA IV due for release the back end of this year.
Personally I dont see what all the fuss is about. At the end of the day it is only a game, yes it is a violent game but come on most if not all games are created for escapism and nothing more. During my time working as a technical support adviser for computer games I have talked with Lawyers, defense attorneys, surgeons and people from all walks of life who have and do play these kinds of games as a way of winding down after a long stressful day. I too have played games were I have just ran around for a couple of hours doing nothing more than killing people to wind down. These kind of games are intended for an adult audience and having this kind of ban imposed by people who are locked away in their ivory towers hoping that the skeletons in their closets do not see the light of day.
There are some who because of some kind of psychosis will try to take what they see in a game into real life but then these people would do something along the same line at some point in their future anyway, so blaming the gaming industry is nothing more than a cop out, an easy target. We who play these games are adults and as an adult have the right to make a decision as to whether we want to spend our money on “Ultra Violent” games or not, if we don’t like the game content we don’t buy the game, it is really as simple as that. Having this right of choice taken away from us by the Moral crusade is an infringement of our civil liberties.