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"Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone"
June 19, 2007 7:25 AM   Subscribe

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has refused to rate Manhunt 2, Rockstar Games' latest controversial offering, effectively banning it from sale in the United Kingdom. This surprising decision comes only weeks before the game's July 10th release date. The last game to be blocked from sale in the UK was the 1997 classic Carmageddon. Appeal remains a possibility for Rockstar, “although it sometimes takes up to two months to get this happening.”
posted by mek (72 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Britain's NGamer magazine contains an exclusive review of the now-unattainable video game, which has given it a 92% rating.

I for one plan on picking up this game on release day, as I'm a big fan of Rockstar and I anticipate the experience of slaughtering people with a Wiimote will be... well, inappopriately delightful.
posted by mek at 7:30 AM on June 19, 2007


To protest mildly, download Carmageddon today. (possibly a demo.)
posted by mek at 7:32 AM on June 19, 2007


wow, you guys censor even better than we do!
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 7:34 AM on June 19, 2007


Huh. I played Manhunt 1 and yeah, it's pretty violent, but nothing shocking compared to what's already out there. I wonder how the game has changed.

It was OK. Not my favorite, but worth the week's rental price.

I wasn't particularly interested in the second but now, well, I think I'll have to get it just to satisfy my curiosity.
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:40 AM on June 19, 2007


Golly, I can't possibly imagine Rockstar had any possible idea they might make a game that would cause outrage and get banned. I mean, that's never happened to their products before.

Yeah, free speech in gaming and all that but Christ, Rockstar's marketing team makes Paris Hilton look subtle.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:45 AM on June 19, 2007


I believe it's still legal to import the game for personal use.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 7:47 AM on June 19, 2007


Games like this are abhorrent. While I am against a total ban, I think it should be as difficult as possible to sell or buy such crap. Good for the BBFC. I hope the end result is that the game finally becomes available, but that the expense of getting it on the market far outweighs any free publicity this decision generates and that Rockstar loses huge sums on the game. suck it gamers
posted by caddis at 7:49 AM on June 19, 2007


You're right Caddis - and the same goes for books too, right?
posted by Elmore at 7:51 AM on June 19, 2007


Let the holy war begin!

Remember, guys -- if the comment count gets above 1000, the MeFi website easter egg is revealed. I can't wait!
posted by humblepigeon at 7:53 AM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


*shoots caddis' lawn up with a fully automatic RPG launcher*

YEAH! HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES? IN THE GRIM FUTURE OF HELLO KITTY THERE'S ONLY WAR. AND GIANT KILLER NUCLEAR POWERED ROBOT TANKS.

*grr*

HEY, QUIT CAMPING OLD MAN! COME OUT HERE SO I CAN VAPORIZE YOU AND HARVEST YOUR CORPSE FOR BIOMASS FUEL!
posted by loquacious at 7:53 AM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Man, this makes me want to go out and buy Wii just to play this game.

Me am in your base sawing your heads off.
posted by oddman at 7:55 AM on June 19, 2007


Golly, I can't possibly imagine Rockstar had any possible idea they might make a game that would cause outrage and get banned. I mean, that's never happened to their products before.

You allude to the Hot Coffee scandal, and I have to admit I'm suspicious the whole mess was intentional as well. However, this is the first time Rockstar has had a game pre-emptively banned; GTA:SA was rated and had that rating revoked (in Australia and NZ). Manhunt 1 was also rated, and I can't imagine the content is any different in the sequel, though perhaps in higher detail! This is an act of escalation and will probably cost Rockstar a lot of money, though it may fuel sales in North America... that is, if they don't follow suit. Congress is particularly fond of Rockstar-mania. Hilary could make it a new campaign issue!
posted by mek at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2007


I think you've got it oddman... it's been banned because, with the Wii version, the experience is a little too close to virtual murder.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:03 AM on June 19, 2007


I played the first one and was bored silly despite how "edgy" it was trying to be; brought to mind the phrase "the banality of evil". Something tells me that Manhunt2 will get approval here in the US, probably at the same time more "GTA Hot Coffee Mod" congressional hearings are being held.

Wake me when they release "Custer Revenge 2" for the Wii.
posted by Challahtronix at 8:04 AM on June 19, 2007


The BBFC's statement is very interesting to me:
“Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board’s published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game.”

“Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game’s unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game. That work was classified ‘18’ in 2003, before the BBFC’s recent games research had been undertaken, but was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category.”

“Against this background, the Board’s carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public.”
It sounds like they looked into the void, and the void also looked into them.
posted by hermitosis at 8:06 AM on June 19, 2007


For the record, I thought the first Manhunt was pretty retarded and bad.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:09 AM on June 19, 2007


It's an odd decision considering this from the BBFC a couple of months back.
posted by liquidindian at 8:11 AM on June 19, 2007


Also, I loved this quote from the second link, regarding the Wii's motion-sensor interface:

"...Somebody, somewhere is going to get a shock when they walk in on a friend laterally bisecting a hunter's head with realistic sawing motions."
posted by hermitosis at 8:11 AM on June 19, 2007


The first manhunt sucked ass. The same goes for most of the other really shocking and violent games.
posted by puke & cry at 8:17 AM on June 19, 2007


something tells me manhunt2 will get approval here in the u.s. ...

something tells me we have a first amendment which protects games as well as other forms of speech, and no approval will be needed.

question: if they can distribute music over the web (itunes), why can't they distribute games over the web? it would be much more difficult to stop somebody in london from downloading an igame than it is to stop him from buying it in a bricks-and-mortar store there.
posted by bruce at 8:18 AM on June 19, 2007


You're right Caddis - and the same goes for books too, right?

I suspect you don't read much if you think that video games and books are equivalent in this instance.
posted by OmieWise at 8:19 AM on June 19, 2007


I suspect you don't read much if you think that video games and books are equivalent in this instance.

IM IN UR THREADS REFUTIN UR COMPARISONS HURF DURF
posted by prostyle at 8:21 AM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


OK, so this is going to go very wrong. Anyway...

Let's imagine the most distasteful theoretical game we can. Here's mine: you play a choice of real-life child-killers, and have to stalk the innocents through a neighbourhood: extra points for the most gory and/or indecent thing you do to them.

Any of the "Oh noes, no banning, fahrenheit 451 ere we go" crowd think that should be sold? Sure, some of the free-speech-above-all crowd will do so, and that will be consistent. However, most of us would not want to see that in circulation, and for us, the question is: is this Manhunt game over the line?
posted by imperium at 8:25 AM on June 19, 2007


Such misplaced priorities. I mean, yes, this is a violent game, but that's all it is, a little violence. Kids are used to violence, it doesn't bother them. I think it's tragic that the much greater menace posed by video games to our children goes unreported: those "rumble-packs" vibrating happily away in the impressionable laps of our youngsters. Won't somebody please think of the children and ban those instead?
posted by SBMike at 8:25 AM on June 19, 2007


You're right Caddis - and the same goes for books too, right?

I can't speak for the U.K. but in America they keep the Playboys behind the counter and Borders tends not to carry a lot of snuff 'zines, which is certainly a better system than public-demanded censorship. So you're making a really bad analogy here.

Personally, I have no problem if video games are recognized as the current form of art media that they are with incredible degrees of content, and instead of locating all games across the board in a section of a toy store the concept of what games should be sold where is recognized.

something tells me we have a first amendment which protects games as well as other forms of speech, and no approval will be needed.

That's cute. Except video games are monitored by the ESRB, which is, again, a much better alternative to full-on government regulation. And since we also live in a Capitalist society, when you're done with the typical online First-Amendment kneejerk bravado you'd note that stores like WalMart, the largest retail outlet in the world, will not shelve games that don't meet certain ESRB standards. So please drop the nonsense about America being the magical land of everything-goes.

Yes, we have free speech, but we also have a sense of responsibility- albeit a small and not-often-used one- to take small steps from sparking an actual first-amendment debate. That's one of the reasons, I think, that gamers like the Penny Arcade guys support the ESRB. Because like books, video games remain much less regulated than television and movies. Some self-restraint is going to be the best way to prevent that from changing. Whining facetiously that people have no right to be outraged about a murder simulator isn't. Actual gamers and enthusiasts aren't clamoring for their own Janet Jackson moment that brings the hammer of government regulation down, so all the Cory Doctorows of the digital world wailing about free speech and the need to get Drive-By Hooker Murder Rape 3 in the hands of every kid in America because goddamit, that's America really need a new hobby.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 AM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kids are used to violence

Speak for yourself and your own. Any of the kids I know would be terrified of this game... and I never dream of letting my kids near such a nakedly sadistic murder simulation until they were at least 16 or 17.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:29 AM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


However, most of us would not want to see that in circulation, and for us, the question is: is this Manhunt game over the line?
posted by imperium at 8:25 AM on June 19


Ah yes, "the line." I would suggest we fundamentally disagree. Besides, your worst-theoretically-possible video game is lacking tentacle rape of schoolgirls (an essential ingredient I assure you!), and there already are video games of that nature, so you're going to have to try a little harder.

As an aside, Ireland's IFCO has acted independently to prohibit Manhunt 2.

A prohibition order has been made by IFCO in relation to the video game Manhunt 2. The Order was made on 18th June 2007 under Sec 7 (1) (b) of the Video Recordings Act 1989 which refers to ‘acts of gross violence or cruelty (including mutilation and torture)’.

posted by mek at 8:32 AM on June 19, 2007


I gave up on the original before finishing it, as it just got too difficult. That said, I do want to stand up for Manhunt at least a bit - simply put, and seldom mentioned, it's a stalking game taken to extremes. If you don't like the sort of games where you have to be very quiet, and hide a lot, you would most definitely hate it.

Gore aside, the game is all about sneaking around. In this way, and probably in this way alone, it's very slow and subtle gameplaying; that isn't for everyone, and I suspect may explain a lot of these "I hated the first one" comments. YMMV.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:34 AM on June 19, 2007


...so all the Cory Doctorows of the digital world wailing about free speech and the need to get Drive-By Hooker Murder Rape 3 in the hands of every kid in America because goddamit, that's America really need a new hobby.

Are you done screaming into the wind?

MURDER SIMULATOR ZOMG

See you at the fucking Bridge club you wretched shrews...
posted by prostyle at 8:36 AM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


OK, sure, I could have added tentacles and Nazis and Cthulu (although what would probably make it worst of all would be using avatars of real victims alongside those of real killers).

You don't think there is a line. I do.

Even those who wouldn't ban something often admit they would have preferred it never to have been published/released/whatever. I'm curious to know how many here think this is actually likely to be a "good game", and how many simply believe there's just a free speech issue here.
posted by imperium at 8:41 AM on June 19, 2007


Are you done screaming into the wind?

MURDER SIMULATOR ZOMG

See you at the fucking Bridge club you wretched shrews...


Are you? GOVERNMENT GESTAPO OH NOES EVERYONE BUY THIS GAME FOR FREEDOM SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

I hate Bridge. Actually, I might just go play Manhunt 2. Unlike some people here I'm mature enough.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:43 AM on June 19, 2007


What if they renamed it ZombieHunt?
posted by Partial Law at 8:44 AM on June 19, 2007


I'm pretty sure the Manhunt games would've appealed to me at 15-18 or so. After that? Meh.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:45 AM on June 19, 2007


I'm curious to know how many here think this is actually likely to be a "good game", and how many simply believe there's just a free speech issue here.

Or the more likely third alternative, if its a shite game noone will buy it, but if it's a shite game with loads of publicity of this sort then kids will do their damnedest to get their hands on it.
posted by kableh at 8:45 AM on June 19, 2007


I'm curious to know how many here think this is actually likely to be a "good game", and how many simply believe there's just a free speech issue here.

Uh, I'm in the latter camp and I think the game will completely fucking suck. Looks like my position can't exist in your universe though... too bad, might have added a few shades in between the black and white.

GOVERNMENT GESTAPO OH NOES EVERYONE BUY THIS GAME FOR FREEDOM SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

...Unlike some people here I'm mature enough.


Just when I thought the wind couldn't get sucked out of the room any harder...
posted by prostyle at 8:46 AM on June 19, 2007


Meanwhile, Hostel II will be released in the UK on 29 June.
posted by straight at 8:52 AM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm curious to know how many here think this is actually likely to be a "good game", and how many simply believe there's just a free speech issue here.

I hated the first one but, as stinkycheese noted, it's because I think stealth games are difficult and boring. I rented it to see the gore, was neither excited nor repulsed by it, and gave up on the game. This one will likely be the same.

Do I agree with making this game difficult for kids to get their hands on? If it will make parents happy, sure. But I happen to live in a universe where adults know the difference between games and reality, and can even choose to avoid media they find unappealing. I just can't imagine a situation where I could support a ban of a book, movie, game, audio recording, flipbook, comic, or airbrush painting on the side of a conversion van.

Well, maybe if there were a furry simulator game. I could get behind a ban of that. Just kidding. But seriously, furries squig me out, but I'd like to see their game on the shelf. Figuratively. I really wouldn't like to actually see it.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2007


Uh, I'm in the latter camp and I think the game will completely fucking suck. Looks like my position can't exist in your universe though.

No, that's exactly my second position. There are others, and more nuanced ones, of course. But you're slap in my second one.
posted by imperium at 8:59 AM on June 19, 2007


Sure, the Manhunt games are unrelentingly violent and sadistic. The same goes for many popular film franchises (Saw, Hostel, The Hills Have Eyes, etc.). If you think the children who watch the films aren't influenced as much as those playing the videogames, I'd submit that you've forgotten your own childhood.

I remember acting out and fantasizing about being Indiana Jones or Han Solo or any other action movie star. I didn't act out or fantasize about Jason Vorhees or Freddy Krueger...why? My parents didn't let me watch those films until I was older and had a more developed understanding of the difference between reality and fantasy. Besides, I wasn't really interested in acting out murders. I preferred lightsaber battles and gunfights with the 'bad guys.'

Ultimately, if you're going to keep mature content away from children, use rating systems, educate parents/guardians, and enforce laws. Don't ban.

Then again, this ruling is coming from the country that banned A Clockwork Orange, one of Kubrick's best and the gateway to my great love of Burgess' novels.
posted by NationalKato at 9:01 AM on June 19, 2007


Well, maybe if there were a furry simulator game.

Sorry. No really, I'm very, very sorry.
posted by mek at 9:02 AM on June 19, 2007


Then again, this ruling is coming from the country that banned A Clockwork Orange, one of Kubrick's best and the gateway to my great love of Burgess' novels.

For what it's worth, ACO wasn't banned, it was withdrawn from theaters at the request of Kubrick himself after he began receiving death threats.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 9:04 AM on June 19, 2007


Manhunt (the first game, not the as yet unreleased sequel) was abhorrent, and I felt a twinge of shame as I played every single minute of it, and then went back and played it again trying to get a higher score. The whole "creeping around without getting seen by gang members who have guns when all you have is a plastic bag" aspect was pretty awesome.
posted by jonson at 9:12 AM on June 19, 2007


I suspect you don't read much if you think that video games and books are equivalent in this instance.

You mean because I don't think either computer games or books should be banned, I don't read much? I didn't say good literature and crappy computer games are equivalent (nor are crappy books and great computer games equivalent) but I do equate them in that I think neither should be banned. Caddis finds the game abhorrent, I found parts of Haunted abhorrent, but I wouldn't support banning it.

posted by Elmore at 9:21 AM on June 19, 2007


oops
posted by Elmore at 9:23 AM on June 19, 2007


I'm curious to know how many here think this is actually likely to be a "good game", and how many simply believe there's just a free speech issue here.

I don't know if it'll be a "good game", I haven't read any reviews yet. But I'll probably buy it and play it since players can do things like shove people into fuse boxes, drown them in toilets, and wear their severed heads on a belt as a distraction. Which sounds like a nice way to unwind after work.
posted by cmonkey at 9:26 AM on June 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Some DVDs are sold at Toys 'R' Us. Other DVDs aren't sold at Toys 'R' Us, but are sold at Best Buy. Still other DVDs aren't sold at either Toys 'R' Us or Best Buy, but are sold at Adult World.

We recognize that various people buy various DVDs for various reasons, so we split up the DVDs based on content and put them in different stores to make it less likely that children will see DVDs that we don't want them to see. Pretty much everybody is content with this arrangement. Why can't we do the same thing with video games?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:28 AM on June 19, 2007


Why can't we do the same thing with video games?

I had a wiseacre answer all set to go here (because I agree with you), but I think the reality is that people still think of video games as a medium targeted at kids, which is becoming less and less true every day. If and when public perception catches up with reality, I think we'll be more likely to see some sanity in the way video games with mature themes are handled.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:39 AM on June 19, 2007


What we have here is Rockstar trying to push the envelope yet again. Pushing the envelope and trying to break through limits can be good. That sort of thinking brought us memorable games such as Super Mario 64, Street Fighter II, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and even Rockstar's own Grand Theft Auto III. On the other hand, pushing the bounds of good taste merely for shock value never holds up well. When was the last time Night Trap was relevant? Or Custer's Revenge? How about the original Manhunt?

Manhunt 2 is the latest in a line of games designed to raise hackles, sell well based on controversy and curiosity, and if the gameplay turns out to be fun then all the better. Rockstar has the "better sales through outrage" business model down to an exact science at this point. The company can be faulted for gross and distasteful content, but not knowing how to manipulate both its fans and its detractors is certainly not one of its failings.

More thoughts on this at my gaming blog which is linked in my profile.
posted by Servo5678 at 9:54 AM on June 19, 2007


Speak for yourself and your own. Any of the kids I know would be terrified of this game... and I never dream of letting my kids near such a nakedly sadistic murder simulation until they were at least 16 or 17.

There was some sarcasm there, chuckd. I don't think kids under that age should be playing hyper-violent games either, though banning clearly isn't the answer.
posted by SBMike at 10:11 AM on June 19, 2007


For what it's worth, ACO wasn't banned, it was withdrawn from theaters at the request of Kubrick himself after he began receiving death threats.

You're right, Espy. My error. The Guardian Articles I've read claim he may have done so because of copycat crimes (group of young thugs raped a Dutch girl while singing 'Singing In The Rain') but it's not confirmed, and many sources say the copycat crimes happened after he pulled the film.
posted by NationalKato at 10:14 AM on June 19, 2007


Rockstar does what the people who make the Postal series try to, and they succeed because they make really great games.

I'll probably skip Manhunt 2, but I'm really looking forward to GTAIV and Bully 2. Not because of the content, because of the gameplay.
posted by graventy at 10:50 AM on June 19, 2007


I didn't really care much about this game when I first heard about it, but the details of the Wii version have piqued my interest. Of course, given how many times I've accidentally thwacked my wife with a Wiimote while playing tennis, I can only shudder to think what I may accidentally do to her while playing Manhunt 2.

After all the appeals are denied and I take my last, long trip to sit on Ole Sparky, I hope that my tombstone will have a picture of my Mii on it above the graven caption, "I told u I wuz hardcore!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:53 AM on June 19, 2007


Ultimately, if you're going to keep mature content away from children, use rating systems, educate parents/guardians, and enforce laws. Don't ban.

There are a LOT of adults out there who will buy these games for their kids... or worse, leave their M rated games laying around...

I honestly think that this game is so convincing and violent that they don't want to take a chance on either of those scenarios... I also think they're trying to say FUCK YOU to rockstar.
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2007


There are a LOT of adults out there who will buy these games for their kids... or worse, leave their M rated games laying around...

Uhh, yeah, I'm sure there are adults that will buy their teenage kids porn, too. Should we ban pornography altogether? Some adults let their children drink at home, maybe ban liquor too? Some adults even leave loaded guns in the house! I guess we're just fucked, then.
posted by mek at 11:57 AM on June 19, 2007


Any of the "Oh noes, no banning, fahrenheit 451 ere we go" crowd think that should be sold?

Why not? It's none of your fucking business what games I play. Me playing Gacy 5: Childkill Apocalypse doesn't break your leg or pick your pocket. My choice about whether I play Fluffy Bunny Hugs 3: My Neighbor Totoro Edition, or Hop On Mom, or Firefly: Reaver does not affect you in any way, shape or form. So shut up and mind your own fucking business.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:02 PM on June 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


OK, so this is going to go very wrong. Anyway...

Let's imagine the most distasteful theoretical game we can. Here's mine: you play a choice of real-life child-killers, and have to stalk the innocents through a neighbourhood: extra points for the most gory and/or indecent thing you do to them.

Any of the "Oh noes, no banning, fahrenheit 451 ere we go" crowd think that should be sold? Sure, some of the free-speech-above-all crowd will do so, and that will be consistent. However, most of us would not want to see that in circulation, and for us, the question is: is this Manhunt game over the line?


This so completely misses the point.

The reason most of us hardcore freedom of speech types are against banning games like these isn't because we desperately want the most shocking, outrageous, vile content that some team of developers can imagine. It's the fact that it is impossible to come up with a consistent and fair criteria that will block out undesirable content and leave the quality stuff.

Games like these are simply a necessary consequence of affording game developers more freedom. Sometimes people will make good and interesting art with that freedom, and more often they will make titillating schlock. The good stuff justifies the schlock. If this isn't clear in the medium of video games, and you can't possibly imagine good and worthwhile art that utilizes extreme violence, think about movies. It doesn't make sense to ban violent movies. For every Saw and Hostel that the world would be better off without, we'd also lose insightful films that explore the darker side of human nature like American History X, A Clockwork Orange, etc. etc. see Shakespeare and much of the history of Western culture. Looking only at the worst examples of a given medium is a terrible argument for censorship. Besides, games like this would be a lot less popular if there weren't the shock value angle to exploit.
posted by SBMike at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


OMG! You're serious about Hop On Mom, this is an actual gameplay shot!
posted by klaatu at 12:48 PM on June 19, 2007


Some adults even leave loaded guns in the house! I guess we're just fucked, then.


I'm pretty sure that's a different topic altogether.

Also, I wasn't defending censorship of this title as much I was trying to understand why it was censored.

These people aren't stupid... they know kids are going to see this game no matter what rating it gets. They just didn't want to take that chance.

I'm not saying I agree with that choice: I'm trying to understand it.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:07 PM on June 19, 2007


Manhunt 2 rated Adults Only by the ESRB.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2007


I had a guess about why they made the original Manhunt, I suspected that after all the complaints about how GTA was too adult and not appropriate for children, Rockstar decided to show people what a violent video game really was.

I played through a bit of the first one, it wasn't great, it wasn't awful. It was just a stealth game with a bit more gore. I don't think I finished it, but only because something more interesting came out.

Though the Wii controls could bring a level of twistedness that might make the new one worth a go.

Also, doesn't BBFC have a "M for Mature' equivalent?
posted by quin at 3:36 PM on June 19, 2007


uncleozzy:
Well, maybe if there were a furry simulator game. I could get behind a ban of that. Just kidding. But seriously, furries squig me out, but I'd like to see their game on the shelf. Figuratively. I really wouldn't like to actually see it.

I'm really really sorry...

High Tail Hall

It's a link to a wiki about it, not the game itself... I wouldn't stoop so low.
posted by knapah at 3:45 PM on June 19, 2007


OMG! You're serious about Hop On Mom, this is an actual gameplay shot!

Be glad I didn't mention One Bitch, Two Bitch, Dead Bitch, Blue Bitch.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:46 PM on June 19, 2007


Quin: Also, doesn't BBFC have a "M for Mature' equivalent?

They could have rated it (18) which would ban people younger than 18 from buying it. However, as mentioned above, these certifications are rarely enforced for games.
posted by knapah at 3:47 PM on June 19, 2007


Is that also true for adult movies? I mean, I understand that the game contains material that probably shouldn't be played by children, but aren't there any kind of mechanisms already in place to keep adult material out of their hands?

I'd be angry if I, as a grown-up, couldn't try something because it was difficult to regulate and prevent access to children.
posted by quin at 3:59 PM on June 19, 2007


Adult movies (I'm assuming you mean porn rather than extremely violent content) can be rated R18 and can then only be shown in special screenings or rented/bought from licensed sex shops.

When I was under 18, I bought 18 rated games, they're a bit stricter about videos. I assume because of the outdated mentality that videogames are for kids.
posted by knapah at 4:05 PM on June 19, 2007


Sorry for the double posting... but some porn is sold in normal shops too. I've not bought any so I'm not sure whether its soft- or hardcore, but I've seen them in shops which were most definitely not licensed sex shops... and they were rated 18.
posted by knapah at 4:07 PM on June 19, 2007


When I was under 18, I bought 18 rated games, they're a bit stricter about videos. I assume because of the outdated mentality that videogames are for kids.

I suspect that this is the crux of the matter. And rather than actually going after the problem of the ease of access that kids have to this inappropriate material, they just prohibit the material itself.

Like I said, I'd be angry.

I imagine that this same thing has happened, or will happen, in the United States, it's just going to require a game with a really strong sexual component rather than a violent one. Our countries have different priorities, but a lot of the same problems at the distribution level.
posted by quin at 4:50 PM on June 19, 2007


I'd be angry if I, as a grown-up, couldn't try something because it was difficult to regulate and prevent access to children.

The BBFC say in their statement they think it's harmful to adults too, so this isn't the reason it was refused a certificate.

Note that the law only restricts commercial sales. The game itself is not "banned". You can read the law here.
posted by cillit bang at 6:04 PM on June 19, 2007


Manhunt was a great game, take every stealth game and add a bit of gore. Manhunt had great levels, a good storyline, and one of the few games I played twice(and I play every pc game out there). If you didn't enjoy it you don't like good stealth games, its a thinking mans game, a patience mans game. I for one will be the first to buy MH2 when it comes out.
posted by highgene at 8:52 PM on June 19, 2007


I can tell you this much, no one's going to be able to buy this game in its current form. No franchise retail store will carry an AO game, no big-box outlet will carry it, and no major rental chain will carry it.

If a game is rated AO, it simply is edited until it's M, or not released.
posted by Durhey at 4:51 PM on June 20, 2007


It gets worse for Take Two, both Nintendo and Sony have now said they do not allow Adults Only rated games on their console. The only AO game to appear on a console system is Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was of course a re-rating due the racy hot coffee action.
posted by yellowbinder at 7:04 PM on June 20, 2007


The game has been rated AO by the ESRB, though it's a "preliminary rating" and open to appeal, or retooling by the developer. We're definitely looking at a significant delay to release, if Take Two chooses to censor the game. Alternatively they can rush a PC port and attempt to capitalize on negative publicity. They'll probably censor the console port and release a special edition for PC, and we'll all be compelled to buy two copies. Win win.

So Rockstar only has three choices now: They can either kill the game, rework it to try for a lower rating or submit an appeal to the ESRB's board and argue that the game doesn't deserve such a high, 18-or-older rating.
http://kotaku.com/gaming/top/adults-only-manhunt-2-homeless-270768.php
posted by mek at 3:07 PM on June 21, 2007


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