Manhunt 2 for Wii and PS2 is banned from being sold in the U.K.. That’s a shame and I feel sorry for the responsible gamers across the pond.
Manhunt 2 from Rockstar, a follow-up to the original Manhunt title from 2003, will be released this summer for the Wii, PS2 and PSP. It will (likely) receive either an “M” or “AO” rating from the ESRB, so that responsible retailers sell the game to those aged 17 or 18 years or older. Except in United Kingdom, as the British Board of Film Classification has deemed Manhunt 2 too violent for its own existence.
In their own parlance, I believe the BBFC are acting like a bunch of wankers and tossers. I’ll never understand why people like Jack Thompson and his ilk get up-in-arms over violent video games. Have they gone to see a movie or watched any prime time TV (network or cable) lately? How about horror novels or even the Holy Bible? Those types of media have their fair share of violence. How is a video game any different? Well for starters, video games are interactive. But you know what? So was playing Cowboys and Indians when we were little kids. Nowadays you’d play paint ball, I guess. Either way, you wouldn’t censor paint ball, would you? Cowboys and Indians is no longer politically correct, so I don’t know what games kids play now; Pimps and Ho’s, or perhaps Christian Fundamentalists and Radical Islamics, or maybe even Oil Tycoons and Everybody Else? Meh.
I’m not in favour of censoring any type of media. Even back in high school, Pat and I did a class presentation back in high school on the effects of media violence and parental involvement – we showed a lot of violent movie scenes and even taped some Mortal Kombat fatalities. The violent video game uproar irked me then, and it still does now. The ESRB puts ratings out to inform parents of the age-appropriateness of games. If a parent purchases Manhunt 2 for their 12 year-old, that’s pretty dumb of that parent to do so. The ratings are there for a reason, and sadly too many parents want to push the responsibility onto the shoulders of the video game companies. Parents should be parents. Sure, there are mentally disturbed people over the age of 18 – who’s to stop them from buying “M” rated games? Nobody – that same deranged person can go see Hostel 2 in the theatre without hastle, as well. If that nutjob individual kills someone, I doubt that a game or movie will have been the motivating factor. An influence over style? Perhaps. Providing the capability and reason for doing it? Probably not.
I probably won’t buy Manhunt 2 for the Wii, since there are plenty of good titles in the pipeline that I’m waiting on. Although I may rent it, as a sane adult over the age of 18, to see what all the fuss is about. If my blog then degenerates into incoherent murderous babble, then I guess the British Board of Film Classification, Jack Thompson and delusional parent groups were right.