The decision of the BBFC to deny a rating to controversial game Manhunt 2 has effectively banned it in the UK – making it illegal for shops to sell the game. The game has similarly been on the receiving end of effective bans in the USA and elsewhere.
The BBFC recently issued a report on classification, and generally has a good relationship with the game industry in the UK, which makes the decision interesting. Some links for further reading below…
- ELSPA director general Paul Jackson has said that the decision taken by the BBFC to ban Manhunt 2 from sale “demonstrates that we have a games ratings system in the UK that is effective”.
Interesting yet unexpected reaction from the games industry trade body ELSPA
- Jack Straw, the UK’s Leader of the House of Commons, has said that he does not see games developers and publishers taking responsibility for the content they produce.
Unsurprising government reaction. Keith Vaz mentioned in the article has been an active anti-games violence campaigner since the first Manhunt title was (mistakenly) identified as being owned by a teen in his constituency who murdered another teen.
- “Manhunt 2 is an entertainment experience for fans of psychological thrillers and horror. The subject matter of this game is in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers.”
The publishers outline their position on the BBC.
- Manhunt 2 banned because of the publishers previous games? One analyst thinks so.
- An lastly, a good discussion piece on the whole business from gamesindustry.biz
I’m going to quietly avoid making my own position clear, because I don’t think I have one here. I haven’t seen the game… I didn’t play the first one… but its no secret that Rockstar regularly push boundaries with their games – technical boundaries, gameplay boundaries and acceptability boundaries. Pushing too far on the limits of public acceptability has not paid off this time.