Manhunt 2 Banned in Britain

June 19, 2007 -
Rockstar's upcoming Manhunt 2 won't be sold in the U.K., according to a report in MCV.

Citing "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying," the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has refused to rate the ultra-violent sequel, effectively banning it from U.K. shores. Said BBFC exec David Cooke:
Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly... 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...

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.

MCV notes that the only other game to be refused classification was 1997's Carmageddon. That decision, however, was overturned on appeal.



Cigarettes are legal. So killing yourself slowly still remains a choice even though children might get access to them. But a video game? Ban it!


1) Europe is a continent not a country.
2) No country is Free. If you want to live in america feel free to do so, but your rights to a free health service will be exchanged for your rights to purchase Manhunt 2. Don't dare to imply the US is perfect.
3) I never once mentioned the input device nor the Wiimote in particular in any one of my replies. Don't suggest that I did.
4) There are no clear studies on the effects of interactive media. I have seen studis claiming they increase violence, and I have seen ones, taken seriously by the same BBFC that you are slagging off, that claim the interactivity allows people to disassociate themselves from it.

Jon Kanders:

But smoking in public places is banned because it can harm other people. If the game disturbed someone enough to cause harm to someone else then it would be justifiable by that logic.

I'm not saying it is, but it is the counter-argument to your point.


I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree. I believe censorship on the sole basis of offensiveness is very, very wrong and until the government can prove with strong, consistant, conclusive evidence the violent media will in fact harm people who watch, play, read or listen to it in a significant manner, they should not have the power to ban or restrict it. You're not going to change anyone's mind here and we are not going to change yours. I believe your opinions are very wrong and even dangerous but i'm not going to attack you personally but rather voice my disapproval in a civil manner.

I’m afraid I lost my idealist viewpoint on censorship and other issues some time ago.

That is truely unfortunate in my opinion. I hope the same never happens to me.

I don't see the problem.. it's only banned in england. england isn't the only english speaking country in Europe. If anything, people will try to buy it from other places. The demand for the game is enough that people will by pass the ban and do whatever they want.

I'm still really surprised this happaned. I haven't played the first game but I've heard it does have some artistic merit. Could this game be so utterly devoid of suitable content?

Rockstar have long had great publicity campains based on the content of their games (worked a treat for GTA1). It seems as people get more accepting the level you have to push becomes greater.... did they really take it way too far here?

still can't wait for the reviews.

The problem is if they ban it in one country many other countries would follow suit as well. the worst case scenario is it gets banned in Japan, Germany, and Austrailia and all other countries who carry it give it an AO rating.

Honestly I believe that it would even be alright to have it set were you can
post someones face on the characters that you go against in games like
Manhunt 2 along with using the new wii motion controller because that
would make an angry person feel more like they are getting back at the
person that they are against feeling wise. Us being able to play what ever
video game we want would make us feel like we live in such a free
country by which we are not committing any crime in the first place. If this
is the case then I would say WAY TO GO AMERICA, WE ARE THE FREE


I'm surprised as well, I just don't side with the argument that it was a bad decision of ban it just because they don't like censorship. However I will say this: If it becomes clear that the game is no worse than other such games and was refused a rating because of outside pressures, I would be whole heartedly against it. But right now, I'm happy to give the BBFC the benefit of the doubt, something that is obviously unpopular here :/


Yes mr troll. You and your free country with its free patriot act, free health service, free litigious society... I say it again, suggesting the US is great and free because you haven't yet banned a computer game really doesn't say much for you.

I'm not one for censorship for the sake of a popular media story. But the BBFC is one of the most leniant monitoring bodies in the world and would never ban something out of hand. If they have refused a rating then there would have to be a very good reason for it and i would agree to give them the benefit of the doubt until it was proven otherwise.

Manhunt 2 Told Us It Was Hardcore...

With the (still planned) upcoming release of Manhunt 2 for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 2, and Sony PlayStation Portable just weeks away, the time has come for the outrage and the bannings over the content found within developer Rockstar's...

Damn, despite hating the wii, I'd rather see this game released\not banned than to see it banned.

Why the suprise. Such announcements by the state in apartheid South Africa, nazi Germany, maoist and current day China, and Stalinist Russia were commonplace, and Blair has taken the police state in Britain far beyond what any of those monster-led nations ever dreamt of.

You will notice the BBFC has never banned 24 or Hostel. The significance? Well senior US military commanders have reported the terrifying fact that members of their forces use the torture depicted in these dramas as blueprints for their operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. On the other hand, only weeks ago, the BBFC published their findings about video games, showing that players DID NOT associate themselves with the actions of the characters they controlled, and that 'violent' computer games should have ratings set lower as a result.

This is Blair's Britain, however (and Brown is only going to make things vastly worse, while Blair, on the international stage, prepares for genocidal war against Iran), so the truth can be safely reported and then treated as if no-one noticed. Blair is preparing for a massive expansion of censorship of ADULTS, including the targetting of consenting scenes of sexual sado-masochism. Very soon, possessing such video imagery, or indeed games like Manhunt 2, will result in you being placed on the sexual offenses register.

Of course, government shills will quickly state that the BBFC is not an arm of the government (which is a complete nonsense), and that they have a duty to protect us from ourselves (the daily chant of chinese thugs, as they ban their people from seeing anything that would illustrate the atrocities of those currently in power). Remember, the man in charge of law in the UK is Blair's old flatmate, Goldsmith, and this monster created laws allowing British mercenaries to carry out any crime in Iraq without fear of punishment. YES, YOU CAN RAPE, TORTURE AND MURDER IN IRAQ, AS A MERCENARY OPERATING FROM THE UK, AND YOU HAVE BROKEN NO LAWS EITHER IN THE UK OR IRAQ. Don't believe me? Go google the facts- they were once again exposed in British newspapers a few weeks back. You see, Blair has no problem with you 'playing' Manhunt for real, so long as you butcher the 'right' targets.

In history, nations that allowed their citizens to carry out very real atrocities in the nations of others, had the most extreme censorship in their own land. In the nazi empire, for instance, the real horrors never happened in Berlin.

By having his people ban Manhunt 2, or even by having his people suggest that it is video game players responsible for atrocities in Iraq (as Fisk of the Independent has recently proposed), Blair seeks to create the circumstances that will allow the extermination of millions of Humans in Iran. Most of you will not understand the connection, even though you can easily read about the work of censors in China, the USSR, nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa etc.

What can you expect in the future? Well for video game players to be demonised even more. Also, for the glorification of those that torture or murder in the name of the West's military, religious and political ambitions to continue in dramas given a green-light by the BBFC.

And by the way, for all you government shills, here's a fact that you won't wish people to remember. Apartheid South Africa BANNED Salmon Rusdie's infamous work because it was 'harmful' to race-relations in the racist state. Can you believe that hypocrisy? It is the exact same hypocrisy of a government agency directly connected to the actions that have butchered many many hundreds of thousands in Blair's wars telling us that we need to be protected from ourselves when playing computer games.

The same agency that gave a child friendly rating to the depraved racist garbage 'Stealth', a film that had 'brave' US pilots blow up a sky scraper in the heart of one of the biggest muslim cities. Now there certainly can't be any 'harm' in suggesting to people that muslims should be treated like sub-humans, can there?

Ban a few high-profile games like Manhunt 2, and the BBFC is free to carry on promoting racist pro-war, pro-torture propaganda like Hostel, Stealth, 24, or any of the hundreds of other depraved productions flooding from the BBC, Murdoch or Hollywood.

Know this. If you are a UK citizen, you will very soon witness people being sent to prison for extended periods because of the video games they play. At the same time, you will see the UK extend the nations that UK mercenaries are allowed to defile without any legal penalty first to Iran, and shortly afterwards to many other muslim lands.

Those that refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. The UK is now the world's greatest sociopath (even if, by and large, we leave the 'wet work' to our brutal dull-witted child, the United States of America). The purpose of censorship in sociopathic regimes is well understood, and is not up for debate.

Decent regimes do not censor adults (and it is not censorship to seek to eliminate media created by the direct abuse of unwilling humans like child exploitation material). Instead decent regimes desire a well educated adult population, skilled in the art of identifying and understanding the use and abuse of propaganda.

Disgusting regimes (like that of the UK) require that the adult population are absolutely susceptible to the government controlled weapon of propaganda. In these regimes, the power of the police and other government agencies will grow without limit. New laws will be created at ever accelerating rates. The prison population will be massively increased. Certain ethnic groups will be targetted for constant attack. War will be proposed as the only useful method for solving geo-political problems. The right to protest will be increasingly curtailed. Censorship will be a constant issue, and citizens increasingly punished for breaching censorship rules. The disgusting regime will constanly refer to itself (and its people) as victims, while butchering ever increasing numbers of Humans in other nations. The mainstream media within that regime will shamelessly promote the racist pro-war lies of the government, and then, even if later forced to admit those lies, will actively promote the new lies to enable the government's new wars.

Once again, the BBFC censoring Manhunt, and the BBFC promoting Blair's racist pro-war propaganda dramas are two sides of the same coin, just as with censorship in the time of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Tojo etc.

Want an example of how this works? Recently saw the obscene racist garbage 'Shooter' (sadly directed by a black american). That film has the american 'hero' murder more black people (in their own african nation) than the KKK killed in any given year. In the comments in the IMDB, one poster wrote that the film made him want to join the US army. For the BBFC, another job well done!

@ Chuma

"1) Standards ARE set by society. If you look at history that has been the case since mankind began."

True, but banning a game, book or any other form of media on the grounds that it is 'offensive' to the majority of society IS stiffling artistic creation and freedom of expression, no matter how you try to spin it.

As such, it is wrongdoing. Shall we perhaps ban Mein Kampfh? Or 1984? They all have merit, yet can be considered offensive. Saw, perhaps? Hostel??

Believe it or not, but Manhunt 2 DOES qualify as having artistic merit. Don't like it? Don't buy it.

But don't support a government in destroying your own personal freedom of choice and expression, BBFC or not.

It's the EXACT same argument.

@Everyone who has tried to compare this game to child pornography or general pornography.

You're trying to score brownie points in a completely unrelated discussion. Violence is not equal to obscenity, and can't fall under obscenity laws, at least not in the U.S.

Why? Though the critieria for obscenity in your country may be different, in the U.S. we have something known as the "Miller Test." For those of you who haven't heard of it, the Miller Test is a three-pronged legal standard for determining what constitutes obscenity. If a work meets all three steps, then-and only then-can it be considered obscenity. It follows as such:

1:Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,

2:Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions [2] specifically defined by applicable state law,

3:Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary and/or artistic, political, or scientific value.

Pay very close attention to the third condition, as it is the only one that does not differ from person to person of from region to region. If a work, despite showing sexual acts, has some redeeming value of any such kind as is listed in the Miller Test, it can't be considered obscenity. If the pedophie game described here DID exist and DID lack any (S)LAPS value, then it would be obscenity and it would be illegal, just as you say it should. However, if that game included powerful storytelling that gave a serious perspective of pedophila, then it can't be banned, because it has redeeming value. Under this approach, pornographic works have a standardized, rigid set of criteria under which they can legally exist, instead of the decision being left to a legislative body or ratings board that may only take the work's subject matter into account, and not its (S)LAPS value. This approach minimizes censorship of serious works while allowing the government to restrict non-serious and patently offensive ones.

Now, I've settled the matter of "Is banning pornography censorship?" As I've already pointed out, however, it is a completely different discussion than the one at hand. Violent works cannot be declared "obscence," nor can they be judged using the Miller Test. In fact, the attempt to do so is what partially led to the demise of many game censorship bills in this country. I could present an alaphabet's soup of judicial rulings on the matter, but suffice it to say that, unlike pornography, violence is largely dependent on context. If I told you about a game which involved biting into peoples' skulls and using your own dismembered body parts to cause grevious injury to others, might you believe that the game is "too violent?" Now, would you STILL believe that if I told you the game I'm refering to is Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse? This is why it's so hard to determine Miller-esque criteria for violent works. For every time it's been tried, there has been too much disagreement on what works can be considered "excessively violent." Here is one example from this very site:

Considering all of this, what is the BBFC basing its ruling on? Certainly not legal precedent or legal criteria on "excessive violence." The only thing they can base their decision on, then, is their own personal standards. Does this board have the right the partially decide the moral tone for the entire U.K.?

The irony of this is, we here have been saying for years that violence does not equal porn, even back in the days when GP was an LJ site. However, when a game we don't approve of comes along, some of us choose to compare it to child pornography. You can't have it both ways, people.

This coming from the country that brought us A Clockwork Orange...

What's wrong with a little ultra-violence?

I'm agreeing with you 100% there. Same with MountainMan.

The BBFC aren't the sort of organisation (anymore) to do something like this lighting.
And judging from this preview ( ), it certainly seems like Manhunt2 is a whole different type of experience from anything thats come out before.

What the BBFC has done is set a precedence, that their ratings board has defined Manhunt 2 as "wrong" on every level. That a type of Media can be 100% harmful to any being in this world to interact with it's content, through and through.

And what happens when GTA4 comes out? Will there be screaming, clawing, comparisons between it and Manhunt? Some part of our "society" WILL complain regardless of creative expression given in whatever material you can dig up.

And if we, as free voices in this society, allow others to silence us because they feel "offended" by this material, heck even give them the precedence that this stiffling of our voices is OK, then we have truly lost any shred of "freedom" we could ever have hoped to have.

AdamM: "Why the suprise. Such announcements by the state in apartheid South Africa, nazi Germany... "

Ha! It's ok everyone, arguments finished, you can stop posting.
We just hit Godwins Law!

Excellent news.

The game is nothing but a waste of space, a total mindless fest in brutal murder.

It's about time such awful tripe be removed, not to mention the fact that the first one totally sucked anyway.

I kind of expected this. They'll appeal and it will eventually get through in a mangled format, then some time far in the future it'll be released in full.

The worst thing about this story? The replies. The jury may still be out on whether Manhunt 2 can evoke violence, but it's pretty damn clear it can evoke xenophobia.

And the BBFC possesses an inherently superior sense of morality that makes banning a game from an entire country ok? There are many things that are perfectly legal which are considered by much of society to be harmful. Forget movies and media. How about cigarettes, which are actually proven to be harmful to minors? They aren’t banned, maybe because they aren’t immediately labeled by the old and out of touch as being children’s toys.

Furthermore, there have been no conclusive studies proving that video games are harmful to you're average, sane person. I'm not saying that 10-year-olds should be able to walk into a Best Buy and purchase this game. But I have to give parents a little bit of credit and assume that from looking at the cover, game description and the big "M" on the front of the box that they won't buy this game from their children. And if they do, it is no one else’s business, just like it wasn't the U.S. government's business to pass the prohibition law or come into people’s rooms and arrest them for wearing condoms.

nrad99: "And the BBFC possesses an inherently superior sense of morality that makes banning a game from an entire country ok? There are many things that are perfectly legal which are considered by much of society to be harmful. Forget movies and media. How about cigarettes,"

Firstly cigarettes have nothing to do with the BBFC, dont mistake the BBFC for the government.
Secondly the moral opinion of the BBFC is based on the moral opinion of the UK citizerns at the time. They try really really hard to make sure they are on the same page as joe public. I really doubt this is the BBFC trying to be asses, rather I'd have to imagine Rockstar has done something spectacularly wrong with this title.

The general sense I get from the more coherent posts here is the following: "Who says the BBFC has the right to decide what I do?"

Well, that's society. The BBFC has analysed the game and determined that it is just not suitable for public consumption at present. They feel it would be detrimental to society for it to be released.

Compare them to the food standards agency for a while, or to the body which regulates new drugs. If they declared that something were potentially unsuitable for the public, they'd ban it. You do have the right to drink fermented e-coli juice if you so wish, but some scienticians have said that you can't mass produce it and sell it in the shops.

The only real difference between these situations is that one is moral and the other physical. That may be a big difference, yes, but the core premise is the same: Society works to help each other. At the moment, British society has declared that Manhunt 2 is not good.

The funny thing is in lots of previous decisions, people would bring up the video nasties and claim the UK wasn't really free, only to be told the UK doesn't do that anymore. Well, here you are.

@ Luscan.

Your arguement saying that movies are to scare and games are not suppose to scare you doesnt make sense at all. They let Saw and Hostel go out but not Manhunt 2? This IS a double standard. Forget about the whole interactive part, the game is made to be scary.

Iv never played the first one, but im sure they made the game to be very very scary. Games are not just made so you can beat it. Most games like FEAR, Half Life 2, Quake 4 are made to SCARE the shit out of you. To say otherwise is foolish.

They have no right to ban this game or make it AO. If the big problem is the whole wii mote thing, then that is retarded. You get the same game experince whether your using a joy stick or a wii mote. They way you do it changes, but the idea doesnt.

If their arguement is, "using the wii mote with this game makes it too real!", then WHAT about every other violent game out there, and violent movie? Its just one big double standard and its really annoying.

The game is made for adults (Obviously). If a child gets their hands on this the one person to blame is the parents. As stated before me, the Wii has several parental controls built into it. IF the parent is smart enough, they will be able to prevent their child from playing. I do believe the PS3 also has parental controls, but im not sure to what extent. With or without parental controls, however, it is still the parents resposibility.

As a last word, would the goverment please stop busting our chops and get over it? This happened a few decades ago too. Except it wasnt video games, it was heavy metal music. Remember that?

"Metal music is the devil!!"

People seemed to turn out ok regardless.

Everyone, please get back on the current subject... rather than debating the value of censorship of games in general, the debate on this site should refocus on what "Manhunt 2" specifically does to deserve its banning. I, for one, wonder what it contained to cause its banning. The BBFC

"The Godfather: Blackhand Edition" for the Wii also allows players to strangle people with the Wii remote. The Wii remote may also be used for punches, jabs, throwing, and even smashing peoples' faces into furniture or cold-bloodedly decapitating them after taunting them or first breaking their limbs with a baseball bat.The victims could be gangsters, innocents, or the police. Despite all these factors, the BBFC gave the game an "18+", but did not ban it.

I would genuinely like to know what "Manhunt 2" did that was worse. Further argument about the value of censorship, using "Manhunt 2" as a rallying point, is pointless without knowing WHY "Manhunt 2" should be a rallying point.

Now, David Cooke of the BBFC says this:

"There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."

Now, for the record... I thought these actions in "Godfather" were refreshingly fun and cathartic, yet afterward I found myself wanting to do a few of those acts to people on the street like drug dealers and jaywalkers. Yes, jaywalkers. And also prostitutes, and those stupid women with the dogs that fit in their purses. And those damn teenagers in the park who are always spitting and littering while smoking and eating junk food. Even though I'm a pretty well-balanced individual (hehe, you only have my word on that, though), I still felt in my body the desire to emulate the actions I perform with the Wii remote, because killing while using my body (rather than just pressing buttons) feel REALLY good.

Now, if "Manhunt 2" does, as David Cooke of the BBFC says, "There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game," and if someone like me can get an adrenaline high --even a teeny bit-- from the violence level of "Godfather", and if "Manhunt 2"'s pace of close-up and personal violence is unrelenting ("Godfather"'s hand-to-hand combat was only a part of the gameplay)....... if both of those points are true, then I would truly worry about the psychological effects of such a game on less-stable people (at least with the Wii version) because of my personal experience of the excitement I feel whenever I smash a thug's head repeatedly, again and again and again, against a cash register in "Godfather", before picking him back up and throwing him through a window into the street below. The physical actions of doing these things are so much more fun and visceral than, say, pressing L2 and tapping the triangle button.

You can argue all you like about lofty concepts like freedom of expression and how censorship is unconditionally bad, but that's seeing a conspiracy where there is likely none. It's pretty much irrelevant to Manhunt 2, unless you somehow believe that the BBFC's action is the first step down the slippery slope to a policed state.

With rights come responsibilities. Freedom of speech should not be abused for the purpose of causing offence or shock, but that seems to be exactly what Rockstar is trying to do with this game.

The BBFC is not some oppressive tentacle of an evil government, and they are not "inherently morally superior" to the public. Their task is to reflect public opinion, not dictate to it. I'm pretty sure that the majority of people in the UK would consider Manhunt 2 to be vile and pornographic, and would support the BBFC's action in this case.

What it comes down to in the end is the BBFC doing its job: upholding the norms of decency in UK society. It doesn't affect you, as an American, except indirectly if anti-violence videogame activists in the USA pick up on this story. That's not the BBFC's concern though.

As being Part of US i would say thank god i live here.... where noone can do that without violating the Constitution... I would also like to point out that as i do live here i do not know what laws or rights govern your country therefor i cannot make a real decsion on weather this is Government Trying to wrangle votes or someone who actually thinks that this is what is best, Having said that i do belive they had their own reasons for banning it and i am sure that what they did was what they thought was in the best intrest of the country. They simply do not have the time to just Ban MANHUNT 2 on a whim.

I really can't believe the number of people on this site agreeing with this ruling. Ratings are one thing but outright bannings to everyone including adults is another. As many others have said the government shouldn't ban Free Speech solely becuase it's found to be offensive. If it's proven to be truely harmful then yes, but there isn't an ioda of evidence to suggest that this game will be harmful to the general U.K public. And until there is it shouldn't be banned regardless of how gory or gruesome it is.

"Banning" is an inaccurate term. The BBFC has rejected Manhunt 2 after it was submitted for classification. In other words, they are refusing to classify it.

This means that it will be legal to import Manhunt 2 for one's own personal use, provided the content does not break any laws. It will, however, be illegal to sell it in a shop to the general public.

You know what I think would make an interesting survey? How much people agree with the certification (or rather, lack thereof) based on their location. At a glance, most of the people saying that the BBFC are bringing about a police state seem to be American, while the "oh well, at least I can still play Kittenstomp III" group seem to be mainly British.

Well I guess you brits are going to have smuggle it from Ireland or france. Oh well.


1) No, I'm not blaming you for pointing that out, you've missed my point. My point is that judging a work, be it a video game or a novel, based on contemporary social attitudes is neither fair nor smart because attitudes DO CHANGE, and such attitudes are often not rational or objective.

For example, Shakespeare's plays were reviled in their time for being vulgar, low brow, and generally immoral. Now, we appreaciate them for what they are, great works of literature. While it might seem like a stretch to compare Manhunt to Shakespeare, but I think the PRINCIPLE holds. Manhunt is no great work of gaming, but nevertheless, we shouldn't judge it based on arbitrary social values, but objectively for its merit.

The thing about majority-minority dynamics is this, the majority should never be so loud as to drown out the minority. The majority should always give the minority the chance to be heard. In today's society, people often don't even give minorities (not race) a chance. Most don't even bother to understand alternative lifestyles; they see anything that's different as a threat to their suburban-SUV lives. They choose not to understand anything and ban anything they don't understand. They don't give anything a chance anymore, it's either their way or no way at all, and that's dangerous.

2) Right, but film, and the horror movie genera survived didn't it? It wasn't dealt a death blow. I don't think we disagree here, I'm not even sure what we're arguing about on this point. I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote, "Games like this WILL affect the industry, whether it is right or wrong. That in itself is not a reason to avoid making them, but it should be accepted by people that it will do so."

3) Here I disagree completely with you. Just because it has no merit is not a reason for why it should be banned. Pornography is probably a good comparison here. Porno has no merit whatsoever, it is just gratuitous sexuality for the sake of sex. Yet, we don't ban it. We restrict the hell out of it, making sure that you don't have to see it if you don't want to, making sure that children cannot see it, but we don't ban it.

The thing about free speech is that, people are allowed to say stupid things. People are allowed to be morons and assholes and express any idea they want to because ideas are inert. Ideas are harmless. Actions cause harm, and that's why some actions are prohibited, but ideas can't cause harm.

When you say that "powerful and graphic violence can have an effect on people", I think that you don't give people enough credit. The human mind is extremely resiliant and not as fragile as you think. I sincerely doubt that people who play Manhunt walk away psychologically scarred. In fact, I challenge you to find a case of someone being scarred by purely images alone.

The developers might've been out to cause a stink, and it might be an all out mindfuck, but that doesn't mean it should be banned. In fact, I can't think of one good reason for anything to be banned. The thing is, censorship is so repugnant to the idea of liberty that any society that actively enforces censorship of any kind for any reason is in danger of losing its freedom.

I don't care what's in Manhunt, it could have an interactive version of the sickest The Aristocrats joke ever and I still wouldn't ban it. It could be an immersive re-enactment of the Holocaust that is sympathetic to the Nazis for all I care. No matter how much I disagree with what someone says/makes into a game, I will fight to the death to protect their right to say it/make that game.

to all you censorship nuts, I have a quote for you.

"Censorship is like saying a man can't eat a steak because a baby can't chew it" - Mark Twain

What might be shocking and inacceptable to one might be perfectly Ok to someone else. You mention child molestation and act like that will be unacceptable to everyone on the planet, well I'd like to point you in the direction of NAMBLA. Also so what if they make a game where you molest children, where actual children molested to make the game? No. Does it effect real children or virtual ones? Virtual. You may want to wipe it off the face of the earth but to assume everyone agrees with you is stupid. You say you want to protect the decency of your state, one game will not cause the decency levels to drop. It is also incredibaly unlikely that Manhunt two will cause people to be more accepting of the type of sick kiillings you can do in the game, nor will it suddenly cause an increase in violence.

The bbfc assuming that the general public can't handle is being a police state. Think about it, they say that the public can't handle it which is just what they assume. So let's see the government deciding what the entire population of the U.kK can and can't handle, that doesn't sound a bit totalitarian to me at all (sarcasm). They may have their motivation and they may have good intentions but that doesn't instantly make it right.

Thats a wonderful quote.

This is bad. BBFC banning games, The CofE getting public and political support for doing similar... Another reason to move to America to work in the game biz.

Anyway this is another time the BBFC has flip-flopped. You can have Hostel. You can have Casino Royale get away with a 12a with a scene of torture. You can lie about being behind the games industry. You can get away with anything there. It's about time the BBFC is destroyed and an organisation that knows about the media can be formed.

A list of films that the BBFC have banned in the past.

Personally I trust the BBFC in thier job. The less kids I have to see pretending to be killers because mother bought them games they shouldn't have seen the better. Having worked in a nursery [kindergarten] in a deprived area and seen three and four year old children yelling "Die Mothafu**er" while pointing guns at one another, or telling me with wide eyed excitement about Grand Theft Auto it becomes clear that high ratings have no effect on what kids can get a hold of. In some cases they watch their fathers playing, in others they are just sat in front of the game to shut them up. Yes this is a parenting issue, but as they get older becoming teenagers and eventually adults the emulative nature of their behaviour, copying violence in films and games this argument becomes weaker.

The BBFC are doing their job, and I'm glad they are.

I'd like to add to what jonwajer was saying

Even if a game sets a new for record for the sickest killings has the most depraved insane individuals imaginable and contains every disturbing act known to man (bestiality, incest, necrophilia, killing newborns etc.), there is still no reason to ban it entirely. Sure ban it from kids, from the mentally unstable, that's all well and good, but there is no reason to ban it from adults. It's a work of fiction, it can't harm you, most adults can establish reality from fiction and if they can't they have bigger problems then video games. The game won't jump up and shoot you, if you like the story or the game that's great, if not just ignore it, it won't effect your life at all. Yes I know that fiction inspires real life events (like 1984) but it's the message and the themes that inspire, not the acts of violence. Oh and if you're going to tell me we should ban them so that the mentally unstable can't get them, just see the quote above from mark twain.

Yup, the day you have to legally import Manhunt 2 from outside the UK in order to get your fix of testicle chainsawing is the day the UK becomes a policed state.

Anybody making a fuss about this should all go back to watching their X-Files boxed set DVDs.

@sir james,

except the fact that in GTA there are consequences, if you shoot a cop 99% of the time you will get a two star wanted level, which means that you will be chased and be fired at by cops until you can lower your wanted level, which isn't always easy. And like you said the game is rated for adults, it's not Rockstar's fault that some deprived kids got their hands on them. Just because some kids got their hands on them when they weren't supposed to is no reason to ban games from everyone else in the country. Punishing the many for the actions of the few (of which the others had no control over) is stupid and illigocal unless you're trying to make the whole country act like a team, which is an absurd goal. It's like prohibition (the ban of alcohol during the 1920s here in the U.S.) just because some people can't drink alcohol without getting drunk doesn't mean the whole country can't.

@ sir.jamesgreen

The problem with the BBFC, in my opinion, is that they never make up their minds. For one movie they can have a lot of adult content and the same descriptors as another, and they'd get different ratings.

In the (theoretical?) case you describe, the parents are entirely at fault for letting their children witness the events of the game. A lack of disciplaine is exactly why these "feral" youths are on the loose.

If you find your child playing a game or watching a video underage - pull out the plug!

Tom, if they could don't you think the BBFC would make it illegal to import the games as well? I mean if they say it's unsuitable for the U.K. wouldn't it logically follow that they wouldn't want the game inside the U.k.'s borders?

The main reason we are concerned about this is because it could be a start of a slippery slope, where it starts with manhunt 2, and then they keep banning othe less violent games until eventually . . . Of course we could be wrong but I don't think anyone here wants to take that chance (also we are used to the religous nut bags over here who want to abolish seperation of church and state and do so a little bit at a time).

manhunt 2 shouldnt be banned, it can't really be any worse than the first one can it? And i have heard from some of the companys that have played it, that the violence is not even as bad, and there has been no proof that games cause people to kill or even think of killing, anyway, wouldnt it also be a stress relief by taking your anger out on game charicters rather than people in the real world? If this game is not intended for children, than it should be impossible for them to get their hands on it, unless their parents buy them it and then its their fault, they cant say 'we didnt know' because there is a large '18' on the front of the case

To Chekhov's Gun.

If only it were theoretical I would have no worries. I'm going to go out on a sweeping generalisation here and say that the average GP reader is going to be Middle-classed aged 20-24. This in a way makes it much harder for us to empathise with the neccesity to ban specific materials from being viewed even by adults.

It is in Britain's more deprived areas that I would argue that censorship is essential. And it is here that my anecdote is set. As I said earlier, I worked for a short while in a nursery in one of these areas, we are talking kids who are unable to go to the toilet by themselves at age 3, their parents are not taking care of their children in the way we would expect them to. And this extends to the videos, and video games which they are being allowed to watch. It's shown in both the language the children use (words I wouldn't have even known at that age!) and their actions. It is a very sad fact about our society, but none the less it is a situation which exists.

As these children grow up they become the violent teenagers that are shown so often in British media.

To Father Time, the children have no reason to worry about the intricacies of the game, at age 3 it is most likely far beyond them anyway, what matters is that they are hitting people and there is blood at the end of it. The children do not play their way through the game in a goal based manner as an adult may, they simply find the punch button and hit someone until they fall over if they are "arrested" they just run forward again. The next day when they get into an argument they just hit out.

To other posts the BBFC has no legal footing, they merely provide the reccomendation, law dictates that trading standards are to follow the BBFC advice, the BBFC itself is a privately owned independant industry regulator.

Father Time,

No, the BBFC has no power to make laws. They haven't said it's "unsuitable for the UK". What they have done is refuse to classify it, presumably because in their opinion it doesn't fit into any existing classification.

There is no law against importing unclassified media as long as it doesn't break other laws (for example, the Child Protection Act with regard to paedophilia).

Movies have fallen foul of the BBFC in the past (we're talking decades ago), and they didn't seem to lead to a policed state.

Also, I would add that it is not taken for granted in the UK and many other countries that censorship is unconditionally bad...

I'm not actually surprised to be honest, like I said previously, it's some of the best advertising for the game that RockStar could hope for, what with the reactions across the board, they've finally done it, they've made their Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and they've led the 'fear' brigade on by the nose to the point where Manhunt 2 on the Wii will become a 'must own' for anyone under 18.

Way to go, kneejerk censors, you're probably putting this game into more hands than it would ever have reached in the first place :)

Before I head to sleep I have something to add to Tom's last post.

Not only did Movies fall fowl of the BBFC in the past, but some still do, those that are seen as too morally wrong for even an 18R rating.

While these are almost never mainstream films the porn industry is constantly censored.

@Chekhovs Gun

The BBFC are one of the more stable bodies in recent times and has an effective ratings system. With the example of Casino Royal the scene of torture is not graphic and has a motivation and a reason. The 12a rating for the film proves that they would not make the withholding of a rating lightly.

For people saying that why can you have have hostel and not manhunt its simple.

With film you are a passive audience the only decision you make is to watch or not watch you don't have to agree with the direction of the film and motivation for what happens.
With games you are an active audience you have to want to play, you make conscious decisions for your actions and while you may not agree you have no choice but operate as the game dictates (in the manhunt case killing).
Like it or not there is a difference between being a passive viewer and an active participant, especially with the enhanced realism of modern videogames.

The fact is Manhunt 2 is a game out to be the most bloody and violent it can be, which is fine if there is a valid reason and motivation for it. But if its violence for the sake of violence what is the point? The game would have passed if the creators were not so fixated on the killing for the sensationalism to the point of obsession and came up with a reasonable motivation for it.

And for those saying how great it is that it will be coming to America it has an Adults Only rating, so it may as well be banned as most retailers won't stock on AO title. Sure you can get hold of it (with greater difficulty) but its a joke to think that it is not being censored.
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