June 23, 2007
In the wake of this week's controversy, it's clear that Manhunt 2's unprecedented level of violence has raised concerns even among some veteran game journalists. Hence Rob Fahey's pull-no-punches editorial in gamesindustry.biz:
This isn't a case of knee-jerk reaction to the controversy surrounding the first game... Besides which, the [British Board of Film Classification] doesn't succumb to knee-jerk reactions... Time and time again, the BBFC has shown that it understands and respects videogames.
In other words, with Manhunt 2, Rockstar has crossed the line - and crossed it at a full tilt run... this is judgement of a classification board which has happily classified Hostel and Saw, and indeed, the first Manhunt game.
This is killing, maiming and torturing for the sake of it; this may, in fact, be the game which lives up to the shrill claims of the conservative wing that games are "murder simulators".
In making such a game Rockstar has been juvenile, shameful and irresponsible. The right of creators to push the boundaries of media and society must be balanced out against a simple sense of social responsibility - something with Rockstar seems to entirely lack.