Editor on Rockstar: Juvenile, Shameful, Irresponsible

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

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.

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  1. 0
    daniel3 says:

    a few thoughts on this (from an almost 30 gamer in the US)…

    1st, i’m not usually a fan of violence in entertainment, but i greatly enjoyed playing Manhunt (1) -and recognize it’s artistic merits… -and i don’t think that govt. bodies can judge art (probably Benny Franklin and the other dudes who wrote the US constitution were on a similar wavelength)…

    2nd and more importantly, the UK is more f’ed up than the US… yes, we’re dumb, we like our violence and do things like the iraq war for no reason at all -and we’re completely dysfunctional -but at least we’re secure and open about it -the British are the same -and maybe even dumber and more dysfunctional on some levels, but pretend to have the moral high-ground for some reason

    3… i’ve seen footage from meetings of “the house of commons” -looks like someone stuffed a bunch of canaries in a funny looking cardboard box… and somehow laws in the UK come from that…. is that how the BBFC works too? -a bunch of people scream at each other until the game is banned?

    serious question: has Fahey or anyone in the BBFC who decided to ban the game actually played the game?

  2. 0
    daniel3 says:


    bro… you’re probably the only one on here that might enjoy “assaultive sex”, “being done to someone against his/her will.”

    you should just get some vaseline and watch some youtubes of manhunt -and there’d be one less dangerous “sociopath” out there

    (ps: if you’re an attorney, stick to the law and stop trying to be a neurologist, psychiatrist and amateur priest…”God is in control” -get over yourself.)

  3. 0
    Ryan says:

    There really isn’t any free speech issue here. The ESRB is a private rating system and Nintendo, Sony, and Micorsoft are all private companies (i.e. – not the government) who can approve or disapprove of ANY game they want. While you may agree or disagree (perhaps you feel the marketplace of ideas should win out), there is nothing wrong with what was done.

    As to Jack Thompson – the United States Constitution (that little piece of paper our society was founded on) says you can not regulate the free expression of ideas unless a very high standard is met (and then it ONLY applies to obscene sexual content, NOT violence). Thankfully, those who wrote the constitution understood the tyranny that comes with the supression of dissent ideas and viewpoints – it may be our most vital and fundamental right. I am only glad I get to make those decisions for myself and that you or some legislator in Washington gets to make it for me, under the guise of protecting children.

    Ryan Patrick, Not an Egotistical Meglomaniac with delusions of granduer about what I do when I am not even taken seriously by other professionals in my own field – oh well I guess you are that.

  4. 0
    Ohma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Err, the hell? Dennis I thought you had to clear people’s comments before they got posted.

    As for the artical. It’s good to see that so many people in the gaming community are just waiting for their own hobby’s equivalent to the Comics Code Authority.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I need to simultaniously bang my head against the wall and sob about hoiw bad the state of the world is today that people actually *WANT* their own interests censored.

  5. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jack, if that really is you, you do know that Take Two can kick your legal ass now, since you blatantly ignore the terms of your settlement with Take Two.

  6. 0
    Monkeychow says:

    “I will ask the question, to you and to everyone else, what sort of harm constitutes real harm? If someone suffers from nightmares or sleepless nights as a result of a game or film, is that harm? What if someone has a heart attack and dies? Is it their fault for risking seeing such content, or has the content crossed a line?”

    I will gladly answer this. Why did they buy the game? If you drink alcohol do you not take the risk of harm in your own hands? If you go see the movie Hostel, or for that matter the movie Shindler’s List, do you not take the responsibility into your own hands that you could get nightmares from it? Once again, I see this as throwing the blame away from everyone but yourself. For another example, my wife use to LOVE seeing gore movies. Still does. BUT, we cannot see them in the theater because she has become sensitive to blood. When she gets certain images or sounds together, she goes white and faints. Do I blame the media industry for going “too far”? Hell no. We are responsible enough to watch the things that entertain us on video at home, so we can pause when she feels that way, or she can walk into the other room.

    Now to answer your argument about the media, I do understand where you say they should have responsibility for what they make, but if no one listens or buys the media, then that producer will learn their lesson. You can relate this to the music industry. When a band goes out on a right wing and creates music COMPLETELY different from their usual, usually the sales and fan’s reactions dictate them to go back to their regular style. But in the end there ARE some people that will enjoy it for the entertainment value. So in this way, it once again goes to the responsibility of the consumer to determine what is good for themselves.

  7. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I accept that there are boundaries that Media flirt with and occasionally cross. Some people here would say there should be no boundaries no matter the content as long as it is fictional. Whilst I consider myself to be liberal, I don’t entirely agree with their take. I think there is some level of responsibility required and making something as sick as possible under the banner of Art or Free speech is really about rebelling rather than making something you believe in. I cannot but help think Manhunt 2 was controversy for controversy’s sake rather than a genuine business plan. I do not however think of GTA in that way. The ingenuity, graphical engine and design, planning and execution of that franchise has been excellent and whilst the ‘Hot Coffee’ episode is shameful for the coverup, it shouldn’t reflect on the game as a whole.

    I will ask the question, to you and to everyone else, what sort of harm constitutes real harm? If someone suffers from nightmares or sleepless nights as a result of a game or film, is that harm? What if someone has a heart attack and dies? Is it their fault for risking seeing such content, or has the content crossed a line?

    However, Jack, you go too far in your assessment. You believe that seeing these images would cause someone to because deranged or murderous. I catagorically deny these claims as do the majority of gamers; people who actually PLAY the games on a regular basis. As the consumers we should know better than you what side effects they have and your phoney science and studies that have been torn apart in court on many occasions just don’t stand up; time and time again they are dismissed by judges.

    Look, I really am not sure if you actually believe this or if you are playing the media for your own personal gain, but either way you have set yourself up as a straw man in this whole arguement. Your conduct and your ability aside, your proposals and thoughts have no rational or scientific basis. And on that note, I will leave it at that.

  8. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The fact that they don’t ban R/NC17 rated movies goes to show society treats games as kid based products because of that it gets no end of grief when it tries to be as mature as its film brethren.

  9. 0
    Gabriel Celesta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yeah, possibly, dude. I swear, Jack Thompson must get all his “information” from a daily bowl of Alpha-Bits.

    Oh, and Jack, I’ll say “thank you” to you when you get your law license revoked.

  10. 0
    Monkeychow says:

    Oh and one more thing Mr. Thomas.

    “Finally, hopefully for the last time, the sex and violence control centers of the human brain are geographically interlocked. They have a symbiotic relationship with one another, which is why violence and sex go together in the porn world and in the neurobiological world as well.”

    Quit spewing things that there are no factual scientific data to back up. There has been NO REAL research evidence linking these two specific actions together. You are going by select bias cases in which the two are linked, siting rapes and domestic violence, then claiming this speaks for all cases and the human brains.

    I’m sorry, but when I have sex with my wife, I am in no way having anything in my brain related to hurting her. And the many times in my life in which I was involved with violence, I’m pretty sure that I never thought in that moment or thereafter “I want to go have sex”. I’m positive that was the FARTHEST thing from what I was thinking.

    Please provide us with real STUDIED research that can truly map the uncharted regions of the mind to link the two actions together.

    I’m sorry, but we can’t help it that in this world we have some demented and truly broken individuals in which this does happen. Instead of focusing your efforts on the media, you would do much better to focus your energy and efforts to psychological help for these deranged individuals.

  11. 0
    Monkeychow says:

    I get sick and tired of arguments about stupid stuff like this, and with having to listen to Jack Thompson’s complete garbage.

    You know what the REAL problem here is? Not that we have a “murder simulator”…not that we have something that there’s people offended by.

    The problem is EDUCATION.

    You know why? Let me give you an example. I went to a rollerskating rink for a friend’s birthday last night. He turned 25. You know what we saw in there? 8 and 9 year olds wearing booty shorts and hiked down shirts, skating around and singing to songs that say “Slap that ho, kick that bch”.

    You want to talk about “social responsibility”? It’s not the responsibility of the people who create the media to cater to the uneducated people who will follow like sheep. It is the responsibility of the parents and each and every one of us to know the difference and be educated enough to say NO or not expose ourselves to things we feel are garbage.

    All arguments like Jack Thomas’s or most of the people writing in here are, are to kick the blame to someone else. “LETS BLAME VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES”…………….Lets blame the jackass parents that let their 10 year old kid buy the game when they know the kid won’t know the difference between reality.

    The BBC is no better. They are sheltering the select people in their society that are idiots, rather than getting those morons EDUCATED enough to know the difference between reality and fiction. The same difference that some kids are not educated enough to realize how skank they are being.

    For once I wish you jackasses would wake up and smell the coffee, and quit trying to throw the blame on anyone or anything but yourselves.

  12. 0
    BlindJustice15 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is coming from someone who can’t even make a decent looking website. He obviously didn’t learn the addage, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” or he took “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Dare to be Stupid literally.

  13. 0
    Jack Thompson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The “pornography” that is obscene these days and thus by definition contraband under the Supreme Court’s three-prong test in Miller v. California is invariably violent. It is sex being done to someone against his/her will. The notion that they enjoy this assaultive sex is the “rape myth” that those of us deal in this area of pathology and law understand. Nearly no one who posts at this site has a clue as to what any of this sociopathy is about.

    There is sexual content in Manhunt 2 that helped push it to the point of banning in the UK and the AO rating here. Dennis McCauley is not addressing that issue because he doesn’t understand it.

    Finally, hopefully for the last time, the sex and violence control centers of the human brain are geographically interlocked. They have a symbiotic relationship with one another, which is why violence and sex go together in the porn world and in the neurobiological world as well.

    GTA: IV and the various governments’ reactions to that, especially if it gets a “Mature” rating, is going to make this flap over Manhunt 2 look like a mild civics lesson.

    I guarantee it. The goal is to stop Take-Two from destroying any credibility the video game industry has with parents.

    When it’s all over, the industry and each of you will thank me. Ahead of time, please note: You’re welcome.

    Jack Thompson, Attorney and You’re Not

  14. 0
    Fafnir says:


    1. Nope. The pornography that’s banned is banned AFAIK because it directly infringes on the rights of its participants (e.g. child porn, bestiality). Most pornography is heavily restricted because (again AFAIK) there are studies showing conclusively that pornography can damage children’s emotional development, so showing it to them would cause unacceptable harm. It’s also been shown fairly conclusively that a game like Manhunt 2 would do a lot of damage to the young and impressionable (with emphasis on young), so restricting its sale to minors also makes sense. Banning it doesn’t. And I consider violence more disturbing than sex but less disturbing than child porn, FYI.

    2. Probably worse. If the rating change in question is from PG-13 to PG or from R to PG-13, then I’d consider that fine – the company is simply choosing to cater to a different audience, and that’s their own decision. If the rating change in question is from NC-17 to R, that’s a lot more questionable on the grounds that the majority of cinemas refuse to show NC-17 pictures. In other words, it’s not just a matter of choosing to appeal to a different demographic, since the demographic is realistically similar to that of an R movie. Instead, the filmmaker is presented with an ultimatum: cut your film down or we will screw any chance you might have had of making money from it. I’d consider that about equivalent (in terms of moral dubiousness) to making cuts to save a PC game from the AO rating.

    Manhunt, on the other hand, is a console game. That means that an AO rating isn’t simply limiting the choice of retailers – it makes it illegal to release the game, due to the major console companies’ stances on AO rated games. The movie equivalent would be to not only ban it from most cinemas, but also to ban it from video or DVD release (at least without spending millions in redevelopment costs). Frankly, I consider that unacceptable behaviour for both the ESRB and the console companies. And don’t get me started on the BBFC…

    3. Fairer, but still wrong. See above – I mean, granted it’s not an absolute ban, but the changes would still be forced on Rockstar.

    4. I’m not certain what you mean here – I’d consider an effective ban (as in the US) to be an example of censorship. The end outcome is still the same – Rockstar has produced a piece of media which they will not be allowed to sell. The fact that Sony and Nintendo are the ones preventing them (rather than the government) is to my mind immaterial. They could simply refuse to help publicise and distribute the games, and that would be OK (if annoying), but as it stands if Rockstar releases the AO version for PS3, Wii, or 360, they will be sued into oblivion. Not OK.

    As for the UK, I’d consider government censorship of films, TV aired on cable (as the government is paying for public TV), radio aired on non-public airwaves (for the same reason) or books equally unacceptable.

  15. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh I was also going to respond to your comment about Nintendo and Sony (AND Microsoft since they also adopt the same policy, they just weren’t getting a release of Manhunt 2). They are companies that have social responcibilities and may not wish to associate themselves with AO games. That is a buisness decision more than a political one. Not one I happen to agree with because I think it would have helped the games industry voices in the US had there been in place a resticted sale for AO games that are still publically available for Adults. This would have been seen more as the industry policing itself and probably would have stopped the litigious nonsense we are seeing today.

    Over here, Packaging is restrictive so that if a minor sees it they are not subject to disturing images, but 18 means just that and we have E, 12, 15 and 18 games all in the same buildings. Given the small amounts of AO games there would be in the US I dont know why they don’t just adopt a behind the desk policy on them and require all staff to card people for them to buy such a game or be subject to firing. This I think would be more effective.

    That tackles AO games, but Manhunt 2 I think is a little more exceptional. I wish I has seen the content and the context to fully understand the decision, but I will repeat that the BBFC wouldn’t do this on a whim. There’s 2 sides to this debate; those that believe this game is probably too extreme and those that believe nothing should ever be too extreme. At the moment I’m seeing both sides, but I refuse to slag off the BBFC.

    (cheers for the reply)

  16. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I should have pointed out that with regards to A Clockwork Orange, it was the fact that the original ending of the book goes on to say that people can make a conscious decision to change and should not have change enforced upon them from a litigious government that caused the final chapter to be removed. It was cut from the US version of the book as well, though this may have been overturned since. Infact Stanley Kubrick never knew about the final chapter until well after the film’s release.

    With regards to your point on number 4, citizens in the UK are still entitled to OWN copies of Manhunt 2, they just cannot sell them. If I were to go to another country and bring it back for my own personal use, this would not be a criminal act. This is the difference between refusal of classification to sell and banning.

  17. 0
    Raum says:

    @ Chuma

    1) Pornography may be restricted, but at least it can be released; sony and nintendo are refusing to allow manhunt 2 release on their consoles.

    2) The ending of the A Clockwork Orange film is actually worse than the book, the book ends on a happy note, the film doesn’t. Can’t say anything about The Decent, never watched it.

    3) The spiderwalk scene in The Exorcist was actually cut for suspence, not because it was ‘too much’. I was (and still am) totally against the cutting of the heroin injection scene in Pulp Fiction, that was artistic expression and shouldn’t have been tampered with.

    4) I am objecting the banning of materials, and the act of having them cut to become ‘un-banned’. And please don’t give me that ‘It’s not banned, it’s just refused classification’ garbage. That arguement is useless, the material is still stopped from being released, so what’s the difference?

  18. 0
    Chuma ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Not wanting to start a flame war here, but I have a few questions for all those who are complaining that this impinges on their rights for freedom of speech etc.

    1. Given that Pornography is heavilly restricted or banned, do you honestly believe that sex is more disturbing than extreme violence?

    2. One for the Americans amoungst us: When films like The Decent and A Clockwork Orange are specifically censored and cut for the US market (making the endings nice and fluffy) do you think that is any better or worse than giving a game a rating it may (or may not – haven’t seen the content) deserve?

    3. If the game could be edited in the same way as film and TV content is by the censors asking for changes to be made to scenes, (e.g. the heroin injection in Pulp Fiction being reshot so as not to show it being injected directly, or the famous spiderwalk scene in The Exorcist being cut) would you consider that to be a fairer compromise?

    4. Given that Book, Film, TV and Radio content has been subject to censorship and media has been cut, editted and sometimes banned on BOTH sides of the atlantic, is it actually the censorship you are objecting to or just the fact that it was effectively banned?

    I’d be interested to see people’s responces to these questions. Quite a few of the comments above don’t seem to take into account any double standards and I would like to see them reasoned and thought out more.

    My stance, for the record, is pretty similar to the Editor in the Article. The BBFC are not some archaic and conservative group, (like the FCC for instance…..) they have served the UK well. I also side on the notion that violence is less disturbing than sex, which is pretty much the opposing view of American society. I would also like to suggest to those that previously have slagged off the UK and touted the US that yes you might have your 1st amendment in the US, but try going on TV after 9pm and saying ‘Fuck’. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t even get a bleep over here…

  19. 0
    Luscan says:

    “Censorship is just wrong and childish. Like Heinrich Hein said, “Burn books and you will end up burning people”. Just like this, “Ban entertainment and you will end up hurting and pissing people off”.

    Please don’t force us to start a riot on all of you, anti-game politicians. It won’t be pleasant once we start, because we will never stop and we hate tyrants in this world. Much like we hate Hitler and all who attempts to destroy our freedom and that is… YOU! “

    I can honestly see the arm chair polemics out there getting up out of their chairs and taking to the streets over a videogame. People won’t riot over this because, frankly, it’s not a big deal. This game was probably going to suck from the word go… let’s be honest here, Manhunt 1 wasn’t very fun or enjoyable as a game and I have very little belief that manhunt 2 would have been much different.

    Also I’m surprised it too 80 odd posts for someone to go all Godwin on us.

  20. 0
    Jack Thompson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jack Thompson Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    June 24th, 2007 at 7:02 am
    I love the attitude of the majority here that is allegedly supportive of freedom of expression and then, in the next breath, is all bent out of shape that I, Jack Thompson, found a way to post here, to get around Dennis McCauley’s censorial effort to prevent him from posting. It’s a lot like the gamers who threaten to kill me to prove the games don’t affect their attitudes about violence. Duh.

    As to “mocking the kid who committed suicide,” listen up for a change: I pointed out in that context that games can be addictive and feed into depression, which can lead to suicide. I have represented a family to whom that happened in Hudson, Wisconsin–the Wooley family. Monday the American Medical Association is going to vote on whether video game addiction is an actual malady that can and should be treated. So, once again, I was ahead of the curve, and it’s got addicted gamers all in a tizzy, as addicts have a habit of being about their habits.

    I didn’t mock the suicide. I pointed out one of its causes. Unbelievable.

    Finally, I had everything to do with the Manhunt 2 ban. I helped put Take-Two on the video game industry hit list. I have been beating that drum for three years, starting with our case in Alabama which is going to a jury in January. See 60 Minutes at

    There’s a reason why I am supposedly banned from this site, to the glee of the latter day Stalinists who can’t abide real freedom of expression: I have been effective in raising public awarness of the marketing of mature video games to children, and I have been right about Take-Two.

    If Dennis McCauley were a real journalist instead of an industry lapdog who filed a Bar complaint against me and saw it go down the toilet, never telling your lemmings here that he had done so and had his head handed to him, he would pick up the phone and interview me about my face-to- face meeting with Take-Two’s Chairman in New York last month. Dennis, want to play the journalist for a change? Would be fascinating stuff.

    Take-Two is so out of control and I have been so relentless in pointing that out, that now the industry itself has decided to ostracize this company, and it’s about time. See comments of Doug Lowenstein, Warren Specter, and Mr. Fahey, whose editorial is the reason for this thread! This is how the ancient Greeks dealt with public enemies–they kicked them out of Athens. Take-Two is now outside looking in. That is what happened this week, and it is what I have striven for and accomplished. You’re welcome, rest of the industry which has responsible people in it!

    I predicted six months ago that Manhunt 2’s release would be stopped. I was right. Here’s another prediction, and you can go to the bank on this one:

    Upon the release of GTA: IV, certain retailers’ employees will be arrested for selling it to minors, because of the sexual content. You heard it here first, and you have, obviously, not heard the last of me and my efforts, so far wildly successful, against Take-Two.

    God is in control, and Take-Two’s Strauss Zelnick is not. I told him to his face in New York Manhunt 2 would be a problem. He laughed at me. He’s not laughing now.

    Jack Thompson, Attorney, And You’re Not

  21. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    @ Grombar:

    We all know the old “you can’t yell ‘FIRE’ in a crowded theater” rule, which is always given as an example of how freedom of speech is not an absolute, as you can’t use it to put others in harm’s way. However, if you are going to infringe on a Constitutional right such as freedom of speech, you had better damn well show the people absolute proof that the speech in question(in this case, “violent” video games) is in fact dangerous. Guess what? It’s NEVER been done. There is no absolute proof that any harm will come of anyone who plays a violent video game.

    If there’s a danger so clear and so threatening to the American people that Congress feels the need to step on the First Amendment and pretty much say “We’re changing this Amendment and making laws abridging your freedom of speech,” wouldn’t any rational thinking person believe that the danger would have to be so obvious and so clear that there’s no argument about it? You’re directly contradicting a Constitutional amendment, so you should have a damn good reason to look at a Constitutional amendment and say “We’re changing this”

    Bottom line is, we have not given any reason to believe this abridging of our freedom of speech is necessary, as there just isn’t any evidence whatsoever of any danger from “violent” video games. Thanks for the offer, but we really don’t need this protection. Please feel free to use my tax dollars for protection against things like 767 cockpits or hurricane storm surge entering the workplace.

    Most of this is culled from a comment Anthony Cumia(of Opie & Anthony, who also did voice work for GTA:San Andreas and GTA:Liberty City Stories) about the Congressional hearings into the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident a couple of years ago.

  22. 0
    DarkTetsuya ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    this may, in fact, be the game which lives up to the shrill claims of the conservative wing that games are “murder simulators”.

    Because all games released are as violent and controversial as Manhunt 2, right.

    Blanket statements ftl.

  23. 0
    Clyde_Wyman says:

    Censorship is just wrong and childish. Like Heinrich Hein said, “Burn books and you will end up burning people”. Just like this, “Ban entertainment and you will end up hurting and pissing people off”.

    Please don’t force us to start a riot on all of you, anti-game politicians. It won’t be pleasant once we start, because we will never stop and we hate tyrants in this world. Much like we hate Hitler and all who attempts to destroy our freedom and that is… YOU!

  24. 0
    Grogmonkey says:


    Do you think that every civil rights injustice was faught all of the time? Yes, we have our Rosa Parks, our Emmeline Pankhursts. But I’ll bet that there are also countless cases where people thought “You know what? Now is not the time to make the stand.” Probably when there were a bunch of white folks with pitchforks hanging around nearby. We don’t hear about those times because nothing interesting happens, so we focus on the people that, when their time came, made a difference. But a lot of people knew that sometimes it was better to back down than to risk fighting against a wave of public opinion (mostly a vocal minority, I guess, but they’re usually the worst).

    So, yes. I would say we should pick our battles. I do think that discretion can be the better part of valour. But you know, that doesn’t have to be the same thing as ‘cowardice’. A smart General knows when to get his troops the hell out of a battle and prepare for the next one. Yes, he’s ‘running away’, but if the choice is that or needlessly sacrificing hundreds of people, then it IS the better choice. And it IS being smart.

    The annoying thing is, we won’t know if we should have faught this battle or backed down until after the dust has settled. Stupid 20-20 hindsight. You’re no good to us at all! Either way, fighting every battle gets you tired and eventually leaves you without people to help you fight your battles.

    Annoyingly, I see the argument very clearly from both sides, so it’s hard to forge some kind of solid opinion one way or the other. I can see the ‘pro-censorship’ case has more merit for the industry at this point in time, however. If only because there has been a LOT of talk about how the industry is not effectively monitoring itself. If Manhunt 2 was released, you can bet there would be another wave of ‘Set up a government body to control videogame ratings.’ And we definitely don’t want that.

  25. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    How is a free man commiting crimes in order to clean drugs and dirty police from his neighboor hood more responsible than a prisoner at a mental ward being experimented on which turns out to make him insane so hed kills the people that took his memories away from him.

    I wouldnt want to meet the person who wouldnt want to take the life of those who take something as precious as your memories. Im sorry but If I was put in that same situation I would have to say many people I personally know would do whatever it took to get revenge even if it involved brutal killing sprees and torture. Face reality and take the story into account. I take it this editor didnt do ANY research on the game what-so-ever. I am really shocked that many people refuse to take the time to research the game in question.

    Rockstar has always justified the violence in their games and this is no different. Jack Thompson is a worthless sack of shit. He is a coward and a greedy bastard preying on the minds of the weak and those are at a vulerable state in their life(aka their children have been killed). He is the evil people should be fighting to prohibit. What worthless bastard chases masacres just to put some money into his wallet and to get his face on TV. Worthless and expendable. Jack, you are wrong and you will always be wrong. Nothing can change the truth, and that is the honest truth any way you cut it. JT is what I refer to as a greedy media-whore asshole.

    Here is a bucket, go and kick it.

  26. 0
    Miang ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I know I’m a little off topic here, so please forgive me.
    I hated the original Manhunt. I found it boring and mostly obnoxious. I had no real plans to even see the sequel. I didn’t find the context in which the violence existed to be at all compelling. But that’s me and far be it for me to judge what another person would enjoy, so for everyone that liked Manhunt and wanted to buy Manhunt 2 I think they should be able to purchase it.
    What bother me the most here; and what I find to be the most important issue, is that the industry has fought a battle for years now to prevent governmental censorship only to have the manufacturers and retailers do it for them in the form of not licensing or carrying AO games. I have never heard a reasonable explanation for why they think it is “wrong” or “bad business” to have a product made for ADULTS and sold to ADULTS. The last time I checked other forms of “ADULT” entertainment seem to do really well on the open market. Not just porn, either, but as countless people here have brought up, in the form of un-rated violent movies. There is obviously a market for it. I don’t see the harm in licensing AO games. I especially don’t see the harm of the small specialty stores carrying AO games. I have never understood why they really refuse to stock them. It’s stupid. You can go into the EB Games by my house and buy un-rated DVDs. There is no difference. All you have to do is make sure you rigidly card all buyers of an AO product at the time of purchase. Then you would be conducting good, responsible business.
    To me it is very disheartening to see parts of the industry like the ESRB work very hard at combating censorship only to have manufacturers and retailers continue to refuses to license or stock AO titles. Most gamers now are adults. AO products are made for adults. It seems very simple to me.

  27. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    If Manhunt 2 is a murder simulator then be prepared to have to read the game booklet a few times in order to know how to play it. And prepare for that booklet to be more of a long book. Thats usually how simulation games work. But from my knowledge this isn’t a simulation game.

  28. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Voting with your wallet is basically how to get things done with a country that in my opinion is pretty close to running under a Corporate Facist system(im being nice).

    I’ll definately be buying Manhunt 2 because I like gore, I like games and I like Rockstar’s courage. Id rather have an AO version but what can you do.

  29. 0
    PyroHazard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    What we need to do is to get through the growing pains. We need to keep our heads down and get through the next 10 or 20 years without causing the kind of sensationalist shitstorm that would set the ‘Videogames are a valid artform’ cause back a few decades.

    In other words, we should bury our heads in the sand and wait for it to blow over? I am sorry but that is what these censorists want. Whether we see it or not, these people want the industry to stagnate because it goes against their own personal moral values (and because they don’t get contribution money for their campaigns…)

    But videogames have a seriously long way to go before we get to the same level of cultural and social acceptance that cinema has. And it’s not going to be a fun ride, because puberty is hitting soon and that’s when the all the brown, poopy stuff is going to hit the bladed, spinning thing. So, right now we shouldn’t be pointing at the film industry and saying ‘They’ve got Hostel, so I want Manhunt 2?.

    No doubt I agree with you that we have ways to go and in my opinion, we are nearly there. However, for these growing pains to come of age, we need to fight against the double standards, fight against the unfair and criminally bias stigma that’s been given to us.

    90% of the world will kick your ass, because you just cannot fight those numbers

    Say that to Rosa Parks, say that to every social revolutionary in the history of time. The odds were stacked against them. Did they bend down and take it in the ass by the iron boot of injustice and discrimination? No, they kept on persisting. They took some blows but also took some victories as well.

    Ok, so “gaming rights” isn’t as big nor non-trivial as the Black Rights movement, but my general point stands. Fighting against the odds is what made America what it is today and to me, cowardice and submissiveness aren’t options. (The latter options, need I remind you, were part of the reason why Rockstar got fucked two ways to Sunday when the Hot Coco bean scandal started.)

    Manhunt 2, like it or hate it, is going to plant some seeds for the industry to grow and flourish. Not push the envelope for the sake of pushing it persay, but to give it a wake up call and essentially mature. Who knows, maybe in 10 years when we are fragging our buddies in Call Of Duty: Space Combat, we’ll take a look back and laugh at how butthurt everyone was about a game that is tamed graphically compared to future games years down the line.

    In closing, I’d STRONGLY encourage everyone to vote with their wallet on this one. It is the most basic form of democracy in your disposal; use it.

  30. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    sorry for the double post, but to add to what i said about instructional killing training games:
    Say any psychpath wants to learn how to kill, sure he could take it off of a violent game, but he could take it out of Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, whatever the hell he wants to use as his excuse for killing innocent life. I dont think that Manhunt 2 could be anywhere, i mean anywhere near the type of simulation that is created from growing up in an Al-Quida or Taliban family, or being trained many years in cultures where they TEACH others to kill and maim innocent life

  31. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In all honesty, i believe the only games that should get AO ratings are pure pornographic games, or games that show actual murder, not 3-d images. if its a very violent and bloody game, with the title MANHUNT, i dont really think little kids or people that arent responsible enough to play it and not be too offended will play it. I dont think any game should ever be BANNED, and i dont think that this game, unless it has porn or something completely over the top, should get an AO rating or be banned.

    i mean, the only people that will play such a sick game as this are very sick adults, or very sick teens. its not a pure instructional game on how to kill, and even if it was, big deal! kids shouldnt be playing this game, and the game industry wont make games like this if we, the consumer, dont buy them. it doesnt mean they should be banned, just that only the intended audience views them

  32. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    But Dr. Alexander Thomas is just trying to get a few people angry, pay no attention to him. He should go somewhere based on religion and cause a stir if thats what he really wants.

  33. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Dr Alexander Thomas, I’m pretty sure that claiming you want to slit Jesus Christ up the middle and play with his insides is blasphemous in more than a few cultures. :)

  34. 0
    Grogmonkey says:

    Videogames have really found themselves in an unenviable position. Films have been around (if Wikipedia is any judge) for 140 years. That’s a long time to get used to a specific media. Add to that the fact that it’s kind of based on theatre, which has been around for centuries, and you can see why it’s easy for people to accept (once they get past the whole ‘Stealing a bit of my soul’ thing). Secondly, though tied closely to the first point, cinema has matured a whole lot. Certainly, it had to go through a fair bit to get to the point where people are comfortable enough to let films such as Hostel and ‘whatever that other one people usually talk about is’ get released without comment. So, films have this great cultural acceptance, but it took a fair amount of work to get them there. And technology had to improve dramatically along the way, too.

    Videogames, on the other hand, were thrown into a world already technically advanced. A lot more could be done in a much shorter space of time. In fact, the first game was developed (again, according to Wikipedia) 100 years after the first film. (I like that fact but I can’t remember the relevance to the rest of this point right now, so you can probably forget it.) The problem is because videogames had all this technological power (and because we could look back at the film industry and see what they did), they could quickly get to a similar technological/artistic point as films, but without all the growing and maturing that films had. A colourful metaphor would be saying it’s like giving a child a gun: it may be fun to wave around, but sooner or later someone’s going to get shot in the ass. (In this metaphor, the child is the games industry, the gun is the technological power we have, Manhunt 2 is probably the bullet, and a whole number of different people are getting shot in the ass. I guess we have to assume the gun is an automatic).

    Anyway, I best start having a point at some… er… point. Mostly, it is this: We are not the film industry. We are the small, annoying, younger brother of the film industry. We look at him and we say ‘We want to be like him. We want the stuff that he’s got, and damnit if we won’t kick up a hell of a fuss if we can’t have it’. But videogames have a seriously long way to go before we get to the same level of cultural and social acceptance that cinema has. And it’s not going to be a fun ride, because puberty is hitting soon and that’s when the all the brown, poopy stuff is going to hit the bladed, spinning thing. So, right now we shouldn’t be pointing at the film industry and saying ‘They’ve got Hostel, so I want Manhunt 2’. That’s just never going to work (and you can bark ‘Free Speech’ as much as you want, because the rest of the world just will not listen).

    What we need to do is to get through the growing pains. We need to keep our heads down and get through the next 10 or 20 years without causing the kind of sensationalist shitstorm that would set the ‘Videogames are a valid artform’ cause back a few decades. The second we get that acceptance, it’ll be easy to throw around as much obscene crap as we want, just like the film industry does. But until then we need act with a certain responsibility. Just because we CAN say what we want, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. Or, to put it a slightly more low-brow way, there are times when we should put up, and there are times when we should shut up. This time, I believe, we should be doing the latter.

    Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s double standards. Yes, it goes against the very concept of freedom of expression. But you know what? That’s life. If 90% of the world thinks the thing you like doing is a stupid waste of time that does little but train you to become a mass-murdering psychopath, then it doesn’t matter if you’re in the right. 90% of the world will kick your ass, because you just cannot fight those numbers. What we need to do is maintain a level of acceptability, show the world that gamers can be trusted (and can regulate themselves, which is why the Manhunt decision is important), and get ‘the unwashed masses’ (especially readers of the damn Daily Mail) to realise just how important and valued the industry is.

    I guess if I have some kind of sub-point, it’s that Manhunt 2 was released before its time. The world is just not ready for it yet. From a moral standpoint, if nothing else. To be honest, if they had released it in 2010 instead, especially after some more ‘Hostels’ came out, there wouldn’t have been nearly as much of a problem. Either that, or we would have become even MORE moralistic and games like Barbie’s Horse Adventures 6 would only scrape through with an 18.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. I hope there is a point in there somewhere. It’s like 2am over here, and I really need sleep.

  35. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sorry, double post, but look at it this way…

    All companies are led by demand, when the Matrix made it’s fortune, the amount of films using Bullet-Time super powers went through the roof. Why was that? Simple, there was a demand, and there was money to be made in the market, Matrix had proved that. When a game like GTA makes a huge profit, whatever the reason, it’s seen as a ‘Market leader’, and other games will attempt to emulate the recipe that made GTA so much money.

    Now, Manhunt 2 was an attempt to push those borders, right or wrong, and, as I said, I can’t comment on the game because I haven’t seen it, maybe it went too far, who knows? But the fact that annoys me is that this game would not even have been written in the first place, or at least not nearly got the media-focus it has done, had it not been for constant reminders of it’s existence from the very people who claimed they wanted to stop it’s existence.

    It just amazes me that, even after all these years, the most basic concepts of human nature are either still beyong the grasp of the campaigners, it must be that, because the only other option is that they are trying to younger people aware that these game exist and can be bought in order to give themselves a soap-box, and that’s just too sick to consider.

  36. 0
    Oldboy says:

    What they fail to mention is the games actual story, which merits violence. Your character wakes up in an asylum where doctors ran tests on you, but now the experiments have gone wrong and they want all the subjects killed. you being one of them. You must get out of the asylum by any means necessary and the ones in your way want you dead so therefore you only kill for self preservation and not “for the fun of it.”

    It is socially irresponsible for any government to block a public’s law givin rights and not allow them to freely buy a game that does nothing but entertain.

  37. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t know whether it’s a right or wrong decision because I haven’t seen the game, I suppose it’s that which irks me about it, and that is the danger of censorship, it’s the ‘forbidden fruit’ all over again, ‘You may play any game you like, except this one.’. And they think this is going to STOP curious teenagers seeking it out?

    Personally, I am inclined to agree with the BBFC, I don’t deny the hard work they do to support Video Games as an entertainment Media, and it is true that they are far far more liberal than they ever used to be. I also know what the reaction would be from the ‘Vaz Brigade’, which, whilst not influencing the BBFC in the slightest, would become boring and annoying.

    That’s why it’s a vicious circle unwittingly set up by the very people who claim to be fighting against it, look at how long Hot Coffee has been dragging on for, and they STILL keep earning GTA more publicity by dragging it out and waving it around from time to time. THAT is why it is the 9th biggest selling video game of all time (and the only other FPS in the list was based on the James Bond license), not because it was an incredibly good game, it was fun, but it got repetitive and didn’t hold interest for long in my case, but because of the vast amount of free advertising it’s recieved from anti-gamers. It wouldn’t have been nearly as profitable without the controversy.

  38. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    GoodRobotUs: But I support the BBFC’s rejection and the ESRB’s rating. I am, in the eyes of some here, part of the enemy force. Build some pylons, because I’m Protoss to the gaming Zerg and tabloid Terrans.

    “Free speech” means that Rockstar are allowed to create this game without being stopped by the government. Given that nobody has called for their arrest yet, free speech is being upheld. Free speech does not mean that Sony and Nintendo must allow the game to be distributed for their consoles. It does not mean that Walmart must allow it to be sold in their stores. It does not mean that you must be allowed to play it.

    I’m allowed to fill a Coke bottle with my own urine, if I so wish. That doesn’t mean it has to be mass produced and sold in Woolworths. Moreover, it doesn’t mean I can’t find the idea that someone wants to purchase it and drink it morally and physically repugnant. The BBFC (and possibly ESRB) consider Manhunt 2 to be a waste product and have slapped it with the strongest advisory they can.

  39. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Grombar: I’d propose what the US has: a republic where principles (such as freedom of speech) are more important than what people want at the moment. Our democracy would afford us us a lot less freedom if it weren’t for judicial review. If we let the legislature had its way, you could go to prison for linking to a site that had material inappropriate for children, or linking to a site that links to such material. Look up the Communications Decency Act. Principles and reason, not fickle public opinion are the proper deciding factor for what is allowed.

  40. 0
    Goldtree says:


    There is one reason for Freedom of Speech. Democracy.

    It is necessary for the community to make decisions so that they can determine the values of right and wrong. It is for that reason that censorship is wrong. If information is removed from currency, then the decisions made by the community will not be informed.

    Judging from what I’ve heard about Manhunt 2, it’s possible it provides new perspectives on the mentally disturbed. It is taboo, but it does deepen the dialogue. How should we treat mental patients? Do we have sufficient safeguards?

    Outright banning the game means that these perspectives will not be allowed to enter the discussion.

  41. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Matthew, it was ruined by the very people who were claiming to ‘save’ us to be honest.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it weren’t for the fact that the Thompsons of this world point them out, these sort of games would probably have come and gone years ago, there’d still be a niche market, just like Phantasmagoria is still printed, you only have to spend a day in Amsterdam to realise that some Adults play a lot lot differently to Children, and that what we might consider ‘offensive’ or ‘violent’ is nothing more than ‘role-play’ to some people.

    What is strangling the computer game market is the fact that First/Third-Person perspective games involving performing scripts that animate a group of polygons in a manner that may be similar to an action required to commit a crime (it’s the only way I can describe it, because you AREN’T actually commiting a crime) have been hyped and bolstered and advertised by the actions of the very people claiming to want to ‘destroy’ them.

    What killed creativity in the Video Game market? Well, they can twist and turn and squirm, but these people out to ‘help the children’ simply cannot deny that releasing a game with violent undertones would almost certainly get about four times as much airtime and public attention as releasing a non-violent one. In a business as finance-led as the Video Game industry, if you have a choice of an uphill slog to get your game recognised, or a route where other people will happily tell everyone all about your game, why do you think these games still surface?

  42. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Ace, if rule by the majority is unsatisfactory, and there aren’t any benevolent, all-knowing dictators handy, what would you propose instead? Who should decide the rules to live by, if not the comunity? Again, not rhetorical; if you’ve got a model society up your sleeve, please bring it out here, ’cause we’re long overdue for it.

    What we have now isn’t perfect. Of course it isn’t; we’re not perfect, and we made it. But it’s what we’ve got, it’s the best we’ve got, and every so often, it improves a little. Some bad decisions of the past have been recognized as bad decisions and overturned. Slavery is gone. Segregation is gone. Stoning people to death for witchcraft is gone. And yeah, we still make bad decisions, and if they’re bad enough, the consequences of those decisions are usually enough to make us rethink them. If we lucky, we learn from them, and stop making those same mistakes. Usually we don’t learn from them, because humans don’t live all that long, and the young tend not to listen to the old, but hey.

    In terms of how to make it better, I personally think better education is key — speaking of terrible decisions, someone repeal No Child Left Behind already — but what do you think?

  43. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I mourn.

    This whole affair – Manhunt 2’s creation, the anti-gaming lobby’s response to its creation, and the obnoxious response from gamers to that response – has made me sorry to be a gamer. I am sorry to be responsible for funding the creation of the game. I am sorry that my hobby is a target for the unthinking Thompsons of the world who base part of their existence on telling me that I’m a moron. I am also sorry to be associated with the minority of gamers who react with vitriolic mindlessness and thereby, in part, prove the Thompsons right.

    It upsets me that I should have to defend my pastime. It upsetd me more that I should be expected to defend Manhunt 2 unquestioningly – just as the rest of the populace should be expected to condemn it unquestioningly. The irony leaves me cold.

    I’m saddened by the way laws and rights and morals are used, abused, and (90% of the time) bent out of shape by people on all three sides of this debate, and are backed up with logical fallacies and rampant ad hominem attacks.

    Rockstar have taken something we love and warped it into an open target, then thrust it upon the world and left us to take the flak. The Phelps argument above is a good one: I feel like a Christian being asked to defend my faith because Rockstar uses it to troll the world. And right now, I’m having a crisis of faith because of it.

    Am I alone here? Is anyone else sickened by all of this? Where did the fun go?

  44. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    grombar: that’s exactly how just societies don’t work. Certain states in the south a few years ago decided it was unacceptable to be black. They drew a line. Only this black and no blacker. Or, Texas decided that being gay was not compatible with societies standards. Since society decided it, does that make it okay? The law is supposed to protect us from mob rule, not provide a mechanism for enforcing it.

    You use Jack Thompson’s being banned by Dennis as an example, but the truth is Jack gets on TV more and has more sway with the public than Dennis does. If you are trying to move this right to ban the offensive into the public sector you are essentially giving Jack Thompson the power to ban things if he can rile up enough people and what is allowed will be decided by whoever is the loudest and most easily offended on any issue the majority doesn’t care about.

  45. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    grombar: “How’d you react when Rockstar tried to pin the blame on you?”

    When the controversy first started, I had asked them to just blame me entirely so I could have some fun with the press. As such, it was a bit disappointing when they danced around the issue. :p

  46. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    What is the imporant distinction?

    Who decides what’s right and wrong? Communities do, with their own best judgement.

    Some people treat “judgement” like a bad word these days, but having the capacity for judgement is part of being human; we have the ability, and sometimes the duty, to say, “This is good, that’s bad, and (preferably) here are good reasons why.”

    “Peopel do have plenty of right to stand up for themselves to the Phelpses of the world.”

    Such as? Say Fred Phelps and ten of his guys are on your sidewalk right now, yelling through a megaphone about your dead child burning in hell — while taking care not to violate any city ordnances about noise or assembly. What do you do? Not a rhetorical question; if you have a viable solution, then please, let’s hear it.

  47. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Oh Jack Thompson, maybe you should try to educate on the word “simulation”. You seem to be using it a lot and just by the way you use it everyone can tell you don’t have a clue as to what it actually is. Go buy some simuation games and then tell me that any violent game has even a fraction of the complexity they have.

  48. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Everytime someone does something over the top in any artisic or entertainment production the simple minded fools claim its all for controversy. Maybe, just maybe you can get it through your thick, empty skulls that they wanted to make a game with a HORROR theme. Horror, scary, gore, blood, violence. Its pretty simple really, it doesn’t take a person with a great deal of intelligence. Maybe people that wouldn’t enjoy a horror production or peice of art just can’t understand the concept and should keep their fucking mouths shut because they quite obviously have no clue.

  49. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yeah, this is a good discussion. Beats the hell out of just complaining about politicians all the time, eh? :p


    Hey, I’ve got some choice words for you, Mr. Hot Coffee…Nah, just kidding; you just found what they already put there.

    Although, hey, while you’re here: How’d you react when Rockstar tried to pin the blame on you?

  50. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    grombar: Again, legality is not the important distinction. I never said it was. You keep harping on that point. You seem to have a warped view of people’s rights and options. People do not have the right not to be taunted. After all, who is to draw the line of what is taunting and what is legitimate criticism? I’m betting lots of people will disagree with you and those people will be the ones making the rules. Peopel do have plenty of right to stand up for themselves to the Phelpses of the world. They just can’t do it by punching him, taking his stuff, etc. After all, Fred didn’t do any of that to them. What gives them the right?

  51. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In fact, banning Jack Thompson is a perfect example: The majority on this site decided his behavior was unacceptable (the last straw involved him mocking a gamer who’d just committed suicide), and just like that, we shut him up. Well, not quite “just like that.” It took a few tries. He kept coming back. We got him out of here eventually.

    And he’s not the only troll on the internet. Should we strip all admins of the power to ban? Do that, and idiots and porn slingers come out of the woodwork! We all know that.

    Ace, you say, “It all becomes a matter of degree and essentially the majority is allowed to force their opinion of what’s offensive on everyone else,” like it’s a bad thing. And it certainly can be seen as one, when people don’t share the majority’s view; Jack didn’t take kindly to being banned, for one. But that’s how society works. Communities agree on ground rules, decide what is and isn’t acceptable, and they stick to those rules — or, if necessary, change them for the better. Not every community draws the line at the same place, but those lines are there. If you want to see what a community looks like with no lines, check out most of Iraq right now.

    Britain said, “This far, no further,” and Manhunt 2 crossed the line they chose to draw. It crossed a different kind of line here in the states; publishers have made a policy not to carry games that graphic, and that’s entirely up to them. Rockstar knew the risks when they implemented the castration feature (and God knows what else), and the gamble didn’t pay off.

  52. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @grombar (I love this discussion btw)
    On the gaming industry image problem:
    Then the gaming industry is coming of age. The movie industry had also it’s bad share of controversial movies . Take “A Clockwork Orange” for instance, also blamed for “copycat” behaviour in the UK.

    On ignoring the Fred Phelpses:
    Well, it isn’t a perfect method, but it is the best method out there.
    Having said that, I still find someone responsible for their actions. So what if Fred Phelps made an army so that he could’ve forced his will upon others. Then he could’ve been stopped by other means.

    I hereby rest my case, and on other issues, let’s say we agree to disagree on some stuff.

  53. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    grombar: “Freedom of speech has never been absolute, DoggySpew. The classic example is that it’s illegal to falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, because that usually ends with someone getting trampled.”

    Ah, yes, the classic straw man defense of a censorship apologist. Yes, you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. However, the government can’t ban theaters because somebody might yell “fire.” See also: prior restraint..

  54. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “The best way to shut the “Fred Phelpses” in the world up, is just ignoring them.”

    Yeah, parents say that, but in real life, it never works. Jerks just get louder until someone takes notice.

    Remember, we didn’t just start ignoring Jack Thompson; they banned him from the site. Repeatedly.

  55. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    So now we’re defining which parts of speech are okay (“opinions and visualized thoughts,” which are only two parts of what constitutes “speech”), and which aren’t. See?

    Now, I’m not saying Manhunt 2 will actually inspire anyone to do harm. I don’t believe that for a minute. But enough people do that putting the game out right now will make the industry look very bad; that’s just the reality of it.

  56. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The best way to shut the “Fred Phelpses” in the world up, is just ignoring them.
    If you ignore them, then their voice won’t be heard to those who want to listen.
    Same goes with Manhunt 2. If you don’t like it, then don’t buy it.
    Same goes with Jack Thompson. This guy thrives on being heard. We should’ve ignored him a long time ago. We opened pandora’s box with that guy.

  57. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s crucial to consider that in gory films like Saw and Hostel, the viewer is placed at best in the role of an outside observer; at worst, they are given the viewpoint of the victim, a technique used by filmmakers to heighten the discomfort and reactions of the audience.

    In a game like Manhunt 2, however, the player is in the role not of the hunted, or of the victim (as they are in, for example, survival horror type games); instead, they take on the role of the predator, of the serial killer, of the murderer who enjoys inflicting pain and torture.

    Wait, what? Was this article written by Jack Thompson or something? He might as well jump up and down while shouting about murder simulators..

    Videogames are not murder simulators; the vast, vast bulk of the attacks by the conservative right on the videogame medium have absolutely no merit, and are based simply in a pathetic attempt to find a scapegoat for wider societal problems.

    Oh, err, they’re not murder simulators now? But just a second ago he was rambling on about how they’re sooo much different because the player isn’t a passive observer. Which is it?

    And attacks from the conservative right? The only UK politicians I’ve heard moaning about games lately are Tony Blair, Jack Straw, and our old pal Keith Vaz. Since when has Labour been considered even remotely close to conservative right? 😕

    But, enjoy the ride on the ban-wagon. Tonight’s in-flight movie is a documentary on the strategy of “divide and conquer.”

  58. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    It’s illegal to sell Manhunt 2 in the UK right now. Does that make selling Manhunt 2 morally wrong? Does whether it’s right or wrong change depending on what part of the world you’re in?

    Beer used to be illegal. Tomatoes actually used to be illegal, because people thought they were poisonous. Women didn’t always have the legal right to vote.

    Morality isn’t defined by law. Society is built on more than law — which is good, because the law can fail. It’s also built on trust, and cooperation — and, in a way, it’s also built on retaliation when people choose not to cooperate. After all, if you just lie down and take whatever people throw at you, they’re going to keep on throwing it, make no mistake.

    The system’s out of balance right now. Jerks are allowed to taunt others, but those others aren’t allowed to stand up for themselves. That just encourages the Fred Phelpses of society to be even bigger jerks, knowing that they can get away with it. So I’m not saying censor the jerks; I’m saying stop shielding jerks from the natural consequences of their actions.

    And to bring this back to the remote vicinity of Rockstar: They’re jerks. And they’ll continue to be jerks, and hurt the rest of the industry in the process, for as long as they think they can.

  59. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Grombar, attempting to use speech to cause quantifiable harm is categorically than using speech to cause offense. People have a right to physical safety. They do not have a right to not have their feelings hurt as this is quite impossible because harm is both impossible to quantify and impossibel to avoid. Preventing Bob from hurting Jane’s feelings will hurt his feelings. The only fair thing to do is say anything goes so long as you don’t hit each other or take or break each other’s stuff.

  60. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Freedom of speech is about opinions and visualised thought. All that you just shown was neither. Those were never opinions, never visualised thoughts.
    Videogames are visualised thoughts. Manhunt 2 does not incite anything.
    It can only “inspire” people, positively or negativelly. But so can the bible or any other piece of media in ANY way possible.

    You may say that Manhunt 2 can only inspire people to do harm. But in my eyes, someone would be inspired to go work in the field of psychiatry to stop those who do harm in the similar way depicted in game.

  61. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @grombar: There are a few problems here. Being legal or not isn’t a technicality. It’s a very important distinction. You cannot fairly punish someone for breaking a non-existant rule. The other is, I believe I said the distinction is Fred Phelps isn’t actually interfering with anyone’s rights by being offensive. He may be trespassing or commiting slander or libel or using someone’s image in ways that violate fair use laws, which should be dealt with, but someone could be offended by something, so you can’t restrict people from being offensive or you’ll just open the gates for the Jack Thompsons that are offended by Bully. It all becomes a matter of degree and essentially the majority is allowed to force their opinion of what’s offensive on everyone else.

  62. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That’s a completely circular argument, @DoggySpew. It boils down to, “Speech has value because it’s speech, which has value. Becasue it’s speech.”

    Here, a different approach: How do you determine how much merit a particular piece of speech has? And if it’s impossible to determine, then that definition of “merit” doesn’t mean anything.

    You might have to define “value.” Preferably in more than two words. :p

  63. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Freedom of speech has never been absolute, DoggySpew. The classic example is that it’s illegal to falsely yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater, because that usually ends with someone getting trampled. You can’t make death threats; GameLife’s Andrew Rosenblum was arrested a few months ago for threatening to murder an ex-girlfriend and her family. You can’t overtly incite people to commit crimes, whether that’s convincing a mob to torch a building or hiring a hitman. You can’t lie under oath. And so on.

    Here’s another example: In Rwanda, just before the mid-90s genocide, a popular radio station called RTLM started bombarding its listeners with hate messages against the Tutsi tribe. When the Hutus started slaughtering the Tutsis, RTLM encouraged them, providing the killers with encouragement, instructions and directions. The U.S. considered jamming the radio waves, but decided not to — so as not to obstruct their freedom of speech.

    And that goes to show you: Sometimes, too much tolerance can do just as much damage as too little. What it takes to make the right call is human discretion, not absolutes.

  64. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Merit as in “has value”. But since we are talking about free speech here, speech itself has value because it is protected. It may differ in “merit” (for instance, Nazi speech is off no merit for the jews, but of great merit for the Neo-Nazi’s).

    Videogames have merit because they are speech. Manhunt 2 has merit because of that.

  65. 0
    monte' ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “You will find it useful to read our press release regarding our decision on
    MANHUNT 2. This is also available on our main website under the section
    entitled ‘news’, and then ‘press’. The release is dated 19 June 2007.

    You should be aware that HOSTEL 2 does not contain “actual violence” but a series of highly choreographed scenes involving actors, clever editing and expensive special effects. Our classification of the film would be quite
    different if it did.”

    oh god, please don’t tell me that is actually what the BBFC said about Hostel2 being ok and Manhunt2 not being ok… that is seriously messed up. How the hell is computer generated characters getting harmed considered “actual violence”?! seriously that is absolutely nothing actual about it, it doesn’t even look real. Hell, compared between the too, Hostel is actually worse seeing as, despite the lack of “actual violence”, the use of live actors and modern day special effects make the violence seem as close to real as you can possibly get; where as the violence in any video game to date still looks fake since it still involves 3d animation, which has yet to reach up to match real life in terms of appearance…


    “Also, with the BBFC at least, it isn’t games CAN’T do it (as I’ve said on a previous news story, they passed the first with an 18 no problems, no outcry, and again are usually in support of games being considered adult entertainment). One major difference between films and games that nullifies that argument is that games are interactive. YOU are performing the kills (on Wii, quite literally). You are not an uncomfortable observer like in hostel or saw, but a happy participant, which is where things change dramatically.”

    Actually, the “games are interactive” arguement, isn’t one that really nulliffies the arguement as clearly as you may think… According to one of the BBFC’s OWN studies….

    “Gamers appear to forget they are playing games less readily than film goers forget they are watching a film because they have to participate in the game for it to proceed. They appear to non-games players to be engrossed in what they are doing, but, they are concentrating on making progress, and are unlikely to be emotionally involved;

    Violence in games, in the sense of eliminating obstacles, is built into the structure of some games and is necessary to progress through the game. It contributes to the tension because gamers are not just shooting, they are vulnerable to being shot and most gamers are concentrating on their own survival rather than the damage they are inflicting on the characters in the game. While there is an appeal in being able to be violent without being vulnerable to the consequences which similar actions in real life would create, gamers are aware that they are playing a game and that it is not real life;

    Gamers are virtually unanimous in rejecting the suggestion that video games encourage people to be violent in real life or that they have become desensitised. They see no evidence in themselves or their friends who play games that they have become more violent in real life. As one participant said: “I no more feel that I have actually scored a goal than I do that I have actually killed someone. I know it’s not real. The emphasis is on achievement.

    We were particularly interested to see that this research suggests that, far from having a potentially negative impact on the reaction of the player, the very fact that they have to interact with the game seems to keep them more firmly rooted in reality. People who do not play games raise concerns about their engrossing nature, assuming that players are also emotionally engrossed. This research suggests the opposite; a range of factors seems to make them less emotionally involving than film or television. The adversaries which players have to eliminate have no personality and so are not real and their destruction is therefore not real, regardless of how violent that destruction might be. This firm grasp on reality seems to extend to younger players.”

    in short, Simply saying games are interactive and therefore must be treated worse than films is something that is should be in serious question… cause from what it sounds like, violent movies may very well be the wrose of the too mediums in that reguard… Hell, i know i’ve noticed myself to be much more effected mentally when watching a film more so when ever playing a video game. Crying, laughing, cringing in fear, etc, are all things i do more often when watching a film than when playing a video game.

  66. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m curious, DoggySpew: What exactly is your definition of “merit”?

    Ace: Why should he be allowed to do so? Because he isn’t technically breaking any laws? Would changing the law suddenly make what he does no longer okay? Would something extreme and reprehensible suddenly be okay if it were made legal?

  67. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @grombar on Phelps.

    It is not okay, but it still was in his right. And that’s the point.
    Whatever one says or on makes, no one has the right to take away his/her speech.

    That there will be consequences does not matter, because those consequence can never be the taking away of speech.

  68. 0
    sqlrob ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I notice you say games are worse than movies because of the interactivity. Perhaps you missed the BBFC statement that it was the interactivity that made them less of a problem than movies?

    The Hostel 2 comment doesn’t make any sense when they just released the other statement recently. spin spin spin.

  69. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Ryan why do games have any obligation to have merit? Who is the ultimate arbiter of that merit?

    @Grombar, yes. You are deliberately ignoring the difference between somethign between rights in the legal sense and being right in the sense of being laudable. The short version is your obligations don’t end because someone pisses you off. Fred Phelps may be a jerk, but if isn’t infringing on any of your rights, then he should be allowed to do so.

  70. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I beg to differ. Granted, in the US, something works different then here.
    I don’t know who Bart McQueary is, but whatever sign he made, it still got merrit. Heck, even those bastard sons of bitches of the KKK’s cross burning got merit (and is actually allowed in the US, BECAUSE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH).

    Illegal porn however is the exception, but it still has merit as media. But not as illegal porn (because that is illegal).
    Violence, however is not illegal in media.

    Oh, and do not compare the actions of a non-sapient being of that of a human being. That’s comparing apples with coconuts.

  71. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, the UK’s always been stricter with censorship, and not just on games. They have a long history of banning or editing horror films, in particular; there’s a list they call “video nasties” of movies they’ve banned.

    Not saying they’re right or wrong; that’s just how they do things over there.

  72. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Grombar: Alligators don’t have moral obligations. People and governments, which are made of people, do. I will say Rockstar is in the wrong here, not for any social reason, but because they were under contract to not get an AO rating and then apparently made no effort not to get one. It’s not like Sony & Nintendo just sprung this on them. On the other hand, the situation in the UK wasn’t the result of any agreement Rockstar entered into, but imposed from above, making it wrong.

  73. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    You really think he was right to sue? Over his cardboard sign about a dead girl burning in hell?

    This is how Fred Phelps makes his money. He uses the most revolting — but still technically legal — methods imaginable to provoke people (his latest trick is telling the families of dead soldiers that their children are in hell), then angering them until they get into positions where he can sue them.

    Do you really think that’s okay?

  74. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:

    “Rockstar did not openly insult people. No actual insults were made.”

    They’re insulting the gamers intelligence by making a game like that.

  75. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Games already have merit, because it is a piece of media.

    Just being a piece of media doesn’t give anything merit, DoggySpew. Bart McQueary’s sign was a piece of media. A Klansman’s burning cross is a piece of media. The vilest, most illegal porn you could ever conceive is still a piece of media.

    What we need to prove is that games are better than that. And again, Rockstar is doing the opposite of helping. Has been for years.

    If someone gets stabbed for mouthing off to street toughs, does that mean that they are right to stab such a person because they should have seen it coming?

    Was the alligator at that Chinese zoo “right” for eating the stupid kid who climbed over its fence and kept poking it with a stick? There’s right and wrong, and then there are natural consequences for one’s actions.

    If you go out of your way to deliberately provoke people, you cannot cry and play the victim after they react.

  76. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @grombar again (I wish there was an edit button)

    The man was in its right to sue, because his freedom was impaired.
    On the other hand, the friends and family could’ve gone to court and sueing him for slander. They still had not the right to destroy his sign.

    This is like the same comparison you did with someone insulting a gang.

    Rockstar did not openly insult people. No actual insults were made. Insulting people and make a controversial piece of media are 2 different things. But both are still freedom of speech issues.

    But yes, it is complicated.

  77. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Grambar: Why does anyone have to be in the right? People certainly don’t have the right to destroy the property of others, but they also don’t have the right to trespass so if he’d been told to leave, he was also wrong.

    Or to use your murderous gang example, if someone gets stabbed for mouthing off to street toughs, does that mean that they are right to stab such a person because they should have seen it coming?

  78. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Games already have merit, because it is a piece of media. And media should be protected by politicians, or at least ignored.
    Like I said before, Rockstar does not have responsibility to make something everyone likes. Heck, they don’t even have a responsibility to make a game that ANYONE likes

  79. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Three years ago, a fan of Fred Phelps, named Bart McQueary, went to a restaurant where a girl who died of AIDS used to work. He brought a sign that proclaimed that God hated the girl, and that she was burning in hell. Her friends took his sign and smashed it.

    He sued them for destroying his sign.

    Who was in the right?

  80. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    People seem to be largely past each other. Some peopel are talking about whether anyone should have the power to ban things whereas others are talking about the right to condemn things, which aren’t really the same at all.

  81. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Pixelantes Anonymous

    The only way to win the fight you’re talking about, in the public eye, is to prove that games have real merit.

    Games like Manhunt 2, which get all the attention, because that’s what they’re designed to do, run completely counter to that.

    Rockstar isn’t doing anyone any favors here. It’s hurting the entire industry more than you know.

  82. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Your comparison is moot. Considering this is not a person insulting a murderous gang, but a company that release a piece of media with images that may or may not be excepted by others. It is not the same.

    If made a painting of a bloodgore fest, people may get provoked. But they still are not allowed to destroy that painting.
    If you don’t like it, then don’t. The painter does not have the responsibility to make a painting that everyone likes.

  83. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jack, if that is you (and I doubt it since Dennis permabanned you) know this, those of us that do support the decision of the ESRB do so not because we agree with you, but because the decision was arrived at soley by them and not due to any pressure from you or other groups. This was a business decision. You have long criticized the ESRB for not doing their job ever since Hot Coffe. Well now they’ve done it, and without your input I might add.

    Secondly, the difference between games like GTA and Bully was that often there were choices as to what you did or did not want to do. If you wanted to kill cops in GTA, you could do that, but it wasn’t necessary to win the game and is in fact counter-productive. If anything, you want to AVOID killing cops so as not attract attention to yourself so you can finish the missions you have been assigned.

    Furthermore, we have something called a sense of humor; something which you utterly lack. Both GTA and Bully have something called satire and social commentary, which gave what violence there was a point. Something which the Manhunt games do not do.

    Finally, we already know that your real goal is to ban all violent video games regardless. You just simply use the “protect the children” smokescreen to hide it as any good religious fanatic would. The only thing that would be really agreed upon here is that this was a game that didn’t need to be made and that Rockstar crossed the line. However, while you advocate censorship with your demagoguery, we have always advocated that the industry police itself without outside pressure. What happened this week for the most part was the way it SHOULD be done, not yours.

    Just be happy the decision and shut the hell up, asshole.

  84. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Then why are horrormovies not scutinized for their lack of social responsibility?”

    Because the movie industry works consistently to defend itself against such bullshit, and the video game industry doesn’t. Instead the video game industry goes out of its way to kiss ass trying to avoid a fight they should’ve had a LONG time ago.

    Grow some balls. That goes double for and ESA.

  85. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ryan, so technically the BBFC didn’t ban it. The UK government banned it based on the BBFC’s decision. That doesn’t make it any less banned. What’s your point? You seem to be trying to rebut something no one is actually saying.

  86. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    See, what confuses people is the difference between (1) freedom of expression, and (2) freedom from the consequences of that expression. The first one, you have; the second, you don’t.

    In other words, you can walk up a gang, call them all names, and double-dare them to shoot you, but if they oblige, don’t bother crying about free speech on the way to the hospital.

    Likewise, if Rockstar wants to spend its money on a game that’s designed to provoke people, people will get provoked, and they’ll respond. Nintendo has no obligation to host that game on their machine, any more than you or I would be obligated to let a drunken, violent asshole join your house party.

    What some people want is freedom without the responsibility that comes with that freedom. The responsibility for one’s actions; people don’t like that part, so they want to imagine that they’re “free” of it.

    Doesn’t work that way.

  87. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Then why are horrormovies not scutinized for their lack of social responsibility ?

    Goverments should not be allowed to draw any line toward artistic freedom, their job is protecting artistic freedom. That’s the REAL social responsibility.
    You may not like it, but then don’t buy it.

  88. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Grombar, the point is while we can draw a line of what is acceptable, no one should have the power to draw the line as to what is allowed beyond their own platforms and stores. Open platforms and marketplaces like Windows I really have nothing good to say about V-Tech Massacre, but if there were some move to legally stop it from being distributed for objectionability (as opposed to copyright) I would defend it.

    In short, anything goes. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to buy it. You don’t have to carry it in your store on on your platform, but no one gets to tell anyone else what they are allowed to like or buy from others.

  89. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We have free speech – give us our game!

    There are plenty of better games out there already, Nick. Nobody needs this one. Least of all the game industry; they’ve got enough to put up with already, and the last thing anyone needs is for Rockstar to be throwing gasoline on the fire like this.

  90. 0
    Nick says:

    come to think of it, whats always struck me is why has no one REALLY persistently gone after the chainsaw-on-the-end-of-your-gun Gears of War?

  91. 0
    Nick says:

    Its stupid though, we the consumers should make our minds for ourselves. Just like we do with life. We don’t have people forcing us to do things. Sure the law tries to regulate and it does get broken as an example in comparison, but if this thing never gets produced for UK then its not even like taht because we don’t get a choice! We have free speech – give us our game!

  92. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ‘I am delighted. I am vindicated. I am right again.’

    Trans: Woohoo, I made 3000 predictions and one came true!

    Anyway, that’s not Jack, no Press Release.

  93. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What f***ing social responsibility?

    Why is it that video games need to be “socially responsible” while movies or music don’t?

    Why is it that a game journalist is writing this garbage?

    It’s idiocy. I may not like, buy or appreciate Manhunt 2, but to call on the developer to show social responsibility is ridiculous.

    Why would they need to do that?

    I hope not because by not doing that they’ll reflect badly on the video game industry as whole. That would just be such a bullshit reason I can’t even fathom anyone other than people with external agendas making that argument seriously. Why would anyone working within the industry even think this way? It’s like condemning music, because Marilyn Manson is a “devil worshipper”.

    If the author is saying that because he feels like that’s what everyone should do, not just video game developers, then I’m seriously questioning his perspective on things. It’s just a video game, not an instructional video on how to kill people.

    Either way, the author of that opinion piece is blowing smoke out of his ass.

  94. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I see no difference in the imagery of countless of slasher movies and horror flicks and the level of “slash” seen in videogames.

    If you respect movies with such high level of gore, then you should allow videogames as well.
    Rockstar is not obliged to anything in that matter. Making a horrormovie can be done, but a slasher game can’t ?

    Censorship is still censorship and this editor lost the plot. He should be ashamed of himself, considering that the same freedom of speech issue is adament for journalists and editors alike.

  95. 0
    Nick says:

    no, not giving it a rating isn’t technically banning it, I read somethign on this a while ago. Its something boards have been known to use so they don’t “ban” something and thus don’t look as bad as they are

  96. 0
    Jack Thompson ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, ya’ll are finally understanding that video games can be “murder simulators.” I predicted six months ago that Manhunt 2 would not be released, and I was leading the charge to make sure that occurred.

    I am delighted. I am vindicated. I am right again.

    Jack Thompson, Attorney and You’re Not

  97. 0
    grombar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We do need to ask ourselves: Where do we draw the line if not here? If we’re going to consider a game featuring castrating opponents with one’s bare hands acceptable — this is important — what isn’t acceptable?

    Is V-Tech Massacre acceptable? Would it be more acceptable if Rockstar bought the rights to it and put out a version with better graphics? How about if they changed the names around and called it Z-Tech Massacre instead? Are those Nazi-made games about killing Jewish people fine too?

    I personally think that we ought to pick our battles. Games like this just make us all look bad, especially when we jump so quickly to defend them. And what do they do for us? Name one positive thing that came out of Hot Coffee. Just one. Even if you’re fully against censorship of any kind, you have to admit that, on a practical level, throwing Hot Coffee into the game, just for its own sake, did the entire industry immeasurable harm without the slightest shred of good to go with it.

    Pushing the envelope just for the sake of pushing the envelope isn’t enough. Anyone can do that. You can always make something more violent or cruel. But if you’re going to do that, have a point. Have more substance there than just violence for the sake of violence. GTA had violence aplenty, but it also had a revolutionary new style of gameplay. Manhunt had violence, and also had…more violence.

    Rockstar’s top brass have a reputation throughout the industry for being world class assholes, and what they’re doing here is the industry’s equivalent of trolling; acting like asses and stirring up trouble just to get attention. Really, at this point, the only difference between the Manhunt developers and Ryan Lambourn is that the Manhunt developers have jobs.

  98. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I partially agree with the editor here. Artistic merit is in the eye of beholder. He doesn’t seem to be arguing it’s ok to ban it because of lack of merit, but he does seem to be saying it’s not a big deal. I wish that Sony & Nintendo were a bit more open-minded, but it’s their right not to be if they think it would be bad for business or they just don’t want to. Government bans and effective bans like in Germany where you technically can sell it, but are not allow to inform consumers of its existance must be fought no matter what is targeted because once it’s established the the government is the arbiter and enforcer of artistic merit, anything is fair game.

  99. 0
    Rob says:

    What kind of bullshit is this? Even “fellow” gamers turn their back on the industry by saying such shit. I haven’t see everything that there is to see in the game, obviously, but I can assure you the violence in movies like Hostel are far more realistic than Manhunt 2 could ever be, and those movie have no reason behind the murder of people either other then some rich sick assholes paying to slaughter people. That’s it! We don’t even know what the story to Manhunt 2 is yet, and they condemn it and say you only kill for the sake of killing. Well, how the hell are we supposed know that when they don’t even have much info on the game? They just say it’s extremely violent and that’s it.

    Why is it okay for other forms of media to do shit like this, but in video games it irresponsible and shameful, etc.? And people in the gaming industry just lay down and take it all without saying much in it’s defence. They’ve made movies of 9/11 and everyone’s acted like they were okay. But if you made a video game about it, that was respectable they’d still attack it. There is always a double standard going on, and it’s pissing me off.

    If Manhunt 2 isn’t you sort of thing, fine. Don’t play it. Don’t buy it. Ignore it. But why is that because this is unacceptable to some it can be pretty much banned outright even when it’s obviously not meant for anyone under the age of 17 or 18?

    The editor of this article from gamebiz is a disgrace to the industry and so is everyone like minded for even thinking it’s okay to ban the game.

  100. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thing that confuses me is what Jack Straw said in Parliament yesterday to Vaz seems to go against the GGFC’s statement that they are not influenced by Government opinion….

    ” As Home Secretary, I had responsibility for the British Board of Film Classification, which covered such videos and games. My right hon. Friend raises a very important issue, and I think that the concern he expresses is shared across the House.

    We do not see sufficient social responsibility and understanding by the creators and purveyors of such games. I will of course ensure that my hon. Friend the Minister is made fully aware of my right hon. Friend’s concerns.”

    I’ve always been firmly of the opinion that the BBFC is independant, they themselves say so, that Government has no say over their policies. From the wording of that statement, it makes me wonder.

  101. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I’m with you on the Manhunt 2 thing BUT it did seem to me like the writer of the article was saying that government censorship was O.K. I am probably wrong though.

  102. 0
    Lard says:

    “You will find it useful to read our press release regarding our decision on
    MANHUNT 2. This is also available on our main website under the section
    entitled ‘news’, and then ‘press’. The release is dated 19 June 2007.

    You should be aware that HOSTEL 2 does not contain “actual violence” but a series of highly choreographed scenes involving actors, clever editing and expensive special effects. Our classification of the film would be quite
    different if it did.”

    Well what the F*(K do you think video games are? They’re certainly not real!

    Jesus Christ on a jumping pogo stick!!!! I thought Europeans were supposed to be enlightened, intelligent individuals.

    All this is proving is that you’re a bigger of Nancyboys than the States are.

    Well done! Way to stand up for facism.


  103. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Once again, the only argument presented here is: “T3h BBFC sez it’s wrong!!!11!” Well, duh. I know what they said and what their PERSONAL thoughts on the game are.

    What I want to know is, what made them come to that decision? What was specifically in the game that nullifies its free speech protections? This isn’t merely a rhetorical question. I want to know.

    From the comments of most who have come out in support of the BBFC, it seems all of them have no problem with taking the BBFC at their word without researching their claims any further. This is the same thing the mainstream media does with Jack Thompson and the like. We shouldn’t be doing that ourselves.

  104. 0
    bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    For the most part I agree with this article. Keep in mind that no one, well not us or the writer anyway, is advocating censorship. What’s being said is something I’ve mentioned a few times, which is simply this; just because you have the right to do a thing, in no way makes it the right thing to do.

    Lets be honest here. R* and TT were making Manhunt 2 purely for the controversy, knowing full well the reaction that such a game would evoke. That’s not responsible and its not mature by any definition. Its simply an attempt to stir up yet another hornets’ nest and we for sure don’t need that after all the bad press the gaming community has gotten over the years.

  105. 0
    BmK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    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.

    While i agree with the first staement, i still think that barring any strong, consistant, conclusive evidence of actual harm (of which there is none in this instance i might add) being done, censorship of any kind (a.k.a. – the outright banning of the game in the U.K.) is wrong. Let people choose for themselves what entertainemnt they want to play, and let the parents make the choice for their children. Keep government out of it.

  106. 0
    GamePolitics ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Our old friend in Miami came up with a new IP address. Since the comments he slipped in were public and being discussed by GP readers, I will leave them up. I also cleared one that was sitting in moderation queue for some reason.

    Someone asked – I don’t approve comments before they go up unless the spam filter finds them suspicious and throws them into the mod queue.

    Going forward, the IP Miami Jack used to post has been blocked. Also blocked: Dr. Aexander Thomas, for obvious reasons.

    Interesting – GP under fire from both extremes of the game content debate.

  107. 0
    lordlundar says:

    I’ve been giving this a lot of thought before I post, so here goes:

    To start off, using the 1st amendment to bash the UK decision is a waisted effort because the 1st amendment ends at the US border. Even someone visiting another country in a civilian manner has to respect their laws or be punished by them. You cannot debase the ban based on US Freedom of Speech because the UK and other countries have their own definitions of it. There is examples of banned media from all areas of it. Books, Movies, Radio, etc all have their content that is banned in these countries.

    Now, about the US. There is no ban here. And The first Amendment is being protected. Rockstar chose to make the game and is allowed to do so. In the same respect, the console makers are choosing not to support it and retailers are choosing not to carry it. This is not censorship, it is buisness. Censorship by the definition requires a political reason. To not support it based off of a stance that was made when the ESRB was founded due to a business decision (retailers that won’t carry AO titles want to exhibit a family environment) is not censorship, nor will it be censorship until those responsible for that decision show a political reason. A number of people crying censorship are saying “vote with your dollar.” Guess what? that is exactly what the console makers and retailers are doing. They see it as bad business to support and supply it, so they are choosing not to. Don’t agree with their decision? Don’t support them. Whining about their choice isn’t going to resolve anything.

    There are book stores that refuse to carry mangas. Blockbuster refused to carry anime for some time. Publishers and producers refuse to back certain printed works and certain TV shows and movies. DVD/HDDVD/BluRay players have region coding built in. Heck, the radio broadcast of War of the Worlds was only aired once. These are all business decisions, made because they see it bad business to do otherwise, and is their choice. By the same token, you would have to scream about region coding, and allow every book/radio show/tv show/movie to be made and displayed. Not going to happen.

    So I have to ask; is the reason there is such an up in arms attitude on this because it’s not your dollar directly affecting this choice? The hype and publicity? The fact that it’s rockstar? The thought that you think JT won? (and no, I’m not saying he did) Because I’m not seeing anything in any of the arguments made that actually support the belief the person is making.

    And one final notice, the main difference between the M rating and the AO rating isn’t the age difference, it’s the guideline. M rating is not recommended to be played by anyone under 17. AO rated games should not be played under the age limit due to some other reason apart from the rating (usually pornographic content)

  108. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You know what i think the real problem is? It’s not that the game is AO, it’s that retailers and Sony and Nintendo refuse to carry or sell said games. I mean, even if the game is AO, I might get my parents (I’m only 16) to rent said game for me, assuming they allow it. Yes I am a minor, but for games that are that bad, I’m not supposed to rent them. My parents are the ones that are supposed to be just that, parents, and tell me which games i can and cannot play.
    When i said earlier that no game should get AO unless its terribly bad, it was mostly because that AO games are not sold nearly anywhere in America. If they are sold here, there isnt much of a problem, its only AO. just like NC-17 movies, adults can purchase them if they want, they arent more or less ‘banned’ from the mainstream like AO games are

  109. 0
    bayushisan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Alright I’m going to say this one more time and maybe it’ll sink in. NONE OF US ARE ADVOCATING CENSORSHIP!!!!!!!!!! This is because censorship means that the government is the one telling TT and R* that they aren’t allowed, by law, to produce a game.

    Stores have the right to refuse to sell certain products just as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have the right to refuse to liscense AO games. I couldn’t care less about Manhunt 2, I wasn’t going to buy and I wouldn’t have flinched a bit if R* had decided to cancel the game.

    The public also has the right to peacably protest. This means things like letter writing, email campaigns, protesting with signs and the like are their means to alert the populace at large to something they believe is a problem. Lets face it Manhunt 2 was GOING to get this kind of attention and R* knew it. They knew the game would get massive bad PR and bring even more scrutiny on the industry and they simply didn’t care.

    I won’t defend this game except for saying that R* does have the legal right to publish it. That being said remember that stores have the right to refuse to sell it and the industry has the right to refuse to liscense it. Its part of the checks and balances of publishing realm. If they don’t have the right to refuse it then be prepared for games with racist content or even worse. Like I’ve said before and continue to point ou, the legal right to do a thing in no way makes it the right thing to do.

    To blanketly say that all games must be defended blindly is just as moronic as saying that all games must be railed against blindly. Lets set some standards here people, where do we draw a line in the sand? Because that’s life.

  110. 0
    chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    But just because Sony and Nintendo don’t HAVE to publish a game, doesnt mean they shouldnt publish it. Same with retailers, it would be perfectly acceptable to have AO games behind the counter, or in a backroom, or something. Sony, Nintendo, and retailers are becoming more or less Monopolies for what content we, the consumer, can view, and how Rockstar and TT can earn a living making games. Say the PC industry decides not to sell Manhunt 2 for the PC, then TT just lost a ton of money. Sure it sucks, but that is what a capitilist system is. I guess what i’m compaining about is censorship because of companies deciding not to be associated with certain content.

  111. 0
    Silver_Derstin says:

    “I guess what i’m compaining about is censorship because of companies deciding not to be associated with certain content.”

    It’s their right, though. You don’t have to support any form of content on platforms you designed. To call it “censorship” is just wrong, too. R* had the right to develop the game, and nobody stopped them. But when they want to sell it, the game companies decided they won’t support it.

    And really, I don’t see what the big deal is. Manhunt 2 WILL blow.

  112. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Now, about the US. There is no ban here. And The first Amendment is being protected. Rockstar chose to make the game and is allowed to do so. In the same respect, the console makers are choosing not to support it and retailers are choosing not to carry it. This is not censorship, it is buisness. Censorship by the definition requires a political reason. To not support it based off of a stance that was made when the ESRB was founded due to a business decision (retailers that won’t carry AO titles want to exhibit a family environment) is not censorship, nor will it be censorship until those responsible for that decision show a political reason.”

    I think the biggest problem that people, including myself have, isn’t so much direct censorship as much as an indirect censorship. This shows the interest groups that the industry is lacking in a spine and the second they make a little ruckus they can get anything they want banned. To the point where games would be made for only children.

  113. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ‘Finally, hopefully for the last time, the sex and violence control centers of the human brain are geographically interlocked’

    Talking complete jibberish to try and prove a point now Jack? What is so Hilarious as that you make comments like that and it’s obvious you don’t have a clue what they actually mean, they’re just a word-bite you read earlier and thought it sounded good.

    Holland is Geographically locked, brains aren’t.

  114. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Chuma: “making something as sick as possible under the banner of Art or Free speech is really about rebelling rather than making something you believe in.”

    What if rebellion is what you believe in? Is that not a legitimate value? Who gets to decide which things are okay to believe in?

    I do wish Sony and Nintendo would allow AO content, but they are nowhere near a monopoly. So long as we have open platforms, and we always will, the people controlling the closed platforms can’t tell us what to watch or play.

  115. 0
    Quad9damage says:

    @ Jack Thompson:

    You know what? I’m going to barge into your house today, stand in the middle of your living room, and scream insults at you until I am hoarse.

    WHAT? It’s freedom of speech, isn’t it? I’m protected, right?

    Your ‘first amendment rights’, Jack, are limited when you enter someone else’s private space. The owner has every right to silence you or remove you from the premises if they find it necessary. And that applies to the Internet, too.

    Dennis is the owner of Gamepolitics, he is the final word and authority on your ‘free speech.’

  116. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Let’s face it, if it weren’t for countrywide civil disobedience and violence, America wouldn’t even have First Amendment and both it and the UK would be under the Jurisdiction of ‘The Monarch of England’.

    Personally, I prefer the alternative.

  117. 0
    Yuki says:

    You know, more then anyone, my hatred for Jack is almost unmatched.

    That being said, I laugh cause yesterday I realized what Manhunt 2 really is.

    It’s a setup. Manhunt was being developed but only to raise controversy. A majority of Rockstars developers are on GTA right now. Manhunt was being made for on purpose.

    As a feint. It was ment to setup the limits for Rockstar so they would know how to setup GTA. Now rockstar just reworks manhunt, gets it out, lets the noise build, then GTA hits, and BOOM, instant million seller.

    Jack makes me laugh, but only cause he’s so pathetic. Is he so desperate now, what with the pending disbarment, his failing media credibility, and the constant ridicule he faces from the legal community, that he thinks it’s important enough to attack us that he gets a new ip? How sad is that a comment on his life?

    Just give up jack, You’ve lost. Though dennis, I would be interested in what that meeting was about, I don’t think JACK is the one to ask about it. after all.

  118. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “God is in control”

    God isn’t real, nor can he be in control.

    “Jack Thompson, Attorney and You’re Not”

    I’m glad I’m not Jack Thompson. And gloating about being Jack Thompson, an attorney, or anything else for that matter, is a form of bullying and therefore a sign of weakness, immaturity, and cowardice.

    ??…Ace beats Jack?

  119. 0
    rapka says:

    @Jack Thompson

    “There is sexual content in Manhunt 2 that helped push it to the point of banning in the UK and the AO rating here. Dennis McCauley is not addressing that issue because he doesn’t understand it.”

    I must emphasize that, as stated before by several others, no one at this site has played through the entire game. Therefore, it cannot be determined why the game has received the AO rating. Seeing as Take Two would never, ever let you see the game in advance, it is obvious that your “fact”, as well as the rest of your statement was pulled directly out of your ass.

    Richard Adjogah, Intelligent and You’re Not

    P.S.:The gaming industry and the readers of this site will never thank you for anything. I guarantee it.

  120. 0
    PyroHazard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    So, yes. I would say we should pick our battles. I do think that discretion can be the better part of valour. But you know, that doesn’t have to be the same thing as ‘cowardice’. A smart General knows when to get his troops the hell out of a battle and prepare for the next one. Yes, he’s ‘running away’, but if the choice is that or needlessly sacrificing hundreds of people, then it IS the better choice. And it IS being smart.

    Picking your battles is wise, no doubt. However, some are afraid that this may set a precedent for other games not like Manhunt 2 to be stamped with an AO rating and that the Thomponsists of the world will surely try and push this piece of agenda.

    GTA4 isn’t going to get an AO and Rockstar’s North team is going to make damn sure of that, but it’s inevitable for a time where a medium demonized will grow, prosper, and finally be accepted. For that to happen, controversial titles will test (and push) the limits for said medium to mature. The original Manhunt, in fact, was a subtle black satire of America’s unhealthy obsession with reality television. Pundits and pricks alike didn’t get the social commentary (and I admit, it was a little TOO subtle) but the substance was there.

    I may speak from a biased tongue since I am a GTA/Rockstar fan, but they are not the type of guys to make a game just because it sells soley on controversy. If that was the case, flops like 25 To Life would of been grade-AAA hits.

  121. 0
    Merc25 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Here is my run down of all parties involved:
    BBFC is wrong.
    ESRB is right.
    R* and T2 were right to make and publish it.
    Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft have the legal right to restrict any game they so choose from appearing on their system.

    I agree with the person the other, who suggested that there needs to be a new rating solely for porn games. With AO being for games like Manhunt 2.

    Is R* hurting the industry? Yes, they are, however that is only in the sort run of things. In the long run they helping it, by offering a comparison/contrast of their games to others, which has allowed numerous other titles to get more violent than they could had R* not raise the bar.

    Now quit acting like the Kotaku commentators, and start:
    1)Being civil
    2)Being intelligent
    3)Will not engage in rushes to judgment
    4)Will not link unrelated people, whom you have grievances with, to the groups in question.

    This story and partisan politics brings out the worse in us.

  122. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, and we’d better watch out of ‘God is in Control’, after all, I thought that stuff trained you how to kill….

  123. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The thing is that Jack never figured out he wasn’t banned for his opinion, he was banned for screaming threats and insults like a hysterical schoolchild.

  124. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If “God is in control” then God trained all those shooters. Afterall, “God has a great plan for everything.” So prayer would be useless.

  125. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I just wish I knew what all his Jibberish about the ‘Rape Myth’ was about, I’m pretty sure that’s not the ONLY kind of pornography banned in the US, and, I will add, Manhunt 2 wasn’t banned in the US, and the BBFC made no statement regarding sexual content whatsoever, stating only the atmosphere and level of violence for the reason.

    I’m worried that Jack thinks that Sex and Violence are related in some way to be honest, I’ve certainly never thought of the two as related in some way other than being primal urges. Yes, Sex and Violence are in the same part of the brain, together with Hunger, Thirst, Hot, Cold, Scared, Happy, Sad and a whole host of other hind-brain behaviours, I can’t see what bearing the physical location of mental processes in the brain has on the subject.

  126. 0
    lordlundar says:


    You must not have been here before the format change. Not only has JT posted here, he has been banned from here more times than most of us can count.

    Once again, just because you don’t agree with it, does not remove their ability to make that choice not to support it. And this decision was made when the ESRB started, as well as there being a policy in place by Nintendo before the ESRB. Morthal Kombat 1 for example, was edited to meet those standards. At worst, they’re being accused of following their policy. To demand they support it despite their policy puts you on the same level as the anti-game activists.

    The original groundwork for this decision was made long ago. (see the @chadachada above) and was made because inviting this level of controversy was bad for buisness. It’s a blacklist based on economic reasons alone. Had a political method been brought in, then it’s censorship. The lobby groups did not affect this one. Policy was in place, Rockstar made their choice to test it, and found it was being enforced. What happens now is up to Rockstar.

  127. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sorry, my last post isn’t very clear on the whole ‘Sex and Violence’ thing, I know it’s more complex than that on a Consentual level, but I get the feeling from Jacky boys’ post that he considers any sexual act that isn’t the ‘norm’ to be exploitative or violent.

    You know, Jack should set up shop in Second Life, it would be utterly hilarious, and quite an educational experience for him.

  128. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think Mister Thompson might actually have a point about sexual content being responsible for Manhunt 2’s AO rating (and UK ban). Assuming the game really does/did feature castration stealth-kills as mentioned in some preview, that could technically be described as sexual assault.

  129. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The problem is, the wording in what Thomspon has to say is so oblique and non-focussed that it’s hard to tell exactly what he is saying, Stealth/Castration kills would, I would have felt, been more about the Gore/Violence factor involved than the implied ‘sexual overtones’ else we are right back to gay hobbits. It’s a painful way to die, this game was supposed to make you cringe, and everyone knows that those kinds of image will make a mans’ eyes water.

    I’m not saying one way or another with the whole Manhunt thing, I don’t know, haven’t seen the game, but I’m pretty sure that if it contained scenes of direct sexual exploitation or forced sexual intercourse that were notably degrading or exploitative, it would have been included in the BBFC’s report, but then, maybe I’m wrong, I guess I’ll never know.

  130. 0
    Questionmark ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I don’t see any more of a problem coming from this game then from the movie Saw or Hostel. Although the game is interactive, it shouldn’t cause any more desensitization to violence then an ultra violent movie, image or story would.

  131. 0
    Jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ jack thompson
    Mr. John Bruce Thompson, I really find it hard to believe that a grown man behaves so childishly. Please for your own sake, GROW UP.

  132. 0
    Grogmonkey says:


    I think it’s far, far too early to be worried about precedents being set. Of the 10 year history of the BBFC, only one game has ever been refused a rating: Carmageddon. That was later overturned on appeal. Clearly, that game didn’t set a precedent, despite a similar reaction from certain sections of the people (in the UK especially). My view is if Rockstar don’t appeal, then that’s tantamount to an admission of ‘guilt’ that their game went a bit too far. I say guilt, but it’s probably more akin to naivety (or just out and out stupidity).

    It’s easy for the BBFC to rate games, because (from what I understand) they basically have a checklist which contains ‘things that make your game get a higher rating’. I’m guessing Manhunt 2 ticked pretty much every box, leaving the BBFC no choice but to not award a rating (given their current rules and guidelines, which may or may not be right, depending on your views). But we all know that, despite the contents, GTA4 is not going to get the dreaded AO rating. No other GTA did. Dead Rising didn’t (despite a lot of pressure from various places). Heck, the original Manhunt didn’t (but when it comes to obscene violence, the original was at the tame part of the scale. Beating someone’s head in with a baseball bat? Vicious, certainly. But not TOO bad). In terms of their history, the BBFC has been nothing but fair, and has never been seen to bow to peer pressure. Citing the Carmageddon Issue, again, most people were happy to see the ‘Zombie Patch’ go in, and they would have wanted it to stay that way. But the BBFC, after hearing the appeal, changed that. That can’t have been the most popular decision they’ve ever made, but they still made it. Believe me, the second that I think the BBFC has made a decision that is not in line with their previous rating guidelines I’ll be… well, probably not the first, but definitely in the top few thousand people to cry foul. That’ll be when I get my protestin’ boots on.

    But you’re right. It’s probably unlikely that Rockstar made the game just to be contraversial (or rather, MORE contraversial. I think I stated otherwise somewhere, but that was probably on a different forum. And just me being conspiratorial). In fact, from what I hear from people who know people who work for Rockstar London (one of the many studios with a finger in the Manhunt Pie), I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this is nothing more than a monumental cockup.

    I really want to like Rockstar for their work, but, to be honest, they still haven’t completely proven themselves to me, yet. Bully was ace. Table Tennis was ace. I hear good things about Midnight Club, too. But, in my eyes, the studio that’s still pulling the weight of the whole company is Rockstar North, which isn’t surprising if you compare the back catalogues of each studio. I still think Rockstar bought DMA Design just to have gain some kind of major foothold in the industry (and they did). They are slowly stopping to live off the success of the GTA franchise and actually make a good name for themselves in their own right, but I think Manhunt 2 was a bit of a backwards step in this respect.

    Anyhoo, the ratingss of the next batch of ‘contraversial videogames’ will be watched very closely, from both sides of the videogame violence fence. Should be interesting.

  133. 0
    DoggySpew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What is the point addressing toward Jack if is not able to answer. Dennis permabanned his new IP adress already.

    This boob is still on the list concerning his pending disbarment.

  134. 0
    TJ Landry ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I find it curious that what Thompson takes as gospel the medical findings of a MINORITY group of researchers/doctors and largely ignores the results of MAJOR research that clearly states the little or no impact supposed “violent” and/or “sexually explicit” games have on kids and adults.

    But the more important thing is here is that the entire country shouldn’t have to deprive themselves of whatever entertainment they want in the privacy of their homes for “the children”. Frankly, I’ve had about enough of characters like Jack hiding like a coward behind the idea of protecting kids which, in reality, is Jack looking to both profit and gain political clout off this entire charade. Being a parent of two sons I find this political caterwauling insulting as they are simply looking for MORE Government in our lives despite their stance as conservatives.

    BTW Jack, Nihilistic Personality Disorder….you have it, get some treatment buddy….k?

  135. 0
    sasha says:

    As an American, I loathe any form of censorship. But as a parent, I sure as hell don’t want my kids considering this type of activity “entertainment.” There’s some very insightful thinking about Manhunt 2 at this site. It theorizies that the uptick in gore in games and movies is an attempt to identify new levels of shock and violence after 9/11. Very much worth a read:

  136. 0
    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Whoo. What a tempest.

    There’s an interesting point here that I haven’t yet seen anyone touch on. People here keep talking about Manhunt 2 pushing boundaries, and testing limits. There’s no question that it does that.

    Some of the people here (Grogmonkey, in particular) are saying that we need to keep our heads down, and wait for a better opportunity to fight this battle. But there will never be a “good” opportunity.

    This fight is a fight about what is socially offensive, and whether it is appropriate for it to be banned. But because it is socially offensive, the people who would normally stand behind it end up being polarized – those who are actually offended (and, note, offended by what they imagine is in the game – none of us has played it yet, we only have a few screenshots and early previews to go on) start to edge over toward the censorship side, even though they might otherwise oppose censorship. They don’t want to defend it, because they don’t view it as defensible.

    As a result, the people actually defending it end up being reviled, and castigated as though they’re some sort of mentally-deficient individuals in need of being locked up… which isn’t even close to the truth.

    As I was saying, it’s only very extreme forms of media that can truly push the boundaries, and those self-same extreme forms of media, by their very nature, make it hard to defend them. People who believe in the concept of freedom of speech should defend them… but they have a hard time with the subject matter, and start thinking it shouldn’t be defended.

    It’s times like this that those people who believe in Freedom of Speech as an underlying core freedom – a freedom that underlies every other freedom – should stop asking, “would I enjoy it?” and ask, instead, “Is anyone harmed if someone else enjoys it?”

    I think it’s ludicrous to think that the Manhunt games were made solely to shock – no company is going to spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars developing a game just for a little media circus, and then discard the game. It defeats the point. It was intended as an extreme form of entertainment, similar to the Saw and Hostel movie franchises.

    I personally have no interest in the Manhunt games. I didn’t buy the first one, and I don’t plan to buy the second one, whenever it’s released. But I absolutely believe that Rockstar should have a right to publish Manhunt 2, and the console manufacturers do the media format a disservice by refusing to license it. They are reinforcing the concept that their consoles are for children, even when their own PR representatives are trying to claim that they’re for everyone.

    Do the console manufacturers have a right to dictate what games are published on their systems? Arguably, and strictly speaking, yes. Ideally, no… but that’s an argument for another day, and another forum.

    Do companies like Wal-Mart have a right not to carry games like this? Absolutely.

    Do the media pundits have a right to call companies like Wal-Mart hypocritical when they refuse to carry games like this, but carry unrated versions of extreme movies like Saw? Absolutely.

    Do we have the right to vote with our money, and buy from other companies who don’t care about the media outcry about games like this, and are willing to stock the controversial games, like Fry’s and Amazon? Absolutely.

  137. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Jack Thompson, Attorney and You’re Not”

    Because lawyers know everything there is to know about everything and everyone else knows nothing? >_>

    Way to sound conceited just because you have a certain job. I don’t care if you’re pro or anti-whatever issue you choose, gloating about your profession is simply childish.

  138. 0
    monolithic says:

    Nekojin summed up everything I was thinking, especially here:

    “But I absolutely believe that Rockstar should have a right to publish Manhunt 2, and the console manufacturers do the media format a disservice by refusing to license it. They are reinforcing the concept that their consoles are for children…”

  139. 0
    tempo says:

    “Do the console manufacturers have a right to dictate what games are published on their systems? Arguably, and strictly speaking, yes. Ideally, no… but that’s an argument for another day, and another forum.”

    with this, i disagree. with gusto.
    I really can’t think of any other household device, media or otherwise, made by anyone that forbids the use of it in anyway…

    Can anyone?

    We are talking about something we buy and use in the privacy of our own homes.

    Do the console manufacturers have the right to dictate what I and my family and friends do in the privacy of my own home?

    ok. They made the thing.. but, I own it. I should be able to use it as I see fit. Am I the only one that thinks this is totally f’d?

    Also, I think this is a good time and the perfect forum to discuss this…

  140. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Unlike DVD makers console makers have every right to “ban/block” game son their system you might own the system but they own the game aspect of it IE games can not “just be made and play on it” thats not goign to happen until games become like DVDs.

    There are a ton of IP,copy rights and other costly red tape that goes into gettign a game approved for a system, int hat and the “flow of the industry” the industry can censor itself, I do dislike the fact Sony and Nin take such a huge big brother role in their approval system but it can be seen as protecting the brand more than out right censorship.

    I don’t think manhunt 2 is the next “midnight cowboy” (X rated film that forced the movie industry to adopt NC17) but tis damn near close another couple of hot titles and the indutry will be forced to re look at the issue.

  141. 0
    Churchill NancyBoy says:

    Wonder what they would have said about the Japanese adult game Rapelay which was a rape simulator? Google it all of you dirty filthy dirty dirty dirty people who will play it and then protest how they are appalled at such filth and give up their freedoms.

    I am playing the first manhunt now and I gotta say if the second one is like the first one I probably am not missing much. Bloody but kinda pointless.

    Give the Brits more games about butchering legions of Nazis in Call of Duty 412. They need to recall their glory days.

  142. 0
    Terrible Tom ( User Karma: -1 ) says:


    Indeed. Nothing Id like to add to your response I’ll stand behind it. Yea these companies are in the right but it doesn’t mean consumers(us) have to follow it. We can vote with our money by boycotting. How about shopping for groceries at Kroger instead of Walmart, buying games and entertainment products online and avoiding popular retail gamers. And experimenting with PC games instead of console games. Of course in their time of loss we must announce that we are boycotting them so they know why they are losing money(at least they think thats why.) Thats how things get done in a corporate facist system, sadly but true the corporations may very well dictate many of our freedoms we should enjoy. In particular I’m speaking about the freedom to buy and play games with unfiltered content and the only way to get it is to speak through our wallets. But first you must be dedicated to the cause.


    But… then again we should have been organized and already announced our boycott against the PS3… Now I’ll admit Sony is probably my favorite of the 3 console companies I guess im a sony fanboy. But their console is failing and if we announced our boycot against them as their console failed to sell it would have made a greater impact on them. I dunno maybe this method is too late to use but maybe in the next console war it could be used as one is failing. Sure it is kind of dishonest(the obvious reasons ps3 is failing is price and lack of good games) but it could really effect the way the company makes its choices.

    Whatever the action the time is now lets not put it off any longer. Stop being cowards and step up. Fear is only a instrument used to control your mind.

    Rid your mind of fear and you shall see the path to freedom, and the only task left will be to walk that path.

  143. 0
    akjekl29 says:

    If there was only a way to channel the teen angst I see all over this webpage, the worlds energy problems would be over. Too bad the fascist corporate machine would put a stop to it and send me to disney land and oil and bush and aahhaahhahahahahhghgahghgh

  144. 0
    Nekojin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @tempo: Consoles, unlike DVD players, are manufactured by only one company, and they retain proprietary rights on who can publish using their proprietary system. That’s an inherent part of patent law – because they patented parts of the system involved in how the game system reads data, you’re required to go through the console manufacturer to legally produce games on their systems.

    Contrast that to DVD, which is an open-source media format – nobody is banned from publishing to that format. The parts involved in reading and writing to the DVD format are freely available, thanks to a group of manufacturers agreeing on one uniform media format.

    That’s the [i]law[/i] involved… it’s clear-cut, no real arguments.

    Should console manufacturers be required to license any game from any company that wants to manufacture on their consoles? That’s a harder question to answer… and I’d still have to say no, because it would be setting a dangerous precedent.

    Do I think that console manufacturers should license games like Manhunt 2? Yes… but it has to be their choice, their decision. I do understand why they stated a refusal to publish AO games, though… that enables them to draw a line in the sand that isn’t arbitrary on their part. If they started picking and choosing, saying, “Well, [i]this[/i] game is acceptible, and we’ll license it, but [i]that[/i] game, while similar to the first, just goes over the line and we won’t license it,” then they’ll take flak for being inconsistent.

    By putting a blanket ban on AO games, they’re covered from the two extremes of licensing everything, or appearing inconsistent and hypocritical. It’s a sound business decision. I don’t agree with it, but I fully understand and appreciate the reasons it was done.

  145. 0

    […] Even staunch video game advocates have been pulled into the fray over the Manhunt 2 controversy. The game industry is polarized on the issues raised by the ESRB’s “Adults Only”rating in the US, and the ban in the UK , Ireland, and Australia. GamePolitics featured “Sick Filth?”, veteran game journalist and editor of Rob Fahey’s scathing article on the unprecedented level of violence in Rockstar’s Manhunt 2. 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”. […]

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