ESRB’s Manhunt 2 Explanation Timely, But Not Likely to Satisfy Critics

ESRB president Patricia Vance’s lengthy Manhunt 2 statement, issued yesterday, won’t silence critics of the ultra-violent game 2 any time soon.

The explanation offered by the head of the video game industry’s content rating board is esoteric and highly technical – hardly an effective counter to the gut-level, protect-the-children type of accusations being leveled at the game by the likes of Leland Yee, Common Sense Media, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Parents Television Council.

However, let’s give kudos where they are due. Vance, the ESRB and publisher Take Two Interactive addressed the situation swiftly and publicly – something they failed to do during the 2005 Hot Coffee fiasco, which played out over an agonizing month of denials and stonewalling before reaching its expensive and public image-shattering conclusion.

So, good on them for being responsive. But questions remain. The San Jose Mercury-News’ Dean Takahashi, a pretty tech-savvy journalist, writes about what’s on his mind concerning the Manhunt 2 affair:

In my opinion, some of [Vance’s] answers make sense; some don’t…

Here’s what doesn’t make sense to me. Vance said it was easy to modify the PC version of GTA: San Andreas to depict Hot Coffee. Here she notes that the player has to modify both the hardware and the software to view the hacked code… There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it. It seems to me that it would be just as easy to mod the Manhunt 2 game as it was to install Hot Coffee…

[Vance] noted that there are a lot of people reporting on the [Manhunt 2] matter who are not technically up to speed on how this is different from the Hot Coffee situation. I guess that includes me. Rockstar is clearly getting a pass from the ESRB today…

Did Rockstar say to the ESRB: “Oh, yeah, we have the original execution scenes here and we blurred them. We don’t think anyone can unblur them and we have done our best to make sure that doesn’t happen.” If it did something like that, I can see why they get a pass. But if they stopped short of that, then it’s a little foggy to me.

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  1. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ GP – can’t you sue JT for harassment when he threatens lawsuits like that?

    Seriously – sue his ASS off, or make him settle out of court, just to warn him off.

  2. 0
    JustChris says:


    This isn’t just bad for an anti-game lobby, it’s bad for any lobby that is pushing towards an agenda with a low return on investment. 1 out of at least a million gamers are psycho killers and here’s where I see a problem with the anti-game laws. I think the US is desperately looking in every nook of our society just to find an enemy. It’s become too much work for too little return. Just like the way we’re looking in every possible nook in the globe to find a bit more petroleum and finding less and less new sources.

    People only support these laws because of the drama that comes with them. It’s just like those NIMBY laws. They only exist to help a handful of people, and it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money.

  3. 0
    Attack Gypsy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey Dennis, if Jack insists on my IP address, give it to him.

    He’ll have as much luck as the MPAA/RIAA had at getting a subscriber’s name from the IP address.

    Yes, my provider won its lawsuit against them.

    So Jack can go pound salt before he gets my real name.

    The one and only Attack Gypsy

  4. 0
    Pierre-Olivier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Never saw those quotes before (then again, I haven’t read the bible in years), but I was never being taught that the christian god is a murderous god. The same “claim” could be said for many religion if you’re willing to search enough.

    What religions-slamming peoples should learn is that not all people are that rigid. The old testament said to consider gays as abomination and to put to death those who work on Sunday. I can get along with gay people (even though I still feel a bit uneasy) and I work frequently on Sundays. IT’S A BOOK. Books are written by mens, not gods.

    Going back on topic, it’s obvious why they pulled the game out of their physical shelves. They wanted to make sure that they won’t sell it to minors by accident (a sad truth is that some teenagers are younger than they look. My little brother, for example is 13 (I’m 19) and he’s almost as tall as I am). By selling it exclusively on the net, they’ll prevent minors from getting it themselves (even though folks like Thompson would never admit it) but they can’t do much about parents who don’t read ESRB’s warning.

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


    even if you are the real JT, how are dennis and the ECA going to know who I am? they won’t. all they can do is give you IP addresses. And some people here, like me, use public computers. so your going to sue my library because I post at GP from there? really smart.


    You are a hatemonger. you spew hate everytime you post. but since you asked a few questions, I’ll answer them for you

    1. MH is designed for adults: children should not have access to this game. Any argument coming from “for teh children” is as equally ignorant as it is absurd. It is a parent’s responsibility to make sure that their little snot faced children do not lay their hands on games for adults.

    of course it’s ignorant. it’s because videogames and their consoles are still considered “child’s play” and “only for the immature and the children” so of course these watchdog groups will complain. Write a letter to your local government agent, try to make sure they know that games are for adults as well.

    2. Due to the censorship organization known as the ESRB and pro-censorship licensing agreements, content in MH2 had to be forcibly edited out. Why?

    HOW is the esrb a censorship organization? the simple fact is, they changed what they changed, and that warranted a new rating. It’s like asking why a movie that you might think should be rated PG-13 is rated R. At that point, would you call the MPAA a censorship organization?

    3. To make the game more suitable for children who should NEVER see the game in the first place? When the game itself IS hacked, it is still NOT INTENDED FOR YOUR OVERPROTECTED CHILDREN.

    once again, I’m going to say that it’s the overall ignorance of the general public, media outlets, and watchdog groups that contributes most to this.

    Also: stop trying to attack christianity, it’s getting boring and annoying, kinda like JT. Either provide real quotes in the bible that the christian god is a genocidal child killing god, (and I also mean here, don’t be takin shit out of context, which you seem to love doing) or stop saying it.

  6. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson

    Sorry Jack, you don’t have the law on your side here. Go bitch to the Supreme Court.

    Funny, you’d think a LAWYER would know about such things. Oh well.

  7. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    Okay, this is starting to piss me off now.

    I really can’t believe the brass balls of people to give their opinions on things like manipulating code even when they admit they have little to no knowledge of computer science. As someone pursing a CS major, this is a huge pet peeve.

    As other posters have pointed out, many programmers use coding tricks to cut down on time when working on projects, especially if security isn’t the most important thing in the world (which it shouldn’t be for a VIDEO GAME). This doesn’t mean they are lazy or irresponsible, it just means they’re human. Even if countless hours more were spent on the code, hackers would still find a way to mess with it. I think a lot of people out there just don’t understand how close the arms race between security guys and hackers is.

    To all of you hating on Rockstar because of this hack, I just have this to say: If you know of a technique to ensure that nobody can ever mess with a program in any way, by all means, tell us what it is. A lot of programmers out there would just LOVE to know what it is.

    Until then, enough with the baseless accusations and unsubstantiated links to HC.

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

    There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it.

    And yet he expects the kids to figure it out.

    I guess she could have made it simpler. Hot Coffee was like stealing the car keys from mommy’s purse to go for a joyride. This is more like the kid unlocking the car without keys, popping the hood, disabling the speed governor, shorting the starter to get it going, and then ripping down the highway at twice the speed limit.

    The first, while technically illegal, is minor and easy to pull off. The other involves multiple illegal acts, and quite a fair bit of technical know-how.

  9. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ESRB president Patricia Vance’s lengthy Manhunt 2 statement, issued yesterday, won’t silence critics of the ultra-violent game 2 any time soon.

    For several reasons though, and not just because she clung to the technical side.

    There’s also the fact that the “watchdog groups” are prejudiced to ignore any explanation whatsoever.

    Vance could demonstrate for them how difficult it is to remove the filters, and the response will still be “well hackers can do CRAZY things nowadays”.

    I really don’t see any possible way Vance could explain this that would satisfy the critics at all. You’d have about as much luck at convincing Jack that there’s no conspiracy…

  10. 0
    Herr Villain ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I agree that it sets a bad precedent. I was willing to concede with respect to Hot Coffee. I found it to be a little over-hyped, as leaving cut and/or unnecessary content in the game files is a standard of the industry. However, Hot Coffee was exceptionally easy to access, the executable still contained all, or at least enough, of the programming for it, and it was entirely gratuitous. If for some reason Rockstar had left real hardcore porn images in their data, and someone had written an extractor to retrieve them, I would have questioned Rockstar’s sanity. And Hot Coffee wasn’t too far from that. At best it was a really poor decision, and they deserved a huge kick in the backside from the industry and the ESRB. At worst, it was a thinly veiled attempt to sneak in content that never would have gotten past the various console’s censors, and they deserved most of what they got. I don’t think we’ll ever really know for certain which was the case.

    This time around, the response just smacks of a vendetta. The content was there, it was disclosed to the ESRB, and was apparently only worthy of an M rating. Some people come along, modify a few lines in the executable, and suddenly the content is fully viewable rather than blurred and static-filled. So what is it that Rockstar and the ESRB should be held legally accountable for exactly? Even if they had compressed and encrypted the executable, and then accomplished the blur with horribly, horribly scrambled code, someone would have worked it out eventually. The PS2 and the PSP are all but fully accessible to people with the right equipment and software, after all. And, hell, they might have done all that. I doubt it, though. I know a couple of the guys who are putzing with this game, and I probably would have gotten an e-mail from them if they ran across something that inaccessible. Regardless, their determination to see uncensored, M-rated images of somebody getting clonked with an ax is hardly the responsibility of the game’s makers.

  11. 0
    Miang ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What bothers me is that the person who wrote this article admits he doesn’t understand the technology and then he goes on to form an opinion about a series of facts he already said he doesn’t understand. Why in the world would someone listen to the opinion of a person who already said he doesn’t get the facts in the situation? I really don’t get people like this. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to say I didn’t understand something, but I would be terribly embarrassed if someone caught me saying “I don’t understand how this works but I still think its evil because it reminds me of another situation despite the fact that the people who DO understand it tell me it doesn’t really work like that situation did at all”,

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

    @ Ashton

    We’re “whining and attacking” because this man has just proven the mindset that we so loathe, broadly generalised.

    Here is a person with claims to some sort of neutrality (journalist) and whose words are viewed as in some manner expert or informed by the masses. Yet instead of taking the literally 15 seconds it would require to find out what modding actually is (regardless of understanding thereof) and the other minute it would take to find and read a technology or videogame site’s explanation of the terms he doesn’t understand or come to some understanding of the statments on his own, he gives a knee-jerk, ignorant response that so many people will read and assume to be an educated take on the matter because they don’t understand that he has actually just told them he has no idea what he’s talking about and then spouted some initial, uninformed reactions.

    How are the people reading this who don’t understand technology enough to figure out what Vance means supposed to realize–as you did because you have some knowledge of the subject–that this man has no more clue than they and hasn’t bothered trying to get one? They can’t, and hence we call his post reckless and defamatory because the people who don’t know better will buy his uncertainties as gospel truth, presuming that if he doesn’t understand the difference between the different incidents, there isn’t one.

  13. 0
    Coravin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Picho

    Who was being uppity? Maybe I just don’t know what the word means…I’m pretty sure I don’t, actually, my standard vocabulary tends to be a little precocious and I only assume you mean I was in some way being demeaning or haughty. I certainly didn’t intend it that way, but I suppose jocularity comes across rather badly on the Internet just like every other emotion. Correct me if I’m wrong….

    But that aside, I was agreeing with your point. I thought it was very well-made, and was quite amused by how succinctly the quote presented the inevitable (and inevitably contrary to their goals) outcome of such illegalisation efforts by the government; and also by how it answered Matthew’s hypothetical question by pointing out how counterproductive it was to illegalize leisure items that present valid dangers. Which by extension suggests the government would be shooting themselves in the foot to try such a tactic on violent videogames, with no evidence whatsoever in support for their legislation.

    But of course, most of our politicians have proven themselves to have either no knowledge of, or ability to learn from, history.

  14. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That has got me thinking. Violent games do have a short-term effect on the brain, temporarily increasing aggression and the sense of competition. Previous studies reported on GP have shown this and are inevitably taken out of context. Suppose for a moment though that we agree with Jack and accept that violent games do affect the brain in a notable way, and that playing them excessively can cause irreversible mental damage. In this situation, how are violent games worse than alcohol? They would be comparable and there is no reason to suggest that violent games should be subject to any restrictions that alcohol doesn’t have already – preventing sale to minors. And, um, that’s it. Nobody is calling for alcohol to be banned or saying that brewers are selling beverage pornography to kids.

    So in the worst case scenario, where games are considered a drug that affects the functionality of the brain, I propose that most gamers are no “worse” than any member of the public who goes out for a drink after work on Friday.

  15. 0
    Amarkov says:

    We already knew that the media is ignorant of what modding games requires. Listening to most people, you get the impression that modding is just starting up “SuperMod 2.0.1” and being able to do what you please.

  16. 0
    james gunn says:

    “Glad to see that Dennis McCauley has finallly posted Dean Takahashi’s skepticism about Pat Vance’s spin. I sent it to Dennis.

    Dennis, I’m here in Philadelphia this moment, your hometown, at the video game expo.

    When are you going to prominently post the fact that your posters yesterday posted all sorts of posts allegedly by me that were profane and hurtful? When are you going to run a headline about that, Dennis, because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson”

    That’s not news JT…
    Dennis is always cleaning up the impersonator posts jack, he’s been doing it for month’s.
    A person pretends to be you on the internet of all places and you sue GP and the ECA when they are not at fault, the commenter is?
    What would you do to them when you got their names… a court would throw out the case, for what, parodying the profane and hurtful bile you spill out?

  17. 0
    OtakuMan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Surprised few, if anyone, here has noted that Thompson intends to get our addresses, phone numbers, and other information.

    Looks like people are ignoring him finally.



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

    @ Chaunxcore

    I believe we’ve already established that journalists, scientists, and most public figures seem to prefer opining on things they don’t understand. Since they aren’t experts in the fields of their discourse, they prefer casting aspersions because of issues that make no sense to them rather than researching or deferring to people who have some understanding of the subject.

    @ Picho, can haz wizdom now

    Are you just pointing out that the government making and enforcing laws deemed frivolous or punitary by the general public accomplishes nothing more than to erode trust and respect for said government and increase crime, dissent, and dissatisfaction? Oh, you’re replying to Matthew. He’s making a point, not a suggestion, although it is a valid point and a better suggestion than banning games…not that there’s much faith in the politicians left to erode in our current environment, but they earned that, fair and square and with a whole lot of ridiculous effort.

    @ Matthew

    There are myriad examples of things that are proven harmful to children (or people in general) that would be far better addressed than videogames, but I think we’ve already established that people like JT and Yee are crusaders blinded by their cause. And technophobia, and fear, and ignorance. And for JT, insanity and I suspect illiteracy–literacy DOES require a fourth-grade education, except in Texas where I believe it only requires a second-grade education (and is still one of the lowest rates in the country…oy), and none of his public writing samples approach that.

    I think it’s clear that the politicians in general and people like Yee in particular are far more interested in LOOKING like they are activists on behalf of the children than actually PROTECTING the children. Why spend taxpayer money on something that actually benefits those taxpayers when it’s so much more fun and headline-grabbing to spend it on pet causes that can be made to sound so threatening with merely the simple expedient of utter lies?

    By the energy he puts into his claims, videogames are a more pressing threat, in Yee’s world, than horrifically inequal schools, lead-filled toys and clothes, secondhand smoke, drunk driving and alcohol poisoning, and myriad other issues that actually claim lives. It’s easier to make the public fear some imaginary threat to pull them together behind you than to expend the same effort to fix real problems that aren’t so high-profile and vote-grabbing. Pointing out the disparity in videogame law funding and potential gains of such laws is also a wasted effort at this point, when so many real causes are losing their funding to suchpet causes.

  19. 0
    chaunxcore says:

    There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it. It seems to me that it would be just as easy to mod the Manhunt 2 game as it was to install Hot Coffee…

    Why is someone who clearly stated she does not understand the situation allowed to write articles on said situation? And to reply to her point about it being just as easy to mod manhunt 2, it isn’t by a long shot.

  20. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Picho, makin tah comspirsee

    “Unlike WWII and the cival war were whe actually DID have an enemy. (red coats and nazis)”

    Red coats was the Revolutionary War, not the Civil War.

  21. 0
    Picho, can haz wizdom now ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Heres a little bit of wisdom.

    [quote]The proponents of Prohibition had believed that banning alcoholic beverages would reduce or even eliminate many social problems, particularly drunkenness, crime, mental illness, and poverty, and would eventually lead to reductions in taxes. However, during Prohibition, people continued to produce and drink alcohol, and bootlegging helped foster a massive industry completely under the control of organized crime. Prohibitionists argued that Prohibition would be more effective if enforcement were increased. However, increased efforts to enforce Prohibition simply resulted in the government spending more money, rather than less. Journalist H.L. Mencken observed in 1925 that respect for law diminished, rather than increased, during Prohibition, and drunkenness, crime, insanity and resentment towards the federal government had all increased.[/quote]

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


    I think we can do better than the one in a thousand claim. How many cases have there been where games were implicated? Well. Columbine is associated with Doom. Devin Moore used to play one of the GTAs. There’s the Manhunt case in the UK, which we’ll include even though the victim owned the game and not the killer. Cho… didn’t play games, but the media associates him incorrectly with Counter-Strike. A little while ago a kid was stabbed after an argument over an Xbox – no game cited, merely the technology was deemed a factor. (In which case we could similarly say that iPods turn people into killers.)

    So far, it’s not looking good for the anti-game lobby. If the games are so terrible, why is the list so short and why does each game only appear once? This is all based on my own memory, but I bet the real number isn’t that much higher. So if we estimate the total number of incidents in which games have been suggested to be influencing factors, what do we get? Across the entirety of gaming history. Anyone higher than ten?

    Now ask yourself this: How many people in the past two months have drunk themselves into a rage and ended up killing someone? Deliberately or accidentally? Alcohol has a very real effect on brain, short and long term, and some people commit serious crimes while under its influence.

    BAN THIS SICK DRINK NOW. Budweiser are marketing their frontal lobe-destroying murder chemicals to children in stores across the country.

  23. 0
    Mnementh2230 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ las, attorney
    “My left nut is more tech-savvy than this hack.”

    My left nut is running DSL – how about yours? :)


    While I doubt you’re the real Jack Thompson… if you are:

    You’re a freaking loony – threats like that got you banned back on Live Journal. The bottom line is that YOU HAVE THE ABILITY to stop the spoofs, and you do not. As soon as Dennis would present that in court, you’d be sunk. Hell, that’s assuming it even made it to court in the first place – people imitate other people ALL THE GODDAMN TIME on the intertubes, and nobody gives a rat’s ass about it. Odds are you’d be laughed out of the court house. I’m not even an attorney and I know that much – jeezus you’re dumb.

  24. 0
    Picho, makin tah comspirsee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It is ineffective cause we are basicly fighting shodows and shades. The spooks and things that go bump in the night.

    Unlike WWII and the cival war were whe actually DID have an enemy. (red coats and nazis)

    There is pretty much no way to ‘win’ cause even if we do, then what about all the other people?

  25. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wow, he did stay civil, didn’t he? Though he still forced down a couple of double-standards on what he previously stated. Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from that blog.

    “No one in their right mind would say that a video game by itself would turn an angel into a demon.”

    Yet he says people ‘lose all sentient being status’ upon buying GTA. (as seen from the Wikiquote page)

    “After a brief chat about the errors in Jack’s Wikipedia entry, Lorne asks how much money Jack’s seeking in his cases? “A lot.” “

    Of course.

    “N’Gai asks the audience to raise their hands if they’ve played a GTA game. The entire audience raises their hands. He says to keep your hand raised if you think the primary goal of a GTA game is to “kill as many cops as you can,” which Jack had just claimed. No hands. Jack retorts, “What about prostitutes?” Again, no hands.”

    Um… owned?

    “Jack says that in this country you only need to prove ‘causation’ from one event to the other, not direct link.”

    I think i don’t need to say any more.

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

    “There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it.”

    I always thought that Takahashi was fairly sophisticated. Basically, while PSP hacks are plentiful, they still require a bit of effort to apply. It’s not as simple as just downloading a mod and putting it in your computer game’s mods folder.

  27. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Thompson, Mr McCauley is not at his PC 24/7, so he can’t moderate this forum at your whim.

    “Dennis, I’m here in Philadelphia this moment, your hometown, at the video game expo.”

    You know, that sounds a lot like a threat to me.

  28. 0
    Phoenix, Filmmaker says:

    I would just like to point out the joystiq article live blog of Jack Thompson’s debate.

    Surprisingly, he seems moderately civil, though his points are the same as always. At least now we can quit saying he doesn’t debate. I would like to see more of this moderately civil Thompson, it’s an improvement. I still disagree with him and hate him, but I do tip my hat to him today.

  29. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but you can flash a PSP with a custom firmware without modding tis hardware?

    still it requires a PSP a nethack a PS2 and the game.

    what abotu nethack do they not understand?

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


    The main, and very significant difference between Hot Coffee and Contact Lens Hunt is that they are simply very different hacks. In fact the only similarity is that they’re both for games made by Rockstar.

    I removed the motion blur from my copy of Jericho, making the bloody combat easier to see, and nobody batted an eyelid. It was even an option in the config menu. How easy is that?

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

    Well, to be honest, I haven’t read all the above posts so if I’m repeating someone, I apologize. From what I gather here’s the difference.

    With Hot Coffee, anyone with a PC copy of GTA:SA could download the patch from the internet then apply it to the game, then follow the steps to access the scenes in question.

    With the PSP, the steps begin similar. You need MH2, and you need to download the steps (or now a patch apparently) from the internet. BUT the big difference is that you MUST have a custom firmware loaded on your PSP (or a mod chip) in order to dump the purchased UMD into an ISO to actually patch. Then apply the patch, and load the game onto the memory stick (assuming it will fit).

    I believe the major difference of course is that most children will not know how to hack/mod their PSP’s to actually access the scene, however most any person can download a patch and run it. At least this is the technical side. If someone releases a gameshark device for the PSP to access these things, maybe it’ll be the same, who knows.

  32. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The worst part about all of this is that, probably within six months or so, someone under the age of 18 will commit murder and the investigation will turn up a copy of Manhunt 2 in the killer’s possession. Then we’ll be treated to all those wonderful “I told you so!”s and the videogame violence debate will kick up a notch.

    It’s going to happen. It’s a simple statistical likelihood. There is someone out there who will buy Manhunt 2 and, later, kill someone. Jack is already preparing the press releases and leaving a space to fill in the names. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as… well… sick? People are preparing to cite Manhunt 2 as the cause for a crime that hasn’t even been committed yet. The term “ambulance chaser” is thrown around a lot, but this goes even further. This is camping out at a predicted accident site and waiting, mobile phone camera in hand, for the blood to spill.

    So as a bit of a pre-emptive strike, I’d like to note that people do not grow up in vacuums. The world would be a lot less dusty if they did. If the only source of information you have in this world is a game that says “being bad is fun” then, well, you’re going to be bad. If you only know that a wrench can be used to cave someone’s face in, then you’re going to believe that it is a tool designed for that purpose. But we don’t live life by games alone. We should be taught, from day one, a basic moral code so that we can develop into functional members of society. People who don’t adhere to this code are called sociopaths. They are the people to watch out for, not SephirothRulz32 because he plays Halo on Xbox Live.

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

    “Go back to indoctrinating your children in a belief system full of lies, contradictions, and hate.”

    I see you are still making your posts of hate and lies Religion Jack.

    By the way, which system of hate and lies would this be in Leland Yee’s situation?

  34. 0
    vellocet says:

    There’s this issue of what is reasonably unhackable.

    If you look at the world of gaming, it is the most copy protected software industry around.

    Publishers pay companies like starforce and Macrovision to make their games uncopyable on PC. And they can’t even stop people from getting copies before the game is released in stores.

    Now look at the PSP. PSP games check for the latest version of the firmware (which does not allow homebrew) before it will play the game. There are firmware downgrades available on the net to get to a firmware version that allows homebrew. Then you have to circumvent the check that’s built into the game and image the UMD. Then you have to go into the game and search the files for the proper file to edit. Then you have to edit it properly. This applies to ANY recent PSP game.

    If this is not a “reasonable” amount of protection to hacking, I don’t know what is.

    I can give you similar examples on PS2 and Xbox as well (I’m not too familiar with modding on Nintendo systems).

  35. 0
    Picho, makin tah comspirsee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pan, even then they wont be happy. You forget that not all of the censoer mongers are christian.

    They will not be happy until we are in a black and white world made of nothing but huge buildings and nazi-like propaganda constantly spewing over the speekers to tell us to take our pills so that we have no emotions and do what we are told like good little drones.


  36. 0
    Pandralisk says:

    Nothing but a theocratic state with direct censorship power over anything that violates Judeo-Christian values will satisfy the perverse, freedom-raping, superstitious, and moronic critics of this industry.

    I still do not understand this:

    1. MH is designed for adults: children should not have access to this game. Any argument coming from “for teh children” is as equally ignorant as it is absurd. It is a parent’s responsibility to make sure that their little snot faced children do not lay their hands on games for adults.

    2. Due to the censorship organization known as the ESRB and pro-censorship licensing agreements, content in MH2 had to be forcibly edited out. Why?

    3. To make the game more suitable for children who should NEVER see the game in the first place? When the game itself IS hacked, it is still NOT INTENDED FOR YOUR OVERPROTECTED CHILDREN.

    Stop shoving your moral facism down our throats. Go back to indoctrinating your children in a belief system full of lies, contradictions, and hate.

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

    @Herr Villain

    Precisely! And heres a though. this whole thing sets an uncomfortable precedent, that even illegally performed modifications to a game are the responsibility of the manufacturer. IF that is the case, then deleting copy-protection from a game and making it publicly available is also the companies’ responsibility, according to the same logic, it’s the same thing, a piece of code designed to protect content has been disabled by either deleting or breaking it, in order to allow access to that protected material. In the case of Rockstar, that protection that was broken was the blur over the already visible cut-scenes.

  38. 0
    Herr Villain ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ve been sort of peripherally paying attention to this story, but after reading up on just what all the stink is about I’m curious as to why this is the first time this issue has been discussed so loudly. Of course, the answer is that it’s Rockstar, a popular game-maker. Otherwise, these legislative types would have had to save the children from such M-rated terrors as, “Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude”, and, “The Punisher”. Both of those games were released with programmatic censorship of the naughty bits. In the case of the former, it was quite literally censorship of naughty bits, and the latter had blur over torture and execution scenes very similar to what’s being argued over here. Both of these games were altered by consumers after release to remove the censorship. Maybe somebody’s mentioned this before, and maybe I just missed the huge flap over these games. I doubt it, though, at least with the last one.

    When I first read the story, and saw the responses by Leeland Yee and others, I thought surely this must be another case of Rockstar blocking access to extensive amounts hidden content in the game with a boolean variable. All you need to do is go buy a cheat device, use it to set address 0x686244 to 1, and suddenly the entire AO-rated branch of the story is restored. When I saw the ESRB’s statement, I realized that A) the whole thing was blown totally out of proportion, and B) I can’t wait until people who don’t understand how base 16 works stop pretending they know everything about technology.

  39. 0
    ed says:

    sorry but i think you misinterpreted my statement. my point was not in anyway related to you and the DMCA but about those who worry that their kids might be able to access inappropriate content in games but seem completely unfazed about the fact that their kids would have to break numerous laws in order to access that content. *that* is what i find bizarre.

  40. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nah, that’s for Codebreaker. I’m sure there’s a Raw Hex version somewhere, which IIRC Gamesharks can use or do they only allow GS versions?

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

    hey guy’s duffy’s got a Question..THe code that was posted on here..

    Enable Code
    B4336FA9 4DFEFB79
    C104D6D4 BA6A4B94
    E5A92D20 01C6E45A
    0234F1AC 25867FFD

    Clear Execution
    FAB20058 273DDCEA
    BF55AFA9 BD3AE07C
    11CE1592 C820FEC0
    8F9A7A49 468BEAAF
    657AE731 6D09347C

    Is this for the ps2 version at all and will it work with a gameshark???

  42. 0
    Ben Ambroso ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I say they instead send these critics two packages…

    The first one is GTA:SA and a disc with the patch.

    The second is a PSP, instructions on how to mod it, instructions on how to mod the game, and then how to run it. Oh, and a “good luck, hope you don’t brick the PSP”.

    Honestly, ignorance is bliss to these people. Sadly, ignorance is all these people are.

  43. 0
    general531 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Pat Vance’s explanation, while a great one, will NEVER silence critics. They are too wraped-up in their own dictatorship, non-violent, and nanny-state ideology to understand.

  44. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    LOL Yup, sorry, my post come off a bit blunter than it read :)

    That’s more or less it, yes, ManHunt 2 is -ahem- ‘dressed promiscuously’ but, as you say, that is not an invite and is no defence from the crime.

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

    @ jbt

    Even if you aren’t the real Jack, its a shame that its so easy to sound exactly like him, and even more sad that you have nothing better to do than get IP-banned from some random blog.

    But you’ve caught me in a good mood. I’ll humor you.

    “Dennis, I’m here in Philadelphia this moment, your hometown, at the video game expo.”

    At least you remembered what STATE it’s in.

    “When are you going to prominently post the fact that your posters yesterday posted all sorts of posts allegedly by me that were profane and hurtful?”

    I wasn’t aware that EVERY SINGLE PERSON that posted here was trying to pose as you. And that isn’t news. It’s as newsworthy as a bunch of young teens spraypainting an underpass. NO ONE CARES.

    “When are you going to run a headline about that, Dennis, because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson”

    I wasn’t aware you were a member of the CIA, FBI, or whatever it would take for you to have the jurisdiction to do such a thing. That’s because you’re not. You’re a lawyer, not a cop. Duh.

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


    I was using the lexicon, but Manhunt 2 is a *bit* of a whore anyway. It went out into the world deliberately to provoke people and attract attention. It’s certainly promiscuous and exaclt the sort of girl who Thompson and his ilk would call a whore for daring to expose flesh at all.

    Manhunt 2 dressed itself up in as little as it could survive with and went cruising for some cheap thrills and one-night stands. (If the game is as bad as the reviews make out, one night is really all it takes.) Some drunk hackers at the bar still thought it could do with a little friendly persuasion and attacked its vulnerable variables. Now is stands accused of corrupting minors by having been exposed, and its father and mother are in the dock for having let such a game out of the house at all. Their son, by the way, was once arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, so the parents must be to blame.

    This analogy is stretching almost as much as MH2’s tube top, but it’s not all that far off…

  47. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well that’s a big ‘duh’. Of course it won’t silence the critics.

    Because the only thing critics listen to or read, is themselves.

  48. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    From what Vance is saying, they were aware of what is blurred, but the game, as sold, is impossible to view without the blurring.

    As far as I understand Hot Coffee, it was a simply a flag that needed to be switched in a configuration file, in other words, functionality was built into the game for the extra content, which needed to be enabled to show it. In this case, content was deliberately broken in order to remove something from the game, it’s the polar opposite of Hot Coffee.

    As far as the hack itself, I personally don’t think even the ‘Whore’ analogy is 100% accurate, more like a girl who ‘dares’ to wear a miniskirt and bra-top around men and gets attacked for it, the crime is the attack, not the clothes she was wearing when attacked, and most certainly not the fact that, when her clothes were removed, she was naked underneath.

    Watchdog groups can say ‘they should have done more to protect it’, and I wonder if they’ll ever realise that they genuinely sound like those people who say Girls who wear mini-skirts somehow deserve to be raped, just because it’s Manhunt 2 doesn’t mean differet rules apply when someone hacks it.

  49. 0
    someguy says:

    Oh I also feel like saying this is exactly what the industry needs if they handle it correctly and so far they are. The whole hot coffee thing was a mess…a CLOTHED mini game not included in gameplay being modded into a nude mini game. Then it being judged on the MODDED(to be nude) mini game that was not intended to be played? That was about the stupidest thing I had ever seen from the industry…they had done nothing wrong, but because of how they handled it they came off like criminals.

    This situation with manhunt being a smaller mod might help the industry get peoples brains wrapped around the idea of mods and how it is not their responsibility.

  50. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I bet some people have been done for indecent exposure after having been attacked. I like your analogy though. It’s very appropriate, and reflects the morals involved in this case. Thompsonites are calling Manhunt 2 a whore for letting someone rape it without putting up much of a fight and the hackers using illegal software are insisting that Manhunt 2 was asking for it. Rockstar are pornographers after all, right?

  51. 0
    someguy says:

    It seems a lot of the conflict in this discussion has to do with the misinformation spreading around. Ok folks lets see if we can clear this up…To the best of my knowledge these are the facts:

    The manhunt AO and M version are different because of some removed content. ie. The shovel decap, pliers scene, and so on.

    The hack does not give this content to the M rated game. It simply removes some of the blur effects.

    The ESRB was aware of what was happening under the blur effects and T2 most likely told them the blur was a post processing effect.

    Again this hack does NOT introduce content that was cut from the AO version of the game. It simply removes some effect that was put overtop of kill scenes.

    So hot coffee does not equal manhunt. Hot coffee was an entire mini game not called upon during gameplay and as such not reported to the esrb. Manhunt is simply a matter of blur…Much like the sims blur effect being removed. Does the sims deserve a higher rating because the blur can be removed? We know the answer to that since Jack already tried that one….

    So this is not anything about hidden content. This is content people could already see…but now they see it unblurred. The question that should be asked is…did manhunt 2 get its M rating from the blur or the removed content? If the blur didn’t really matter in the rating then I see no problem here. Though seeing as the orginal manhunt didn’t blur killings I truely doubt it had any effect other then T2 playing it a little safer then they had to.

    There is also the possiblity they put in the blur knowing that it wouldn’t effect the rating and expected people to disable it. Then boom even more free publicity from the very people trying to bash them. I mean really what person looking to get in the spotlight can resist bashing T2?

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

    Clothes disguise stuff that is already there, no-one can say our bodies have been ‘secretly added’ to the universe, it’s just that, for the sake of modesty, we cover them over with clothes, much like these scenes, they weren’t secret, but Rockstar had put some clothes on it.

    If someone is attacked and their clothes are removed, then you do not arrest the victim for indecent exposure, not unless you are a hippocrit of the highest order.

    If Rockstars’ property is attacked and the blurring removed, why should the rules change?

  53. 0
    arowe87 says:

    I think the modding of the game along with the “hot coffee” were both overly blown. The only problem with “hot coffee” is that Rockstar lied about the code still being there. There is no problem with this.

    So if a website gets hacked and the html code is changed so it displays adult images, videos, links to illegal activities, etc. do we blame the website or the people that hacked it? The only difference is the website owner can change the code back, game developers have no control over the code once a person has it. They can try their best to prevent it from being changed, but its going to happen if people want it to happen.

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

    The hack does not unlock any hidden content. There is no known hidden content to unlock. The M rated version has had scenes cut out and changed from the original AO version. The hack removes an additional blur filter which cannot be made impossible to remove. Anything which is coded into a program can be coded out again given time.

    Simple, really.

  55. 0
    BetaSword says:


    Even though you’re likely not the real Jack, I do say it’d be hysterical if Jack did try and sue us all. I’d love to see him try to sue me. Cause I’d just counter-sue him for the illegal harassment of me, my family, and my extended family.

    Funny thing is, that actually happened :)

  56. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    The ESRB was probably more interested in reversing some of the precedent regarding mods than in clearing the game as definitely still being rated M. To me at least the press release was kind of focused on saying “You know, when users add something to the game that wasn’t there before, or remove something that is there, that isn’t our fault nor is it something anyone can do anything about.”

  57. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thanks for the correction. Though I was thinking more in terms of minimum requirements being pushed up, I probably should have given more thought to my statements considering the last game I paid attention to the modding of was Starcraft.

    Anyways, am I the only one getting tired of people calling this mod “unlocking content”? All it does is shut off a couple of filters during some scenes. Nothing is actually locked away in terms of being hidden in the game files such as unused weapons or animations. It’s just having the graphics engine render one less detail for the scenes in question. That’s hardly “unlocking”.

  58. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Mat Paprocki:
    “It’s no different than Hot Coffee and he’s no less technical for saying so.”

    It is completely different to Hot Coffee. The sex scenes in hot coffee are material that led to the AO rating. They were not removed, only hidden.

    The scenes in Manhunt 2 that are left warrant an M rating, not an AO. They also had a blur put over them. Even without the blur they still would warrant only an M rating. Seeing M rated material clearer than intended is completely different to seeing AO material unlocked in a game rated M.

    Perhaps he isn’t less technical for saying so, but he is still wrong to compare the 2 incidents.

  59. 0
    Dave says:

    “Contrary to some reports, however, we do not believe these modifications fully restore the product to the version that originally received an AO rating, nor is this a matter of unlocking content. “

    This line could have been written better and made more prominent. They needed to be blunt and say “These modifications DO NOT make the game rated AO. Even with the modification, the content would be rated M. The content that warranted the AO rating has been removed.”

    End of story, but they had to get all into the technical side of things causing so much of a mess and it was completely unnecessary. Can somebody contact Vance of the ESRB and have them re-clarify the content is indeed still M rated so we can put this to bed once and for all.

  60. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    What I did was trace through the pad reading code to the execution button handler, then traced through that and came to the main function that handles the execution kills. There’s a nice if-then-else or switch statement (hard to tell, I’m not so great with R5900, branching instead of jmping, ick) but there are values stored in that memory region, which were the values I found. The range is 00 to 3F or something, and I went through all of them sequentially. This is how I drew my conclusions.

  61. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “When are you going to prominently post the fact that your posters yesterday posted all sorts of posts allegedly by me that were profane and hurtful? When are you going to run a headline about that, Dennis, because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson”

    Ignoring for the fact that JBT is more than likely not the real Jack for a moment I shall respond as though it though it actually is Jack.

    Yeah Jack. And that case would fail, and be even shorter than all of your other failed cases. When it comes to profane and insulting posts nearly all of them come from Jack himself.

    Read Jack’s wikiquote page. Its a compendium of one man’s hatered, bigotry, and ignorance.

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

    Oh Jack (If that is really you), when are you actually going to follow up on your threats to sue someone, and not back out in the end, or send gay porn pictures to judges ?

    BTW, you can’t get the names of people that post here from the website anyhow, because Dennis is not responsible for the behaviour of people that post here. Even so, the information of those user can only be accesed on a server level, and that means you must go knocking on the providers door instead of Dennis’.

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


    I’m not too involved with them either; just try to understand the basics so I can fix a few things when making polygons. In theory, there probably wouldn’t be any code for executions, per se, even if they were there. Instead, the animations would likely just be called by the execute based on what’s in the .ini files. The most obvious thing to check would be to prod the memory addresses where the ini is stored, and step through the [weapon]_execute[X] or whatever values to see if there are any unused animation numbers. This is pretty much how I found the extra, unused girlfriend skins in San Andreas.

    Don’t have the disc handy ATM, but it seems like the pliers started at plier_execute2 or some such. Might there be an animation 1 before that? I don’t have a mod chip or Game Shark to check with.

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


    What exactly have you noticed different from the beta? I’ve only read bits and pieces about it but since I didn’t bother checking out the leaked beta I don’t know exactly. I know the castration scene got cut along with some environmental executions.

  65. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Matt Paprocki

    NOTHING WAS UNLOCKED! All that was done was a removal of the filter over the executions that were still intact from the previous release (some were removed and decapitations either removed also or reduced). It was well known that they didn’t go edit the executions themselves. We know much of what was changed largely in thanks to the leak of a beta copy of the game.

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

    Glad to see that Dennis McCauley has finallly posted Dean Takahashi’s skepticism about Pat Vance’s spin. I sent it to Dennis.

    Dennis, I’m here in Philadelphia this moment, your hometown, at the video game expo.

    When are you going to prominently post the fact that your posters yesterday posted all sorts of posts allegedly by me that were profane and hurtful? When are you going to run a headline about that, Dennis, because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson

  67. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Funny thing is, those aren’t the codes I came up with o.O
    But then again, I didn’t just change the values, I just changed the opcodes to nullify the effect.

  68. 0
    jack thompson, attorney ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Glad to see that Dennis McCauley has finallly posted Dean Takahashi’s skepticism about Pat Vance’s spin. I sent it to Dennis.

    Dennis, I’m here in Philadelphia this moment, your hometown, at the video game expo.

    When are you going to prominently post the fact that your posters yesterday posted all sorts of posts allegedly by me that were profane and hurtful? When are you going to run a headline about that, Dennis, because if you don’t then I am going to sue GP and ECA, and I am going to get your posters’ names and addresses. Jack Thompson

    GP: When am I going to apologize? For doing nothing wrong? 

    About the same time Hell freezes over. You keep waiting.

    So, if I have this correct, you’re going to sue me for something inappropriate which someone else posted without my knowledge, and which I removed after I learned of it. And beyond that, I not only deleted it, but banned the IP from which it originated. None of which, by the way, I am under any obligation to do.

    And you have the nerve to threaten me with a lawsuit unless I run some big apology story?

    I guess we’ll be suing each other in that case.


  69. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The game was submitted with alot more than no AO filter. I’ve played the leaked uncut beta firsthand. And again, it’s not the ESRB’s modus operandi to give any of the guidelines. The critics rarely question the movie industries rating guidelines. Look at the content descriptors the ESRB gave to the game. With or without the filter (again, firsthand experience) those content descriptors don’t change.

    The game is M, the game is still true to the content descriptors. No re-rating is warranted, and people need to let the issue die because it’s obvious no wrong-doing has taken place. It seems to me people are getting jealous of R* being the only one getting free publicity out of this, and are reaching for their own piece of this retarded, beaten pie.

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

    “Rockstar needed to go back and remove the original scenes in their entirety. They didn’t, and just added a few lines of code. It was quick, cheap, and painless for them. This will have wide reaching effects. It’s no different than Hot Coffee and he’s no less technical for saying so.”

    Remove the scenes in their entirety? Then exactly what would play when you play the game and kill one of the enemies? Bear in mind these are not hidden scenes the player would not have otherwise seen. They are in fact the very same scenes you will see in the retail version hacked or not. All the hack does is remove the graphical filter over top of the scenes that make it look like a bad scene from Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

    Had Rockstar “removed these scenes in their entirety”, well then the screen would either go black completely for a few seconds when the kill is committed or the game would just simply crash.

    Just what part of the word filter are people having trouble comprehending? THIS. IS. NOT. EMBEDDED. CONTENT. There is nothing hidden. It was the filter over the NOT HIDDEN CONTENT, which is removed in this hack.

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


    Here it is:

    Enable Code
    B4336FA9 4DFEFB79
    C104D6D4 BA6A4B94
    E5A92D20 01C6E45A
    0234F1AC 25867FFD

    Clear Execution
    FAB20058 273DDCEA
    BF55AFA9 BD3AE07C
    11CE1592 C820FEC0
    8F9A7A49 468BEAAF
    657AE731 6D09347C

    It’s updated from the one I posted in the Manhunt PSP story.

    Maybe if we wrote “THIS EDITING OF AN EASY TO FIND INI FILE DOESN’T RESTORE THE CONTENT THAT REALLY GAVE MANHUNT 2 IT’S AO RATING” on a thick stack of papers or maybe a phone book and beat people with it over the head, maybe it would knock some sense into them? Okay probably not.

    Did anyone bitch about this when it happened with the Punisher game? I don’t recall seeing anything about it then again it wasn’t made by Rockstar or released by Take-Two.

  72. 0
    Matt Paprocki ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Explain to me where it is stated that the filter was explicitly called for by the ESRB to have it rated M.”

    The game was submitted without the filter. It got an AO. It was resubmitted with the filter. It got an M.

    “Notice in the press release that NO AO CONTENT WAS UNLOCKED. I suspect this MAY BE BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST.”

    I still haven’t see what’s been unlocked. They didn’t say exactly what was/what wasn’t unlocked. We don’t know their ratings guidelines to make the call. You can’t say if this content is AO worthy or not. They’re covering themselves, and doing it poorly. The critics don’t care how hard it is to see, they only care that it can accessed in uncensored form.

  73. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I knew from the get-go the majority of MH2’s storyline. I enjoyed MH1 severely, and make no allusions to my sanity either way. I didn’t know the storyline was going to be as deep as it is, but I figured it would be, in order to justify another iteration, this time with more gore. As far as the fileformats, I specifically stay away from stuff like that. I’m a codemonkey, and in my experience, code doesn’t lie.

  74. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Matt Paprocki:
    I didn’t call him a hack, nor do I care who he is. And again, this is not Hot Coffee. Explain to me where it is stated that the filter was explicitly called for by the ESRB to have it rated M. Notice in the press release that NO AO CONTENT WAS UNLOCKED. I suspect this MAY BE BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST.

    Defending Dean whatshisface is nice, if not noble, but get your facts straight, or you make the same mistake he did.

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


    I’ve seen the filters in action. I’m like halfway through the game. 😉 Yea, the technicolor spew hides blood and such, but you can still tell he’s jabbing people in the eyes, sawing into their heads, and what have you. My point was that it wasn’t some sort of completely locked away animation a la Hot Coffee.

    As for finding if there are any hidden kills, in case you haven’t figured it out, the *ifp files are the Renderware animation format. All the labels seem to have been stripped, and the headers/clumps are nothing like the GTA3D triliogy, so I dunno what’s going on in them.

    On a more general side note, am I the only one who think Manhunt 2 is less “bleak” than the original? Whereas in the first one you were killing for some guy’s amusement, the sequel here has like a *gasp* plot and stuff that puts the violence into context. It’s like half Manchurian Candidate and half Clockwork Orange, with a bunch of allusions to the war on terror™ that don’t quite make sense yet. The Project hunters also have lots of lines that sound like parodies of something Bush would say. But, yea, all that’s beside the point since most people won’t actually play it to see what it’s about before saying it’s just violence for violence’s sake..

  76. 0
    Phoenix, Filmmaker says:

    @ las, attorney
    “My left nut is more tech-savvy than this hack.”

    So’s mine. It was even able to install Phantasy Star Online several years back…now that’s a talented nut.

  77. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, I know Skiller, I used to help out on CMP. I’m more a PC-based ‘hacker’ though.

    As far as being hard to understand, I think as I said earlier, it is either the technical aspect, or people just using the story to further whatever agendas they may have.

    The ESRB are saying that yes, things can be hacked, because they’re not stupid. They point they are driving home is the fact that they KNEW about the filters, they KNEW how they worked technically, and they KNEW that it was possible to remove them (because they’re not naive). Full-disclosure, which R* complied with.

    THAT IS WHY THIS IS NOT HOT COFFEE. It’s not the issue of how the hack went technically, but how R* complied with the new full-disclosure rule the ESRB put in effect after Hot Coffee.

    And guess what? It worked. Well, the village idiots are still crying and moaning, but that’s to be expected.

  78. 0
    Matt Paprocki ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    People calling him a hack have no idea what they’re talking about. He wrote both the books on the making of the Xbox (Unlocking the Xbox, get it). He knows his stuff, and he’s right.

    It doesn’t matter how the content is unlocked. The code remains on the disc, and that’s the content on the disc. Rockstar left the kill scenes unedited on the disc. By hacking the game, the player isn’t adding anything that wasn’t originally there. They’re removing a locked section of content, just like you would remove a locked section to get Hot Coffee.

    Rockstar needed to go back and remove the original scenes in their entirety. They didn’t, and just added a few lines of code. It was quick, cheap, and painless for them. This will have wide reaching effects. It’s no different than Hot Coffee and he’s no less technical for saying so.

    The ESRB rates what’s on the disc. What’s on the disc is unedited content. That’s the only important factor here. Vance completely ignored the PS2 version can be hacked for Hot Coffee. Her entire statement is shady. The only point they can make is that the content isn’t AO-worthy when unfiltered.

    I’m not sure who’s as fault here: the ESRB for knowingly letting the content through or Rockstar for taking the easy way out.

  79. 0
    Wirebrain says:

    I hope this is in fact the ESRB’s recognition that things will be hacked or modded and leaving it at that. Unfortunately, for those paying close attention it screams backpedaling (It is) as the Hot Coffee mod put developers in a pickle when it came to allowing the user to create his/her own additions in the games. It’s what made Starcraft and Half-Life such big hits and now they can’t allow this because some know-nothing can’t discern between a commercial product and a user-created addition?

    If this is the case, then I’m glad for the ESRB standing up to this and understanding that there’s no sense making compromises with people who want to just push you over a cliff.

  80. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I did the same thing, that filter was really annoying. There’s a Codebreaker code already out made by Skiller (someone who’s been involved with cheat device code making for awhile now), I posted it in one of the other stories.

    I don’t get what’s so hard with these people to understand the difference between this and Hot Coffee. Aside from the technical issues (such as Hot Coffee taking a lot more effort to find and change) as Vance said, this wasn’t someone adding things that were hidden on the disc, it was removing something from the game that distorted executions.

    I think a better analogy would be, give two people with at least a little knowledge about the task at hand a copy of Manhunt 2 and a original copy of GTA:SA and tell them to find and remove the filter from Manhunt 2. Have the other person find and enable Hot Coffee. I guarandamntee the person working with Manhunt 2 will find, edit and have the game running again before the other person is even 1% into their “job” of finding and restoring the dry humping minigame.

  81. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, I saw that code, but it only changes one of the option in the .ini file. There’s a few more, change those, red-filter gone. There also other configuration files I’ve found that modify the AI, which I’m currently playing with. All I’ve done so far is make all the AI stay in the ‘Idle’ state, even while standing in front of them.

    Er, ‘kay, rambling, gonna go pack a bowl and call my boss to see if he needs me to come in today.

  82. 0
    Russell says:

    There are already Codebreaker codes to remove the filter on the PS2 version, they were first posted on the gamefaqs forum on 11/1. I have been using them and it’s great, but the screen still turns red, but no film negative filter comes up with the code enabled.

  83. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s not a hacked version, you simply modify one of the .ini files on the retail disc, or use the retail disc to find the code in the disassembly, and create a CodeBreaker/GameShark code. Not sure if this has been done publicly yet, as I stated earlier I’ve done it for myself for simplicity’s sake, but it’ll happen eventually.

    I will also admit to downloading the ‘unrated’ version a few months ago, and being an early play-test beta, it was very buggy, but comparing the two, I’ve seen minor changes embodied in the blur, a shovel decapitation, and a plier castration. The game bugs out after level 3, so I can’t really attest to anything after that. But this specific hack removes only the blur, that’s it, nothing else. There’s also a public CodeBreaker code on their website which removes the film-grain effect shown in the game throughout. So with that code, coupled with the killscene blur removal code, the game looks exactly like the original (M-rated) Manhunt.

    Go figure.

  84. 0
    Dave says:


    Thanks for the info. Cool to hear those kind of details. So as I suspected, this is still not AO. So why the heck didn’t the ESRB come out and and just say “Even with the unblurring, the details shown would have it be rated M. The AO scenes have been removed.” That would have shut this down problem asap. I get a feeling they haven’t fully reviewed the hacked version yet.

  85. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ^rule of thumb, meh.

    Illegal, yes. But what I do in my own home with my things I buy is my business, we’re not discussing this because it’ll turn into a full-blown DMCA debate. There’s other news stories on this site where we relegate that sort of talk.

  86. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Actually, depending on the algo, decryption is pretty fast with modern processors, most companies distribute datafiles in a compressed VFS (Virtual File System) similiar to PAKs or WADs, and they don’t generally effect performance, encryption would just be another layer in the VFS I/O core, and some companies (mainly MMO) do this as a rule of them. Still, the game has to contain the decryption algorithm, so that won’t really keep people out for long. Any sort of protection you implement, there is code. Many people are well versed in reverse engineering and disassembly, so nothing is totally secure.

    The issue at hand isn’t stopping hackers, it’s recognizing that people can’t be blamed for the inevitabilities that they can’t control.

    And as many people have stated, modifying the game is blatantly against the EULA. The only people are keeping this going is because they don’t understand, or they have an agenda.

    That simple.

  87. 0
    ed says:

    I also don’t really understand why every commentator seems to ignore the elephant in the room that is the fact that anyone who hacks the game (including their children) are *breaking the law*. i just find it bizarre.

  88. 0
    ed says:

    “Did Rockstar say to the ESRB: “Oh, yeah, we have the original execution scenes here and we blurred them.”

    Scenes? It’s clear here that a lot of people discussing the issue have a real hard time separating technical differences between film and games.

    Maybe the ESRB should have had an additional FAQ section where they discuss the inner-workings of games like little tiny actors running around inside your computer being filmed live as you play the game. And then the nasty big hacker people (that does include your child) come and get inside the computer and steal the video camera and replace it with one that doesn’t have a blur option.

  89. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I for one think that companies should leave no hackable content (execpt cheat codes) that makes a game SEEM more violent, on the simple fact that the press and the talking heads will jump on and use it as thier bandwagon to push thier anti-gaming agenda.

    So, in short you think Mod communities shouldn’t exist? Since modding games is technically hacking them. You know, poking around to see how they’re put together, and what part of them can be modified to change the experience? You’d have to encrypt every last datafile to have a prayer of even coming close to keeping people out of game files, and can you imagine what kind of impact that’d have on performance at runtime?

  90. 0
    chris ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Some idiots in government just dont understand the technical side of game creation, why else would they propose impractical ratings system such as playing the entire game for every game (good luck with hellgate london, thats poceedurally generated aint it, guess theyll have to play it forever to test every possible outcome before its released).

    That said they still dont get that the game is MATURE as in 17+ with or without hacks its NOT FOR KIDS and no matter what they say if kids get hold of it this is neither a failing of the ERSB or the game industry, it is the fault of retailers and stupid parents.

    And it pisses me off how they dont realise this, or do realise it and still focus on the wrong culprit.

  91. 0
    mottom22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    ” Here she notes that the player has to modify both the hardware and the software to view the hacked code… There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it. It seems to me that it would be just as easy to mod the Manhunt 2 game as it was to install Hot Coffee…”

    Holy crap… its like they mention the hardware modification and then forget about it after one sentence… yes, you install the mod… but what about the hardware! jesus tap dancing christ these people really try hard to not know what they are talking about.

  92. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nah, the unblurred scenes don’t make it AO. I’ve yet to even be able to find any references to the fabled shovel-decapitation or the plier-castration sequences in the disassembly of the executable, and I have found and labeled the code that handles the different weapon kills. There’s nothing in plain-text or anything that describes which kill you’re doing with what weapon, but by finding that bit of code, and then dumping the live memory of the game, I’ve been able to find a few values (hexadecimal, 2byte values) that correlate to different weapons which (of three for regular weapons, of one for the ‘environmental kills’) dictate which kill-sequence will get played. With this information I was able to create a CodeBreaker code which will make you always perform the specified kill, so I played with all the values I could think of, and wasn’t able to find either of those kills, so I’m pretty sure they’ve been removed from the code period. R* learned from Hot Coffee, regardless of what the mainstream morons would have you believe.

  93. 0
    HandofCrom ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    My dog is more tech-savvy then these folks, he knows how to open latch gates and I’ve seen him use a doorknob once. The “hack” does not reveal “hidden content,” it simply changes a display effect. As this alteration is prohibited by the EULA, I am confident that Rockstar cannot be held accountable. Any competent, ethical, non-massacre chasing lawyers out there agree?

  94. 0
    Dave says:

    So a 17 yr old with a high level of tech expertise now has the ability to make the game similar to the 18+ version. OH NO! They will be corrupted for life!

    And once again, we don’t even know if the unblurred scenes do make it AO. As I mentioned in another thread, a video clip out there shows the uncut version with scenes unblurred and they are no worse than what is found in Manhunt 1 which is rated M. The truly horrific scenes have been removed.

    Think of it as all those unrated extra scene dvd’s. Most just show a few small scenes that still would have left it at a R rating if included, but simply added to the dvd to make it unrated and make it sound worse than it really is. This may be pretty much the same thing.

  95. 0
    ChrowX ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No one is attacking this guy like he’s the new JT. This guy is using his position as a published journalist to spread slander against the ESRB and misinformation about just how ‘easy’ it is to mod these games illegally. He doesn’t really understand the process at all, yet he goes ahead and makes various assumptions that will likely further spread the misinformation and keep this Manhunt 2 bullshit going for longer and longer.

    It’s not that we care about Manhunt 2 or it’s rights as an artistic piece, we’re just tired of the news with no news to report. I’m off to make a comment on their site after this, since they’ll hear that more than they’ll hear this.

    Also, we just need to vent. It’s so frustrating to have all this crap being piled on our favored form of entertainment and not have someone to punch in the face. So we have to rant, rave, bitch, and moan all we can here since it’s an outlet for our indignation and rage.

  96. 0
    BetaSword says:

    “Here she notes that the player has to modify both the hardware and the software to view the hacked code… There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it.”

    What you’re not understanding, is the fact that with Hot Coffee on the PC, all you really needed was a mod. With this, you need to modify the game, AND have modified the actual system itself to run the game. You have to modify the hardware AND the software, just like Vance says. And trust me, depending on how new your PSP is, that can be a pretty difficult thing to do. Definitely not something your everyday kid will be able to do without likely destroying the PSP in the process.

  97. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nah, the filters really do fuck up the game. I bought the game, got five minutes into it, got my first kill, saw the filter, and powered off my PS2 and ripped the DVD to my PC, loaded the elf up in PS2Dis and started looking for anything I could find to remove it. Saw a reference to the ini file, decided to go picking through that, and voila, found it. Also, I found the references to it in the disassembly, which means I *COULD* create a CodeBreaker code for it, and I have, for my own personal use, but releasing it would just cause another shitstorm.

    P.S: I love that Sony uses their own internal SDK that gets leaked almost monthly, I get to load up their library symbols in IDA 😀

  98. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Arion (and someguy too)

    But there was no “hackable content” as far as I can tell. This isn’t some hidden code. Someone simply removed a color/noise effect from the scenes already visible in the default game. The effect doesn’t really hide anything either. IMHO, it kinda makes it seem more violent…

  99. 0
    d.vel.oper ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Uh…leave in no hackable content?
    Then there’d be no game. You think you just add an extra line of code and something is ‘unhackable’? Sorry, doesn’t work that way. The binary of the game can be disassembled just like any .exe binary can be disassembled. Disassembly isn’t always needed for hacking, but if you understand the assembly language syntax and semantics of the target hardware, it certainly makes it easier. Things get even more hairy when you’ve already compromised the target hardware (with a modchip or exploit) so that you can run your own code unchecked, then you can write a debugger for the hardware, and step-through the game’s code line-by-line, revealing even more goodies.

    So yeah, unhackable anything is an impossibility.

  100. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ya know what? I’m a 39 (almost 40) year old Parent of an 11 year old.
    I DON’T need a “watchdog group” telling me whether statements or the ESRB as a whole or excuses by companies are acceptable or not.

    I DON’T need a “watchdog group” TELLING me (as opposed to merely offering opinions) I’m a Parent who has been properly educated over years (ok, yes, decades) about where to find sufficient information to make MY OWN decisions. Amazing how all these “well-meaning” “watchdog groups” have done NOTHING to encourage Parents to educate themselves and make their own decisions. They’d rather act like tin-pot-dictator-wannabes and make the decisions FOR Parents.

    Ya know what? I’ve got the INFORMATION network. I’ve got Gamespot. I’ve got IGN. I’ve got GamerDad. I’ve got Google. I’ve got the ESRB. I’ve got dozens of information resources.
    I DON’T need you, PTC, making the decision FOR me.
    I DON’T need you, CSM, making the decision FOR me.
    I DON’T need you, CCFC, making the decision FOR me.
    I DON’T need you, politicians such as Senator Yee, Senator Burrell, or Senator Clinton, among others, making the decision FOR me.
    I DON’T need you, tin-pot-dictator-wannabes and Massacre Chasers such as John Bruce “Jack” Thompson, Lyndon LaRouche, Dr. Phil, or umpteen number of “experts” using (ie abusing) the tragedies of individuals, families, and communities, making the decision FOR me.

    I am the Parent of my OWN child and -I- make the decisions as to what is or is not appropriate for MYSELF and MY OWN child.

    And if you don’t like it, you can kiss my ass and choke on the end product.

    – Parents Media Motto (replace references to media products and media type and media information resources with whatever you want. It’s still the same Motto.)

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

    As far as I am concerned the ESRB answered the questions I had about the matter. The chances that a child gets their hand on a modified PSP with a modified version of Manhunt 2 are slimer that the chances that a child views gay porn on the PACER system.

    A child has not the technical expertise (heck, most adults haven’t the technical expertise) to play the “AO” Manhunt 2.

  102. 0
    Arion ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    o quick everybody, let’s pile on the guy whose opinion is different than ours…sigh.

    I for one think that companies should leave no hackable content (execpt cheat codes) that makes a game SEEM more violent, on the simple fact that the press and the talking heads will jump on and use it as thier bandwagon to push thier anti-gaming agenda. I am really sick of Manhunt 2 as it is. I honestly believe the hack thing was done on purpose by Rockstar (knowing damn well the hacker community will find it) to rally up gamers, generate publicity, and get people gamers don’t respect to say bad shit, so it makes them feel more self righteous in the end. That and they knew the ESRB would back them up for the reasons that were stated. I have no evidence, backing up, just thoughts and opinions, and thats enough for me.

    go ahead and call me names and dissect every freakin line of my point with with pointless analogies. I’ll be playing Dementium: The Ward, an M-Rated game done right.

  103. 0
    Soul ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Shoehorn O’Plenty: That’s true, but these critics not only not understand the whole thing, but they also refuse to understand it from what I can tell.

  104. 0
    someguy says:

    You know after all the news about this I just have to ask. What is the nature of this hack? After the first news post about this I was under the impression that it was simply a removal of the blur effect on some of the kills, but after so many it has become sort of a mystery. I’ve heard claims of it being deleted scenes, removal of the blur, and so on. This is probably where peoples confusion comes from….There is a lot of misinformation floating around and I’m a pretty tech savvy fellow. The thing is I have no intention of playing manhunt 2 as I didn’t find manhunt 1 that enjoyable, so I am missing that first hand experience.

  105. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it.”

    Key phrase, “I’m not understanding it”. This is the problem that pretty much all of the critics of the game have. They don’t understand how this works. Modding GTA for the PC involves downloading a small piece of software from the internet and running it and following a few other documented steps. Modding the PSP version requires different software, an unauthorized copy of the game (not the one from stores), and specific alterations be made to your PSP. The PSP alterations cannot be done by anyone, and would likely be expensive.

    Now, if your kid can get his hands on all of the above and use them to remove the blurring filter over the games scenes, then I’m pretty sure that the kid is mature enough to handle them. He’s already got the equpment and software to pirate games, I think as a parent I would be more concerned about my kid being a digital thief than seeing some make believe characters killing each other in silly exaggerated ways.

    “[Vance] noted that there are a lot of people reporting on the [Manhunt 2] matter who are not technically up to speed on how this is different from the Hot Coffee situation. I guess that includes me.”

    I admire that the reporter is man enough and honest enough to admit that he doesn’t understand the issue

    “Rockstar is clearly getting a pass from the ESRB today…”

    And why is that? Because they did nothing wrong. Like several people have pointed out, changing the product you buy so that it is more dangerous, more adult, etc. is not the fault of the manufacturer or retailer. If i buy a car and remove the brakes and die in a crash, my family cannot sue Toyota. If I buy a Harry Potter book, tear out some pages and replace them with pornographic images, J. K. Rowling cannot be sued.

  106. 0
    las, attorney says:

    My left nut is more tech-savvy than this hack.

    “It seems to me that it would be just as easy to mod the Manhunt 2 game as it was to install Hot Coffee…”

    Okay then. Get two kids, give one a copy of GTA: SA and the other a copy of Manhunt 2, both on the PS2 (which they wouldn’t even have in the first place because both games can only be bought by those who are 17 and over) and see how long it takes each one of them to mod the game. Chances are, neither kid will be able to mod either game. However, if the kid with GTA has it on the PC, then maybe he could download the mod. However, as Manhunt 2 is not on the PC, and the hacked version only works on a PSP with an unauthorised modification, then I can guarantee it is a whole lot harder to hack Manhunt 2 than it is to hack GTA.

    And so what if they can remove the blur from the PSP? The graphics will still be grainy considering the format, and don’t get me started on the easily smudged and scratched screen. I doubt it’d make very much difference, to be honest.

  107. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Even though I’m not Pandralisk, I can provide some quotes. Examples of the genocidal parts are the story of Noah’s Ark and Numbers 16:1-50, where of God kills 15,000 of his own people for daring to question the authority of Moses.

    As for the child-killing parts:

    “Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Psalm 137:9)

    “And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” (II Kings 2:23-24)

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


    You are in no position to sue anyone here.

    To get our names, you have to first get our IPs, and then go to our respective ISPs to get that information. But unfortunally for you, THEY WILL NEVER EVER EVER give you that information; Dennis or the ISPs, due to Privacy issues. Are you willing to break the law just to get at us gamers?

    Pathetic hypocritical nobody, you are JT. I’ve told my Dad about your antics, and he is a lawyer himself, and he knows your days are numbered

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

    Wait a second, this guy’s as middle ground as you can get. He doesn’t understand the difference between Hot Coffee and Manhunt 2 Filter Mod, and he’s openly admitting it, as well as saying the ESRB should be a little bit clearer. I dunno, sounds reasonable to me. He’s not attacking the game industry, he’s not attacking the ESRB, merely making points about how the average person won’t understand their technical spiel as well as those of us more familiar with game systems and its technology.

    So why are people whining and attacking this guy? Have we all degenerated to the point where it’s “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”? We’re trying to prove we’re BETTER than JT, fellas, not the same. Quit perpetuating the negative stereotype that gamers are close minded, snarling, raging jerks. It works to our disadvantage.

  110. 0
    Picho, can haz wizdom now ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I was also making a point that they did try out right banning something to reduce crime. (among number of things.) And all that did was increase crime and start even more problems.

    No reason to get all upitty on me.

  111. 0
    VenomandCarnage ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Pandralisk

    And again you start making false claims about christianity when the article has absolutely nothing to do with religion in the slightest way.

  112. 0
    JustChris says:

    Matthew, you’re right. But suppose that through investigation, the copy of Manhunt DOES have a direct link to the killer’s motivation. So we have one deadly Manhunt player out of many thousands.

    I want to ask a politician: why do we need a law whose final goal is to cut down on one one-thousandth of all murders? Have they ever heard of diminishing marginal returns? It’s not just in economics, but it also applies to politics. Some laws would have maxed out the effectiveness of preventing crimes. After this point, no matter how much money you spend or how much support you get, laws made to further whittle down crime rates will become less effective.

    We know that Bush’s pre-emptive War on Terror is so far very ineffective; that’s why his approval ratings is down. So let them try to pass these game-ban bills (also pre-emptive strikes), but they have only themselves to blame when they see what little effect they have and their approval ratings go down.

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

    What I can’t quite understand about that last fake jack…um…excuse me, he wants to sue??? NOW??? How many fake jacks have there been over the years? (and the one yesterday, yeah…he was “profane and hurtful”). I’m trying to remember if fake Jack from yesterday had anything worth saying.

  114. 0
    Tammej says:

    The difference is that the video is real time rendered in 3D. You cannot easily alter that original material. So a blur post-effect was put into place. If it was just movies they could’ve been altered so that this would’ve have happened. But that is not feasable for an interactive game like this.

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