Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

BBFC responds to Destructoid editor regarding Manhunt 2 banning

2:55 PM on 06.20.2007 // Jim Sterling

You've all heard about the outrageous banning of Manhunt 2 by the British Board of Film Classification, as announced yesterday. You should also all be aware by now that European members of the Destructoid community have had enough and will soon mount our official response very, very soon. The news has lit a fire underneath me, as it has my fellow British editor, David Houghton and between us, you can expect some brand new items regarding the fair and just treatment of videogames in the near future.

But to business. Yesterday, I emailed the BBFC, the group who tested and currently refuse to rate Rockstar's Manhunt 2, to share with them my impassioned thoughts on the issue. More or less restating the comments from my original news report, I did not hold back in my remonstration of the decision. The BBFC, through their Policy Chief Assistant J L Green, has sent me a reply, contained after the jump, in which they detail how they tested the videogame and where you can go if you wish to view the BBFC's extensive guidelines for yourself. 

More after the jump.

Firstly, this is the email I sent to the BBFC. As stated earlier, it was a reworked version of my post-jump thoughts on my original story concerning the banning. Included for completion's sake, you may wish to skip this email if you've read the first story:

My name's Jim Sterling, a videogame journalist who works for and who had to report for his site earlier today that you'd decided to effectively ban Manhunt 2 in the UK. I find this news depressing beyond all reason. I didn't even like the first Manhunt, but for this game to be banned because a select group, a small part of the population won't let us decide what media we can and cannot handle is just a shocking example of how farcical this country has become.

Hardcore pornography is legal, movies show shocking and deplorable acts time and time again, but because this is a videogame, we in the United Kingdom have suddenly been told we're not allowed to experience it. This is the kind of sickening double standard that an industry that rakes in more money than Hollywood has to deal with and we, the consumers, are the ones who get punished. What will it take for this childish and reactionary prejudice against videogames to end?

To claim that this game is harmful is a statement of purest arrogance. I would optimistically hope that the BBFC actually played this game before banning it - are your testers harmed in any way, shape or form by what they saw, or believe they saw? Evidently not, if they are not in therapy currently and were mentally capable enough to ban the game, so what justification do you have to just assume that everyone else is too weak to handle playing it? That's an insult to adult gamers up and down the country and I choose to take that insult personally. I'm 23 years old and I don't live with mummy anymore, I should be able to make my own decisions about what videogames I can safely play.

It just fills me with an icy dread that this is merely the beginning. Once an action is taken and succeeds, it becomes consequentially easier for that action to happen again and again. I hope Rockstar fights this and I hope Rockstar wins, not just for its own game, but for every game that could potentially fall victim to the whims of the few.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a game to import.

On principal alone.

Thank you for your time and for any general, copy/paste reply I may recieve,

Jim Sterling


Indignant and emotive, yes, but you guys know how I roll by now. Enough about me though, here's the main event, the BBFC's official, Dtoid-exclusive response on this issue:

Dear Jim Sterling

Thank you for your email and your interesting comments.

The BBFC has considerable experience in classifying games, and we employ
several highly knowledgeable and experienced gamers as examiners. Although
it was not possible to play the game in its entirety, a significant sample
of MANHUNT 2 was played and examined by a number of our examiners, both
gamers and non-gamers, before a classification decision was made. We also
have access to various cheats and 'God' modes, provided by the company, to
enhance greater access to all parts of the game. All our classification
decisions are made in line with our published guidelines. These guidelines
are available on our main website - - under the
section entitled 'downloads'.

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

You also like to read our recent video game research published earlier this
year. This study is also available on our main website under the section
headed 'downloads'.

I can also assure you that this response is neither a 'general' one nor a
cut and paste job.

Yours sincerely,

J L Green
Chief Assistant (Policy)

I thank Mr. Green for his personal (and amusingly sarcastic) response to my email, but what do we think? Did he answer the questions this issue raises to a satisfactory level? Considering many of my points were not addressed in the least (I seriously want to know what damage was done to the BBFC's testers), I have to say that I'm not entirely satiated by what I have been told.

You can guarantee that more comprehensive answers on not just this issue, but many issues involving the unbiased and equal treatment of videogames will be actively sought out from this point forward. Stay tuned to Destructoid for upcoming news regarding just how these answers are being searched for.

Remember, this is not just about Manhunt 2, this is about videogames. 

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I would really, really love if "publish now" could work without me having to post a blog multiple because the site is such a mess right now.
fitzen avatarfitzen
I got it all the way back in spring, but I still haven't finished Majoras Mask. Think I've done the first temple.. It's hard not knowing where to go. All those linear corridors and objective markers in games has made me dumb and impatient.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -