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ESRB clears PSP Manhunt 2, Rockstar dodges an unnecessarily violent bullet

9:51 PM on 11.03.2007 // Earnest Cavalli

Remember this? Jim "Bangers n' Mash" Sterling brought you the news of the not-so-shocking hack within the PSP version of Rockstar Games' interactive torture porn title Manhunt 2 recently, and it was assumed by almost everyone that the ESRB would come down upon them with righteous fury only moments later. After all, if the ESRB exists for any reason, it's to leap from behind the bushes of moral superiority and whack companies on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of public decency.

In a move sure to blow hats clean off of the heads of people reading it in parts of the world where hats are still fashionable, ESRB prez Patricia Vance revealed in a conference call yesterday that Rockstar was apparently not at fault, and that all that horrid violence and splatter released by those nefarious hacker-types was "unintended and unauthorized." To quote Vance (via Gama):

"Once numerous changes to the game's code have been made and other unauthorized software programs have been downloaded to the hardware device which circumvent security controls that prevent unauthorized games from being played on that hardware, a player can view unobscured versions of certain violent acts in the game ...

... Our investigation indicates that the game's publisher disclosed to the ESRB all pertinent content in the authorized Mature-rated version of Manhunt 2 now available in stores, and complied with our guidelines on full disclosure of content."

There you have it: Stacey Koon Rockstar is innocent!

I imagine if gamers weren't so sedentary and had ever been oppressed in any way, this could possibly be spun into a recreation of the 1992 LA riots, but you're all going to have forgotten about this by Monday. Thus continues my quest to incite mass chaos and looting ... 

Earnest Cavalli, Contributor
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I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have ... more   |   staff directory

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