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

Manhunt 2 banned in the UK (Updated for Irish gamers)

7:10 AM on 06.19.2007 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Today marks a very miserable day in the supposed evolution of mankind, as the British Board of Film Classification has rejected Rockstar's PS2, PSP and Wii sequel, Manhunt 2, refusing to give it a rating and thus making its supply illegal in the United Kingdom. The game, fully covered and hyped by all major UK games publications, has been deemed an "unjustifiable harm risk" by the social babysitters at the BBFC and as such, a game that many Britons were doubtless looking forward to playing has been denied them.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, had this to say for himself:

"Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board's published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."

This is disappointing news and a very sad statement of society that this has happened. The banning of Manhunt 2 marks the first videogame to go unrated since 1997's Carmageddon, a decision that was ultimately overturned thanks to an appeal by the Video Appeals Committee.  Hopefully, Rockstar challenges the board's inane and frankly disgusting move to have this game taken away from British gamers. 

For the full statement from Cooke and for my frank throughts on the matter, hit the jump.

[Update: It seems the Irish Film Censors Office has decided to go ahead and ban the game as well, claiming that "the level of gross, unrelenting and gratuitous violence is unacceptable." Nice to know that Ireland's entertainment is governed by a bunch of immature, oversensitive nannies as well.]

"Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Where possible we try to consider cuts or, in the case of games, modifications which remove the material which contravenes the Board's published Guidelines. In the case of Manhunt 2 this has not been possible. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing. There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game.

Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game. That work was classified '18' in 2003, before the BBFC's recent games research had been undertaken, but was already at the very top end of what the Board judged to be acceptable at that category.
Against this background, the Board's carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public.
Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act distributors have the right to appeal the Board's decision."

I don't know about any of you, but 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 small group of self-important individuals 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 they harmed in any way, shape or form by what they saw, or believe they saw? Evidently not, if they were mentally capable enough to ban the game, so what right do they 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 mommy anymore, I should be able to make my own decisions about what videogames I can safely play. Or perhaps the BBFC would like to come feed me, dress me and change my diaper while they're at it. 

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. As I stated earlier, 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 a few individuals. 

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

On principal alone. 



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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ikiryou avatarikiryou
Starting over from scratch after dying in a roguelike MMO
Occams avatarOccams
I've been listening to the live stream of the phone call with the remaining militia jackasses in Oregon all morning and its the saddest, funniest thing I've heard in a while.
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Next South Park RPG is releasing in the first fiscal year of 2017, apparently. It'll probably be fractured but whole. Can't wait! D':
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Waaaait a minute... From a design standpoint.. Wouldn't a bodysuit look better with shoes/boots, thus .GASP. precluding bare feet? Say it aint so! :'''(
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey guys, there's a new episode of PStoid up. You should go listen to it, I hear Phil takes his shirt off. I mean, it's a podcast so you can't see it. But you can IMAGINE it!
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Yesterday, I brought a banana with me to my job for my lunch break. Some yokel must have swiped it, for I never saw it again, nor got to eat it. My response when: [img]http://i.imgur.com/wrZt8SO.png[/img]
darrenhupke avatardarrenhupke
"At launch, playing through most of the single player content will give you enough Fight Money to get Alex for free!" Will it be possible to earn enough FC by April for the next character DLC? I'm guessing not.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Right, looking for advice. Just redeemed four old XCOM games from a humble bundle a few years back, so I wanted advice on which one I should give a looksie to first. Got 5 choices, kind of thinking terror from the deep or apocalypse. Any suggestions?
ikiryou avatarikiryou
Never be first to avert your eyes when locked in a staring contest with a cat. You must push through the pain if you ever wish to become truly whole, to win this eternal conflict of wills. Bonus XP is awarded on Thursdays!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
S Magala Plate first fight! :D
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I have basic knowledge of two other languages (with certificates to prove so) and I decided today that soon I shall be fluent in both. One at a time though.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
If you had to pick one: Firewatch, Not a Hero, or Layers of Fear?
Shinta avatarShinta
I'm soooo glad that they kept the gyroscope controls intact with Gravity Rush Remastered, and that they work well. First Dual Shock 4 game to ever use them well. If you turned them off in options, you're really missing out. Helps you fine tune aim.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Even Luigi gets it.
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Alone With the Psychopath (2014) - I wrote this song after being inspired by the Epic Rap Battle of History between Jack the Ripper and Lecter. I think it sounds neat, and doesn't rip off too much from the song that inspired it =p
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Tell me who downvoted my smash 4 opinion or the cat gets it. I'm not joking around.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Is that new digimon game any good or no? I know there's the review but I'd like feedback from a couple others too
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
People bitching that "(insert character) Needs Nerfing" because they lost to them several times online, incoming in T-5 days.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
For some reason I had a dream that I was playing a new Jet Set Radio game. It was open world and had an amazing day/night cycle. It was wonderful, yet horrible...
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
4.6 Million XCOM operatives down and down! [url]https://xcom.com/xcom-2-stats[/url] 66% from Collateral damage. Never mind the Alien invasion, cars are the real threat
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -