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PlayStation (Games) Entertainment Games

New Zealand Censor Bans Manhunt Outright 132

rh2600 writes "The New Zealand censors have banned Rockstar Games' controversial stealth action PlayStation 2 game Manhunt, making it the 'first [ever] video game banned by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.' The New Zealand Herald has a story about it, including some pretty interesting comments from a usually liberal Censor's Office: 'Unlike the Grand Theft Auto series, which... had an element of humor in its depiction of police chases, Manhunt has none of that whatsoever.'" The censor concludes by saying: "You have to at least acquiesce in these [in-game] murders and possibly tolerate, or even move towards enjoying them, which is injurious to the public good."
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New Zealand Censor Bans Manhunt Outright

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  • Riiight... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KBV ( 732207 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @08:18AM (#7699482) Homepage
    And this from the people who gave us Brain Dead. Great.
  • Order it online (Score:5, Insightful)

    by a.koepke ( 688359 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @08:26AM (#7699522)
    Yeah they may have banned it for sale there but how is it going to stop people ordering it online?

    I used to have a game that was banned over here in Australia, was easy to buy over the internet and have them send it over. Also makes me wonder if it will be banned here in Australia at all?

    But on a different note, doesn't sound like the sorta game I would like to play. I play GTA Vice City a bit and thats good fun but this... I think not. Yeah in GTA you kill people (which is still fun) but its not the aim of the game. Also seeing someone fall over and there being a bit of blood is a lot different to seeing the victim's mouth gasping for air inside the bag you suffocate them with. The latter is, IMO, bordering on perverse.
  • Re:Riiight... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @08:41AM (#7699582) Journal
    If you read the article then you can read the quote about Grandtheft Auto having the element of humor. Bad Taste and Braindead had this too. In buckets. It makes the buckets of guts acceptable. It ain't real.

    Censorship like this takes great store in the context in wich something happens. Personally I think from the reviews that Manhunter is indeed crossing the line. In most other kill games you kill to achieve a goal, not kill for the killing itself.

    Braindead has lots of killing of zombies but for the greater goal of protecting himself and his girlfriend. Manhunter has you killing to make a nice movie. A bit different don't you think?

  • by RobK ( 24783 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @10:15AM (#7700158)
    We're going to end up convincing all publishers to create yet more versions of of safe boring titles.

    No matter what the liberals think - trying to control people's minds doesn't work. In fact, it may even be more dangerous as those who rebel have no healthy outlet.

    (OK, the game may be sick, but it might be satisfying too.)

    I can't wait for the day when we have to sign a liability waiver to play a game....
  • Great (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Blublu ( 647618 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @10:44AM (#7700379) Journal
    The game will now be infinitely more interesting to teenagers.
  • Excuse me? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by floydigus ( 415917 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:30PM (#7701741)
    "a usually liberal Censor's Office"

    They ban one game and their not liberal any more?
  • by leifm ( 641850 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @12:34PM (#7701796)
    Yeah, this game is like a gift to those that want to see games censored. And it's not the graphics that make it appalling('cause like all Rockstar titles, save MP, it looks like ass) it's the presentation, the lack of a story, and those filters that leave more to your imagination because the killing is kinda blurred. The whole thing just feels wrong. Rockstar probably couldn't outdo themselves here, except maybe releasing Manhunt 2: Rape and Kill (get and extra star for vaginal tears).
  • Re:Order it online (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dev0n ( 313063 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @01:20PM (#7702429) Homepage
    Agreed. It's a disgrace that this game is being censored, but I also believe that it's a disgrace that it was even created in the first place.

    I realize that violence sells, but you'd think that the folks making these games would try to direct the powers of their talents in a much less horrific direction. I'm not saying that there shouldn't be violence in games, but to make it the focus, the goal, the reason that the game exists? It just seems wrong and sad to me.
  • by Kirby ( 19886 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @03:14PM (#7703891) Homepage
    >Funny, I thought that there were just as many on the right (especially the religious right) who are interested in censoring things.

    This is clearly true - extremists on both sides are censors, for different reasons but to the same ends.

    Not convinced that it's not the other side of the spectrum from you? I present data:

    In a list produced to mark the American Library Association's annual Banned Books week, 2002's most frequently challenged books were, with their alleged 'offence:
    The Harry Potter series, by JK Rowling - glorifying magic and wizardry.
    The Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, - sexual content and unsuitability to its targeted age group.
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier - offensive language and unsuitability to age group.
    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, - sexual content, racism, violence and unsuitability to age group.
    Taming the Star Runner by S.E Hinton, - offensive language.
    Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey, - encouraging children to disobey authority.
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain - racism, insensitivity and offensive language.
    Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson - offensive language.
    Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, by Mildred D Taylor - insensitivity, racism and offensive language.
    Julie of Wolves, by Jean Craighead George - sexual content, offensive language and violence.

    Harry Potter is clearly a right-wing protest, as well as most of the sex and bad word complaints. Huck Finn is clearly a left-wing protest, as well as most of the insensitivity and racism complaints.

    This problem doesn't come from the classic American political spectrum. It's more on an individual rights vs. community standards axis. The techie crowd skews strongly towards individual rights, but it seems like the general popluation in most countries is more towards community standards.

    (Personally, I'm not a big fan of censorship, either for these games or these books, but anyone blaming the Left or the Right is just not paying any attention.)
  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Friday December 12, 2003 @08:13PM (#7707283)
    I would have thought adding a "Banned in New Zealand!" sticker to a game's case is a marketing tactic more up Acclaim's alley.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson