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Rockstar Appeals British Ban on Manhunt 2 56

1up is reporting (via MCV) that Rockstar has decided to appeal the BBFC ruling on their uber-violent Manhunt 2 title. The 'next step' is to get a hearing scheduled, which will allow the game to be demo'd and arguments given. "Rockstar Games had been given six weeks to appeal the decision, and with that opportunity about to expire, the company lodged its formal appeal yesterday ... The appeal was filed with the Video Appeals Committee, which can overturn the BBFC decision. As noted in our first article about the ban, the VAC overturned the BBFC's ban of Carmageddon back in 1997, giving Rockstar a glimmer of hope in its current situation."
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Rockstar Appeals British Ban on Manhunt 2

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  • Interesting... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MeanderingMind ( 884641 ) * on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @04:19PM (#20077781) Homepage Journal
    I'm wondering what the arguments are going to be. Any bets on more Ebert-esque debates on the status of video games as art?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kelbear ( 870538 )
      Given what the first Manhunt was like, the debate will be pretty short. Manhunt kinda...sucked. Snuff-film violence for the sake of violence is no substitute for interesting gameplay. It was similar to Splintercell in that stealth was emphasized, and nothing like Splinter Cell in that the elements composing the gameplay were heavily dumbed down or not included. The major feature was a "grainy" filter when doing an execution, as seen from the spectating audience.

      Some might be fascinated by the violence at fi
      • However, we aren't talking about the original Manhunt, we're talking about Manhunt 2. Unless you are N'gai Croal or a contemporary of his who have actually played the game, I'm not sure your (or I) are qualified to classify this game as "art" or "not-art".

        I'd agree that the original manhunt wasn't particularly artful. However, it is entirely possible (considering what I've read by journalists who have played the game) that Manhunt 2 might be artistic in a demented, horrific fashion.
        • by Kelbear ( 870538 )
          I agree, I had posted an addendum to my post noting exactly that, but it looks like it was nixed for posting twice so quickly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by halcyon1234 ( 834388 )
      I'm wondering what the arguments are going to be...

      Given everything I've learned about Rockstar Games from the media, I'd assume their argument would have to be:

      Unban our game or we'll fucking kill you and rape your daughter then kill your wife with your daughter's bloodied still breathing body and then steal your car and drive it into a station full of police-puppies and make them all explode you fucking coffee-fucking assholes.
      • by db32 ( 862117 )
        I am waiting for "The hackers put the blood and gore in the game" Our original game was about raising puppies, cute little harmless puppies, those evil hackers made it about violence and murder...
  • by Cervantes ( 612861 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @04:35PM (#20078001) Journal
    Ah, the Carmageddon banning. So many memories. :)

    For the uninitiated, they decided to ban the original Carmageddon because one of your goals was to run down pixelated pedestrians in a uniform-but-still-gorey shower of blood. So, to appease those who would protect our values by not letting us run over people in a video game, they changed it so all the pedestrians became zombies, and their blood splatter was now green.

    Because, as we all know, it's much less damaging to our youth to imagine that the entire world is infested with the walking undead.
    • I thought Germany had zombies with green blood and UK had robots. Or was it the other way around?

      Anyway... that saved lives... well, not really.
      • nope, i happened to play the german version back in the day....robots and black 'blood'...
        however, there was an easy way to change that in one of the config / ini files (or a command line switch, etc)
        oh the memories....i wish they'd make an updated version of carmageddon (or something like it).
  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @05:18PM (#20078495)
    As noted in our first article about the ban, the VAC overturned the BBFC's ban of Carmageddon back in 1997, giving Rockstar a glimmer of hope in its current situation."

    Carmageddon was staged as a cartoon.

    The pedestrian targets and obstacles never allowed to become too real.

    Manhunt 2 is unmistakably derived from the sadistic and malign torture porn flicks - exploitation films - like Saw and Hostel.

    If you can't see that distinction - if you can't make that distinction - then the critics of video game violence have won their point.

    • by searchr ( 564109 ) <searchrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @05:35PM (#20078675)
      "Manhunt 2 is unmistakably derived from the sadistic and malign torture porn flicks - exploitation films - like Saw and Hostel"

      Really? Well both of those movies, Saw and Hostel, received "R" ratings in the U.S., considered restricted for 17 and up.

      So why shouldn't Manhunt 2 receive the comparative rating (for games) of "M" for Mature, which is also identically restricted to 17 and up?

      And whether or not you personally feel those movies were "maligned", they were actually quite popular with the intended audience that CHOSE to watch them. Why should your personal judgement override Manhunt 2's intended audience's CHOICE to play it?
      • >Why should your personal judgement override Manhunt 2's intended audience's CHOICE to play it? Do you think we should allow young sexual predators to view pornography? The intended audience has violent proclivities. Games with this level of realistic depictions of ultra-violence feeds those neuroses. An AO rating is perfectly appropriate.
        • by searchr ( 564109 ) <searchrNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @06:16PM (#20079067)
          "The intended audience has violent proclivities. Games with this level of realistic depictions of ultra-violence feeds those neuroses. An AO rating is perfectly appropriate."

          "violent proclivities"? welcome to the human race. Watch a football game lately? How about boxing? Those are actual really-real people beating each other to a bloody pulp, resulting occasionally in actually-actual death.

          Yet those spectacles are approved for all ages.

          Elevating FICTIONAL violence as more harmful or indecent than ACTUAL violence is nonsensical. Unlike you, I can't speak for every single person who views or plays violent media. But I can speak for myself. I'm a well-educated, well-adjusted, non-violent adult, who often enjoys viewing or playing fictionalized media with dark and/or violent content. So far, my "neuroses" have gone hungry. My "violent proclivities" remain buried, and mostly likely fictional.

          I can't stand football or boxing, though. Too violent. And actually realistic. In a really-real way.

          If you don't like it, don't play it or watch it, and be a parent to your children and take responsibility for what they play and watch. But leave MY responsibility to ME.

          [PS: "AO" rating effectively does not exist, since retail chains won't carry an AO game, in the same way that movie theatres won't show an "X" rated movie. Since it's thus financially impossible to release an AO rated game, that rating effectively blocks a game from being released. Which may be fine for your nanny-world, but in my really-real world, I'd rather make that choice for myself.]
          • Watch a football game lately? How about boxing? Those are actual really-real people beating each other to a bloody pulp, resulting occasionally in actually-actual death.

            I can't remember any instance of a football player dying from physical contact on the field. It may have happened once or twice, but it would be a freak accident, not a result of regular contact. Oh, and btw, have YOU watched a football game lately? Because "beating each other to a bloody pulp" is kind of against the rules.

            As for boxing,
            • Well you've obviously got some overt aggressiveness in your post. Why do you think that is?

              How can you see that as aggressive? Do capital letters trigger some primal fear in you?
              • I think he's just getting off a bit. Check out this part:

                Culture has affected me too; I won't deny that this reply is just as aggressive as yours.
                Is he really saying that exposure to culture makes him aggressive?
            • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @11:43PM (#20081577)
              I can't remember any instance of a football player dying from physical contact on the field. It may have happened once or twice, but it would be a freak accident, not a result of regular contact. Oh, and btw, have YOU watched a football game lately? Because "beating each other to a bloody pulp" is kind of against the rules.

              The violence of the college game came within a hair of destroying American football in 1905 - 23 deaths - and 1909:

              In a match between Harvard and West Point, the Army captain, Eugene Byrne, exhausted by continual plays to his side of the line, was fatally injured. Earl Wilson of the Naval Academy was paralyzed and later died as a result of a flying tackle. And the University of Virginia's halfback Archer Christian died after a game against Georgetown, probably from a cerebral hemorrhage suffered in a plunge through the line. "Does the public need any more proof," wrote the Washington Post, "that football is a brutal, savage, murderous sport? Is it necessary to kill many more promising young men before the game is revised or stopped altogether?" At both Georgetown and Virginia, football was suspended for the remainder of the season, and the District of Columbia school system banned it altogether. Even Col. John Mosby, the old Confederate raider, used Christian's death to rail against football as "murder." Inventing Modern Football [americanheritage.com]

              • Good point. But the sport has been 'refined' somewhat since then. If you'll take a look at football's history you'll find that safety is a primary concern. It's always been just as intense, with many players sacrificing their bodies for a tackle, but safety equipment is constantly revised. Also rules are strictly enforced to keep players safer. Injuries are commonplace in any contact sport. The GP poster's point was most likely that recently there have been no deaths. The last football related death
            • As for boxing, yeah, it's a barbaric "sport" that really has no place in a civilized society. It's the modern-day equivalent of the Roman gladiators.

              Except it's performed by consenting adults instead of conscripted prisoners and is specifically set up to avoid fatalities or permanent injuries instead of a fight to the death, you're exactly correct. Of course, being performed by consenting adults and not being set up specifically to have a death at the end are the defining features. By your logic, soccer should be illegal because it resembles ancient Aztec soccer, in which the losing team was sacrificed to the gods at the end.

              And, considering that all

            • You've already been rightly mocked for confusing emphatic speech with violent aggression, and for comparing boxing to the Circus Maximus. The rest of your post isn't much better.

              People are a product of their culture, but their behaviour is mostly shaped by the real parts of their culture - family, school, church, day to day activities, not by the make-believe parts, the things they see on television or in games. You use the example of America's high crime rate, but you also mention Japan, which has a trem

            • by searchr ( 564109 )
              Argument is aggression. Forcefully creating and defending an idea or opinion is sort of the foundation of most societies and governments. Politeness is often a hindrance to direct discourse, obfuscating truth behind veils of false niceties. Equating the written word with the violence and barbarism of movies, games, and real life, is hilarious.

              And yet, interestingly to my point. With the written word, it seems anything goes. Why do none of these issues come up with the novel, or the non-fiction? Imagery many
        • The intended audience has violent proclivities. Games with this level of realistic depictions of ultra-violence feeds those neuroses. An AO rating is perfectly appropriate.
          So instead of having to be 17 in order to purchase the M-rated game, we should get really tough on this type of senseless garbage and make it AO-rated so that only those who are 18 can purchase it. </irony>
           
      • And whether or not you personally feel those movies were "maligned", they were actually quite popular with the intended audience that CHOSE to watch them

        Malign [webster.com]

        1 a : evil in nature, influence, or effect. malignant.
        2 : having or showing intense often vicious ill will. sinister. [webster.com]

        The audience has faded to black. The genre summer box office poison. Captivity [imdb.com] grossed $2.6 million. Rockstar tried to catch the wave and missed.

        . Why should your personal judgment override Manhunt 2's intended audience's CHOIC

        • Manhunt 2 encouraged you to mime a disembowelment using the Wii controller as your weapon.

          Bring it on!!!

          I think I'm just about able to stop myself from murdering anyone after playing this game, I doubt I'll even have any nightmares!

      • "both of those movies, Saw and Hostel, received "R" ratings in the U.S., considered restricted for 17 and up.

        So why shouldn't Manhunt 2 receive the comparative rating (for games) of "M" for Mature, which is also identically restricted to 17 and up?"


        Because the UK might have a different cultural approach than the USA? Just because a USA ratings authority decides on how to rate movies and video games doesn't mean the UK has to follow the same guidelines. UK is not part of the USA ...yet... (still waiting to s
        • by searchr ( 564109 )
          So you're saying that these apparently comparably violent films recieved the same treatment as Manhunt2 in the UK? Saw and Hostel (and sequels 1,2,3 and 1,2, respectively) were outright BANNED? That's interesting, I hadn't heard that. Maybe along with your moral indignation at the cesspool that is the U.S., you could mention when that occurred?

          Yes the UK is so far playing much more fast and loose with civil liberties, that is true. So I guess it isn't surprising in a country with over four MILLION closed ci
      • Why should your personal judgement override Manhunt 2's intended audience's CHOICE to play it?

        Indeed - but this argument can be used about almost anything. So, if I CHOOSE to use illegal drugs, why should I not be allowed? The fact is that your right to choose according to your whim and personal preference is not considered as important as eg. the impact it would have on society in general if certain things - like drugs, child abuse and video games that glorify extreme violence - were just set free. This ma
    • Saw and Hostel, neither of which has been banned.

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