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The Media Entertainment Games

Mainstream Coverage of Manhunt 2 39

Now that Manhunt 2 is out (and garnering little enthusiasm from gamers) the mainstream press is having their say on the title. Joystiq has a look at what ABC and CBS has to say about the latest assault on our nation's children. "'What sets this video game apart is that the player can become physically involved in the acts of violence,' Couric says. 'Rather than just pushing buttons, the player actually wields a knife, an ax, a glass shard -- to stab an opponent.' Ummm, no. Don't know who writes the copy over there at that ratings powerhouse, but that's just plain wrong. Although the PS2 version would be about pushing buttons -- unless CBS has discovered some new feature -- we're currently unaware of the Wiimote's ability to shape-shift into any of those items described allowing a player to "stab an opponent." Couric then says that research shows violent games cause children to accept violence as an every day part of life."
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Mainstream Coverage of Manhunt 2

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  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @02:59PM (#21187173)

    I don't blame people for not buying the watered down version, the uncensored version is out in the wild anyway.

    After all the hubbub, that's the version people will want.

    OTOH, having played it a bit, it's not much different to manhunt one, or any random horror movie. But then I'm not a tv/radio shock-merchant and I seem to have this rare ability to differentiate games from reality.

    The fact that Miss Couric throws in the bit about children shows how much people are still just *not* getting it. Manhunt 2 is NOT for your children. It is rated as M (or AO for the original), don't damn well give it to them.

  • Witch hunts continue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sickspeed6 ( 1057634 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @03:14PM (#21187345)
    As usual, in an effort to shift the blame from the parents to the game designer, the major new outlets get to spread misconception to the everyday citizen. I am only 19, but, my parents have been allowing me to play violent video games since i was 10. I'm not killing people, nor do i intend to kill people. It has always been the game designers, musicians, directors that are bad people. How about parents try and be there for their kids, talk to them, tell them that games aren't real. I know that i will allow my children if/when i have them in 10-15 years, to play violent videogames, not when they are 3 or 5, but when they are 13 or older, maybe even sooner if i think that they are mature enough. But it will be my choice, not the choice of some ill informed news outlet.
  • by Phoenix00017 ( 1017168 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @03:19PM (#21187405)

    The problem is that you're missing the point entirely. This has little to do with Manhunt, and has far more to do with censorship, violence in games, and main-stream portrayal of video games. This is what we call "precedence setting". While you might not care if they decide to ban Manhunt based on violence, something tells me you might care if they then decide that the upcoming Halo 4 (or God of War 3, or [insert bad-ass violent game sequel here]) game is excessively violent as well.

    And before you come back telling me you never play violent games, it isn't so far to reach and say that Super Mario Bros., despite the lack of blood, still has the main character killing tons of seemingly-innocent wildlife. Sure, it seems like an incredible stretch, but you have to ask "where does it stop" once you start villainizing games and ignoring the fact that some games are made for adults as well.

  • Re:Saw CBS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) * on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @03:22PM (#21187425) Journal
    it's just flailing like in Twilight Princess... not "murder simulating" like they tried to insinuate (note: not a quote).

    Well, if you'll recall, USA Today said that Manhunt 2 "literally gives you the hands of a killer", which if they understood how to use "literally" would be a serious accusation.

    (Hey, I'm all for colorful use of terms. But what am I supposed to say when I literally mean literally?)
  • Re:Saw CBS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by clearreality ( 1116627 ) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @09:56PM (#21191727)
    In my opinion, this game (and other games by Rockstar) include unnecessary violence. Further, I'd say it is too much violence and too graphic, both in depiction and in conception. Should it be illegal to make a game like this? I suppose not. But to use a long-worn phrase, just because you can does not mean you should. (I felt this way within the first few minutes of watching a friend play Grand Theft Auto, and Manhunt is worse, if anything.)

    I believe it is ok for some things to be socially unacceptable even if they are legal, and depictions and promotions of realistic/graphic violence as entertainment should be one of those things. (ie, it is not the government's job to manage every aspect of people's behavior -- that is our own responsibility.)

    There's some line here that is hard to describe, but something like Saving Private Ryan may not cross the line (violence is not glorified), while the Silence of the Lambs series probably does (the message is confusing as the serial killer is idolized). Likewise, Starcraft probably does not cross the line (clearly "fake" violence), but Manhunt 2 does (player initiates criminal violent acts to "win" the game).

    This is clearly not a well-defined line that should be codified in law, rather a moral/social line that should be based on good judgement.

    Whether there is a link between violent entertainment and actual acts of violence I cannot say, however promoting criminal and violent acts does provide some glorification of those things -- for example movies that glorify stealing cars. What is the effect? I don't have any data to say, but I think anyone who says there is zero impact on viewers/players is simply ignoring obvious connections between people and how they are influenced by their environment.

    I guess it comes down to this: it is good to encourage people to have values that respect other people's lives, rights, and property. Does this kind of entertainment encourage such things? No. Rockstar may not feel like it is their responsibility to encourage good values, but I would counter and say that it is everyone's responsibility. (Yes, that means there are people and companies who I feel are not meeting that responsibility.)

    Also, why make a game with realistic depictions of criminal violence and abuse when it is possible to make a best-selling game that has none of those things? The only reason I can think of is that the studios developing those games do not have the talent or ability to develop a best-selling game without using the crutch of realistic violence (because, despite my opinions, those features can increase sales).

    I think the objection to a game like this is a moral stand and a moral argument, but that does not mean it is a bad argument.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake