BBFC Wins Appeal, Manhunt 2 Banned Again

BBFC Wins Appeal, Manhunt 2 Banned Again

image

The High Court of Justice has overturned the Video Appeals Committee's decision to allow the sale of Manhunt 2 in the U.K., throwing Rockstar's effort to get the game on the shelves back into confusion.

The British Board of Film Classification, which provides videogame ratings in the U.K., had originally refused to issue a classification for Manhunt 2, preventing it from being sold. An edited version of the game, which was downgraded from an ESRB rating of AO (Adults Only) to M (Mature) in North America was also refused classification, but an appeal by Rockstar to the country's Video Appeals Committee determined the game could be given an 18+ rating, legalizing its sale.

The BBFC quickly moved to challenge that decision, saying, "The VAC judgment, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence." The game remained unavailable in the U.K. while the BBFC appeal proceeded.

During yesterday's appeal hearing, according to a Metro report, the BBFC argued that the overturning of its Manhunt 2 ban by the VAC could have serious implications for its role in the future, "Not only in relation to videogames, but generally." That appeal succeeded when the High Court ruled the VAC decision made "a clear error of law" with regards to assessing the question of harm caused by the game. The judge ruled the committee must now "reconsider" its decision.

Manhunt 2 was released just prior to Halloween, 2007, following lengthy battles with the BBFC, ESRB and other agencies. The game was met with mediocre reviews, receiving a Metacritic score of 64 for the Wii version and 67 on the PlayStation 2, and has been largely forgotten everywhere except, somewhat ironically, the U.K.

Update: Rockstar has issued a brief statement in response to the High Court ruling, saying, "We believe the VAC decision was correct and do not understand the court's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the BBFC's 18-plus ratings certification."

The VAC's "reconsideration" of its decision to allow the sale of Manhunt 2 is expected to take place quickly, according to GamesIndustry, and a decision against Rockstar is expected to end the process, as permission to appeal the matter to the House of Lords is unlikely.

Permalink

*sighs* Yet they do allow such things in horror movies? Maybe the depth of immersion is even more, now you're trhe serial killer, but come on.

Is this also a sign that the game industry MUST stay in it's child-like form?

So Manhunt is banned, but filmakers are allowed to roll out such 'classics' as
Saw, Saw 2, Saw 3, Saw 4, The Hills have Eyes (1 and 2), Hostel, Rob Zombies' Halloween, and others? Do these films have some profound hidden insight that Manhunt lacks??

Yeah...now honestly how many gamers actually care about this game?

Maybe those that like horror? Or something like that, heard it was a nice game. Not that i ever would try it.

The point isn't that Manhunt 2 is an unremarkable game that nobody particularly cares about. The point is that the BBFC is enforcing a nanny state approach to gamers that is not only entirely without basis on its own, but utterly inexplicable when lined up against other material the Board has approved. For instance, the BBFC says it's okay for me to watch Fetish Fucks, or Real Young Lesbians Volume One, or Keep 'Em Cummin' 2, or Trained to High Standards with the bonus Sub-Asslickers. And if violence is my bag, I can watch Grindhouse, or any of the Saw movies, or Diary of the Dead, or I can even see real people kick the shit out of each other in real life in the Ultimate Fighter 5. But I can't play Manhunt 2.

What does this imply about prevailing attitudes toward gamers?

Tidal Wave, that's what it implies.
Waters come and go, I say the phase will pass eventually.

For instance, the BBFC says it's okay for me to watch Fetish Fucks,

Or if you *really* want, you can watch Urotsukidoji/The Legend of the Overfiend without a problem. I could walk into my local WHSmiths or HMV and pick it up from its location between the cartoons and the porn right now, if I wanted to.

You know why this game is getting banned hands down in the U.K. Because of the retatded Media saying that manhunt was the reason why some kid killed another kid in London.

Fucking retards get their facts straight!

I always find it difficult to understand when people blame objects for human problems. How can a game 'do' anything? I can't blame a chair for causing me to sit down, can I?
A rating is good, children shouldn't play this game. But to forbid it is an insult to people that can handle its content.

While all this nanny state bullshite is ridiculous, look at it this way... The BBFC just saved a whole lot of Brits from spending their hard earned quids on this shite game.

chenry:
While all this nanny state bullshite is ridiculous, look at it this way... The BBFC just saved a whole lot of Brits from spending their hard earned quids on this shite game.

- But it's the right of each individual to decide if they want to spend their money on a game, shit or not. I was talking to a guy in a game store the other day who'd imported the original Manhunt and he *loved* it.

KurtNiisan:

chenry:
While all this nanny state bullshite is ridiculous, look at it this way... The BBFC just saved a whole lot of Brits from spending their hard earned quids on this shite game.

- But it's the right of each individual to decide if they want to spend their money on a game, shit or not. I was talking to a guy in a game store the other day who'd imported the original Manhunt and he *loved* it.

The original manhunt didn't suffer from the control and camera problems manhunt 2 does... but yes I agree it should be the persons choice if they want to play the game or not.

Dry Ice:
You know why this game is getting banned hands down in the U.K. Because of the retatded Media saying that manhunt was the reason why some kid killed another kid in London.

You mean media as in "MEDIA" or is it just shit like "The Sun" etc? I don't think BBC would go all the way down to Fox News and Sun's level.

The days have changed. Media attcaking Books, to DnD, to Movies now it's Games. You could have a movie about some sick freak who hacks apart people with chainsaws and wears their skin (oh wait, we do!) and that's a night in. Now, you have a game that just so happens to get anywhere near there and it will make our children into crazy blood spreding seriel killers!!! Somebody think of the chirldren. This is the same with Mass Effect. There's a slight sex scene in there but an MA movie could get away with the whole nudity, parts flapping about sort of stuff and that's A-Ok.

StartRunning:
I can't blame a chair for causing me to sit down, can I?

I have never heard it argued better. /applause

"The VAC judgment, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence."

What exactly is an acceptable level of *imaginary* violence we can allow *adults* to be exposed to i wonder?

My only fear at the moment is if FOX lashes out at Rockstar again to bann the release of GTA4 but since not much footage is shown they have no real case. When the game is released and FOX gets it taken off the shelves within 1 hour PEOPLE WILL BE PISSED

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here