Veteran Game Journalist Sounds off on Manhunt 2

manhunt-23.jpgEven staunch video game advocates have been pulled into the fray over the Manhunt 2 controversy. The game industry is polarized on the issues raised by the ESRB’s “Adults Only”rating in the US, and the ban in the UK , Ireland, and Australia. GamePolitics featured “Sick Filth?”, veteran game journalist and editor of GamesIndustry.biz Rob Fahey’s scathing article on the unprecedented level of violence in Rockstar’s Manhunt 2.

This isn’t a case of knee-jerk reaction to the controversy surrounding the first gameâ$¦ Besides which, the [British Board of Film Classification] doesn’t succumb to knee-jerk reactionsâ$¦ Time and time again, the BBFC has shown that it understands and respects videogames.

In other words, with Manhunt 2, Rockstar has crossed the line – and crossed it at a full tilt runâ$¦ this is judgement of a classification board which has happily classified Hostel and Saw, and indeed, the first Manhunt game.

This is killing, maiming and torturing for the sake of it; this may, in fact, be the game which lives up to the shrill claims of the conservative wing that games are “murder simulators”.

In making such a game Rockstar has been juvenile, shameful and irresponsible. The right of creators to push the boundaries of media and society must be balanced out against a simple sense of social responsibility – something with Rockstar seems to entirely lack.

Having not seen the game myself I can’t add to this much but I can agree in principal that Rockstar is not seemingly very concerned with the social responsibility of repairing the damage done by violent games in the marketplace.. then again I also don’t think that is the responsibility of a game maker. Society and the consumers should be the adjudicator here. Are they feeding the flames with continued games like this? Sure. Is there a market for them of mature adults? Definitely.

The BBFC, ESRB and other associations are doing their jobs by reviewing and judging the material – but failing to rate it or giving it a rating like “AO” is tantamount to a ban. I’m split on how that all works – on the one hand it is a responsible act by these folks to warn consumers and rate the games as they see fit. Now the question is will Rockstar do what is needed to get the game on shelves? I bet you they will.

No one throws away millions of man hours and dollars building a game they can’t sell.

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3 Comments on Veteran Game Journalist Sounds off on Manhunt 2

Xboxlenny

On June 25, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Let it go, if its an AO raiting well sell it to the adults that want it, Rockstar is loving it, dont this buld hype, and every one wants what they cannot have. Rockstar are smarter than many may think. They know what sells, look at GTA. if anyone is mature about it, well let them decide to buy it or not. dont go blaming Rockstar for todays problems. its not my problem some messed up kid plays the game and goes too far. i hope it will be released

Jack Thompson

On June 26, 2007 at 2:41 am

Let’s see, since Strauss Zelnick took over Take-Two, its stock share values have stalled, the company has hemorrhaged more red ink, and he’s managed to get the one game that was to establish Take-Two’s presence on the Wii platform banned.

At this rate, Take-Two’s shareholders might launch their own game called “Chairmanhunt 2.” Paul Eibeler is loving this.

Jack Thompson, Attorney, And You’re Not

Xboxlenny

On June 26, 2007 at 8:55 am

The Real deal Jack Thompson? wow so you will be all over the social problems with Manhunt. is this webpage too violent? i may go murder someone now because i read this page.