back to article Manhunt 2 banned by UK censor - again

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has once again refused to grant controversial videogame Manhunt 2 a release certificate in the UK, effectively banning the title. Manhunt2 Manhunt 2: no axe please, we're British Manhunt 2 was originally refused a classification by the BBFC back in June, preventing the game …


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  1. Tim Spence
    Dead Vulture

    Sly advertising

    You see, I've little interest in any of the Manhunt games, but this news just makes me want to try to get hold of it to see what it's really like - how gross/great it is.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    do the censors smoke crack?

    I mean really - they're pretty redundent now. People will just download the shitty game for free regardless of the crap they spew from their ineffectual mouths. All it means is you can feel all the more justified that you're sticking it to the man whilst you're downloading it.

  3. jai

    surely not a problem for Take2?

    in these days of amazon and ebay surely Take2 aren't that concerned. anyone in the uk who really wants to play this will import it from the states once it's released

  4. Nick Reid
    Thumb Down

    Did Jo Frost get elected? No one told me

    I'm not sure I understand the BBFC decision here, especially as they've had no problem passing the recent slew of "Torture Porn" films. I can only guess that they think it's easier for kids to get hold of 18 rated games than it is to see 18 rated films. They may have a point but the practice of sanitising the media in case it falls into the hands of kids is still quite disturbing. It seems to me that the wrong people are getting penalised here.

    Having said that, I can't really say I have all that much sympathy with the developers. I've long suspected that Rockstar deliberately court controversy with their titles, both as a marketing tool and to disguise the fact that their games really suck.

  5. Guy Heatley

    Sounds like a weekend in most large Iraqi cities

    "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing"

    Which computer games were the organisers of medieval pitched battles playing, back in the 15th C?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    At last!

    The BBFC should be congratulated for showing some backbone at last.

  7. BoldMan
    Thumb Down

    Its not just the kids...

    Allowing degrading material such as this to be accessible to anyone is IMO unacceptable. I'm all for free speech, but with free speech comes responsibility to not allow it to degenerate into the lowest common denominator or to exploit people. I hope this game gets flushed down the toilet where it belongs, along with all those "torture porn" movies that hollywood has been releasing over the last couple of years. Just because some sick people want to see this stuff doesn't mean it should be made available...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Throwing no weight around wildly

    The BBFC is actually just a limited company with a lot of connections. It doesn't have any legislative weight to any rating, and you are perfectly allowed to buy unrated games in any store.

    So T2 should teach the BBFC to suck raw eggs IMO :)

  9. Liam
    Thumb Down


    really annoys me when shite like hostel can be released. basically tits and torture - no story - just grim. then a game cannot be released. there is no continuity at all. its not like they wanted a 15 or less - this game is for ADULTS, we should be allowed to buy it if we want (not that i do) its just like someone keeps denying my civil rights...

  10. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    More censorship coming...

    At the moment you can, of course, completely bypass the ban by buying the game from abroad, but consider this:

    Parliament has just nodded through the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill for its second reading with barely a comment on the proposals to make it illegal to possess "violent pornography" on the basis that they think that simple possession of this material may make a murderer of you.

    They have also announced *yet another* review of whether violence in computer games etc affects people (despite the fact that they only did one a few years ago and, once again, it came back with a negative result).

    If the "violent pornography" proposals in the CJIB get into law the Government can then use the Legislative Reform Act to amend the law without actually bothering to even present it to Parliament and I would not put it past them to make it an offence to possess uncertificated "violent" video games so anyone who is in possession of Manhunt 2 will automatically be a criminal!

    Write to your MPs people, and tell them that we are *ADULTS* and we are quite capable of making up our own minds what we should or shouldn't see and we don't need Big Brother and the Nanny State introducing Thought Crimes on the "Precautionary Principle" that "well someone might do something nasty if they play this game/ see these pictures/ watch this film, so let's ban it just to be on the safe side".

  11. Name

    Movie vs Game argument

    Manhunt has been effectively 'banned' twice, and I'm very thankful too.

    A quick retort to the aforementioned argument that "if a movie like hostel can get the all clear, why can't a game?"

    I would argue that a movie you only likely watch once, and that seen by a 10 year old child would cause nightmares, but hopefully not be too damaging, not that they should have got to see the movie in the first place. A game however would be played many times over through different levels, with the manhunt game also different categories (read: severity) of killing and culling-styles. You have to draw the line somewhere, and I think manhunt is a perfect example of the way in which society can try make plenty of cash from dodgy movies and games, thankfully Britain's not quite as corrupt as I once thought, and manhunt will permanently remained banned for sale in the UK, although unfortuantely downloadable via torrents I notice.

  12. Chris C


    Anyone who pulls this crap of "It shouldn't be made available because *I* don't like it" (such as Anonymous Coward and BoldMan) is someone I can do without. Please realize that you are not me, and I am not you. Like many people here, I have played violent video games my entire life (I'm now 30), starting when I was probably about 8 years old with the NES. And yet, I have never become violent in Real Life. One of my favorite things to do when playing Soldier of Fortune is to take the knife and slice the enemies to bits, cutting them up into little pieces. But that's Fantasy. Seeing the same thing in Real Life turns my stomach. Why should everyone be punished because some people cannot disconnect Real Life from Fantasy? And for those who say violent games serve no purpose, I wholeheartedly disagree. I can unleash my anger in violent games, channeling that anger into entertainment rather than letting it keep festering inside me. It's the digital equivalent of a punching bag.

    However, keeping in line with those people's logic, I think all religious paraphernalia (books, video, audio, jewelry, assorted propaganda, etc) should be outlawed because I don't agree with it. So take off that crucifix and burn that bible, because it's offensive to me. And since religion has been proven to drive people to murder, I think I'm on more solid ground than people yapping about video games.

  13. david mccormick


    You're right, the world doesn't need big brother. The last series was the latest lump of shite that is passed off as light entertainment these days. It's done more to effect my psychological state than playing manhunt would of I'm sure.

  14. Jay Zelos
    Dead Vulture

    10 year old?

    If a 10 year old is permitted to play an 18 rated game, shoot the parents, don't ban the game.


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "don't ban the game"

    So what next if it was allowed? A nice rape simulator?

    Snuff-sim? "Abduct the toddler"?

    You know that Take2 would keep pushing it in some ways, just like the rash of snuff-gore films are now pushing the limits of any normal persons stomachs.

    Like was mentioned, the line had to be drawn somewhere. Better some murder simulator (which, lets face it, it certainly is. Especially the Wii version with the remote) gets banned than the next game which drags the whole industry into the courtroom.


  16. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @Anonymous Coward

    > You know that Take2 would keep pushing it in some ways, just like the rash of snuff-gore films are now pushing the limits of any normal persons stomachs.

    And so Anonymous Coward neatly divides the world into "normal people" ie anyone who like the things that he likes and "everyone else" who is clearly a deranged potential pervert/ rapist/ axe murderer/ child molester and cannot be trusted to behave like a reasonable person and doesn't have a conscience and should be locked up for the good of society.

    Therefore everything that they like (and AC doesn't) should be banned because once it's banned, people won't think about that.

    George Orwell came up with an expression to describe that: "Thought Crime".

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tyrrany of the majority

    So what if I'm sick and perverted? Not your problem. What I do in the privacy of my home is nobody's business, as long as I am not hurting anyone. Why do so many people in Britain want to ban the practice of killing pixels (with pixels)?. Pixels don't have feelings. All you anti-violence priests should be thankful that I take my anger out on a gaming console. Otherwise it would build up and I just might go out on a real killing rampage one day.

    I suggest you try this game before you condemn it. After getting over the initial barrier of disgust, you will see how much fun killing people (in a pretend world) can be. We all enjoy it because deep down we are violent creatures. Don't deny it; it's human nature.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do they bother with these games?

    What is it with the game and film industry? Why do they have to resort to violence all the time? I have a feeling that they have run out of ideas and are churning the same old style of games and films. For example, from what I can see, Halo is just a more graphically advanced version of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D.

    So, I am asking the industry to sort out the lack of ideas and come up with something fresh. Even Chuckie Egg was more fun than some of the rubbish that is coming out these days.

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    The usual boring attitudes

    The market will decide. It's all about money, despite what some people would like to think about the importance of their moral opinion. This game will sell, just like Postal did, and for the same reasons. We are creatures of violence. We like to see violence, we want to see violence, but we want to stay safe from violence ourselves. We bask in TV violence all week. We seek the latest violent news in the papers, on the Internet, at the neighbors' house. We are all perverted like that, and those who advocate against violence are, ironically, quite well disposed to use it themselves (forbidding access to something is a form of violence).

    There was only one Mahatma Ghandi.

    The rest of us, especially males, are all potential rapists, murderers and molesters. Some of us control those emotions better than others. This game caters to those emotions, and those emotions have been catered to since before the gladiator arenas in ancient Rome (you know, before Christ ?).

    And for those who think a violent film will only be seen once, I laugh. What keeps me from viewing my DVDs over and over again ? It's not because YOU only watch a film once that everyone else does. Do you think I pay €18 to see a film only once ?

    Anything can make a person that is already borderline go over the edge. Once upon a time it was knee-length skirts that were anathema. Well we've got thongs in the streets now, and I don't think the rape statistics are any worse than they use to be. They're probably not much better either, and that's a shame.

    In any case, a game is a game. There are Nazi games of torture out there, I'm sure one can find them on the Internet. I don't go and look for them, I'm not interested in the subject. There are also loads of porno games of all kinds, also available on the Internet for those who know how to look. I'm not interested in that either. P0rno and violence, the Two Pillars of Humanity. To deny them is to refuse power over them. I accept them, and I can choose what I wish to be subject to.

    I will not pretend that I know better than my neighbor though. If he wants to watch violent films or play violent games, good for him. As long as he is polite with his fellow man, ready to lend a helping hand, who am I to judge his personal past times ?

    Of course, viewing kiddie p0rn or snuff films is something else entirely. Making those hurt people, and are therefor reprehensible. But a game hurts no one, no more than a Hollywood film does (unless it's a really, really bad one).

  20. Vernon Lloyd
    Dead Vulture

    I look at it this way

    I have played a Mario as a kid and never wanted to jump on people or shoot fire

    I played Zelda and never wanted to slash someone with a sword.

    I have played GTA (all versions) and still haven't felt the urge to run people over or shoot innocent people.

    I have played Solider of Fortune and as fun as it was blowing characters arms off and watching blood shoot out I have never felt the need to do that in real life.

    Do I need to go down the resident evil or other games path.


    Come on people its never the fault of the criminal now is it!

    Let Manhunt in, I am over 18 let it be my choice to buy it. If the PARENTS out there buy it for their children it is the PARENTS fault if they go on the streets and copy the game. ITS TIME TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

    Rant Over

  21. Jacob

    what line needs drawing?

    What is it with these people that go all haywire over violent games etc. ?

    So far the only thing that keeps popping up is "but think of the children" Children shouldn't be playing these games, thats why there is this funny little circle on it with a number, that's the age you should be before you are allowed to play it, not the amount of hours it will take to complete the game.

    And this whole thing about "normal" people is just daft. Like many other people I have enjoyed playing some pretty gruesome games on the PC (anyone remember phantasmagoria? and yes cutting your enemies in SoF is good fun) Does that make me more prone to crimial/violent behaviour? seeying as I do not have a criminal record I would say no.

    In the end it is all fantasy. Same goes with this other daft law about violent pr0n it's just silly. Pictures, games, movies do not make people criminals, perverts or murderers. At worst it will make criminals, perverts and murderers more inventive but it does not make them.

    To me normal people are people who can tell the difference between games/movies/fiction/"entertainment" and real life. Obviously most of us can as I`m sure the world would be a lot worse otherwise.

  22. Jacob

    @Anonymous Coward

    Most likely because violence, just like sex, sells. Combine the two and you are bound to have a winner.

    The reason it sells is because everyone, including you, deep down fantasises about it. Anyone saying they haven’t thought of some perverted stuff or wanting to slap/strangle or do something worse to that person that annoys you is a liar.

    The difference between normal people and the criminals is that normal people leave it in fantasy world (or find a willing partner in the perversion case.)

    Movies/pictures and games allow you to experience this base emotion without hurting anyone. It’s a win win situation which should be praised instead of cursed.

  23. Paul Talbot


    I'm saddened (though not surprised) to see people standing up for the ban here for various stupid reasons. I've grown up with videogames so I'm not scared of them, but I do remember a similar witchhunt back in the 80s.

    Anyone remember "video nasties"? Movies that were banned in the 80s under this banner became valuable and much sought-after among young kids like myself back then. Movies like Anthpophagous Beast, Cannibal Holocaust and Zombie Flesh Eaters were ravenously consumed by my 12 year-old self. Yet, I'm not a murderer.

    Flash forward to today. The video nasties furor has disappeared. Few movies are cut, let alone banned, and The Sun has given away The Evil Dead uncut - a movie that it pushed to get banned in 1984. Attention has now moved on to games because, like VHS 25 years ago, it's an unknown quantity to many parents. Parents (on whose shoulders the responsibility ultimately lies for entertainment consumed within their property) are being woken up to the fact that, actually, games have never really been 'for kids', and they need to look at them in the same way as they look at movies.

    Ultimately, banning Manhunt 2 will achieve the same as banning videos did in the 80s - nothing. Kids will still be able to obtain pirated copies - as I obtained movies in the 80s - and are actually much more likely to do so now that the name is so well known. Meanwhile, the same problems of education, employment, poverty and crime will continue to create murderers, rapists and violent criminals as they did before. it's nothing to do with games, it's just that games are the most popular scapegoat right now. When The Sun is giving away free copies of Manhunt 2 20 or 30 years in the future, there will be a new scapegoat but nothing will change unless we attack the real problems.

  24. BoldMan
    Thumb Down

    Ratchet Effect

    I still maintain that these games and movies are unhealthy for society as a whole.

    Its a ratchet effect - you allow "video nasties" back in the 80s and that is then used as a justification for even more extreme levels of gore and violence later on.

    Allow "torture porn" movies and people will then start using them as an excuse: "I can watch a movie like Hostel, but I can't play a game which allows me to torture and kill people in increasingly sadistic ways? I demand my Human Rights to be a sick pervert!!"

    Give me a break! What next? Sim Torture: build your very own Dungeon and populate it with all manner of sick and twisted tools... get a high score and it unlocks the "Kiddie Torture" add on!

    Society should not be degraded just because a minority of sickos keep trying to push the boundaries.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Get the torches and pitchforks...

    BoldMan is the kind of troll who gets upset when he thinks of what a pediatritian might be doing to childern.

  26. littlejonny

    Utter Nonsense!!!

    I see that al the usual arguments from people who neither like nor play these games are doing the rounds again. We as a society pride ourselves on a certain level of freedom in seeking the pasttimes that we most enjoy. Maybe we should allow these ill informed individuals to manage every aspect of our lives then we could all be spared the demon of choice and free will.

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