Violent Game Strangled by British Board of Film

Dennis Faas's picture

When it comes to banning video games, Britain is not a world leader. The country has nixed the releases of just two titles in its history, the most recent being Rockstar's highly controversial Manhunt 2.

The outright ban comes as a denial by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to even rate the game. According to the BBFC's director Daniel Cooke, Manhunt 2 is guilty of an "unremiting callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing."

Manhunt 2 is similar to the original title, which thrust the character into a world where he is, as expected, hunted by violent criminals. To survive, the player must use primarily stealth-based tactics to overcome the odds, with rewards for snuffing out his stalkers in the most graphic manner possible. That could mean strangling a foe with a plastic bag, or using a shard of glass to...well, you can imagine.

Video game fans will recall the original Manhunt's ban in many retail outlets, including the whole of New Zealand in 2003. (Source:

Manhunt 2 is set for release in July on the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation Portable handheld. The story thus far has been Nintendo's decision to allow the game on its system, after years of maintaining a parent-friendly persona.

According to Cooke, there's nothing here to warm the hearts of Mom and Dad. "There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game." (Source:

Maybe it's just me, but I doubt most parents are big fans of sadism.

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