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'Manhunt 2' banned for 'casual sadism'


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LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British censors Tuesday banned a video game for the first time in 10 years, rejecting U.S.-published "Manhunt 2" for what they described as an unrelenting focus on sadism and brutal slaying.

 

The decision by the British Board of Film Classification, or BBFC, means the game, from publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, which made the controversial "Grand Theft Auto" series, cannot be legally supplied anywhere in Britain.

 

The ban prompted one U.S. family group to start lobbying for a rating to ensure major American retailers cannot sell the game. In it, players become an insane asylum escapee sneaking up on enemies and killing them in gruesome ways.

 

In a statement on the board's Web site, BBFC director David Cooke said rejecting a work was a very serious action and not taken lightly. He said the board preferred to consider cuts or changes but that was not possible in this case.

 

"'Manhunt 2' is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing," he said.

 

"There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game," Cooke said.

 

Take-Two could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

The BBFC noted it was the first game to be denied a classification since 1997, when "Carmageddon" was rejected for having players run down pedestrians. That decision was overturned on appeal.

 

The BBFC said the Take-Two label Rockstar Games that created "Manhunt" had the right to appeal the decision.

 

"Manhunt 2" is a follow-up to the 2003 original, which was classified in Britain for people aged 18 and over.

 

The U.S. nongovernmental organization that evaluates games, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, has not yet given a rating for "Manhunt 2," which is slated for a July 10 release.

 

The Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood urged people to write the ESRB and demand an "Adults Only" rating, which means it could not be sold by major retailers.

 

"An "Adults Only" rating is the only way to limit children's exposure to this unique combination of horrific violence and interactivity," group co-founder Susan Linn said in a statement.

 

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I'm not familiar with this franchise and it does not sound like something I would buy anyway. But I'm more than a little surprised at this kind of intrusive censorship. Warning labels are all fine and good but a total ban on sale and ownership? WTF?! Meta would no doubt call me down here for employing a slippery slope fallicy but it really is true that once an entity such as the BBFC uses such a heavy handed ruling they ususally find it easier to do next time. And next time the bar will be lower.

Get off my lawn!

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Sorry did not see that one! This one can be locked I guess. BTW nice to see your old avatar back Tale. Hated the other one.

Get off my lawn!

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Sorry did not see that one! This one can be locked I guess. BTW nice to see your old avatar back Tale. Hated the other one.

I only had the other one to torment Pop. Glad to see it was tormenting others, too.

Edited by Tale
"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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