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NIMF on Manhunt 2

The National Institute on Media and the Family has issued a statement relating to the AO rating given to Manhunt 2, and the subsequent fallout of that decision. In gloating: "Hopefully Take-Two has learned from its Manhunt 2 experience and will undertake preventive measures to ensure its future games, including Grand Theft Auto IV, are appropriate for families and gamers," they seem to be opining that there aren't any adult gamers, so games targeted at adults are inappropriate:

Minneapolis - The National Institute on Media and the Family today released the following statement in response to Take-Two Interactive Software’s decision to “temporarily suspend” distribution of Manhunt 2. This announcement was in response to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) issuing an “Adults-Only” rating for the game and Nintendo and Sony’s decisions to deny Manhunt 2 a license for their products.

“Take-Two’s decision to temporarily suspend distribution of Manhunt 2 is a victory for parents and children.

“Because of the their thoughtful decision to give Manhunt 2 its strongest rating, “Adults-Only,” the ESRB has sent a strong message to Take-Two and other game makers that they no longer can push the envelope on gratuitous violence in video games. The ESRB showed real leadership in assigning this rating and further evidence it is making significant progress in keeping extremely violent and graphic materials out of children’s hands.

“Hopefully Take-Two has learned from its Manhunt 2 experience and will undertake preventive measures to ensure its future games, including Grand Theft Auto IV, are appropriate for families and gamers.

“As gaming technology continues to change, we hope to continue to work with the ESRB to ensure that future games have appropriate content and context for children. The uniqueness of Nintendo’s Wii gives game raters a new challenge when it comes to first-player shooter games. We take the ESRB’s decision about Manhunt 2 as a positive step in addressing this new challenge.”

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41. ... Jun 25, 2007, 04:02 Lit_Reflex
 
They shouldn't sell the games to kids because it is generally accepted in our society that such media shouldn't be viewed by children.

By requiring ID to purchase games, this releases the burden of responsibility from stores and content makers to the parents themselves, who really are the ones to "blame".

"It's not our fault that they don't want to be a parent and monitor their children or don't read the label before they buy a game." -AssassinEdge187

Personally, I don't see any problem with a 15 year old playing violent games.

On the other hand, I have noted from my own experiences as a youth that violent media encourages the idolization of violent actions in younger kids. This, however, doesn't necessarily lead to violence itself. It does, however, lead to the proverbial de-sensitization to violence that people worry about. This causes ignorance, apathy, and general stupidity... particularly (if not mostly limited to) people of low intelligence.

Any kid can get around these ID requirements, but by having them the content makers are free to make the games we want to play.

And by differentiating adult VIOLENT media from adult PORNO, perhaps companies like Sony and Nintendo can include MORE OF THE SAME SHIT on their systems while keeping the Jack Thompsons of the world at bay.

It pisses me off that there isn't a distinction between violence and porno in the ESRB's new cock-sucking efforts to appease fanaticists.

And while I'm at it, the idea that selling Mortal Kombat to a kid could land you JAIL TIME WITH A FELONY is absolutely MINDBLOWING.

-Asphyxium

This comment was edited on Jun 25, 17:03.
 
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40. No subject Jun 24, 2007, 17:07 Noctis
 
This is garbage. The average age of a gamer is over 18. Let the adult gamers decide what they want to play. How adult titles are handle are basically censorship because no body carries them due to only sex games got the AO rating. It's not our fault that they don't want to be a parent and monitor their children or don't read the label before they buy a game.

 
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39. Re: No subject Jun 24, 2007, 07:36 Xoxotl
 
Yes, the game stores shouldn't sell them

Why not? Because they're "bad for kids"? Sell them to adults only and if the local salesdrone at the cash registers sells them to kiddies anyway, fire his ass!

 
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Don't start anything you can't finish. Preferably to component atoms.
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38. No subject Jun 24, 2007, 07:35 Shadowcat
 
What are these "first-player shooter games" of which you speak?

 
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37. By the way... Jun 24, 2007, 04:59 Lit_Reflex
 
I hope that, even after they re-work it, Manhunt 2 features some better gore than its predecessor.

Really, the first one was absolutely pathetic. I just played the original a little bit just half an hour ago, and one of the executions didn't even have blood squirt out of a neck stab (there was blood on the camera and movement to convince you otherwise).

The only thing the first one has that is respectable is that you can make someones head (what's left of it) look like what you can do to someone in Soldier of Fortune 2.

It's not as good as SoF2's, but still...

And by the way... There was a guy who's company did military authenticity consulting for the film Saving Private Ryan.

He's the main character of the Soldier of Fortune series.

No joke. His name is John Mullins and he is real.

Check the game out, and see the previous post on how to unlock the violence in the Sof2 demo.

-Asphyxium

 
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36. Simple Solution Jun 24, 2007, 04:48 Lit_Reflex
 
I think these stupid fucks need to chill the fuck out.

Games should be as gory as people want them to be. I haven't seen it, but I think Hostel II is based on a similar idea as Manhunt.

Basically, there should be a mature 18+ rating. Adults only implies pornography, and to have an adult-rated game without such things would simply not work in acceptance from the public.

And yes, stores should card people that buy these games and should not sell them to minors. Why not? What fucking kid do you know that can afford these things, by the way?

That way, the blame is on the PARENTS and not on the CONTENT MAKERS who should be able to MAKE THE CONTENT THAT WE WANT.

By the way, people shouldn't be put behind bars with a felony (3 of which lands you LIFE IN PRISON in California) for selling violent or pornographic material to minors (as some of these fucking psychos want).

And console manufacturers should acknowledge that they allow overly gory games like Mortal Kombat and Soldier of Fortune 2 (THE goriest game *I* have ever played) and accept games rated Mature 18+.

It's one thing to have pornography on your game system, but a whole 'nother thing to have MORE OF THE SAME SHIT.

'Nuff said.

-Asphyxium

By the way, if you want to see some REAL gore (taking someone's face apart piece by piece down to the brain tissue and beyond, for example), play Soldier of Fortune 2 on the PC. Download the demo! Just make sure to enable the gore. Here's how:

"Before starting the game, right click the shortcut to the SoF2 demo (whether it's in the Start Menu or the Desktop) then click Properties and go to ''Target'' and enter +set lock_blood 0 to the end. It should like something like ''C:\Program Files\Soldier of Fortune II - SP Demo\SoF2.exe'' +set com_multilingual 2 +set sp_language +set lock_blood 0

Then, close the shortcut, start SoF2 and start a new game. Open up the console with Shift + Tilde (~) and type in ''menu lock'' (without the quotes). The violence menu will appear, prompting you for a Parental Lock password. Anything will do. Set the new password and then the choices will be brought up, such as allowing blood and/or limbs damage. Once you have picked your selections, exit and restart the game. Now the demo will have all the violence of the retail version! ;)" -UnknownMercenary

 
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35. Not a victory Jun 23, 2007, 21:02 Rob
 
NIMF doesn't understand that lack of an effective AO will cause problems and is a loss, not a victory.

It means that the envelope will be pushed as companies try to get more and more into M and T.

 
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34. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 17:53 Sepharo
 
Why would you support a government organization with the ability to ban the sale of a product? Do you not see the potential for abuse or the involuntary submittal to a set of values and morals that may not necessarily reflect your own?

Let private retailers and private individuals decide what they want to sell and buy. And hell, why not throw a ratings board NOT associated with government into the mix just to provide some guidance.

People like you who welcome and encourage government regulation of nearly every aspect of life make me sick... Glad you're in the UK and not in the US.

 
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33. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 17:26 Jerykk
 
Your comment assumes that the majority agree with your opinion that the original Manhunt featured 'genuinely good stealth gameplay'... which it did not

Your comment makes me assume that you never actually played through Manhunt and/or you really don't like checkpoint saving

 
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32. No subject Jun 23, 2007, 16:25 Optimaximal
 
Thats half the problem. The self-regulation means the ratings have no real meaning and no legal rammifications. Yes, the game stores shouldn't sell them, but there's nothing stopping them.

In Europe, PEGI (the equivalent of the ESRB) gave an advisory but if they feel the game is 'beyond' their powers, they hand it over to the individual rating boards for the country.
In the case of the UK, this is, as we all know by now, the BBFC, who have the power to refuse classification - thus sale - of the product... ownership is still allowed by the way, so we aren't going to get cases of suited men dragging gamers from their homes kicking and screaming.

This isn't Germany, Greece or Australia after all, where the laws prevent ownership.

 
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31. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 14:22 PHJF
 
What? Nobody mentioned anything about government. We're talking MPAA and ESRB ratings. I don't know how you whackos in the UK do it, but it's self-regulation in the states.

------
"That don't look like no golden marmoset I ever seen!"
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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30. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 13:57 Sepharo
 
Holy hell, I hope you're not indicative of the rest of the UK.

"It's simply been decided by a governing body that the game serves no real value..."

That's the problem buddy.

 
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29. No subject Jun 23, 2007, 12:29 xXBatmanXx
 
AO = buttloads of cash.


Gun Control isn't about guns. It's about control.
 
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Buy from GreenManGaming? Use this, we both get $2.00 - http://www.greenmangaming.com/?gmgr=purutuwi
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28. No subject Jun 23, 2007, 10:32 Optimaximal
 
Ok, in retrospect i'll admit it is censorship (don't post when you're in a bad mood at work kids :)), but not the way most people are describing it.
The majority of people are decrying it as if governments are trying to stamp their mark on the people, as if suddenly having the ability to play one game removed is an attack on civil liberties. Or as if they're banning certain products to sway the general opinion of the populace.

It's not... Ok, on the surface it seems like its just pandering to the media (anyone in the UK could liken it to the racism rows with regards to Big Brother), but deep down there could be real problems if such garbage was released.

It's simply been decided by a governing body that the game serves no real value and leaving it in the wild unchecked will simply allow it to get into the hands of impressionable people.
Now i'm not saying its you (the readers of Blues) or the majority of the people who are actually affected by the ban (mature gamers) but given the general slack level of parenting across the world at the moment with regards to mature-rated products, it would only be seen as a weakness not to take the stance that was made.
If they let the game get released on the Wii, it's likely to be mere days before some 12 year old kid plays it over his friends house and then goes home to garrote his little brother with the Wii-mote strap.

I hate to sound like Helen Lovejoy, but someone really needs to think of the potentially dangerous events that could happen should one isolated impressionable child who like re-enacting what he sees manages to somehow play Manhunt 2.

Prevention is better than a cure and all that...

ok... </dismounts soapbox>

I'm off to run from some cops in Most Wanted, then i'm gonna finish playing F.E.A.R.

 
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27. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 10:19 ReverendTed
 
The BBFC banning it is not censorship. It's simply removing the goods from the market on the grounds that the game is simply too raw for consumer consumption
How is this not censorship?

 
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26. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 09:21 Dre
 
Jack Thompson, get off this website.

 
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25. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 07:38 Optimaximal
 
For what it's worth I think the decision to ban Manhunt 2 in the UK is completely wrong. I have no desire to play the game and had nothing to do with the first one either but a game is a game is a game. These aren't murder simulators or we should be banning kids from playing cops and robbers or whatever the equivalent is today.

In the UK it's compulsory for a game to get a rating and that rating represents a legally binding age limit that a retailer can be heavily fined for breaking. Banning a game outright is just pandering to the attention whores in the media and I hope whoever came up with that decision gets fucked out of the BBFC ASAP.
Or not...

The BBFC exists as a compulsory rating scheme for movies released in cinemas and DVD/Video nationwide that was introduced as law once the video nasties of the 80's started doing their rounds.
It's worth noting that the BBFC can only pass judgement onto local councils, who then agree or decline to stock the product based on the recommendations made by the council. If a particular council disagrees with the rating, they can overturn it in their constituency (for example, allowing banned films to be shown at film festivals to captive audiences etc), but most simply agree to the BBFC ratings due to the overall fairness of the group (and less red tape).

They are not compulsory for games unless PEGI (the Pan-European Game Information board) deams the game too graphic or controversial for their ratings. They are then passed onto the relevant country agencies (in the UK, the BBFC) for a sterner rating.
The BBFC were quite vocal about their displeasure with the original Manhunt, stating that it was at the absolute limit of what they'd tolerate. Rockstar pushed it further with the sequel, meaning all the BBFC could do would be to refuse classification, else they'd be hypocrites.

The BBFC banning it is not censorship. It's simply removing the goods from the market on the grounds that the game is simply too raw for consumer consumption given that impressionable minors can (and will) get their hands on it.

Yes, the killing that was blamed on the original was found out to be bogus, but Manhunt 2 (especially on the Wii) IS a murder simulator - Despite being contained in some sembelence of plot (and some of the extreme situations described in the media being over-enthusiastic ramblings from a deranged IGN interviewer), the whole point of the game is to kill innocent or not-so-innocent human beings in increasingly violent and shocking ways.

Finally, remember that anyone from the US criticising the UK for 'lacking in free speech' is deluded (or at least mis-informed).
Our country was not founded on the principles of 'say and do pretty much what you want too' and I believe we are so much better for it. Infact, i'm happy crackwhore teenages can't buy guns from the local supermarket only to rob them 5 minutes later.

 
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24. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 07:22 Optimaximal
 
Your comment assumes that Manhunt was to be enjoyed purely for the violence alone instead of the genuinely good stealth gameplay.
Your comment assumes that the majority agree with your opinion that the original Manhunt featured 'genuinely good stealth gameplay'... which it did not

 
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23. No subject Jun 23, 2007, 05:47 BrutalDeluxe
 
As a 29yo gamer and father of two:
- I should be allowed to play adult-themed games just like I'm allowed to watch adult-themed movies
- I'm glad there's an organization putting rating on game boxes so I don't have to research or play the game myself before giving it to my kids

Overall, sucks for Rockstar because it will diminish their sales. But what is really broken here is that the existing law isn't applied - I can be twelve and walk in a gameshop to buy GTA3 no questions asked. If only shop owners where responsible, the system would work as it was intended to, with parents enjoying their adult games with children not having access to them. Oh well.

 
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22. Re: No subject Jun 23, 2007, 02:02 Awesome Spume
 
If GTA4 faces a similar situation, there could potentially be enough backlash to prompt some sort of re-evaluation of the system itself.
However, I don't anticipate GTA4 going down that path in the first place. (Perhaps unfortunately.)


Rockstar got kicked in the nuts and they're hurting. The silly talk about them doing this deliberately to provoke a reaction is wish fulfillment. We're not talking about Pepsico or IBM here - Rockstar could find itself shutdown in a matter of months and it won't make even the slightest ripple in the market. Making a game which is banned outright in the UK (W T F?)and effectively banned in the US is a retarded decision for a company which has to keep its investor's happy. GTA4 will be cushions and safety swings after this or they don't exist anymore.

For what it's worth I think the decision to ban Manhunt 2 in the UK is completely wrong. I have no desire to play the game and had nothing to do with the first one either but a game is a game is a game. These aren't murder simulators or we should be banning kids from playing cops and robbers or whatever the equivalent is today.

In the UK it's compulsory for a game to get a rating and that rating represents a legally binding age limit that a retailer can be heavily fined for breaking. Banning a game outright is just pandering to the attention whores in the media and I hope whoever came up with that decision gets fucked out of the BBFC ASAP.

And finally, as everybody knows serial killers are inspired by the Beatles not by video games. Ban music.


EDIT: oh and if the "National Institute on Media and the Family" hadn't issued a press release condemning Manhunt 2 they wouldn't exactly be doing their jobs now would they? More to the point, who the fuck are the National Institute on Media and the Family and have you even heard of them before now? Is it one angry guy posting self righteous hatemail in his underwear? Or two?
This comment was edited on Jun 23, 02:05.
 
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