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Banhunt 2

Sep 12, 2007

So hot on the heels of our last show, I've been reading about the release of the newly altered Manhunt 2 video game. For those who aren't gamers, the original Manhunt was essentially a mix of the survival horror game genre and a dose of the film 8MM. In the game, you were the star attraction in a maniac's live snuff film, where you fought to the death against an assortment of freakish games in a real world deathmatch. The game was grindhouse gaming, emphasizing gruesome executions that were graphically displayed. The sequel made some headlines back in June when it was banned in some countries and given the AO (Adults Only) rating by the ESRB. AO is equivalent to a film getting an X rating, and soon after the game developer Rockstar announces they would change the game to lower the rating. The first post change reviews have come out, and the difference amounts to blurring the death sequences so you can't specifically make out what you're doing to the person you're executing.

I was quite interested to get the game before the changes were made, and now that I've read how it's been altered I wouldn't take a free copy. I can't blame Rockstar for making the changes it did, since the rating would no doubt impact some sales, but it still irks the hell outta me. These blurs are just as empty a statement on the content of the game as when people alter curse words to make them socially acceptable. For example, I know people who use the phrase "jacked up" instead of simply saying "fucked up." It's just a silly example of how we superficially look down on something while accepting it context wise. If we all know what the person is really saying when they say "jacked up," why can't we just let them say what the phrase is code for? Have we still not come far enough to value the context of language? The same vacuous reasoning applies to Manhunt 2: so by obscuring the method in which you kill someone, have we suddenly found that execution is more tolerable? Why not just sit your kids down and let them know that violence is acceptable only as long as they don't look at who they're hitting?

Hey, wait a minute. This game isn't meant for kids you say?

Then WHY CENSOR THE GAME AT ALL. Are adults not able to decide what to buy or not to buy? And if the worry is that young kids will buy the game, why not put the burden on the stores and the parents to ensure they don't?

Oh, hold on. Someone might buy the game and then let a young kid see it. Again, why not place the burden on parents to make sure their children know right from wrong?

Then again, why not simply make society the responsible party for children being raised properly. That so often works out well.

Just take a look at our polished foster care system.

over twelve years ago

As a librarian i hate the idea of censoring things and get spurious complaints about books, unfiltered internet access, movies, cds...basically everything we deal in. I can see the ideology when it comes to children accessing/using information but even then it’s a grey area especially in books and some internet sites. When it comes to teenagers I think it is up to the parents to decide if the child is mentally able to comprehend and put into contents the information they are accessing.
I think censorship is like the issue of law and order...easier to use band aid solutions (ban/build more jails) than address the more complex social problems in the society
On a same sort of topic I was watching a few horror movies with my wife and she picked up how degrading a majority are towards women (Hills have eyes 2, Halloween remake etc) compared to males that I didnt really even think about. A Woman will be raped then tortured in one long scene while a male victim will just be killed in a few seconds. Is this just because movies are aimed more at men? Male directors? Reflection on society? Women just as entertainment?

over twelve years ago

If the game isn\'t made for kids I don\'t see the problem. Sometimes it seems we have clusters of laws and actions where one is already in place.