BBFC On Manhunt 2 Ban: Rockstar To Appeal?

“Under the terms of the Video Recordings Act distributors have the right to appeal.”

Posted by Staff
BBFC On Manhunt 2 Ban: Rockstar To Appeal?
Following today’s earlier news that the the British Board of Film Classification’s Director David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Lord Taylor of Warwick and Janet Lewis-Jones have rejected Rockstar's 'ultra-violent' Manhunt 2, SPOnG spoke with the BBFC’s press officer, Sue Clark to find out more.

While we await official word from Rockstar and ELSPA on the matter, Mrs Clark informed us that Rockstar does have the right of appeal the BBFC’s decision within six weeks.

“Although it sometimes takes up to two months to get this happening,” we were informed, “ it is effectively a court process, a legal process for you to appeal, where the company has a right to appeal to the Video Appeals Committee.”

The Video Appeals Committee is an independent body headed up by Chairman John Woods, who has held the posts of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, and Hong Kong Director of Public Prosecutions.

If an appeal goes ahead then Mr Woods chooses the individuals he wishes to sit on the committees’ panel to assess the BBFC ban.

”If an appeal goes ahead will only be around the 20th appeal since 1984,” the BBFC’s Sue Clark informed SPOnG, “other than Carmageddon in 1997, which was the only other videogame to receive a BBFC ban, appeals have been mostly centred around pornographic videos.”

“There was also one appeal about a video called “Visions of Ecstasy” which was centred around blasphemy. About half of all the appeals to date have been successful,” she added.

More from Rockstar on ELSPA on the Manhunt 2 ban as we get it.

For any interested parties, a full guide to the BBFC appeals procedure can be found right here.

Companies:
Games: Manhunt 2

Comments

Showing the 20 most recent comments. Read all 22.
me 19 Jun 2007 14:27
3/22
bad news! there are a lot worse films out. People are just dumb(i wasnt gonna get manhunt but the choice being taken away is a joke)
hollywooda 19 Jun 2007 14:30
4/22
Rock* must be rubbing their hands (secretly) everyone knows banning anything makes people want it more & gives them instant cult status, look back & the old horror films, evil dead, chainsaw massacre, the exorcist, those films were huge!. this is just what Rockstar want & I'm sooo glad they are doing it on the Wii, someone desperately needed to give its ohh so clean cut, family loving, cutesy Mario imagine some filth & dirt, because 4 me Nintendo's imagine is really boring.
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headcasephil 19 Jun 2007 14:31
5/22
another game that i am going to have to import so pay a f**king lot for i wish we did not live in a big brother world and i have the right to be able to choose whether I'm going to play games were it might be ab it gory I'm not going to get nightmares and I'm not going to play a game and then re-an act it
Bob Fossill 19 Jun 2007 14:51
6/22
phil cort wrote:
another game that i am going to have to import so pay a f**king lot .../quote]

It's a s**t game. Forget it.
Joji 19 Jun 2007 14:59
7/22
How do you know it's a crap game, have you played it? How can you judge it if you haven't?

Even so, are we not allowed to make up our own minds as adults any more?

If this ban continues then I'll happily import it to support Rockstar against the nanny state.
Bob Fossill 19 Jun 2007 15:18
8/22
Joji wrote:
How do you know it's a crap game, have you played it?.


I have seen extended demos of the game and I am in total agreement with the BBFC. It shouldn't be allowed to be sold to anybody. And, unlike you may imagine, I am not a Daily Mail reading 'ban these evil games' type but a hardcore gamer and childless thirty-something male and usually consider myself to be very liberal on such matters.

Rockstar will inevitably have the ban overturned in time - gaining acres of free publicity as they do so - and this s**t game will eventually find its way into stores, so don't worry too much... But I'd advise you to not buy it, not only becuase the constant gratuitous violence tends to grate, but mainly because as a game it is incredibly dull.
Michael Bailey 19 Jun 2007 15:30
9/22
Sorry to be the one to point this out to you but the BBFC is one of the more liberal censorship body (well for films it is) so if you wont to import Manhunt 2 (like me as I really wont to play this game) chances are if the BBFC wont let it pass the ESRB will problem not pass the game. Which leaves the only option for importing as Japan or importing a different language game and I don’t fancy trying to play the game in Japanese or French. So if the appeal is unsuccessful it is very unlikely we will get to play this game.
Zoot Alors 19 Jun 2007 15:33
10/22
Darkstar Orion wrote:
F**k the BBFC


Yup, that's telling them in a language that certainly will convince the buggers that us gamers can make mature decisions and don't need nannying.

Darkstar Orion wrote:
Yeah sorry, ignore the police who know the case BETTER THEN YOU DO YOU GRIVING BITCH, sorry blame it on manhunt. Not the fact that you let your son get involved with some pyshco.


Yeah, the police are cool. We should listen to the police! Yeah! We're rebels who listen to the police! Yeah!

I'm assuming - that you mean, "Grieving bitch" - nice. Sure, if (and god forbid you ever actually breed) your child is murdered you'll certainly take the rational approach and not look to blame anybody at all. I mean, everybody does. And yeah! 'Griving' is like soooo lame and, like, makes you a bitch! Yeah... listen to the police!

Darkstar Orion wrote:
If you don't like something, don't play it, watch it, or read it. Just F**K off, and leave the rest of us alone.


Yup, that's the kind of gamer input that really ensures that the BBFC, The Daily Mail and Keith Vaz and Mr Thompson have no leg to stand on when seeking popular support for banning games - and their contention that gaming turns us all into mindless thugs with no grasp on the reality to social interaction - yeah, f**k that too, f**kers! What would the police say! Ask Sting! Yeah!

"Your honour, I would like to quote a Mr Darkstar Orion in his defence of gamers choice. I think he put it most cogently when he said, "F**k the BBFC! Listen to the police! F**k you all and f**k all grieving mothers!"

Nice one.

Joji 19 Jun 2007 15:50
11/22
I should have rephrased my question, have you played the full game from start to end? You can't judge a game on a demo properly. Sometimes the full game is actually better and irons out its problems. Come back and moan when you've played the full game, son.

Besides, we'll never get the chance to judge for ourselves by buying and playing it fully if this crap stays in place. I too am of a similar demographic to you, but I'd like the choice to say 'no, I don't want to buy that', instead of having it taken from me and never knowing.

I'm betting the BBFC made this decision without looking at the context of the storyline (which games have now, BBFC), which seems to be en vogue these days. I'd need evidence from them to really believe that this game deserves a ban. They have a website, so perhaps when ever they ban something, they should be prepared to present the evidence to the public as to why.
Ditto 19 Jun 2007 17:20
12/22
Joji wrote:
I should have rephrased my question, have you played the full game from start to end? You can't judge a game on a demo properly. Sometimes the full game is actually better and irons out its problems. Come back and moan when you've played the full game, son.


Ditto to you Joji ;).

The only people who have played the game through are, wait, the BBFC!

I'm betting the BBFC made this decision without looking at the context of the storyline (which games have now, BBFC), which seems to be en vogue these days.


They probably played the game through and made an informed decision.
Rahovart 19 Jun 2007 17:42
13/22
Crap or not, it is an artistic medium that developers have clearly spent a lot of time on, and something they are proud of. It's the developers, artists if you will, who are the ones losing out here, knowing that their hard work cannot be appreciated by those interested as it is deemed unsuitable. What is suitable these days? We are in too much of a liberal world now to even think about reverting to a sheltered society.

I'd certainly be a mighty bit ticked off if something I had spent hour upon hour, with no doubt endless crunches developing, even adapting to new formats such as the Wii control system, never got to see the light of day in some places.

But then, hasn't this existed as long as art itself?

king skins 19 Jun 2007 18:05
14/22
Joji wrote:
I'm betting the BBFC made this decision without looking at the context of the storyline (which games have now, BBFC), which seems to be en vogue these days. I'd need evidence from them to really believe that this game deserves a ban. They have a website, so perhaps when ever they ban something, they should be prepared to present the evidence to the public as to why.


Your normally quite a good poster but I completly disagree with you here. The BBFC is probably the best rating board in the world and they are very liberal. Its show your compete ignorence of how the BBFC work, all there decisions are based on the context in which the violence is presented.

And the BBFC did state why they didn't give the game a rating:

BBFC wrote:
Although the difference should not be exaggerated the fact of the game's unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying and the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer, together with the different overall narrative context, contribute towards differentiating this submission from the original Manhunt game," added Cooke.

Against this background, the Board's carefully considered view is that to issue a certificate to Manhunt 2, on either platform, would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both adults and minors, within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and accordingly that its availability, even if statutorily confined to adults, would be unacceptable to the public.



Joji wrote:
Besides, we'll never get the chance to judge for ourselves by buying and playing it fully if this crap stays in place. I too am of a similar demographic to you, but I'd like the choice to say 'no, I don't want to buy that', instead of having it taken from me and never knowing.


So if someone decided to make a game where you stalked little kids and then molested them you'd be cool with that cos you an adult and its upto you to make a choice about whether you want to buy it ot not?

I know you not going to agree with that and so you must agree that there is some cases where games/videos/media should be band from public sale? So we need something like the BBFC and their rules in place to monitor what goes on public sale.

The game has only been banned from public sale in the UK, your free to go import it if you want.
Joji 19 Jun 2007 18:34
15/22
Okay, if they've played the game start to end, I'd like to see the evidence of that to back their decision. Surely they can at least supply that, are some of you saying that's too much to ask for? Course it isn't.

Did they play it fully start to end, that is the question (as well as the one above).

Joji 19 Jun 2007 19:16
16/22
In reply to you King, I know I'm a good poster but this isn't about that. By the way, it is interesting that you cherry pick from my post while missing other points made but you haven't touch upon. This does you a disservice.

What you posted on your last post was a statement by the BBFC. Frankly that isn't good enough evidence when concerning this kind of thing. How the hell can they know what it offers to the player, only the player would know and communicate that? That statement makes me ask more questions. If they can present something solid to back their decision up then fine, ban it. I bet you believed the WMD thing too didn't you? Always ask questions to those in authority, King.

I wouldn't buy a game like what you suggest because 1: no one would have the guile and money to make it, 2: I wouldn't be interested it and 3: that's a crap and unsavoury subject (that's a crap comparison too). Perhaps something of a similar vein to manhunt might be better, you decide and choose.

Manhunt on the other hand I was gonna purchase, because what I'd read about it online and in mags like Edge had me interested. Sure, I'll import it, but the fact of the matter is I shouldn't have to.

Open your eyes my friend and listen and look at the media coverage of this whole thing, Could you say that it's fair coverage or biased towards games once again? Could you fairly say that Saw 1-3 and Hostel deserve to be on DVD rental and purchase, but Manhunt doesn't? Answer these questions and (and those above) get back to me. I'd like to know if they played the game fully (start to end) or not. To you it sounds like I'm asking too much for more information or something.
YenRug 19 Jun 2007 20:19
17/22
The thing I have a problem with, the storyline to this Manhunt game sounds more "reasonable" than the original Manhunt.

Manhunt 1: You're a comdemned prisoner (so you're already a killer) who has been secreted out of prison, on behalf of a cabal of wealthy voyuers, and dumped in a derelict city. Alongside you are other comdemned prisoners and you're facing numerous bloodthirsty gangs and corrupt police; your goal is to escape the city/last man standing, all the while being observed by the members of the cabal.

Manhunt 2: You're a research scientist who has been investigating behaviour modification, when you and your colleague discovered it was being used by "The Project" to create killers, you attempted to reveal your research to the press. Six years later, you "wake up" from a drug induced fugue to discover you're being held in an asylum which is a front for the Project, barely able to remember your own name. The place is wrecked after some of the experimental subjects rioted, your colleague is beside you and you realise you both have to escape. In your way are the psychotic, psychopathic, murderous subjects; on your tail are a gang of mercenaries who have one mission, to stop you any way that they can.

Now, I don't know about you, but from a moral standpoint, you have a greater justification for your actions in Manhunt 2 than you do in Manhunt; what does everyone else think?
king skins 19 Jun 2007 20:31
18/22
Bolloxs just wrote this once and lost it :(

Joji wrote:
In reply to you King, I know I'm a good poster but this isn't about that. By the way, it is interesting that you cherry pick from my post while missing other points made but you haven't touch upon. This does you a disservice.


I was in a rush to get home from work and I only pick out the bits I didn't agree with.

Joji wrote:
What you posted on your last post was a statement by the BBFC. Frankly that isn't good enough evidence when concerning this kind of thing. How the hell can they know what it offers to the player, only the player would know and communicate that? That statement makes me ask more questions. If they can present something solid to back their decision up then fine, ban it. I bet you believed the WMD thing too didn't you? Always ask questions to those in authority, King.


Thanks for the back handed insults. But instead of asking questions all the time why don't you look up some information?

http://www.bbfc.co.uk/customer/cust_procDigi.php
[url]http://www.bbfc.co.uk/website/Classified.nsf/e8ea0df3a881175480256d58003cb570/5f0b91fb15d5b748802572ff003be98
4?OpenDocument[/url]
http://www.bbfc.co.uk/
http://www.sbbfc.co.uk/

Like the Super Furry's said: We are not here to tell you what to think

Joji wrote:
I wouldn't buy a game like what you suggest because 1: no one would have the guile and money to make it, 2: I wouldn't be interested it and 3: that's a crap and unsavoury subject (that's a crap comparison too). Perhaps something of a similar vein to manhunt might be better, you decide and choose.


I never asked if you'd buy it, I asked if you thought I would be OK to sell such a game to the public. I was trying to stress the point that some things are not acceptable for public sale and the BBFC job was a necessary evil. Maybe I didn't get my point across very well and it wasn't supposed to be a comparison it was an analogy.

Joji wrote:
Open your eyes my friend and listen and look at the media coverage of this whole thing, Could you say that it's fair coverage or biased towards games once again? Could you fairly say that Saw 1-3 and Hostel deserve to be on DVD rental and purchase, but Manhunt doesn't? Answer these questions and (and those above) get back to me. I'd like to know if they played the game fully (start to end) or not. To you it sounds like I'm asking too much for more information or something.


I never once in my post said I agreed with the decision. I just disagreed with your sentiment and the whole I'm and adult I should be able to watch whatever I like attitude.

And no haven't seen any other coverage cos I've been in work. I've only seen a few coments by Vaz and some other people and they where bound to twist the situation to their own ends, its just the way of the world.
Joji 19 Jun 2007 20:37
19/22
Yeah Yen, and that's why I wanted to play it. But to the BBFC statement it sounds like they think this storyline doesn't matter much (just wallpaper and its the same game), when in truth to the gamer, it's why they are playing and what keeps them playing, to see if they can get out of false imprisonment alive.

Under an 18 banner, what you do to get out of that prison is all in the context of telling a psychological horror adult story. That's such a shame because such light focus wouldn't be done to a film in comparison (even though horror films are pretty strong these days). I don't think this is fair.
Joji 19 Jun 2007 21:04
20/22
Yes Mr King, a better comparison would be Scarface and The Godfather (especially on Wii) to use in Rockstar's defence. How is it that these get released and Manhunt 2 doesn't? This is clearly a case of bad biased double standards. Are they not just as if not more violent?

Chris2112 20 Jun 2007 16:06
21/22
I hope Rockstar will make an appeal to the courts to put right this terrible misjudging by the BBFC. The BBFC needs to consider what it's purpose is in preventing this game from being released-it is an entertainment product for adults, protected by laws that prevent it from being sold to minors. In this country where a youth of 16 can buy a knife, an offensive weapon, I consider it farcical that adults, who should have freedom of choice, should not be allowed to buy a computer game while we let kids buy knifes. Perhaps we've got our priorities mixed up here?

As I say, I hope Rockstar will appeal this ruling. I mean, we must question, since when did the BBFC become the British Board of Fascism and Censorship?
Boogle 19 Sep 2007 11:45
22/22
I find the backlash against the BBFC interesting. If you look at censorship laws in the UK we have one of the most tolerant board of sensors in the world. In fact I have seen some of the films that have been cut in the past few years, pre and post censorship and agree with most of their decisions. They normally only cut scenes of gratuitous sexual violence. As we all become desensitised to violence to a greater and greater extend where will it end. What was extreme yesterday, becomes mainstream today. We need to draw a line somewhere.
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