The BBFC's Jim Cliff is one of twelve examiners at the classification board who deals with videogames. Cliff was on hand at GameCity last week to talk about, amongst many other things, the continuing refusal on behalf of the BBFC to give Rockstar’s Manhunt 2
an 18-rating due to the game’s "unremitting bleakness and casual sadism."
While Rockstar continues to appeal against the BBFC’s decision, many adult British gamers are confused, angry and a little upset about this decision, particularly in light of the fact that the edited version of the game (still not edited enough for the BBFC!) goes on sale in the US later this very week on Halloween.
While Cliff is currently not able to talk (publicly) about the Manhunt 2
decision, what with the appeal still being under way, he was asked in an interview over the weekend how the BBFC can defend the decision when violent ‘torture porn’ movies such as Hostel
have been released with 18 certificates.
Cliff answered thusly:
“If the majority of Hostel was the same as some of the most violent scenes in it, it's entirely possible it could have been banned. But it's not. Most of the running time isn't violence, that's mainly crammed into a few short scenes. Also, in Hostel you are very much required to identify with the victims more than in most games.”
Cliff was also asked directly if he thought parents understood the BBFC ratings on games, to which he gave the following very open and revealing answer:
“I think it depends on whether they've played games before. They understand ratings on video undeniably. Ninety-seven percent of British parents are familiar with and understand our ratings. When it comes to how they apply to games, I think that the biggest issue is with parents who've never played games and are either not interested in what their kids are playing, or don't feel they would be able to understand, and so they don't take an interest. And I think it's not necessarily that they're not interested in the ratings, it's that they don't know how they would apply to games. They don't know--whereas they might know what a 15 film is like, they've got no clue what a 15 game is like. And so it's much harder for them and if their kid says that's fine, then they think it's probably fine.”
Read SPOnG's recent interview with TV Psychologist Tanya Byron
, for more musings on parental confusion with game age ratings systems in the UK.Source: Gamespot