The government has responded to the petition to the Prime Minister
objecting to Manhunt 2's banning by the BBFC
. Unsurprisingly the response says (to paraphrase) "We're leaving it to the BBFC."
Specifically, the crux of the statement reads, "The Government is satisfied with the BBFC's procedure and with the provisions for appeal, and will not be intervening in this process." Note the fact that the government refers to the BBFC's procedure, not Manhunt 2
itself. The government is, essentially, holding up its hands and saying "not our problem."
The statement in full reads:
"The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) considers all works - whether film, video or game - submitted to it against a set of guidelines (available on its website - www.bbfc.co.uk).
The guidelines take into account the law and also public opinion. This means that the guidelines can and do change periodically, reflecting changing public opinion.
"The BBFC considered Manhunt 2 and concluded that, within the current guidelines, it could not be given a classification. The BBFC takes its responsibilities very seriously and it uses its powers to reject works extremely rarely. Details can be found on its website.
"There is an appeals procedure which the game's producers are apparently pursuing.
"The Government is satisfied with the BBFC's procedure and with the provisions for appeal, and will not be intervening in this process.
"The Government has recently announced a review aimed at helping parents ensure that their children are protected from exposure to inappropriate material in games. This is not intended to restrict the choice of material available to adults."
Quite why it has taken the government nearly three months to release this vacuous response, SPOnG is unsure. It certainly doesn't seem that the government ever had any intention to get involved beyond a vague nod of approval in the BBFC's direction.
This approach is reflected in the governments above-mentioned review of games
. It has thrown the issue out to a citizen's jury and appointed a TV personality to run the investigation
. In other words, it wants to be seen to be active on the issue of violence in games without actually having to upset anyone. SPOnG's Forum is open as ever to your opinion on the subject.
You can find the response here