The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has banned a video game for the first time in a decade. Manhunt 2 was rejected by the censors due its violent content, wich means that the game cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the U.K.
According to BBFC director David Cooke: “Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly. Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing.”
The last video game to be banned in the UK was Carmageddon in 1997. That decision was subsequently overturned on appeal by the Video Appeals Committee.
As much as I hate our government at times, and these whorish politicians who lament and try to pass laws affecting video games (when they've probably never touched a gamepad in their lives), at least they've never been able to ban a video game from being circulated and sold (at least to my knowledge). They've never been able to ban Night Trap, Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, or any of the other games they whine about. The worst they've been able to do is force the gaming industry to implement a ratings system. Even that's pretty useless, since minors have little problem playing Halo or GTA.
I feel badly for the Brits. But this should serve as a reminder that anyone who loves gaming needs to be vigilant when it comes to these know-nothing politicians who want to screw with a key part of our lives just to pander to soccer moms and the "moral majority".
By the way, I saw this a few weeks ago and meant to blog about it, but forgot: Apparently, there is someone in the New York State Assembly who wants to make it a Class E Felony (yes, a felony) to sell a violent video game to a minor. So if you're an acne-ridden, just out of puberty 17 year old, working at Gamestop, and you sell your 16-year old chubby friend a copy of 50 Cent: Bulletproof, be ready to accept the consequences of having to go to court, have some arrogant judge and DA stare you down, and possibly serve jail time.