The British Board of Film Classification has banned a video game for the first time in a decade. “Manhunt 2” was rejected by censors due its violent content, meaning the game cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the U.K.
“Rejecting a work is a very serious action and one which we do not take lightly,” said BBFC director David Cooke in statement on the org’s Web site. ” ‘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.”
“Manhunt 2” is the first game to be banned since “Carmageddon” in 1997. That decision was subsequently overturned on appeal by the Video Appeals Committee. Rockstar Games, which developed “Manhunt 2,” has six weeks to submit an appeal against the decision.
The original “Manhunt” also caused controversy after the parents of Stefan Pakeerah, a 14-year-old boy stabbed to death in Leicester in February 2004, accused the game of inspiring Warren LeBlanc, the 17-year-old killer, to kill their son. Police, however, said robbery, rather than the vidgame, was the motivation behind the attack.
No comment was immediately available from Rockstar’s London office.