Will The UK Ban Stephen King Books Next?

from the oh,-the-horror dept

Lots of folks have been submitting the story of British censors deciding to give the new video game Manhunt 2 tons of free publicity ban the new video game Manhunt 2. The censors are claiming that it's being banned for "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone." Of course, that pretty much describes every horror movie or horror book ever created -- but we don't hear calls for those to be banned. Yet, the censors claim that the game "involves a range of unjustifiable harm risks to both adults and minors." It's not quite clear what those risks are. In the meantime, that second link points out that there's a campaign underway stateside against the game as well, from a group demanding that the game be given the strictest rating possible from the ESRB. Of course, the group pushing for this also admits that it's not yet seen the game. Apparently everyone there just knows that the game must be horrible. In the meantime, thanks to all this negative publicity, you can pretty much bet that the demand for Manhunt 2 just show way up.


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  1.  
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    Paco, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:44pm

    Shoot...I don't even own a game console, but I might have to go out and buy one just so I can play this game when it comes out.

     

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  2.  
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    wolf0579, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:46pm

    I suspect a religious group stateside for the ban before viewing approach. That's the fundamentalist way over here.

     

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  3.  
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    Seriously, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:49pm

    Of course it's going to be horrible...

    The first game was not only gorey and sick, it was also a bad game. And the argument as to why video games are to be dealt with differently than movies and books is that they're interactive. There's incentive in videogames (especially Manhunt) to perform the most brutal kills. I can appreciate some violence in a game, but since when is that it's defining feature? I'd much rather play a game with good gameplay than simply play something because it's shocking. Shocking is not hard to do.

     

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  4.  
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    Koala MeatPie, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:54pm

    The UK (And easpecially Ireland)has always been trigger happy when it comes to banning things, be it Pink floyd Songs (Arnold Lane) To their very own Monty Python.

    Bascially banning over there is like Sueing And the RIAA in the U.S.

     

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  5.  
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    Koala MeatPie, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 3:57pm

    That was used as an emphesis, not a matter of fact*

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:13pm

    I'm a teacher at a "fundamentalist" college and I played Manhunter. It wasn't that big of a deal. Why even bring this issue up.

    The only groups that prejudice is allowed against is fundamentalist Christians.

     

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  7.  
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    GIR, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:17pm

    Censorship

    God, censorship, censorship, OH MY GOD Censorship!!! I hate it! I hate it, so f**king much (oh no, they've already got me self censoring my self?!). I side with Techdirt, what next? Elton John will be censored because his gay? Paris Hilton will be censored because she's blond? It's ridiculous. If censorship continues at this rate, our world will be like the world in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Five!!!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:25pm

    Com on Anon Coward... That last statement is a load of crap. No one cares what Fundamentalists do until they decide to tell everyone else what to do. Your statement is twisted and only true if you believe it is your right to dictate other people's lives.

     

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  9.  
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    matt, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:30pm

    fundies

    fundies are indeed a part of the problem, they need to stay out of our lives and they don't....don't get me started. No other group seems to have 90% extremists who feel they have a right to tell other people how to live.

    Anyway, mike typo on the last sentence? show way up?

    also, this represents the stupid crap epople are, there's no other way to describe attempting to censor a single game as if it makes some kind of difference.

     

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  10.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:30pm

    @Anonymous Coward on Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:13pm
    "The only groups that prejudice is allowed against is fundamentalist Christians."

    interesting that you turn a blind eye against the allowed prejudice towards atheists. of course, we're immoral, godless sinners who are going to burn in hell; i don't see why you'd even notice.

    @Seriously
    "And the argument as to why video games are to be dealt with differently than movies and books is that they're interactive."

    interesting argument, it's too bad there's no supporting evidence what-so-ever for the interactivity of video games causing them to be any worse than any other type of violent media.

    -

    ever since i was young i recall being told by politicians and annoying mothers, who would rather be rabble-rousing than, get this, mothering, that by ripping my friends head and spine off, in the still-kick-ass-video-game mortal kombat, that i'd turn into some crazed, violent youth hell bent on imitating the things i did in those video games. what amazes me the most is that all these years later, when there's observable evidence that video games DON'T cause violent behavior, that this is still a soapbox issue with politicians and another generation of mothers who are inept at mothering. hint: if there was a CAUSAL relationship between playing violent games and violent behavior manifesting then myself and the hordes of others who competed trying to mutilate the other would be in quite different situations than we now find ourselves in.

     

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  11.  
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    nipsey russell, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    "There's incentive in videogames...to perform the most brutal kills. "

    actually no, theres incentives to... push buttons. oh, horror!

     

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  12.  
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    nipsey russell, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 4:51pm

    "The group said the Wii version was particularly troublesome because players would be able to act out the violence with the console's controller."

    crap, i was wrong...the incentive is to, what shake a stick?
    we're dooooomed!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:04pm

    "The UK (And easpecially Ireland)has always been trigger happy when it comes to banning things, be it Pink floyd Songs (Arnold Lane) To their very own Monty Python.

    Bascially banning over there is like Sueing And the RIAA in the U.S."

    The U.K isn't actually that bad when it comes to games. It's not really that bad in general. Monty Python, for example, wasn't widely banned. "Life Of Brian" was banned in many parishes (a lot of which didn't even have a cinema in their borders) simply because no one actually bothered to make sure it's not a parody of Jesus. Which it isn't.

    Manhunt 2 is probably up for banning because of some murder case we had a while back which blamed Manhunt (it later turned out that it was the kid who was killed who actually owned the game, not the other way around). They probably just can't be bothered going through all the negative press of various groups claiming they suck because they allowed it to be released.

    Plus, seriously, Manhunt isn't even that good a game. I doubt Manhunt 2 will be any better.

     

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  14.  
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    Bob Jones, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:15pm

    Will the US stop exporting murderous, vile crap?

    For the record I don't mean The War on Terror.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    http://kotaku.com/gaming/breaking/manhunt-2-rated-adults-only-270337.php

    Manhunt 2 just got a preliminary AO rating here in the States. Looks like the UK's not the only place worried about the game.

     

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  16.  
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    N0RR1N RADD, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:34pm

    The system works, people are broke...

    My 9 year old son and I are avid gamers and we play multiplayer games together. Not only do I check the ratings before I give a game my blessing, I play the game myself. The ratings are just guidelines; it is a parent's job to decide if a particular game is suitable for their child.
    We wouldn't even need the ratings if people still believed in personal responsibilty and took a more active role in their children's upbringing.
    If the UK really wants to shield children from violent media, they should start by censoring the television news, which I don't let my kid watch, by the way.

     

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  17.  
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    N0RR1N RADD, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:45pm

    Re: fundies

    The best thing about "fundies" is you , as an American citizen, don't have to listen to them. In some countries, not listening to the "fundies" is punishable by death.

    Typo? epople?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 5:48pm

    "Of course, that pretty much describes every horror movie or horror book ever created -- but we don't hear calls for those to be banned."

    Clearly you weren't around in the UK during the 80s - calls to ban movies ("Video Nasties") resulted in the Video Recordings Act - the very law used to ban Manhunt 2.

     

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  19.  
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    Charles Griswold, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:04pm

    Re:

    crap, i was wrong...the incentive is to, what shake a stick?
    Yes, exactly. You're killing things by exercising your masturbation muscles (think about the motions you make with the Wiimote). They're worried that one day you might snap, climb a water tower, drop your trousers, and "snipe" at people. :-P

     

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  20.  
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    Koala MeatPie, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:52pm

    I'd Sugest applying the "Lego Rule"

    Weapons and killing is okay as long as they are not modern looking. (Swords, Muskets) (Freak Video Camera looking Ray Gun)

    For example, Halo, you're shooting Aliens that look nothing like Humans, and even if they did, the weapons are funky.

    Every kid plays Cowboys and Idians, Cops and Robers Scince a hell of a long time. (Thank you Wired)

     

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  21.  
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    Kyros, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:53pm

    I agree with N0RR1N RADD, He has a valid point in that parents need to be in charge of deciding whats appropriate for they're children. I don't want someone telling me what appropriate for my child. I don't want a government telling me what appropriate for me either. Besides, attacking something, especially this upfront only makes it more popular as mike said.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 6:54pm

    As Applyied to kids* under a Certain Maturity / understanding, not everybody - D'uh.

     

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  23.  
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    Paul, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:14pm

    Duh

    "Clearly you weren't around in the UK during the 80s - calls to ban movies ("Video Nasties") resulted in the Video Recordings Act - the very law used to ban Manhunt 2."

    Clearly he didn't bother to do any research before pulling a sensationalist title out of his ass either.

     

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  24.  
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    Newob, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:32pm

    Fallout 3

    Can't wait for the "protect the children" banning of Fallout 3. Even if it sucks this will no doubt happen. But this is probably more of a publicity stunt, to get the game more attention so more people buy it anyway

     

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  25.  
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    动画片, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:41pm

    I agree with N0RR1N RADD, He has a valid point in that parents need to be in charge of deciding whats appropriate for they're children.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:43pm

    Where do I buy it?

     

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  27.  
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    T.J., Jun 19th, 2007 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Re: fundies

    "The best thing about "fundies" is you , as an American citizen, don't have to listen to them. In some countries, not listening to the "fundies" is punishable by death."

    Umm yeah as an American we don't got to listen to em. But when they go out of their way to get involved in MY life, I have reason to have severe disrespect for such people.

     

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  28.  
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    Gaming Dad, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Will the US stop exporting murderous, vile cra

    pffft! America is not the root of all evil. People are. Besides even though I love my country and I'm a vet. I have to admit national border's and differences are fading, and probably a thing of the past or soon will be.

    Anyway on the topic at hand,

    A game is a game, don't like it, don't play it. Don't want your kids to play it then try something new...parenting.

    As a father of two I decide what my kids don't do and do.
    I also teach them the difference between what's on the screen and real life to handle those moments (like at a friend's house) when I am not present. My kids make straight As (or near to it most report cards) We listen to music like Korn, Mariln Manson, KMFDM. Watch zombie movies and play every video game that we can get our hands on. Violence in children (and adults) comes from being the victims of violence. Either at the hands of adults or their peers. Not from the game/music/books/TV.

    Nothing, no ban, no rating beats good parenting. I personally wish people would stop cesoring and just start parenting. Either that or stop breeding.

    Make what ever game/movie/book you want people. If it sucks then no one will buy it.

     

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  29.  
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    mike allen, Jun 19th, 2007 @ 11:51pm

    As I live in the UK banning is in effectual there will be copies around you just cant walk into a shop and buy it.

     

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  30.  
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    Edinburgh IT dude, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    Totally. I didn't care a jot about this; now I'm getting a chipped Wii and a US version to see what all the fuss is about.

    (Incidentally, I work 3 offices down from the Rockstar buildings where the game is developed, and saw them in the pub as happy as Larry - they obviously know that a ban on the game is pretty much the best thing that could happen to promote their game.)

     

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  31.  
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    Ferin, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 5:34am

    Reminds me of that idiot thompson suing to have Bully pulled from the shelves before it was even out yet. No doubt the manhunt games are freakishly brutal, but they could at least wait till it's been submitted to the ESRB or something.

     

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  32.  
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    Anon, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Censorship

    No, Paris Hilton will be censored because she's Paris Hilton. That's Hot

     

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  33.  
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    Sean, Jun 20th, 2007 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    The way I understand it, the ESRB has given it an AO rating here. TakeTwo/Rockstar can make changes and re-submit if they want, but there's a good deal of discussion already about if Take-Two can financially afford the time and money it would cost them to have Rockstar do the needed work.

     

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  34.  
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    Overcast, Jun 29th, 2007 @ 6:50am

    If you are willing to ban one item - others certainly won't be far behind.

    You'd think the lessons of the past would teach people where 'banning' can lead.

    I think 'power' not only corrupts the soul, but the mind too. How many politicians would the world consider 'smart'?

    Plus - it'll just generate a re-sales market on e-bay for it.

     

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  35.  
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    toptop90, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 1:35pm

    i thought shaun hutson novels were more graphic that kings novels.in other words 90% gore and hardcore sex

     

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