Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The New York Times on Manhunt 2: less violent than R rated movies

The "controversy" over Rockstar Games' and Take Two Interactive's Manhunt 2, a violent action game, set to be released later this year has gone through the roof in the last week or so.

The British and the Irish banned it outright, and ESRB, the US organization which rates video games, issued it an Adult Only (AO) rating, which effectively kills the game in the United States. The AO rating means Microsoft, Nintendo nor Sony will allow its release on their video game platforms since all of them have licensing agreements with developers that prohibit releasing AO rated games. All major retailers in the United States also do not carry AO rated video games.

The video gaming industry has been silently sitting idle watching the fireworks and trying to remain quiet as if not to attract too much attention afraid of something else "bad" might come out of speaking out.

A New York Times journalist, Seth Schiesel, however did not remain quiet. He has written an article comparing Manhunt 2 to modern horror movies, all of which are rated R, a much less restrictive rating than the AO rating for Manhunt 2.

He found out the R rated horror movies are far more violent than the video game that's currently been labeled as a "murder simulator" and the most violent video game to date. But such is the power of objective research, rather than letting yourself be influenced by alarmists with self-serving agendas and by fear of "not doing something".

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