Melon Farmers Original Version

Manhunt 2

Computer game proves controversial

2nd November

Update: Adults Only...

Uncut Manhunt 2 set for release on PC in North America

If you're still wondering two years after the game's release exactly what the Adults Only version of Manhunt 2 would have looked like, you'll finally have your chance to see it on Tuesday. The Adults Only (AO) rated version of Rockstar's Manhunt 2 will be released for the PC via download through Direct2Drive for $29.95 on 6th November.

This release is limited to Mexico, US, & Canada


4th October

Update: Manhunt Begins...

Manhunt 2 finally set for release on 31st October

Rockstar finally gets to release Manhunt 2 (Wii, PSP) in the UK. UK gamers can expect the game to hit shelves on October 31.

This is the cut version of the game that was released in North America exactly a year ago.

The “original” version of Manhunt 2 first submitted to the BBFC is still banned.

Hackers later managed to find a code that will partially lift the game's censorship. Wonder if Rockstar was able to close that 'loophole' for the UK release.


16th April

 Offsite: BBFC Less Harmless...

BBFC feel justified in censoring at lesser levels of harm

See article from


15th March

Update: Entirely Unsuitable for the BBFC...

Manhunt 2 given 18 certificate after success at reconvened appeal

Manhunt 2 game coverThe cut M rated version has been passed uncut after a successful appeal to the reconvened Video Appeals Committee:

The BBFC issued the following press release:

The Video Appeals Committee announced that the result of their reconsideration of the Manhunt 2 appeal remains that the appeal against the rejection of the work by the BBFC is upheld.

The Board’s decision to refuse a certificate to Manhunt 2 was successfully challenged on appeal to the Video Appeals Committee. The Board challenged the VAC’s decision by way of Judicial Review before the High Court, which quashed the decision on grounds of errors of law. The VAC has now reconsidered the appeal in the light of the High Court’s directions on the law but has decided, again by a majority of four to three, to allow the appeal on the basis that Manhunt 2 should be given an ‘18’ certificate.

In the light of legal advice the Board does not believe the VAC’s judgement provides a realistic basis for a further challenge to its decision and has accordingly issued an ‘18’ certificate.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: As I have said previously, we never take rejection decisions lightly, and they always involve a complex balance of considerations. We twice rejected Manhunt 2, and then pursued a judicial review challenge, because we considered, after exceptionally thorough examination, that it posed a real potential harm risk. However, the Video Appeals Committee has again exercised its independent scrutiny. It is now clear, in the light of this decision, and our legal advice, that we have no alternative but to issue an ‘18’ certificate to the game.

The BBFC also provided a statement about the 18 certificate:

MANHUNT 2 is a violent action game based on a psychological-horror theme. The player takes on the role of Daniel Lamb, a seemingly disturbed patient in a mental facility, who escapes from the institution in an effort to discover who he really is. As he progresses through various environments collecting clues and information about his identity, he is confronted by numerous thugs employed by "The Project"; a secretive experimental organisation, whom he must either evade or kill in order to ensure his own survival.

MANHUNT 2 has been classified '18' for very strong bloody and sadistic violence, which takes the form of stealth executions. In order to successfully despatch a target, the player-character must creep up behind the victim quietly and kill before he is discovered. The killings are achieved through a number of common items such as syringes, glass shards, pens, crowbars, spades, power-saws, clubs, baseball bats, axes, pliers and, later on in the game, firearms. Each killing is graphically portrayed as a brief video scene where weapons are seen to impact on various parts of the victim's body coupled to realistic sound effects and blood spurts. The cumulative effect of these killings creates a very strong impression of almost continuous violence and horror which is too strong to be contained at any category below '18'. The game is entirely unsuitable for anyone below this age.

Rockstar Pleased

See full article from

Rockstar is now working towards a new release date for the title in the UK.

We are pleased that the VAC has reaffirmed its decision recognizing that Manhunt 2 is well within the bounds established by other 18-plus rated entertainment, a company statement read.

The version of the game to be released in the UK has been confirmed as the cut version currently available in the US under a Mature rating - the version which was rejected by the BBFC the second time around.

A Rockstar spokesperson told that due to the news of the VAC's decision only breaking earlier today, no official decision had yet been made on a release date, but discussions were expected to take place shortly.

Government Staying Out of It

See full article from

The UK government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport has told that it has no plans at the moment to intervene in the planned release of Manhunt 2 in the UK.

"The classification of Manhunt 2 is a matter for the BBFC and the Video Appeals Committee," said a spokesperson, after today's news that the VAC had reaffirmed its decision to back Rockstar in an appeal over the BBFC's refusal to certify the game.

"It is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence of any link between playing computer games and violent behaviour in real life," the spokesperson continued. "Our concern is to make sure that inappropriate material is kept away from children.


24th February

Diary: VAC Re-Appeal on 11th March...

Meanwhile get Manhunt 2 via eBay

Manhunt 2 game cover The VAC is due to begin reconsidering its Manhunt 2 decision on March 11

Censors are trying to ban a violent video game, but flouting the law is easy.

A few clicks of a mouse was all it took to buy one of the most unpleasant, gruesome video games that has ever been released.

It is so grim that the title has been banned by the BBFC, despite which it's readily available to purchase on the internet. I found it on eBay for £32 including delivery.

For what it's worth, the game is dreadful, with bad graphics, jittery camera work and simplistic gameplay. However, the unrelenting, sadistic violence and the fact that it is so easy to buy (despite it currently being illegal to sell the game in the UK), raises disturbing questions about the process by which video games are classified.

Last month a High Court judge ordered the VAC to rethink its verdict on the premise that the committee had misinterpreted the law. The VAC is due to begin reconsidering on March 11, but there's no guarantee it will change its mind. If it sticks by its decision, you can expect to see Manhunt 2 on sale legally shortly afterwards.


15th February

 Offsite: On the Trail of Manhunt 2...

BBC News speculate about Manhunt 2

See article from


5th February

Update: Manhunt for Justification...

Irish poll supports ban of Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2 game coverAn opinion poll carried out for the Irish censor's office shows overwhelming support for the decision to ban a controversial computer game.

The research found that 80% of respondents thought the office was right to ban the Manhunt 2 game last year, because of the extreme violence portrayed in it. 16% disagreed with the move and 4% had no opinion.

1000 people over 15 years were surveyed for the poll, which examines the public perception of the work carried out by the IFCO.

Censor John Kelleher says the results show people support the view that computer games have a greater impact on those who play them than films or DVDs.

The findings come ahead of a debate in UCC tonight about whether violent games should be more strictly regulated.

Kelleher points out that in his five years in the job, some 7,000 computer games have been released and only one has been banned. He says that while the results of the poll are encouraging from the point of view of the decision to ban Manhunt 2 , he does not see them as a licence to ban other titles.


26th January

Update: British Board of Games Censors...

Rockstar rightfully unimpressed by the court judgement

Manhunt 2 game coverRockstar is not wholly impressed by the High Court judgement, and expressed their feelings on the matter in a statement issued to the press:

"We believe the VAC decision was correct and do not understand the court's decision to expend further public resources to censor a game that contains content well within the bounds established by the BBFC's 18-plus ratings certification,"


25th January

Update: VAC Appeal Quoshed...

Freedom of expression denied to adults less the children play Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2 game coverIn an all-day hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Honourable Mr Justice Mitting sided with the BBFC's argument that the Video Appeals committee (VAC) had erred when considering whether Manhunt 2 could be considered harmful to minors who viewed it.

Whereas the VAC interpreted this as "actual harm," the BBFC and Mitting believed it should be taken in a broader scope of "potential harm and risk of harm." The BBFC also argued that the VAC based its decision on whether or not the game would have a "devastating effect on society," and argued that this "harm threshold" was too high.

Rockstar argued that due to the human right to expression, the game should never have been banned in the first place, and that even if Mitting found that the law had been misinterpreted, he should let the VAC's decision stand. Mitting responded by saying he did not feel qualified to make such a decision on the case, having not been involved in it since the beginning, but told the VAC that it should bear this criteria in mind when making their new decision.

During the proceedings, it also emerged that there are several stages to the decision made by the VAC in cases such as this. The first is whether the material is question is criminal (for example, containing child pornography), and Manhunt 2 was ruled to not contain anything of this nature.

The second decision is whether it will cause harm to adults, and once more, it was found that the game was not likely to do this. The third point was whether or not it was likely to be viewed by minors, and in response to that criteria, Rockstar argued that the BBFC's certification worked and that children were unlikely to have access to the game. However, the VAC ruled this was not the case because children were likely to have access.

The fourth decision was whether or not harm would be caused to minors if they viewed or played the game, and the vote was 4-3 in deciding that it would not. All members of the VAC admitted that it had been a very difficult case.

After quashing the VAC's decision, Mitting explained, In the circumstances, it seems to me the only just method of ending this. He stipulated that the same seven members of the VAC must now reconvene and make a new decision based on the guidelines he laid down in the courtroom today. It is understood that this is likely to happen within the next two weeks, which would in theory put an end to the protracted legal drama.

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