Censors battle for Manhunt 2 ban

British censors are seeking a judicial review to block the sale of controversial video game Manhunt 2. Last week developer Rockstar won a hearing at the Video Appeals Committee to have a ban on the title lifted. But the British Board of Film Classification said that decision was based on an incorrect interpretation of the Video Recordings Act. The game was first banned in June, as was a revised version of the game which was presented to the BBFC in October. "The VAC judgement, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence," the BBFC said in a statement.

Rockstar was not immediately available for comment. When the game was first refused certification, effectively banning it, David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said the game featured "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone". He added: "There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game." The title has become one of the most controversial games in recent times. At the VAC appeal hearing, Fred Hasson, president of developer association Tiga, said he was "surprised at how tame [the title was] compared to some very graphical scenes I've seen in other games which have received certification". He added: "I expected it to be a lot worse... I can't believe that this has been singled out as something that is worth banning."

News source: BBC News

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