BBFC Banned Manhunt 2 But Okays Throat-slitting, Eye-Gouging Movie

October 22, 2007 -
What's good for the cinematic goose is not, apparently, okay for the video game gander.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the British Board of Film Classification, which assigns video game ratings in the U.K., has adopted a hands-off approach to movie violence.

That's of interest to GamePolitics readers because it was the BBFC which banned Manhunt 2 in June. The organization refused to lift the ban earlier this month, even after developer Rockstar submitted an edited version of the game. The revisions earned Manhunt 2 a marketable M-rating (17+) in the United States.

From the Daily Mail:
The controversy was triggered by the board's decision to approve the ultra-violent film Eastern Promises (pic at left) without any cuts.

The 18-certificate movie, which is released this week, includes graphic scenes of throatslitting, child prostitution and a man having an eye gouged out.

A spokesman for the board said it was up to adults to decide what they wanted to watch and that movie-goers were free to look away from the screen.

Given that the BBFC removed those choices from adults in the Manhunt 2 situation, a BBFC spokesman rather ironically told the newspaper:
The BBFC provides clear consumer advice. If the board went about cutting out every scene liable to offend then we would be leaving adults without any choice. Who's to decide what adults can or can't watch?

However, the BBFC can apparently decide what adults can or cannot play...



Well, "debating" with JT is like playing one of those training modes in fighting games where the cpu 'opponent' just sits there and takes it. Not so good practice for debate if you ask me. Besides, we win by default every time anyway...

"Jack Thompson has filed an action in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to shut down The Bar’s illegal assault upon him"

You filed 10 or so trying to get the ruling Judge recused and they went nowhere. You filed several more trying to get Norm Kent involved in the case, investigated and even arrested, and what came of it? An impending libel case which I am very sure Mr. Kent will win. You filed I don't know how many motions and actions already to try and get the legitimate complaints (from several different sources) regarding your appaling behaviour dropped, it is still going ahead.

Seems like business as usual for you.

This is pretty funny. I love to see hypocrites exposed. It should be a video.

Why would they let adults choose their movies, but not their games? Because they are out of touch with modern society. They do not think that games are art worthy of respect (if they think of games as art at all).

Sorry nothing new to add. :(

*are proof


You're not the only one, I find myself getting into movies a lot more than video games since while playing a game I have to puzzle things out, and I look at things like graphics and AI as well. The game is more interactive, but that activity makes it harder to lose sight of the fact that it is just a game. Also the fact that games as a whole are unrealistic makes it harder to lose sight of myself when playing, I could play through a Halo marathon beating Halo 1-3 straight and never think I'm some 8 foot tall super soldier that must save the earth from an alien coalition bent on destroying all humanity. During the said marathon I would notice improvements in graphics and AI, but my thoughts on the game would never go beyond "Hey, this is a good game". On the other hand watching a movie, using less than 1% of my mind means the rest of my brain is working on putting me into the main characters shoes, and going over 'what if' events as if I were the character. Obviously this connection is broken as soon as I stop watching for any reason, but the connection forms much better watching a movie than when playing a game.

I'll admit I'm fairly susceptible to horror things (games and movies, and oddly enough I don't scare easily IRL, just when watching fake stuff), however I've yet to see a movie that didn't get to me but there's only two games that've ever had an effect on me. When one compares the numbers it's obvious that movies are much more potent at influencing people than games are.


At least that's how Jack wants to debate. It's rather sad to see that as a lawyer he loses every debate that isn't stacked in his favor. You'd think that as a lawyer his debate skills would be better than that on an 8 year old, and that his litigation actics would be better than submitting complaints to be used as stalling tactics.

In perspective it is very similar to foil fencing. In the sport the stronger opponent will not always win; however the fencer who is smart, cunning, and quick will, 9 time out of 10, get the point. This is similar to how Jack debates, he tries to hammer away with the same attack that is a massive over extention and throws him off balance; never any change and even a blind man can see him telegraphing his move. Those debating against him have learned this tactic very well and will parry it with ease and have a well timed reposte that lands everytime because of his own ineffectual parry. He is easily led by his opposition to open himself up to a simple straight thrust attack that hits home and leaves him crying foul to the Judge, even though it was completely valid. He also doesn't understand that 'absence of blade' (lack of a threat in non-fencing terms) does not mean that the person is opening themselves up for an attack, but rather are letting him decide if it would be wise for him to try his foolish, desperate lunge to try and catch anything on target. As we've all seen, whenever he does that, the other person always seems ready to parry it and give him a solid hit home.

Sorry for the fencing metaphores, but for some reason it made the most sense.


mainly because those games suck.

hutin da man


Yes, and the REASON for the difference, since Dennis McCauley is unable to read, apparently, what the BBFC said previously, is that Manhunt 2's availability on Wii makes it a true murder simulator that obviously children will play.

Since the industry refuses to abide by its own age policy, they've cooked their goose with that ineptitude. Duh.

GP: That makes no sense at all (why am I not surprised?). Why ban it across all versions, then? Duh...

*sigh* hypocrites, all of them.

Society would do so much better if censorship was left up to the individual.

GOOD NEWS! Jack Thompson has filed an action in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to shut down The Bar's illegal assault upon him! There's a development that Dennis McCauley says he will report!! Thank you, Dennis!

GP: Not so fast, there, Miami Jack. I read that filing over the weekend. Just another of your many motions... You've filed over 200 in this case since May. Hardly worth a report. Now if the 11th Circuit gives you any relief (which I seriously doubt they will) that would be news.

If we're dealing with a matter of how the violence is presented I can certainly see Eastern Promises getting a lower rating than Manhunt 2. Having seen the movie the violence in it wasn't glorified or romanticized like so many movies; it had a real impact (and consequences) and certainly wasn't something people would want to emulate. Further while there was violence it was both a reflection of the reality of the mafia and reasons were given for the violent acts beyond simply psychosis. Perhaps the reasons weren't the best but they were there. A far cry from the murder porn genre with movies like Saw 2 and also much different than anything I've read about Manhunt 2.

This isn't to say that the BBFC isn't being hypocritical when they say they want to give adults a choice, but Eastern Promises is not nearly the same as Manhunt 2 when it comes to the reason for the violence, which is what the BBFC said was their reason for banning Manhunt 2.

...and if the BBFC are going to go with their claim in their own report that games have less of an effect than film, then this is even more hypocritical.

@bnpederson: the BBFC's decision to ban MH2 is *still* the BBFC telling adults what they can and can't play, regardless of why they've banned it, which is the point of the GP article- it's hypocritical to say that they can't do it with film, but can with games.


@Jack Thompson

Does this one include Gay Pornography as well?


Than why was the darkness not banned. you kill hundreds in that game and said every curss word under the sun. and at the end you suffer no consequences. besides manhunt 2 looks just as bad as the first. If you want murder in style play assassins creed. Oh and thompson You kill christians in that game.

@pen gun

Shh! I will be buying Assassin's Creed. Don't ruin it.

Dennis, don't read the Daily Mail. They're worse than FOX.

Yeah, they lie more. Don't even trust the date on the page.

How many filings are you going to enter into this court case Jack? I believe Judge Jordan has already reprimanded you for submitting numerous filings without ever showing why they were pertinent to this case. Sorry to say, but it sounds like someone's got you by the balls and you're simply grasping at straws in order to preserve what little time you have left.

JT filed a motion?! This is breaking news!

Seriously, as Dennis pointed out, this happens so often that it means nothing. Dog biting man isn't news and all that.

Is it also news whenever you call someone a name, tell a lie, or use the name of Jesus to defend the above?

Black ice

That was not a spoiler. its commen fact. you kill people on both sides of the fence in the third crusades.

@pen gun

No, I meant don't make Jack go ape on AC.

Anyway, even if the disbarment proceedings were dropped (which they won't be), JT would just do something else to get himself in trouble again. He can't not do it. He'd probably celebrate by punching a baby or something.

I really wish that was a hyperbole.

He won't go after it. It's not made by take two.

Good point.

I thought ESRB, which isn't the same as the game industry, issued ratings? And regardless, isn't it a stores fault for not reinforcing it? I mean, I'm sure if ESRB really cracked down they could make it work, which I think if they acted like EB Games and Gamestop did (at least in my area) they'd be good, not selling M games to anyone without ID (as long as they're not obviously older). Also, they won't sell certain T games to kids under 12 due to violence in them.

But the whole movie thing is just a double standard. While you can look away from a movie, you can turn that power button off for the game. If you can't handle what's going on, don't engage in it.

@Jack Thomspon

Everybody knows you're a lame sensationalist. Honestly people are so over you now. You're yesterdays garbage. Get over yourself and move on. By the way I find it funny that you went to law school and claim to be an educated individual, yet you don't even start your first & last name with a capital letter. Idiot. Guess what Jack? I'm going to be sure to show my uncut leaked version of Manhunt 2 to every child I can, so suck it up bucko because there's nothing you can do about it.

BTW, yes I did spell Thompson wrong on purpose.

What the HELL? How can they so blatantly show this bias?


Speak for your own country. In the UK, films and games are not sold to those under 18 already and anyone caught flouting the law can be fined very heavilly per incident, as can the business.

What's more, games and videos are often sold at the same premises using the same size or warnings, same BBFC logos and under the same laws, so kindly explain again why the film industry is squeeky clean but not the gaming industry? Just more crap spouted from your mouth...

I know it isn't unusual to find you talking rubbish, lying or ignorant of facts, but really you have little excuse having commented upon bringing UK law to the US before now.

"Yes, and the REASON for the difference, since Dennis McCauley is unable to read, apparently, what the BBFC said previously, is that Manhunt 2’s availability on Wii makes it a true murder simulator that obviously children will play."

Um, no. What the BBFC said previously is that the interactivity in games causes a disconnect between the player and the subject matter. It is hard to believe something is real when you have to hold a lump of plastic and push buttons on it/shake it to forward on the story, action, etc.

They said that the passive consumption of film makes it more dangerous and liable to affect people.

If children play it, that is the fault of their parents or lax retailers. Children still get their hands on the highest rated movies such as Saw, yet according to their research, they should be more worried about films like Eastern Promise, than they are about games like Manhunt 2.

This is pure hypocrisy. Saying you shouldn't limit adult's choices shortly after you adult choices. It's nearly as bad as making a career out of trying to limit and curtail other people's first amendment rights, then screaming and filing lawsuit after lawsuit claiming that your own rights are being abused...

"Since the industry refuses to abide by its own age policy, they’ve cooked their goose with that ineptitude. Duh."

The industry abides by it's own age policy. Whether retailers or parents abide by that policy is up to them. There are adverts and warning labels regarding fireworks and their dangers, yet every year children are maimed and worse by being careless or unsupervised with fireworks. Is this the fault of the fireworks manufacturer? Countless people every year are killed on the roads through drunk driving and speeding, about which there are safety campaigns that cannot be missed. Is this the fault of the manufactureres of the cars?

If people do not heed warning labels or guidelines, then they are to blame for any consequences arising from that dismissal of advice.

(not that I believe there are any serious consequences of kids playing violent games. The worst I can imagine is my child coming up to me and asking "What does f*ck mean?" or start asking questions about mortality on seeing someone dying.)


@Alex G:

The ESRB only covers the US and Canada, not the UK, which is covered by PEGI and the BBFC.


Games are rated by the BBFC in the UK and are fully backed up by legal restrictions. DUH, Jack. It looks like you are also unable to read.

Movies are an artform.

Video games are trash. It's really that simple. A video game for adults? That's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. Grow up and get a life nerds.


But that is exactly the attitude behind this. Here's what I take from this: The British Board of Film Classification has basically stated that games are not a legitimate artform, and will never be. That's pretty much their official stance on this. Maybe it is unfair to ban this game, but honestly who cares? It's just a stupid game, it's not like it's something IMPORTANT. It's not like it's FILM.

I wouldn't take too much stock in what the Daily Mail says anyway. It was them that plastered the whole 'BAN THESE EVIL GAMES' melodrama on the front of their newspaper in the light of the original Manhunt ordeal in the first place...

I guess the BBFC forgot to add the truth to their little motto of letting adults choose what media they use. Here, let me elaborate on it:

"The BBFC provides clear consumer advice. If the board went about cutting out every scene liable to offend then we would be leaving adults without any choice. Who’s to decide what adults can or can’t watch, except, of course, if the media in question is the sequel to a game that was wrongly involved in a murder case, whined about by the Daily Mail, attacked by a fat idiot crooked politician - who, by his own admission, said the UK was a run by a godless government (of which he is a part of, ironically) and should therefore piss off back to his own sodding country - and then subsequently removed from the shelves of electronic stores that barely anyone in the UK buys their video games from anyway. Then, and ONLY THEN, will we ban the game."

And anyone who even tries to tell me that the decision to ban Manhunt 2 made by the BBFC (which I do realise is independent from the government, so stop blabbering on this point) was not affected by the Stefan Pakeerah murder case and the controversy surrounding it WHATSOEVER is obviously some kind of cretin that needs the wool pulled over from their eyes.

Adults can turn there head from a video game screen or put down the controller just as easily. I'm glad I don't live in Britain.

JT must love this.


1. No. beacuse if that was the case, the game would simply be not allowed on the Wii. There would be NO problem with it on other consoles.

2. NO ONE CARES about 1 of 200 separate motions your trying to stop the bar "from illegally assaulting" you.

3. the only one here who suffers from their own ineptitude is you jack, that's why you've failed and the gamer public has prevailed. that's why when it comes to the laws, there's not been a single one successfully passed unchallenged.

4. I'm an adult. if I want to play a game that simulates murder, you know what? that's MY choice.

the simple fact here is. the BBFC got caught with thier pants down, and is trying to explain away the fact that they gave a gorier movie a lesser rating.

and this entire bullsh-t about being able to look away from the screen.. hmm..... how about YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO BUY THE GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE?!

awww screw it, just gimme the drugs these guys at the BBFC are on. they MUST be awesome.

@Jack Thompsons 1st reply

STFU. Denis has practically just shown what makes me so pissed of with the whole manhunt issue. We can get movies a hell more violent than banned games.

As I said in the comments about GTA, Tinking about it seriously, I'm starting to doubt some 18 games here even deserve an 18 rating, like your favourite GTA. Is it really that bad and violent that it needs an 18. Thinking seriously, compairing to movies, GTA should be a 15. This way we can properly rate games like Manhunt which should get an 18.

And plus, couldn't the BBFC's statement about people not watching moveis etc fit into games. They do provide consumer advice for games, and it's up to adults of 18 years old and older (which I'm part of) to buy or not, and unlike movies in he cinema, we can even mute the sound sould i sund really bad, or turn away from the screen as much as we like (even if it kills the player).

I never intended to buy a wii, or manhunt, but I find this whole issue a disgrace, and applaud the ESRB for having a bit of common snse lifting the ban after an edited version, and am pissed off us brits have nothing like the us admendments to protect free speech here.

Ive just sent an email to the BBFC asking them what right they have to tell what games adults can and can not play. I'll keep GP updated with their response, if I get one.

As far as I know the film has only been passed for cinema; in the past the BBFC has been known to treat cinema and home video as significantly different, partly because children are less likely to witness films in cinemas if age restriction policies prevent them, and partly on the grounds that videos can be fast forwarded to show just the gory bits and rewound to dwell on them. [I don't have any sources to hand, I'm afraid.]

Some of the comments in the linked article seemed to have to do specifically with cinema viewing, but on the other hand the tone was pretty hands-off, suggesting we shouldn't expect cuts for the home version either. The Board's spokesperson did seem to be drawing a distinction between harmful and offensive material, which fits their mandate, but we aren't really any closer to establishing how the BBFC draws that distinction.

@ JT (#1)

Oh yes, i forgot. In your world, every 13-year-old in the world steals from their moms purse and drives to Wal-Mart on their own, unhindered by any other form of authority, to buy M-Rated games. E-Mail me when you get back from Bizarro Universe. We'll have tea.

@ JT (#2)

He ain't gonna report it. If he did an article on every little thing you sent, no one would come here because it really WOULD be propaganda against you. YOU'RE the one who keeps coming HERE and bragging to HIM about every little thing you do like an old boyfriend who won't get over his girl. After cheating on her.

Dennis isn't obsessed with you, Jack. It's the other way around.

@jack thompson, attorney

Yes Thompson, because a little piece of plastic wit ha sensor inside can perfectly mimic weight, resistance, and pretty much any other forces involved in swinging a weapon. Now where is the Wii remote attachment that Nintendo doesn't know about yet or hasn't even thought about or patented?

As to the second spewing by your reversed digestive system , I will repeat what I said before, Mr McCauley DOES NOT have to report on every last bowl movement that spews from your face, and he DOES NOT have to say it smells of bakery fresh cinnamon rolls.

although i support the BBFC's decision that manhunt 2 couldn't fit into the 18 certificate slot, i do find this hypocrasy deplorable.

Well there goes any chance of discussion what with the trolls posting as Jack and all the idiots who actually believe it's actually him.

Enjoy your refuting points that have been refuted a thousand times before.


@jack thompson, attorney

By the way Jack ,you claim the ESRB does not work. Well, how about this. There is a clear and obvious label on a wood chipper that states if you stick your hand in it, your lose your hand(as if the whirling bladed flywheel inside isn't warning enough) you stick your hand in anyway, and it gets turned into ketchup. By your logic, the person doing that should sue the maker of that wood chipper for every last cent.

Wow,if I lived in your world I'd be rich. I could have sued a dozen game retailers movie companies and cable networks for emotional and mental damages

@ Hank

If it was a troll, Dennis would just delete them, not edit the posts, leave them there, and respond to him.

You obviously haven't been to this site for very long, have you?

So, basically playing video games is the only and ONLY thing that will desensitize me and hypnotize me into a violent killer.

And theres absolutely nothing suspicious about the guy masturbating to every scene of graphic violence in movies?

I was here while it was in Livejournal format :3
There were at least 3 or 4 Thompson joke accounts at a time.

Really, you people put way too much effort into your posts while refuting his points AGAIN and AGAIN. It gets OLD.

But seriously, the Saw and Hostel series is proof that the BBFC is quite hypocritical when it comes to violence in movies and video games.
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