|Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 - 10:34 am: |
Anyone played or had sight of this game yet? The BBFC have just refused to certify it, essentially banning it from UK consumption, and retroactively sinking it in the US where it now has an AO rating. I'm kind of curious to know what caused all that fuss. I played the original Manhunt for a while, thought it was very well made, but fundamentally quite dull.........
|Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2007 - 10:29 pm: |
Nope, just read a few reviews about it. Seems people are getting worked up for the same reason they didn’t approve of the first one. The ‘type’ and ‘context’ of violence it contains. Apparently you can rip testicles off with pliers, cut someone head off and wear it on your belt etc. While the violence is different compared to your average WW2 shooter, I don’t think the gap is more significant than the one found between movies such as 300 and Hostel.
Seems to all come down to the current misconceptions surrounding computer games and the belief that they some how grow or fertilize violence in people. That and some people can’t get past the fact that computer games are not played only by children.
Computers games are today’s Rock and Roll or Heavy Metal.
|Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 04:34 pm: |
Yeah, I'm sort of ambivalent about the whole thing. From my experience of the first Manhunt (superb atmospherics, dull and repetitive gameplay, exceedingly unhealthy game dynamics), I can imagine the sort of thing and see why the BBFC didn't like it. But yeah, as with Hostel, the fact it's distasteful shit isn't in itself a good reason for banning something. You either believe that adults are in control of their actions, and can tell the difference between entertainment and reality, or you don't. If you do, then an 18 cert sends the appropriate message, and you just spend some law enforcement time and money on busting sellers and parents who won't get with the programme. If you don't believe adults have this capacity.......we-e-e-e-e-el-l-l-l, then we're into some very sticky territory indeed.
I have to admit, though, the US side of things is odd. Apparently issuing the game with an AO rating there will kill it - yet AO as far as I can see is saying exactly the same thing as Cert. 18 - for adults only. In fact, I just recently noticed that one of my favourite - and Cert. 18, definitely for adults only - games, The Suffering, is graded in the US as M for Mature. That seems kind of vague. Does M mean basically: "any age you like, but you have been warned?" Because if so, that's fucked up. No child should be playing The Suffering (or Doom 3 or F.E.A.R. or Quake 4 for that matter...)
|Posted on Friday, June 29, 2007 - 12:24 am: |
A lot of vocal people seem to be wheeling out the old ‘think of the children’ line. Then they pair it with the current trend towards a total lack of personal responsibility. Little Timmy likes to play violent computers games; so instead of stepping up and actually controlling what their kid plays, they would rather have someone else ban it for everyone. That way they don’t have to get off their arse and actually do some proper parenting. I guess in the US it also means they can blame someone else and sue.
They do seem to have a different set of priorities in the US. My impression is that sex, as opposed to violence, is the ‘big bad’ for them in entertainment. The classic case being Grand Theft Auto and the whole ‘Hot coffee’ sex mod hoopla. I found this page on Wikipedia which lists all the games rated AO in the US.
Almost every one seems to be there due to sexual content. So as far as The Suffering goes, as long as the prisoners, psychos and creatures aren’t getting lucky then it doesn’t merit an AO.
Ah, just found the ESRB.org site. Apparently M in the US means it’s suitable for someone 17 and older. Not quite sure why 17 merits a different rating category to 18.
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 12:39 pm: |
The M gets its age determination from the MPAA's R rating, which supposedly selected 17 because such persons could drive themselves to the theater (with one year of experience and additional maturity, I guess). Therefore, I guess the argument to be made is that M-rated audiences can drive to the store and buy the game with their own money, without mommy and daddy. This reasoning seems to be adjacent to ridiculous, in my opinion, but whatever.
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 03:02 pm: |
But - is it actually illegal to sell someone under 17 a game with an M rating? (in the UK it is illegal to sell 18 rated games to anyone under that age). Because if it is, then it doesn't make sense that an AO rating will kill a game, but an M rating won't.
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 03:52 pm: |
No, according to Hollywood Video stores it isn't illegal, it's just "frowned upon". They don't sell M rated games to anyone under 17 at their stores unless a parent is present. (ha!) Other stores use their own discretion and some don't care. My 17-year old daughter says rating video games is stupid anyway.
Oh, and the M rating is either language, sex, violence or ...??
|Posted on Sunday, July 01, 2007 - 07:10 pm: |
The MPAA and the ESRB have no legal authority. They are both voluntary, self-regulating bodies. Their practical authority is upheld by organizations of theater owners and retailers, respectively.
Wal-Mart, for example, has features built into their POS system to prevent employees from selling M-rated games to underage customers. Wal-Mart will not carry AO games as a general rule, and can exert enough pressure through their purchasing power to influence game publishers to alter their content, even within the boundaries of a single ESRB rating. That is, your M-rated game might be fine if it's 'cause of violence, but those harpies in your Prince of Persia game can't show their tits if you want to sell it in Wal-Mart.
Generally speaking, even with the volume of sales through channels like Best Buy, GameStop and Amazon (who also exert their own ratings- and contest-related pressure), Wal-Mart can put an end to nearly any would-be game's release by declining to stock it.
When the MPAA created the NC-17 rating, it was said by several studios and critics that it would be meaningless, because the public essentially associates whatever the highest rating is with untouchable filth. (Strange that the "higher" ratings are considered the least desirable — it's like a measure of radioactivity.) The same is true of video game ratings.
Actor Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Studio 60) is fond of making the point, when he's on talk shows, that on American television it's fine to show a semen-splattered corpse, but verboten to show a woman breastfeeding.
Those of you haven't should take the time to see THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, a light and pointed documentary about the deceitful nonsense that is the MPAA and its ratings methods. It's a fun film with a very clever climax.
|Posted on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 06:07 am: |
Yeah, seen it. Truly mind blowing movie.
This sex/violence thing is fucked up. But, true, I've noticed a number of reader reviews for my stuff on Amazon where it's the explicit sex that has really upset the reviewer (and bear in mind very often these are readers who give the book a fairly good general thumbs up). That's to say, it's okay for Kovacs to splatter his enemies all over the walls, but we want a tidy little line of dots drawn across his sexual escapades. And I wouldn't mind, but most of the sex in my books is pretty damn wholesome stuff.......
|Posted on Monday, July 02, 2007 - 08:48 am: |
Blame the spread of Puritanism. Yes, in America violence is okay, sex is not.
Not only is the sex in your books pretty damn wholesome stuff, you're pretty good at describing it as well...maybe too good for some people?