UK censor bans first game in 10 years

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UK censor bans first game in 10 years

UK - Manhunt 2 heading for online auction sites.

The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) has banned its first computer game in over 10 years.

Manhunt 2 was deemed too violent for sale because its "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying" would be likely to cause harm to those playing it, according to one BBFC member.

"Manhunt 2 is distinguishable from recent high-end video games by its unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone in an overall game context which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing," David Cooke, director of the BBFC, told The Daily Telegraph.

"There is sustained and cumulative casual sadism in the way in which these killings are committed, and encouraged, in the game."

Manhunt 2 concerns a corrupt businessman who spirits prisoners into a town and films them killing gang members to make snuff films. Players get extra points for more gruesome killings. 

The game was withdrawn from sale in Dixons and other shops after it was implicated in the killing of Leicester teenager Stefan Pakeerah by Warren LeBlanc.

Police said later that the game was not a factor since LeBlanc had never played it, and a copy was found in Pakeerah's bedroom.

This is the first time that the BBFC has banned a computer game since the launch of Carmageddon in 1997.

Carmageddon awarded points for running down passers-by and additional points for a large number of simultaneous kills. The ban was later overturned on appeal.

Manhunt 2 was developed by Rockstar Games, which also produces the controversial Grand Theft Auto series. The ban is expected to lead to a significant rise in demand on internet auction sites.
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