reports that British politician Keith Vaz has been granted a meeting with British
government officials to discuss concerns over violent game content and the sale
of such games to minors. Or more importantly the games targeted are Canis Canem
Edit (Bully) and you guessed it, Manhunt.
The following is a direct lift from GamePolitics:
Minister for Creative Industries Shaun Woodward, Minister for Industry Margaret
Hodge and Vaz discussed violent games and their availability to children -
specifically, according to Vaz, a pair of Rockstar titles, Canis Canem Edit
(known in the U.S. as Bully)and Manhunt. As reported by MCV, Vaz said:
I am pleased that the Ministers agreed to meet with me and discuss this important
issue. This is a good opportunity to raise concerns that many parents and
I have on violent video games falling into the hands of young children. I
do not believe that this is a question of censorship, but of protecting children.
As a British citizen myself I find it absurd that with all the problems we
have in the world our government is more focused on trying to blame an almost
4 year old game and an unrightfully labelled game on the problems of today.
In Britain, Manhunt carries an 18 certificate and Canis Canem Edit (Bully)
has been awarded a 15, what this means is that no one under that age is entitled
to purchase the title without ID. The fact that Canis Canem Edit carries such
a rating alone is absurd when you look at games like Resident Evil 4, Half Life
2 and Call of Duty 3 and movies such as Blade Trinity or Land of the Dead all
of which also carry a 15 ratings. I think you will all agree that there was
nothing in the game to warrant such harsh criticism, if they really cared then
why couldn’t they have used the game as leverage on bullying and celebrate
the fact that a company has took it upon them selves to make a game on the issue,
not to promote it. By nature of the game existing or not, it does not detract
from the fact that the problem still exists.
I don’t get what he is hoping to achieve by bringing Manhunt back into
it either, is he hoping to get the sympathy vote of the uneducated over the
unfortunate incident back in 2004? There is no misleading with the games packaging
or whatever else they may suggest, a game with the tagline ‘THIS IS A
BRUTAL BLOOD SPORT’ in bold, capital lettering and images of characters
with guns doesn’t suggest to me this is a videogame based on Barney the
dinosaur. What is suggests is that this is targeted at a mature audience with
an understanding that this is only a game, if you buy it for your child and
they don’t understand the difference then you have failed as a parent,
not the developer who produced a quality adult game, that is for the most part
appreciated by an audience that understands what is intended.
How about we stop blaming companies for the sociopath tendencies found in humans
and take a look closer to what causes it rather than continuing to pass the
blame on? But what is the point in that when continuing to blame Rockstar is
so much easier.