Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | June 21, 2007

Sadistic, brutal and bleak

These are the words used in yesterday’s Guardian to headline a ban on the new video game Manhunt 2. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), responsible for classifying and approving media for release, rejected it because it “constantly encourages visceral killing”. I am absolutely delighted that it looks like this game will be illegal everywhere in the UK. However, I’m sure that will only encourage someone to release some sort of ‘bootleg’ version. There’s nothing like a ban for increasing demand by certain consumers!

However, what is perhaps remarkable is that this is the first product in a decade that the BBFC have rejected! Personally I find that statistic extremely troubling because it means in a ten year period they have accepted and rated everything. I am currently amazed at the sorts of films, games and other media that are placed openly into the consumer market which have overtly pornographic or extremely violent content. I think society should be concerned when films such as Saw, Saw 2, etc are readily available on promotional stands of family shops such as Tesco or Asda.

Before I was fifteen I couldn’t wait to be old enough to watch 15-rated (or AA for those of more than a certain age) movies. Here I am 25 years later and there are quite a few 15-rated films I would not watch myself let alone contemplate for my teenage son!



  1. Actually at the moment bootlegging is unlikely. Sony and Nintendo (the main and might be only platforms it’s to be released on) are refusing to release it in its present form in the US where it hasn’t been banned (although it does have an Adults Only rating). So one way or another they’re going to have to go back and change it if they even want to release it.

  2. It’s hard to stick by your guns in the type of material that we, as responsible parents (christian or non-christian), allow our children to watch. My five year old has learnt all about Dr Who from his friends in the Reception year of primary. He knows all the names of the characters from the games they play in school though we have never watched a single episode, not because we disaprove of a romping good sci-fi adventure, but because we believe he is too young to really understand and process the elements of horror and violence. And the video censors agree. I think that most of the episodes released on video are 12 rated. (correct me if I’m wrong) so why does the BBC put Dr Who out in the same time slot as was once occupied by The Generation Game? And why does CBBC (a channel aimed at children 6+) have a quiz / magazine show based upon a programme classified as suitable for teenagers and adults. Of course we all know the answer and it relates to another post of yours The Secret … money. It is little wonder then that teenagers are being targetted with content which is (secularly speaking) only really suitable for adults. And that adults are then targetted with content totally unsuitable for anyone.

    OK I admit it, you’ve discovered a pet hate of mine which makes me truly righteously angry. I could go on and on… and on. Let’s all be vigilant with our children (and ourselves) and choose what the family watches with discernment. It can be tough at times when peer pressure adds to media pressure but we only have eighteen years of their lives to form the adult. Teach your child the way of the Lord and he will follow it all the days of their life (paraphrased proverb).

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