cearta.ie

the Irish for rights

Manhunt II and the value of persistence

Manhunt II logo, via Rockstar Games website.The Manhunt II saga is probably finally over in the UK (hat tip: Daithí­ off-blog), but perhaps there is one further stage left in Ireland.

As readers of this blog will know, last June the Irish Film Censor’s Office (IFCO), exercised its power to ban Rockstar Games’ Manhunt II, following the lead of many other countries’ authorities, including the UK’s BBFC (see here and here) earlier the same month. When an edited version was submitted, the BBFC reaffirmed their decision in October, but the the BBFC’s Video Appeals Committee (VAC) allowed Rockstar’s appeal in December. In turn, the BBFC appealed this decision to the High Court, which allowed the case to go ahead and then held in January 2008 that the VAC had misinterpreted the relevant legislation and had to consider the issue again (see R (on the application of the British Board of Film Classification) v Video Appeals Committee QBD (Admin) (Mr Justice Mitting) (24 January 2008)). And so the matter returned to the VAC, which this week reaffirmed its earlier decision to allow the game to be released.

(For a sample of the press coverage, see BBC | Guardian here and here | PA | Telegraph here and here| Times Online | Wired; of the inevitably massive blog coverage, the following is the most useful: AppScout | dot.life (BBC) | crunchgear | David Russell | Escapist | Game Politics | Game Shadow | gax | gi | International Jet Trash | kotaku | overclock3d | new level gaming | psxextreme | Shane Greer | Stuff.tv | that videogame blog | Tim Almond).

Several of the blogs carry a statement from the BBFC (which does not seem to be on the BBFC website) which suggests that is acceding to the VAC decision only with very bad grace:

In the light of legal advice the board does not believe the VAC’s judgment provides a realistic basis for a further challenge to its decision and has accordingly issued an ‘18’ certificate.

And the Guardian summed the matter up with the following quote:

Lawrence Abramson, a partner at Harbottle & Lewis who represented Rockstar in the case, said that the entire censorship system needed to be rethought to take account of the video games industry.

“The system works in films, but the gameplaying experience is different,” he told the Guardian.

The game is assessed here here by the BBC, and here by the Telegraph; and the news that it is now to be released in the UK will probably make Electronic Arts even more determined in their attempts take over Rockstar’s parent company Take Two (see dot.life interview with EA boss John Riccitello). If EA are as persistent in this as Rockstar were in their battle to have Manhunt II released in the UK, then the takeover will doubtless be successful.

There may yet be one further stage to the saga, here in Ireland. So far as I am aware, it seems that there was no appeal of the June decision, but perhaps Rockstar will now submit to the edited version that was ultiamtely successful before the VAC. I won’t be buying a copy, but I don’t see that my disapprobation is a sufficient reason to prevent its release, and – though it is a difficult call for them – I don’t think that of the BBFC or should be either.

Related Tags: [ ]

4 Responses to “Manhunt II and the value of persistence”

  1. […] legal process has (probably) finished with regard to the release of said game in the UK (Eoin has a comprehensive post complete with links to the various decisions) and wonders if an appeal or resubmission is on the […]

  2. […] the aftermath of the recent announcement of the release of the violent video game Manhunt II (more here and here) in the UK, there were calls for more government oversight of the British Board of Film […]

  3. […] use of the internet, especially relating to children; while another series of posts (here, here and here) related to the regulation of video games. In the same vein (but coming to it late – apologies) is […]

  4. […] can understand why a classification system for movies and computer games is felt to be necessary, but I am at a loss to understand the need for prior restraint upon print […]

Leave a Reply

 

Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

Academic links
Academia.edu
ORCID

Subscribe

  • RSS Feed
  • RSS Feed
  • Subscribe via Email
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Archives by month

Categories by topic

My recent tweets

Blogroll (or, really, a non-blogroll)

What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

Licence

Creative Commons License

This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

Credit where it’s due

The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.