Manhunt 2 released today, Game Criticized, Parents Warned

Manhunt 2 released today, Game Criticized, Parents Warned


Rockstar has issued a press release stating that the uber-controversial Manhunt 2 is available today.  An excerpt from the press release reads

Manhunt 2 has gone through much to reach this day. We are very excited that fans will finally get a chance to experience the magnificent horror experience we’ve crafted with Manhunt 2.

Rockstar calls Manhunt 2 a “…a dark and disturbing psychological story revolving around the sinister events of a secretive research project called The Pickman Project” and claims that it is “the most atmospheric gaming experience ever…”

Understandably, everyone isn’t thrilled about the game’s release.  After many bans and boycotts of the game overseas and in North America, the game has developed a high level of infamy.

Dr. Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood definitely opposes the game’s release.  In criticism of the gaming industry, she states.

Research clearly demonstrates that playing violent videogames can increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior in children and youth. Yet even as the industry claims it wants to keep its most violent games out of the hands of children, it virulently opposes any legislation that would give teeth to its often unenforced guidelines for sales and marketing of M-rated games.

She also criticizes the ESRB.

There is no transparency in the ESRB’s ratings process; no explanation was given why the rating for Manhunt 2 was downgraded from Adults Only to Mature.  A recent review in the New York Times says the resubmitted version “seems to retain at least 99 percent of the original content”.

Because of the change in Manhunt 2’s rating, it’s a given that this ultra-violent game will be sold to children. Forty-two percent of underage shoppers in a recent study by the Federal Trade Commission were able to purchase M-rated games.  The ESRB has confirmed that its allegiance is to the industry paying its bills, not to the children it’s supposed to be protecting.

California State Sen. Leland Yee (D) issued a statement to parents concerning the game’s release.

It is imperative that parents avoid purchasing this game for their children and always review the video games their children are playing. Ultra-violent, interactive video games such as Manhunt 2 can have negative effects on our children.

Watchdog group Common Sense Media has also openly criticized the game, going as far as calling for a boycott of the title.  CSM CEO Jim Steyer stated that “In my opinion, it’s the most senselessly violent and offensive thing I’ve ever watched. It’s disgusting. It’s so violent, it struck me personally as pornographic violence.”

Ironically, early reports of the game seem to indicate the brutal killings in the game are so heavily censored by filters, motion blurs, and camera edits that it is difficult to tell what is happening.

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