Sunday, November 4, 2007

Manhunt 2's doomed publicity

So, as of late, there has been a lot of hype and media coverage over T2's game Manhunt 2. It's a super-violent game, where pretty much you hide in the shadows and only lurk out of the dark to somehow maniacally and grotesquely kill some unsuspecting victim. Hence the reason it is rated M, which means for people 17 plus years of age. All though it wasn't rated M to begin with.

Manhunt 2 was getting coverage before the game went gold. It seemed to get a lot of attention mostly due to the hype involving Rockstar's game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Where somebody had found a way to get to part of the game that the average gamer couldn't. This later became know as the Hot Coffee Mod where the player could make the lead character have sex with his girlfriend. Due to this, there was an uproar, between anti-gamers, parents, the ESRB, and the like. Let me make it clear that this was not an easy thing to get to, and you had to know how to pull apart the game itself to even get to it. Also, you couldn't get to it on a console such as Playstation 2, you had to do it on a PC. So again, this was part of the game that the average gamer couldn't get too.

Due to the hype around a previous game owned by T2, Manhunt 2 became a prime target because of, how shall I put it, questionable content in a previous game they made. All of this hype, and pressure, not only was on T2, but more so on ESRB who rates the games. I believe due to politics, Manhunt 2 got the A0 (Adult Only) rating originally, which pretty much makes a game impossible to sell. Sometime later, there were "changes" made to the game, and it was re-rated to its current rating of M.

Now that Manhunt 2 has been released, the anti-gamers, Leland Yee, Jack Thompson, etc.. Are wondering how Manhunt 2 could be so violent and only have an M rating. Especially considering the Wii version where you actually "perform" the killings with the motion activated controller.

Now what is the plaintiff's defense on the matter? It's getting into the hands of "children" and going to psychologically harm them, and the ESRB as well as the Video Game industry, is letting it happen.

I can sympathize with the children part. Young kids, and even some young adults should not play this game. It is oriented for people that are of a more mature nature. It is a violent game, and kids shouldn't be subject to things of a grotesque nature such as Manhunt 2, or games of the like. What I can't sympathize with is where the blame is being placed.

ESRB rates the games. Understanding the rating system is not in any way confusing as I have read all over the internet. E is for Everyone, T is for Teen, M is for Mature (17+), and AO is for Adult Only. Now that we have that out of the way, lets cut a little more into their defense.

Manhunt 2 is rated M. So for people of 17 years old and up. So, the ESRB recommends only people 17 plus be able to purchase and play the game. Now who sells the games to the general public again? ESRB? Noooo, they just rate the games. Try retailers. Like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Game Stop, K-Mart, and the like. They are where people buy their games.

Now, I know for fact, that Walmart, Best Buy, and Game Stop ID check. So they can verify age. In fact, when they ring the game up on the register, it buzzes at them to check the customers ID to verify that they are 17 or older. You can even see it on the display they have that shows you how much you owe. Now do they always check my ID? No, mostly because I look like I just came out of the mountains somewhere.

I've known kids who have been able to get by the age verification at most of these retailers. So that tells me that the M rating means squat to the retailers. Now tell me, how is it the ESRB's fault that games like Manhunt 2 get into the hands of Children? It's not.

Further more, people like Leland Yee are getting praise for taking a position against Manhunt 2. Arguing that "a first-person, interactive game about a vicious rampage doesn’t trigger an “adults only” rating, you have to wonder what would?" Is 17 to young to witness violence? A 17 year old is on the border of adult-hood. Is this not true?

On another note, Manhunt 2, (in my personal opinion) is not a game of interest to most gamers. It has the graphics of early PS2, and the story line isn't enticing in the least bit. For the most part, the game itself is weak. I could understand Manhunt 2 getting so much coverage, but the fact of the matter is, to gamers, this isn't that great of a game. If the media coverage did anything, it helped Manhunt 2 with sales because gamers, and people period, are wondering what the hype is all about.

I believe, that parents need to get more involved with what their Children do. If you know me, that comment may sound odd, but it's true. If you're worried your child's fragile little mind will be warped by certain or all video games. You have the power to tell them no. If you don't mind letting your children play M rated games, and yet you find yourself siding with the people who want to ban M rated games, you're a hypocrite. Stop blaming someone else because you are stepping aside as a parent. Get involved, get informed.

So I'm curious, where do people stand when it comes to this blood-bathing, psychotic, interactive, violent game? Do you think 17 years old is too young for a video game of this nature? As a parent, where do you think the line should be drawn on video games of this nature?

1 comment:

heartcooksbrain said...

I feel that it was just made into a much larger deal than it should have been, much like everything else these days. I mean of course the game is violent, this is Rockstar we're talking about. They're responsible for the GTA games, which in my opinion aren't a far cry from the grotesque-ness of manhunt 2. The label is on the box, ages 17 and up. To me that's all that needs to be done. The rest should be left up to the parents in terms of being able to maybe keep an eye on what your underage child is being exposed to. To watch a rated R film in the cinemas, you're required to be 17 or older. Some of the more violent rated R films contain murder scenes, rape scenes, multiple killings, etc. I know it's just as easy to get into an R film being underage than it is to buy a rated M video game being underage. At least around here it is. I feel that the game should've never gotten the AO rating in the first place. Rated M is sufficient. If you're not into gore, don't buy the game. Like you said, the game isn't that great in the first place. People need to develop thicker skin about these issues, and realize they're not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. This is not the first violent video game to hit the market.