has issued a statement
in response to the BBFC's earlier decision to reject Manhunt 2 for classification
and thus prohibit it from being sold in the UK. "We are disappointed with the recent decision by the British Board of Film Classification to refuse classification of Manhunt 2, said the Grand Theft Auto creator. "While we respect the authority of the classification board and will abide by the rules, we emphatically disagree with this particular decision."
Rockstar goes on to defend Manhunt 2 by pointing out that its subject matter is no different than that of "other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers," noting that "adult consumers who would play this game fully understand that it is fictional interactive entertainment and nothing more." A rational defense, no doubt, but perhaps one better suited to a world where only "adult consumers" would be in a position to play the game.
ELSPA earlier declared that the ban "demonstrates
that we have a games ratings system in the UK that is effective," when it really seems to imply the opposite.
Had game ratings been truly effective, the BBFC could have simply slapped the appropriate rating on the box and trusted adults and parents to judge the game's content accordingly. In the real world, however, the sloppy enforcement of ratings and general apathy towards content descriptors have prompted the certification body to add an extra barrier of entry, underlining a clear lack of faith in the effectiveness of its own warning labels. The ratings system should be powerful and heeded enough to handle any video game, no matter how violent it may be.