Australian censors ban Manhunt

Australian censors ban Manhunt

Summary: The Classification Review Board has voted 3-1 to ban the violent computer game Manhunt following an application by the federal Attorney General on the request of the Western Australian Minister for Justice.In a statement released today, the Classification Review Board said the game -- which has been available here since late last year under an MA15+ rating -- could not be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia following the determination.

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The Classification Review Board has voted 3-1 to ban the violent computer game Manhunt following an application by the federal Attorney General on the request of the Western Australian Minister for Justice.

In a statement released today, the Classification Review Board said the game -- which has been available here since late last year under an MA15+ rating -- could not be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia following the determination. Those stipulations apply to online as well as bricks and mortar retailers.

"In the Classification Review Board's opinion, the game warrants a refusal of classification because it contains elements beyond those set out in the classification guidelines and legislation for a computer game at the MA15+ classification," the statement said.

"Specifically, it contains some depictions of high impact, as well as scenes of blood and gore that go beyond strong.

"It also contains a high impact theme".

Manhunt came into the news recently after the mother of a murdered British teenager blamed his fate on the game. The New Zealand government has banned the game.

In an information sheet for computer game retailers, the Classification Review Board reminded them of penalties for selling, hiring, having for display or hire, or demonstrating, a game that has been refused classification.

Individuals who do so face fines ranging from AU$4,500 in Queensland to AU$24,000 in Victoria, with imprisonment listed as an alternative in all jurisdictions bar the ACT and Tasmania, where both the fine and imprisonment may be imposed. Corporations may face higher penalties.

Penalties also exist for advertising a banned game.

Topics: Hardware, Emerging Tech

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12 comments
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  • this decisions is incredibly stupid. not only has the game been available for a year, and thus been played and finished and abandoned by everyone who was interested in it, but to blame a video game for the actions of a human being is downright ludicrous.


    people need to start taking responsibilities for their actions, and the OFLC need to pull their heads out of each others asses...
    anonymous
  • what a joke this is. tryign to ban a game and blaming it for the violence in society, etc.

    way before television, movies and video games the world still had violence and social problems? hello?

    anyone heard of caligula

    other ancient empires

    world war 1

    world war 2 all predate computer games

    stop taking the easy way out and examine what really causes peopel to be violent, etc

    as just one example, i would suggest that many more people have taken to criminal activity on the crest of an alcohol binge than have ever done so from a gomputer game or movie.

    the joke rolls on
    anonymous
  • With credible statistics showing the majority of gamers to be in the late 20's to early 30's age groups, it just defies belief that there still exists no R 18+ rating for games. It just shows that the govenment and the geriatrics within the Classification Review Board are completely out of touch with reality.
    anonymous
  • Agreed with all of the previous comments made.
    However, I just wanted to point out one glaring oversight that seems to have been missed in the furor over the UK slaying.

    The VICTIM and NOT the ATTACKER was the owner of Manhunt, not the other way round.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/04/manhunt_murder_claim/

    Just another example of a typical, uninformed and naive knee-jerk reaction.
    anonymous
  • This bloody screen refreshed wiping out my whole comment! Not happy!
    anonymous
  • maybe its time they reconsidered an R rating for games.
    anonymous
  • A good move. Making a game out of explicit violence is pathetic, and it's just stupid to pretend that playing such games has no effect on people.
    anonymous
  • Response to KO: Game Developer, Sydney.

    You're kidding, right?

    *sigh*
    I am astounded that this old, dusty war-horse of an argument is wheeled out of the cupboard everytime a story like this appears in the media.

    So, let's ban those books that contain graphic violence shall we? And those comic books... and while we're at it, all those movies and TV shows too!

    Do you realise wow ridiculous you sound?

    And pray tell, KO, why is it pathetic to base a game around expilcit violence?
    That is very subjective and is YOUR opinion. You have backed up your statement with NOTHING.

    I find it incredibly pathetic to base a game around the adventure of Ken and Barbie, but I sure as hell don't want them banned!

    Your opinion is neither right nor wrong, just incredibly uninformed and completely without merit.

    As a game designer, do you honestly think anyone is going to believe that a sane, rational, well balanced individual can pop in a explicitly violent game and within hours, days, months they turn into a raging, murderous psychopath? Hahahahah - do you know how stupid that sounds?

    And who is pretending that these games don't affect people? That's rather presumptuous of you and again a subjective thing. Where is your explanation and reasoning?

    Sure, games will effect a tiny, fraction of a percentage of society, but these individuals would find another medium or object of influence to try and justify their actions. There's a little thing called free-will and taking responsibility for your actions.

    It's like saying the Columbine Shooters went on a rampage because they listened to KMFDM... erm, NO they didn't. They went on a rampage becasue they weren't well adjusted individuals and were unable to cope with interpersonal stresses.

    What about all the MILLIONS of people all over the world that play (and have played for over 20 years) all the different types of violent and anti-social games and have not been affected at all?

    Please KO, back up your statements with some fact or even a little reasoning or explanation. Don't just fire off your uninformed opinion without any information to back up your statement. You just come across as one of the puritanical knee-jerk-reactionaries.
    anonymous
  • The game was owned by the victim, not by the killer.

    Just having a copy of this game in your house makes people want to kill you. This game is so dangerous that I demand our legislators instigate a trans-dimensional time reversal causing the authors to unwrite their work. I want this done, and I want it done yesterday!
    anonymous
  • If we are banning games because of their bad influence then Gran turismo and need for speed should have been banned long ago. Maybe those games are the missing link to young adults having high speed crashes, or maybe that to is a load of B*** S***. And being a big player of first person tactical shooting games hasn
    anonymous
  • Yes i agree, games like these are dangerous. Why, ever since playing Nintendos mario, everytime i see a turtle.... I jump on it! I play battlefield, when a plane flies above my house i cant help but fire at it with my flack gun. And the nightmares, i haver killed so many on the computer i cant look another person in the eyes (without geting the urge to lay a bullet between them).

    For those a little slow, this is called sarcasm. If life was a game of battlefield, id be called a noob, cause my kill tally is still on zero (as is my death tally).

    Funny thing is, while games r geting banned in the democracy of freedom we call Australia, our soldiers are geting sent to war in Iraq (where people are dying and there are no restrictions on gore) to fight for their freedom to chose. We live in a democracy, and are free to chose, as long as we choose what THEY tell us to. Aint freedom great!!!
    anonymous
  • I WANT THIS GAME BACK

    make it R 18 i want this game and it should be sold here but it isnt
    anonymous