Banning violent video games - Right or wrong?

Banning violent video games - Right or wrong?

Summary: British censors have banned Manhunt 2 by Rockstar Games from being sold in the UK.The video game Manhunt 2 was rejected for its "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying", the British Board of Film Classification said.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Tech Industry
23

British censors have banned Manhunt 2 by Rockstar Games from being sold in the UK.

The video game Manhunt 2 was rejected for its "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying", the British Board of Film Classification said.

It means the Manhunt sequel cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK.

Manhunt 2, for PS2 and Nintendo Wii consoles, is made by Rockstar Games.

The company has six weeks to submit an appeal.

[poll id=150]

Thoughts?  Should violent games be banned or should adults be free to choose what they watch or play?  Do you think there's a connection between violent games and real-world violence?

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

23 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Of course it's wrong.

    Now if only parents would be parents for their own kids, and pay attention to the already existing and detailed warning labels on games. Oh, wait, that would be inconvenient.

    Parents should know their own kids best and know at what age certain types of video games would be appropriate, or not. There are plenty of decent games that are good for kids of all ages, and others that are good for young teenagers. (though, honestly, if someone can't tell Doom 3 from reality there was a big problem somewhere along the way of parenting.)

    I've been playing violent video games since I was 11, with the release of the original Doom. I turned out just fine, because I knew the difference between fantasy and reality (and even then, it's not like Doom was very realistic). Games today can be very realistic, and I wouldn't have my 11 year old play many of them, but I'd find nothing wrong with classics.
    SniperCT
    • Have to agree about the differentiation part

      I have to agree that if you cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy, that there were either problems with your upbringing or you are mentally ill or deficient.

      I play certain japanese games with sexual themes that would make most people sick (rape, mutilation, etc), yet I have absolutely NO desire to go out and do 90% of the things that I do in those games through my character.
      Leria
      • But where do you draw the line?

        Let's say someone were sick enough to design a game to simulate child trafficking. The object of the game was to abduct as many girls as possible, and you scored points based on how many customers you were able to pull into your brothel. You can advertise by having photographers come in and take photos of these kids and post them on the internet. You have to hire and fire abductors and pay off the cops to keep your establishment operating.

        Would you want THAT for sale? Regardles of whether it's real or fictional, would you consider that something you'd want to see on store shelves where teens frequent? And where do you draw the line as to what's acceptable and what's not?

        Joey
        voyager529
        • You don't draw a line.

          Why even bother drawing the line. Much like writing a book about a presidential murder or how to commit the perfect crime and get away with it. This is all hypothetical information that shouldn't be applied to reality. However, we shouldn't be able to arrest some one for putting thoughts to paper. That is unless there are reasonable concern that what is written down or coded into a video game will be executed as a real live plan.

          There are some sick individuals that would get a wonderful idea from such a game. And yes, people can easily think of how fun it is being the bad guy. Let them have their fun that way instead of in reality.

          If such a game were available, I would definitely step in and protect my child from that game. Or if they are able to get ahold of that game, I would make sure that they did their best to keep it hidden from me, otherwise I would destroy it. But that is where I would be a parent, paying attention to my kid.

          Much like if I seen my kid playing Grand Theft Auto on the X-Box 360. Those discs can shatter.

          You take care of your kids and not let the government do it for you.
          nucrash
          • Yes, you do.

            While I fully agree that the government should stay out of this, and it should indeed be the parents watching for their kids, garbage in -> garbage out.


            Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.


            If you want a corrupt culture, feed it corruption.

            If you want a moral, upright culture, feed it moral, upright values.
            fde101
          • Oh let's Shelter our kids, That works out well

            I love living in a college town and watching all the sheltered freshmen try freedom out for their first time. They learn about all the things that their parents sheltered them from and drop out shortly their after.

            Gives me a new batch of girlfriends every year. (Actually it doesn't because I am not like that, but I know those who are)

            Teach your kids right from wrong, but teach them why wrong is wrong. Don't protect them by giving them ignorance.

            So many confuse this and think that a if a kid is exposed to only the good things in life, then they will have a good kid. Foolish if you ask me.
            nucrash
    • I think it's for other parents...

      I don't think most people push the bans because they can't (or don't want to) control the games their kids play in their own homes. I think they do it because they can't control the games that other parents let their kids play in their own homes. People don't propose bans because of their own lack of self-restraint. The propose bans to restrain others. Especially when those others may see nothing wrong with exposing their children to those things.

      In other words, they don't want to take the time to get to know their children's friends' parents. They don't want to say "No, you can't go to Bobby's house, because he has violent video games."

      Another observation on people who strongly believe is censorship is that they don't want their children (or even themselves) to be able to recognize reality. A child who can reliably tell the difference between the imaginary worlds of movies and games is too likely to be able to be able to tell the difference between reality and what their parents say.
      Erik Engbrecht
  • They should be thanking the UK

    Great way to boost sales really. Now that Rockstar can use "banned in the UK!" in their marketing, sales should be brisk.

    And since it's just the UK, and not the entire EU, it's likely you'll find UK'ers taking a little jaunt for their "visceral killing" fix.
    rtk
  • Seems...

    ...this would be a constitutional issue...but everybody understands the premise that these violent video games potentially influence how people 'think' in turn engendering violent ideation and/or behavior or desensitization to it.
    D T Schmitz
    • Except they don't

      engender violent behavior. Study after study finds no conclusive link between violent video games and subsequent violent behavior. Heck people play and watch really brutal, football, rugby, and ice hockey game and no one is trying to ban those activities. Violence is a natural part of the human psyche and it is far better to let it run around in a virtual world than manifest in the real one.
      Joseph Schuler
  • Awww geeez, where are the parents in all of this?!?!?

    Jesus, if you can't freakin' keep track of what's going on in your own home and instill values in your own kids then what right do you even have bearing children.

    You need the freakin' government, an outside source, to tell you what you can or can't do. This is an ADULT game. What? We can't decided what's ok to put in our PS2 that we paid $60,000 for?...lame use of government.
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
    • Re: "You need the freakin' government"

      [i]"...You need the freakin' government, an outside source, to tell you what you can or can't do..."[/i]

      What, like Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act?

      Must suck to have your government decide what you can and cannot do...

      America. The land of the free...?
      Scrat
    • Kid Icarus is right on

      Here it is plain and simple...The most valued and protected right is freedom of speech and press. Therefore it would go against the most fundamental value to ban this game. So how about lazy parents do their frickin' job and actively participate in their kids lives. All you have to do is either not buy them the game(This would eliminate 90% of the problem) or every now and then actually pay attention to what your kids are doing...Seriously all it would take is 30 seconds. Just peek in while your kid is playing video games. If you don't like what they are playing, take the damn game away. Problem solved. It honestly blows my mind how lazy parents have become. That is the only explanation to how games are now being banned in England. If people paid any attention to their kids and weren't worried about how mad their kids would be if they took away their video game, this issue would never come up. I'm really sick of this progressive censorship bull****. If the government started banning books from the country because they were to graphic people would THROW A FIT. HOW IS A VIDEO GAME ANY DIFFERENT???
      jpate86
  • While I am for free speech and I

    enjoy 1st person shooters in general (Half-Life?), a game/movie/book can cross the line.

    I doubt anyone here would support a game that had the player in the role of Ted Bundy or some cannibalistic serial killer. Would anyone, want kids or adults playing games that glorified and/or encouraged these deviant lifestyles?

    My only point is that a line can be crossed in which there is a danger to public health. So yeah, some games should be banned. What about this one? I can't say specifically as I haven't played it, but the reasoning offered by the council seems to be sound. I don't think I would object if I actually saw the game.
    mtgarden
    • They Make a Game Like That?

      Where can I buy it?

      Now more seriously. I remember playing cops and robbers as a kid and no one said anything about me chasing my little brother around with a cap gun. Ironically, my brother went on to live the style of a deviant patent lawyer. I guess him being that robber was such made him a terrible person.
      nucrash
    • Deviant lifestyle

      my ass. Get this through your thick skull. They are GAMES, FICTION, NOT REAL. They don't glorify anything.

      Obviously already unbalanced individuals could claim that their deeds were influenced by the game they played, the book, they read, or the film they watched. But that is utter tripe. Charles Manson, took his inspiration from the Bible. He believed he was the angel of the pit. Should be ban the Bible?
      Joseph Schuler
      • RE: Deviant lifestyle

        he Bible is not an addicting, frenic, video game which has shown to release certain chemicals in the brain, linked to addicting behavior. It is one thing if you are an adult; it is somthing completely different if you are a child developing his or her personality. This is why there are gambling, alcohol, cigarette, etc laws. If you think that so-called freedom of speech laws supercede the demise of an entire generation, then you are absolutely clueless. Once the damage is done, you can't go back and say "oops, my bad..." The risk isn't worth it.
        PamJW01
    • 1st Amendment

      I will stand by anyone for their 1st amendment rights when those rights are what the intent of that amendment meant. Those rights were defined so that people could make religious and political statements affecting the country and their fellow man. And I will stand for them in most instances or artistic and literary freedoms. However I don't think the founding fathers had anything in mind considering what could happen to extremely exaggerate those significant rights. There are many things now that are published that are fundamentally morally wrong and in the pliable minds of young children and even some adults just push our sanity too far. I have no problem with limited censorship in instances like this.
      rkoenn
  • What happened to the good old days??

    I was talking to a friend the other day about an encouter that he had with a childs mother. This paticular kid was playing outside in the lawn. Their house in the country right along the county road where a speed limit was posted at 35 mph.

    Well my friend was driving along under the posted speed limit at 30 mph. The mother came running out of the yard screaming and wailing her arms in the air. He stopped thinking something was wrong and boy was he right. She was yelling at him for driving down the road under the speed limit. She told him her son was out in the yard playing and he had no right to drive down that road that fast.

    I remember when I was a child and I was told that playing in the street was unsafe and if I wanted to be hamburger then by all means. If I stepped out of line I would get punished. My parents checked what movies I watched and what games I could play. I remember when I was finally able to play the orginal DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D.

    I play fps shooters all the time. I stalk people, I shoot them, and I find it relaxing. I know that is a game and some people take it to seriously that we are all going to start shooting up work and schools. There was a school out east that expelled a teenager for making a CStrike map of his school. They claimed he was going to shoot up the school. This alone was their evidence. This boils down to the question are we responsible for our actions?

    What happened to the days of when a parrent acutally took responsibilty for their kids? In California they where talking about making it punshible by jail to spank a child. Schools can no longer play dodgeball due to using humans as targets. The question arises when as a nation are we going to draw the line on the Goverment? They are our kids, we brought them into this world, and we can raise them. When they come of age they know what is right and what is wrong. We send them into the world with this knowledge. Are we sending them out with the wrong set of instructions due to lack of parrenting?
    combrink
    • I can top that...

      I was WALKING to the gym, and a guy stopped me and started asking me about where I live and where I park my car. Then he told me that a kid was almost hit the other day on his street, how people need to drive slower, and eventually that if anyone ever hit his daughter he would come out with his gun and that I should warn all my friends.
      Erik Engbrecht