'Callous' video game banned again

A revised version of video game Manhunt 2 has been rejected by censors.

A revised version of video game Manhunt 2 has been rejected by censors.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) first banned the game in June, saying it demonstrated a “casual sadism” and “constantly encourages visceral killing”.

It was the first video game in a decade to be refused a classification.

The distributor lodged an appeal and submitted a revised version.

But David Cooke, director of the BBFC, said: “We recognise that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version.

“The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient.

“There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the ’execution kills’, but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature.”

He added: “We did make suggestions for further changes to the game, but the distributor has chosen not to make them, and as a result we have rejected the game on both platforms. The decision on whether or not an appeal goes ahead lies with the distributor.”

The game, for PS2 and Nintendo Wii consoles, is made by Rockstar Games.

The company has described the subject matter as “in line with other mainstream entertainment choices for adult consumers”.

The original Manhunt game, released in 2003, received an 18 certificate.

It caused huge controversy and was blamed for the murder of a 14-year-old schoolboy.

Stefan Pakeerah was stabbed and beaten to death in Leicester in February 2004.

His parents believe the killer, Warren LeBlanc, 17, was inspired by the game.

Police and lawyers involved in the trial said there was no evidence that Manhunt had played a part in the murder.

Stefan’s mother, Giselle Pakeerah, condemned the sequel as “morally irresponsible”.

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