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Comic for: June 20th, 2007
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Manhunt 2: "Chasing the M"
Posted: Wednesday June 20th, 2007 by

Information available as of yesterday (6/19) indicates that the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) has given Manhunt 2 an initial Adults Only rating. If they so choose, Take-Two now has 30 days to make changes and resubmit the game for a second review or challenge the ruling directly before the rating is considered official and is released to the public. Though no details were given about Take-Two's intended response a representative of the company did express T2's belief that the game "should receive an M (Mature) rating, aligning it with similar content created in other forms of media".
Source: Gamespot [ more info ]

Where I actually support the idea of accurate ratings to help parents choose which games should be made available to their children. I feel that ratings should be consitant across all media types. This does not seem to be the case currently. The initial AO rating the ESRB has levied upon Manhunt 2 seems inconsistant with previous rating decisions for other, similar games. Lack of consistancy in this area makes me wonder if the ESRB is bowing to special interest groups.

Now, I admit that may not be a fair assessment. There could very well be elements in Manhunt 2 that make it worthy of an AO rating. But, in examining the qualifiers, the game seems to deserve the equivalent of an "R" rating (which would be M for Mature). My opinion on that matter extends from the idea that many stores will not carry an AO rated game. But, the material in Manhunt 2 seems to me to be virtually identical to that of R rated movies, which those same stores DO carry. That is to say, with this rating you wouldn't be able to buy Manhunt 2 at Walmart, but you can stroll through their DVD section and buy "Hostel" or the "Hills Have Eyes: Unrated".

So you understand my position, I'm defending the idea that the game should be rated M despite having an issue with the content of Manhunt 2. It seems to be violent for the sake of being violent and that doesn't exactly sit well with my personal sensibilities. But, that does not eliminate the need for consistant ratings that are not slanted against video games.

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