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Published at 4:05 PM PST

It seems the British are tired of their games being censored and banned...or so it would seem. Today, Britain announced that from now on the British Board of Film Classification will be doing just that, only classifying movies. Odd isn't it? I mean, don't you expect video game classifications to come from an agency that's only supposed to be for classifying movies? So how are football moms (by football, we mean British football) now going to make sure that games with titles such as "Grand Theft Auto" with guns on the cover are safe for little Jimmy? The British are going to start using the PEGI ratings system. However, it's not that simple. See the British have created an organization called the Video Standards Council. The VSC effectively has power to ban any game they feel is inappropriate, regardless of the PEGI rating. So much power that according to GI, they have the power to ban games from being sold online. Whether this power will be abused or not remains to be seen.

Source: Joystiq
Source: GamesIndustry

Published at 4:01 PM PST

Yeah, you read the title right. It's been a little over a year now since Manhunt 2 was released in the US, so most people gave up hope on ever seeing a PC version of Manhunt 2. Well, it seems nVidia in one of their latest drivers has dropped the ball that Manhunt 2 definitely is coming to the PC. See, most games have a profile built into nVidia's drivers for extra support and are sometimes added into video drivers before release. Back in 2007, a similar leak happened to Gears of War for PC. The game was placed into the files of a driver that released almost a whole year before the release of the actual game. Adding to this, a member named "deepthroat" over at ProjectManhunt, who before the announcement of Manhunt 2 let quite a few details out about the game that turned out to be true (namely the Wii version), back in November 2008 (before these drivers came out) mentioned the development of Manhunt 2 isn't finished but didn't get into specifics.

If you would like to check this for yourself, download the 185.20 drivers and look at the "nvapps.xml" file. The latest release of the nVidia drivers removes the reference to Manhunt 2.

EDIT: I got the drivers 185.20 and 182.50 mixed up. I have corrected the error. Sorry about that. Please note that 182.50 and 182.60 are the latest drivers by nVidia and 185.20 was only posted on a nVidia developer site and not actually released to the public. It's not fake either as it includes a brand-new feature that has yet to be seen in a public release.

Published at 5:11 PM PST

Australia seems to love it's censorship. So much in fact that the Aussie AG has indefinitely halted the introduction R18+ rating for games. Censorship ministers back in March agreed to collect public opinion on the proposed introduction of a R18+ classification for games and release a report on the issue. However, it seems one man want's to take Jack Thompson's place. South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson refused to allow the report to be published. The reason. Well see, Aussies have to protect their kangaroos kids from buying R18+ games. Now wait a second. If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Australia already have a 15+ rating? Why can't the R+18 rating be forced like the 15+ rating that is already being enforced?

"Games may pose a far greater problem than other media - particularly films - because their interactive nature could exacerbate their impact," Mr Atkinson said. "The risk of interactivity on players of computer games with highly violent content is increased aggressive behaviour."

Right. Because we all know that people don't imitate stuff from movies, TV shows, and books...right? Never fear. The issue is on the agenda for discussion at the next Standing Committee of Attorneys General meeting commencing next month.

Source: TheAge

Published at 11:50 AM PST

It's been a long time since the BBFC was forced to see the light in court and give Manhunt 2 it's rightful rating. After which, Rockstar went silent about a Manhunt 2 release in the UK. That has changed today as Rockstar has finally dated Manhunt 2 for release in the UK. When will you finally be able to corrupt your mind with pixels? October 31st, 2008 is the date you should mark. Until then, be sure to play Manhunt 1 to freshen up your skills. Happen to have Manhunt 1 for PC but Vista gives you errors when you try to run? No problem. Just use this simple little patcher!

Source: IGN

Published at 8:56 AM PST

Hasn't been much news regarding Manhunt 2 since it's announced release in the UK (very soon too we are hoping). However, MCV had an exclusive interview with BBFC director David Cooke yesterday, the interview's main focus was, you guessed it, Manhunt 2. Cooke says they are still a little disappointed that the game was passed for release after all the work they did examining the game to become familiar enough with it to make a valid decision. Considerably more time than the VAC who passed the game apparently.

MCV: Has the whole Manhunt 2 experience changed the way the BBFC works – in terms of culture or processes?

Cooke: Not fundamentally. The reason for that is obviously we thought it was the right decision, or we won’t have reached it. It hasn’t affected the fact that we still base our decisions on thorough gameplay. In the case of Manhunt 2, by the end of it all, we probably spent over 100 examiner hours on the game - including more than a few hours of mine.

We actually got a fairly substantial benefit from the Manhunt episode, We went to the High Court, and it clarified the harm test – actually a benefit that flies across a whole range of games and film.

It all gets quite technical, but for instance, it showed it was not necessary for us to show devastating effect, which was what the arguments had said previously.

MCV: Are you still disappointed with the decision?

Cooke: We absolutely accept that if you have an independent judicial tribunal, like we do with the Video Appeals Committee, you have to abide by its findings and there’s no point showing sour grapes. I guess we’re still disappointed because we put quantifiably more examining hours into getting familiar with the game than the VAC was able to do, so in effect, they were substituting their judgement for ours on the basis of familiarity of the game.

Read the full interview at MCV.


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