April 18th, 2008

BBFC still a little disappoined that Manhunt 2 made the cut

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.