NY Times: Manhunt 2 No Worse Than Movies

The NY Times released a nice article, right here, about the whole Manhunt 2 debacle but this time it was a little bit different. The difference here is that the author of the article actually got to play Manhunt 2, unlike the ESRB that gave the game the Adults Only rating. I find it very odd how a ratings board can clearly rate any piece of entertainment without actually experiencing it, but more on that later. Seth Schiesel, the NY Times author, thinks Manhunt 2 is no more gruesome or adult-oriented than any of the recent Hollywood horror flicks. An R-rated movie is targeted towards people ages 17 and up, just like M-rated video games. Yet Schiesel, someone who actually played Manhunt, believes it to be no more gory or gruesome than the recent horror movie SAW II.

Now back to the whole ESRB ratings issue. Essentially what happens when a game is nearing gold status, the name for a completed game, is the producer sends over video footage of the game's more intense and arousing moments. In a game like Manhunt, Schiesel says, you spend most of your time being stealthy and solving puzzles rather than ruthlessly murdering others. But for the ESRB, all they see is a video montage of the bloodiest kills the game has to offer. Now to me, this seems like the killing has been taken completely out of context, giving the game an unbalanced rating. Maybe this game does deserve an Adults Only rating, but if it does, then there are plenty of other games and movies that should be given an equal rating.

If this whole Manhunt issue, and GTA "hot coffee" for that matter, doesn't enlighten the ESRB that things need to change, then we may be stuck with inaccurate ratings from here on out.