Feeds

Retailers bans Manhunt after murder link claim

Only allowed to sell it to adults in any case

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Updated UK consumer electronics retail chain Dixons and games retailer Game have pulled the computer game Manhunt from its shelves after the parents of a murdered schoolboy blamed the title for their son's death.

Stefan Pakeerah, 14, was stabbed and beaten to death in a Leicester park in February. Warren Leblanc, 17, of Braunstone Frith, Leicester this week pleaded guilty to the lethal attack.

Pakeerah's parents alleged that Leblanc's fascination in the game, in which points are scored for committing grisly killings, had influenced his actions.

The victims father dubbed Manhunt "a manual for murder".

Dixons and Game today began removing Manhunt from its store shelves. Under UK law Manhunt must not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Retailer W H Smith told the BBC that it was considering whether to continue stocking the title. Virgin Megastores, however, will continue to do so. "While we take a level of responsibility, ultimately, censorship decisions are up to the consumer," a spokesman said.

Computer games that depict 'realistic' imagery must be certified by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) before release. The BBFC today stood by its certification, which indicates that the game should only be sold to adults. UK retailers are bound by the law to ensure that games are only sold to buyers of an appropriate age.

Of course, nothing prevents an adult buying such a game on a juvenile's behalf. And some kids do get hold of pirate copies.

We've been here before. Computer games have been claimed to influence other adolescent murders, most notably the Columbine High School killings, which some observers blamed on an obsessive interest in Doom. More recently, Grand Theft Auto has been blamed for a road killing.

Influences are easy to claim, but direct causality is harder to prove, whether the alleged cause are violent computer games or equally violent movies. Two decades or more ago, it was Dungeons and Dragons that was felt to be at fault.

But for every child psychologist claiming violent imagery leads to violent actions, there's another who believes games and movies provide an outlet for aggression that might otherwise be directed toward other kids.

Certainly, the vast majority of game players, comic readers and movie viewers do not act out in the real world violent content they've consumed on a PC or DVD. ®

Related stories

Grand Theft Auto in the dock over US road killing
Eidos in clear over Columbine
George Dubya blames Net for Columbine massacre
Hollywood pushes violent movies, games on kids FTC
Net blamed for new Columbine High School threats

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.