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UK censor to appeal against Manhunt 2 verdict

Wants High Court to enforce original ban

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The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to ask the English High Court to uphold its decision that controversial videogame Manhunt 2 should not be sold in the UK.

The BBFC today said it is seeking a judicial review of the Video Appeals Committee's decision, announced last week, that the game should be released over here with an 18 certificate.

All games due for release in the UK must be first given an age-based rating by the BBFC. In June, the organisation refused to certify Manhunt 2, dennouncing its "sustained and cumulative casual sadism", its "unrelenting focus on stalking and brutal slaying" and "the sheer lack of alternative pleasures on offer to the gamer".

Developer Rockstar tweaked the game, but the new version failed to find favour with the BBFC either. That left the software company with the option of taking its case to the VAC, a body charged with independently assessing BBFC rulings.

The VAC's seven members judged in Rockstar's favour by a single vote. It won four votes to three.

The BBFC today told Register Hardware it's contesting the VAC's judgement because the ruling is based on an incorrect interpretation of what the UK's 1984 Video Recordings Act says about assessing the harm a game may do to the player.

"The VAC judgement, if allowed to stand, would have fundamental implications with regard to all the Board's decisions, including those turning upon questions of unacceptable levels of violence," the BBFC said.

It wants the court to suspend the VAC's ruling that Manhunt 2 should be certified.

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