Still keen on throwing tomatoes and eggs at the ESRB and BBFC for rating AO and respectively banning Manhunt 2 in the UK? Probably yes, as a big fan of the sadistic game. I can't argue with the fact that education is an important factor when it comes to messed up kids because of video games, but wait till you read this story. It'll change your perspective on Rockstar's Manhunt franchise, dramatically.
This piece up on MyWii.com.au tells the story of Stuart Harling, who "got life for stabbing nurse Cheryl Moss to death while she was on a cigarette break." Forget the fact that nurses smoke too, that's not important. What's important is that Stuart did... what he did because of sitting all day in his room and playing Manhunt on his PlayStation 2.
"In a sickening random attack the 18-year-old trainee accountant slashed and hacked her 72 times - just like he'd PRACTISED on the PlayStation in his bedroom," the site reports. Today makes two weeks since Stuart was convicted at the Old Bailey, while the guy's mother, Lorraine Harling, confesses that she and her husband David, had no idea of the savagery "that had quietly built up in their son," the same article reads.
"Stuart never gave us any reason to think he was violent at all. He was a very normal boy-quiet and reserved. I used to call him 'my little professor,' said School attendance officer Lorraine. "I knew he was playing the video games but we didn't really know what went on in them, how brutal and graphic they were."
She continued saying... "I know these games are played by kids across the world, but some are truly horrific. And if they can cause a trigger to be pulled in someone's head they should be banned. Now I feel like people are looking at me, as if I should have read the signs. But I had no idea."
The mother and father did not see their son for over a year, the same site reports, until his trial last month. "He looked the same old Stuart, only he had a beard," said the grieving mother. "But the way he was acting wasn't Stuart. I think there are two Stuarts - the one I knew before all this happened, and the one that's there now. They're two different people. He's not the Stuart I know."
In an article of mine, entitled "The Wii - Your Personal Killing Teacher," I said that Manhunt on the Wii would be a very bad influence. Why? It's simple really: whatever the player has to do, the game will require real-life movement such as in Wii Tennis, where gamers replicate swinging the racket towards the ball, the instant it reaches his/her Mii. Take that and add it to violent games, Manhunt if you will. What do you get? Your personal hack and slash teaching device.
Still think Jack Thompson's crazy? Well, yes, I'm sure you do, but he's quite right about Manhunt 2. Take-Two and Rockstar have their way cut out for them - in terms of revamping the rejected violent game - if they want to launch it anywhere near the UK.