Manhunt 2

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Anti violent video game MP Keith Vaz has done more to sell Rockstar's games than the publisher itself, ELSPA head honcho Michael Rawlinson has said.

Speaking to in an interview to be published later today, European Leisure and Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) general manager Rawlinson said that Rockstar's controversial title Manhunt only sold well after Vaz campaigned against it following the murder of 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah.

In July 2004 the parents of Pakeerah, who was murdered with a claw hammer by a friend, blamed Rockstar's Manhunt, which they said the teenage killer was "obsessed" with.

Following the murder Labour MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz called for Manhunt and its follow up to be banned, claiming a direct link between the game and Pakeerah's murder.

Rawlinson told "Keith Vaz has done more to sell Rockstar's games than Rockstar has. The original Manhunt was released, did diddly squat and fell right off the radar until the Stefan Pakeerah incident came and Vaz started shouting from the rooftops and then everyone went and bought the stuff."

Rawlinson said ELSPA conducted research following the incident, which revealed what the organisation calls 'the magic 18' magnet effect, where gamers are attracted to titles because they see an 18 rating on the box.

He said: "The research company came back and had this wonderful phrase called 'the magic 18'. The 'magic 18' means this is a real game with real interest. It's just like a magnet. The kids want that proper game. A 16 rated game with a bit of shooting is not a proper one. If you go into a book store, how do you choose what's a good book or what's a bad book? How do you choose where the gory book is and where the titillating book is? If you're a young teenage kid and you want to go out and read about violence or get stimulated by a sex book, how do you find them? Not easy is it? Because there's no big labels on the front saying violence, sex, 18. It's not there. The only way you get it is by reading the cultural magazines on a Sunday or reading the book reviews or by going on the specialist websites that tell you. Wouldn't that be a better way to market a product, in a more level headed way? But we don't do that and we're forced not to do that. We're forced to go and stick a label on it that says it's 18 which acts as a magnet to the under age gamer."

Rawlinson called on parents to make tough decisions when it comes to buying games for their children, saying "they've got to do their job".

"What we're saying is it's got a rating, let's make that rating right, let's raise the awareness that it's got a rating and what it means and empower them to parent their children and say yes or no. And to be firm. Parenting is tough. Telling your child no is not easy but no one asked them to have their kids. They've got to do their job."

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Wido's Avatar


*puts head in shame*

Tut-Tut-Tut Keith Vaz is giving Leicester a bad name..... I still thing that Manhunt shouldn't be banned, as if you compare it to other violent games. Some show more violence than Manhunt does, but this is were I shall leave...
Posted 16:52 on 05 October 2008
Bloodstorm's Avatar


More attractive name! The Mass Jack Thomson Effect!!!

This man seems to know what he's talking about! The only one this week as far as i have read.
Posted 18:29 on 03 October 2008
Iain_McC's Avatar


The Vaz thing is interesting - if you're going to stick you neck out on something, you might as well get your facts right. The Police who investigated the Pakeerah murder never made any substantive link between Manhunt and the murder, given that the game belonged to the victim, not the murderer. Vaz was just leaping onto his high horse and picking an easy target, one that the parents were all to happy to aim at too, since that distracted attention from what the Police were briefing the press as to what was the *real* motive behind the murder: (

I wonder if the irony of his statement driving more sales of Rockstar's game than their own advertising campaigns was lost on him. It certainly wasn't on me.

Still, I don't think we'll be hearing much more out of Vaz, given that he's currently being investigated for trying to interfere in a court case ( Can we call this fall from grace the Jack Thompson Effect?
Posted 16:46 on 03 October 2008

Game Stats

Release Date: TBA
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Stealth
No. Players: One
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,930 30
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