By now you're wearily familiar with the controversy surrounding Rockstar Games, specifically the "Grand Theft Auto" series. For years, the company has been speared by critics as the purest of evil within the video game software market. Its newest title, "Manhunt 2," is slated for release on Oct. 31, which is obviously a tie-in with Halloween. (Oh, scary!)Daniel has some other observations. Surf over and read more — and check out his full story tonight on the CBS Evening News.
Rockstar has updated the previous version of the game that hit stores back in 2003 with a new storyline and characters. Except this time, "Manhunt 2" was initially deemed so gruesome that the Electronic Software Ratings Board or ESRB gave it an "AO" rating or Adults Only (18 and older). That means virtually every major retailer wouldn't stock it, and console makers may not support it.
But the nature of "Manhunt 2," which involves escaping from an insane asylum, requires players to, well, essentially murder people on your way out. There's no question it's violent. There's no question (at least I hope not much) that young children shouldn't play it. The reason Nintendo is getting more attention than Sony is the Wii controller. You can hold it like a knife and stab with it, or slash, etc. There are those in the blogging community who — perhaps jokingly — call it a "murder simulator." That may be taking it a little bit too far, but the comments certainly raise some questions about how people (and kids) interact with games, and what that physical involvement does to the brain.