TeamXbox.com - July 29th 2004
Off Store Shelves in the UK
The parents of a 14 year old boy, brutally murdered by his friend, claim that the actions are a result of an obsession with the Manhunt videogame. The Dixons group, UK's biggest electronics stores, pulled the videogame off store shelves today after the victim’s parents attributed the murder to its subject matter.
A statement from the Dixons Group said: "In light of the tragic events reported in today's media we have taken the decision to withdraw the Manhunt game from sale at Dixons, Currys and PC World.
Warren Leblanc, armed himself with a claw hammer and a knife, battered and stabbed to death to his friend Stefan Pakeerah. Leblanc pled guilty and now faces a life in prison.
The ELSPA has issued a statement today
in which they say:
However, we reject any suggestion or association between the tragic events in the Midlands and the sale of the videogame Manhunt.
The game in question is classified 18 by the British Board of Film Classification and therefore should not be in the possession of a juvenile. We would also add that simply being in someone's possession does not and should not lead to the conclusion that a game is responsible for these tragic events.
Games are played by all ages of people, from 8 to 80, and all are subjected to strict regulation. There is no evidence to suggest a link with events carried out in everyday life, as many eminent experts have continually concluded.
We would emphasize the need for all parents to be aware of the guidelines and ratings which apply to all games. Whilst we cannot comment on behalf of the publisher of the game in question, the procedures that it adopted were entirely responsible and in line with legal and industry codes of practice.
In conclusion we would add that for the
most recent records available, less than one per cent of games sold in
the UK are rated 18 plus by the BBFC.
This will assuredly start up the debate of videogame violence once again, but the bigger question may be why was a 14 yr. old in possession of a clearly marked 18+ rated videogame? Manhunt is clearly not the first videogame to feature a knife and hammer as a weapon, and certainly won’t be the last. We’ll have more on this story as it develops.
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