The Manhunt Fiasco

Attention visitors from Wikipedia!

I've seen a noticable increase in hits to this page given recent events regarding a sequel to Manhunt.

Please be aware that this is a legacy article, and will not be recieving updates. For ongoing coverage of the MH2 saga, please check sites such as Game Politics or MCV.

For those seeking more information on the subject of videogame censorship, you may be interested in this article.

Christmas 2003
Manhunt released for PS2, XBox and PC, to mixed, largely unenthusiastic reviews, failing to make any real dent on the charts.

Feburary 27 2004
14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah of Leicester killed in park by 17 year-old Warren Leblanc to pay off a drug debt.

Late July 2004
Leblanc pleads guilty.

Parents of the deceased blame Manhunt for the murder, reported on the BBC and others, most - if not all - choosing to gloss over the drug issue.

Lawsuit launched by parents with the aid of Jack Thompson, veteran anti-gaming lawyer, against publishers Rockstar Games.

The resultant outrage/trial-by-media means that the game is shortly pulled off the shelves by the Dixons and Game stores group, as reported by the Daily Mail and others. Prices for copies on Ebay reach upwards of 100.

August 3, 2004
Manhunt reaches number 14 in the all-formats chart - also charting at 9 in the xBox chart, and 15 in the PS2 chart. Pakeera family "saddened". Also, Leicestershire police reveal that the game was owned by the deceased - not by the killer.

August 5, 2004
Open letter sent to Home Secretary David Blunkett by ELSPA Director General Roger Bennett with regards to the subject.

September 3, 2004
Leblanc sentenced to life imprisonment, although only has to serve a minimum of thirteen years. Pakeerah family unhappy.

Late September 2004
MP for Leicester East Keith Vaz brings Manhunt to the attention of the British government, Prime Minister Tony Blair provides soundbite, attends meeting with ELSPA.

December 2004
Patrick, father of Stefan, has another go at using his dead son as a money-making opportunity and sues Rockstar, believing that "on the balance of probability ... this game brought about Stefan's death" despite the police, the courts, the studies and blind logic saying otherwise.

January 17, 2005
Keith brings the debate to commons, is not faced with the level of opposition he should be.

February 4, 2005
Asks Trade Secretary Patricia Hewitt how many kids play games, gets no answer.
As with all State wiki pages, this is the version (or as near as possible) to the version I posted most recently, and may contain edits by the rest of State's community.

Website (C) Mark Kelly 2002-5.

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