Upon first word that sale of Rockstar Games' "unremittingly bleak" and "casually sadistic" Manhunt 2 would be illegal on the British Isles, Paul Jackson, current director of UK games association ELSPA, issued a statement hailing the move and claiming the decision proves the UK has a ratings system that is "effective." Questioning this sentiment, former ELSPA director Roger Bennett sees the decision as quite the opposite.
In an editorial posted on MCV earlier today, Bennett called out the British Board of Film Classification's ruling on several points. First and foremost, Bennett claims the BBFC operates under a "flawed assumption" that because games are interactive, they are somehow different than other forms of visual entertainment. According to Bennett, there's no evidence to support this mentality, and it is only due to outside influences that games are "becoming increasingly and wholly unjustifiably separated from other forms of screen entertainment."
Bennett goes on to say that the BBFC's decision was influenced by politics. He sees the government as being too heavily influenced by events that in no way pertain to the game industry. In turn, pressure from the media causes these officials to advocate narrow-minded and "ignorant" opinions without direct knowledge of the topic or legitimate facts to support their position.
In closing, Bennett takes the industry-standard position of questioning whether it's a good idea to deprive adults the right to make their own informed judgments on what is appropriate for themselves or their children.