Manhunt blamed for UK murder

Britain's top game retailer yanks the controversial Rockstar game after a teenage player kills.

Months after the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City "Kill all the Haitians!" uproar finally fizzled out, Rockstar Games has another controversy on its hands. In the UK, the parents of a teenage murder victim have blamed the crime on the Rockstar game Manhunt. The parents of Stefan Pakeerah, 14, said their son was lured to a park by a 17-year-old player of the game, who stabbed and beat their son to death with a knife and claw hammer.

"When one looks at what Warren did to Stephan and looks at the brutality and viciousness of the game, one can see links," Stefan's mother told the BBC. Stefan's father was more specific, telling Reuters, "Stefan's murder compares to how the game is set out, using weapons like hammers and knives. If games like this influence kids, they should be taken off the shelves."

The uproar has prompted the UK's biggest retailer to do exactly that. The Dixons chain has removed Manhunt from its locations across Britain and has no plans to put the game back on sale. A spokeswoman for Dixons told the BBC, "We are taking it off the shelves with immediate effect." Rockstar issued a statement in response to the removal, saying "We have always appreciated Dixons as a retail partner, and we fully respect their actions. We are naturally very surprised and disappointed that any retailer would choose to pull any game." Rockstar also defended itself by stating, "We reject any suggestion or association between the tragic events and the sale of Manhunt." However, the publisher/developer did offer its condolences to the victim's family.

As was to be expected, erroneous news reports in the wake of the murder have reignited the controversy that surrounded Manhunt when it was first released. Reuters wrote, "It awards extra points to players for carrying out murders in a particularly extreme and bloody way, while victims plead to be spared on behalf of their wives and children." In reality, Manhunt awards no points at all. The stealth survival shooter follows a convict who is forced to kill hired assassins in self-defense with whatever items are on hand. However, the madman/snuff-filmmaker who has kidnapped the convict does offer him rewards based on the grisliness of his killings, albeit in a very unglamorous fashion.

The BBC's coverage of the Manhunt furor was more balanced. Besides quoting Rockstar reps and officials of ELSPA, the UK's primary game-industry trade group, the BBC also talked to a child psychologist about whether or not there is a link between violent games and violent behavior in children. "There's been no longitudinal research, following adolescents over a long period, looking at how gaming violence might affect their behavior," said Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University, who called for more research.

The BBC also pointed out that Manhunt has an 18 certificate--the equivalent of an "M" rating--and shouldn't be played by minors at all. Rockstar reps reiterated that its games are for adults only. "Rockstar Games is a leading publisher of interactive entertainment geared towards mature audiences, and [it] markets its games responsibly, targeting advertising and marketing only to adult consumers ages 18 and older," said the publisher/developer in a statement.

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19 comments
geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Umbersun_lb
Umbersun_lb

did anyone ask the kid why did he kill the other kid? just so we don't guess what happened, i think all who are furthermore interested shoud google the thing up and see if anyone asked the kid too, or only the desperate parents.

DarkShb
DarkShb

the parents are the one's who shall consider themselves responsible for what happened... they bought their son's a video game like this one. Ofc if they didn't knew it's content its of their interess to search about it. I'm only 16 right now and I do realise that gaming influence your life. Although I don't agree with joemerchant2006. Its not really necessary the kid's fault. Its his parent's fault for letting him play this game. For example. I'm addicted to Spearhead. ok I'm addicted because That game rox and to kill you need tactical movements (I still am addicted ^^ multiplayer rox). What does my mom do? she don't let me play it. Why because I need to focus in other thing like school or work, and not to be 24/7 @ the computer. well... she doesn't even let me (most of the time) 3/7 :) Altough I don't like, I have to accept it. It's morally correct, and I intent to do that forever. This situations only come to prove that in USA a kid hit his mother and a police officer because his mom said to stop playing the game. Well that's just stupidity and this kid (who was actually 20 years old from what I was told) should be arrested / put in some crazy ppl hospital

gifteddie
gifteddie

Manhunt helped kill this kid. Oh yeah I saw it on the news the plastic box was caught fleeing the crime scene. GIVE ME A BREAK!

joemerchant2006
joemerchant2006

I just think this is stupid...parents blamming a video game...it's like your grandfather farting and he blames the dog...it's not gonna work...and no the dog didn't do it...goddamnit, I'm tired of hearing about how games influence kids...ONLY THE RETARDED ONES...and to put caser in point...only a retard would duplicate what is done on these games. THEY MAKE THE REST OF US SUFFER!!! Seriously, getover it, blame the kid who did it, and throw him in jail. It isn't the game's fault at all, it's the kid's fault!!!

heisman67
heisman67

The first question i have for this is why in the F*%$# is a 17 year old playing a mature game..... and why the F*%$# is a parent letting them play this. I mean where is the blame really need to be..... Parents be parents and kids need also need to be responsible. this is a outrage for someone to blame some else or something else for a crime that they should really be pointing the blame on the person committing the crime. so when you point your finger there are always 3 pointing back at you!!!!

pete_merlin
pete_merlin

the parents blammed him for killing after playing manhunt with no proof. just a despert hunch!

GCBsoul98
GCBsoul98

It was a terrible loss. But who would do such thing? Well I would never do such something like that. It's kind of hard to blame who or what? The kid?, the game?, or maybe even really violent movies. The same thing could happen if people don't band Manhunt 2, Rockstar Games could make Manhunt 3. A much worse tragedy it could be group of people.

Fezilla
Fezilla

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

demondragon55
demondragon55

Why do people blame games? The game didn't kill anyone... someone who played the game did. Weather or not the 17 year old played the game is irrelevant. If you watch TV, read a book, go and see a movie, most of the time there's violent stuff is in it. You can't blame one game. The blame goes to the kid that killed the 14 year old.... what a shame. My condolences to the family for their loss. What happened was worse then terrible.... but it wasn't becouse of a game. It was one sick and twist kid.

Terry_Foxman
Terry_Foxman

This is a real tragedy but the blame game is almost as revolting. Mentally warped and sick minds will always do mentally warped and sick things. What they view and how it influences them cannot be avoided. But lets say we ban this type of video game. Whats next? books? well, books never killed anyone. (following this mentality) 2 extremely dangerouse ones have: Mien Kumf and the Bible. Both have caused millions to die in horrible and dispicable ways and been denounced more or less, if we ban games for inspiring violence books should be next, followed by movies and hey history, which is the inspiration for everything else. If we do not speak of violence the world will not know it....right, i heard the same argument from a 2nd grader who closed his eyes, and sayed "you cant see me, you cant see me" Its truly a tragedy but placing blame on inanimate objects is revolting. My condolences to the family for their loss.

highvolts12
highvolts12

Blame everything on games, when movies have much more detailed murder scenes. Quit finding excuses to take money from someone. The kid is obviously a freak don't justify anything with a stupid video game.

diableria
diableria

hahaha awesome! ive finished the game in both levelsand i want to finish it again, i love the killings

Panther_Dud_E3
Panther_Dud_E3

The game is crazy with the violence but ppl should know better than to try and recreate it.

crippo_gamer
crippo_gamer

You couldnt be in the right state of mind to do this to someone game or no game. I think drugs has a role to play in this murder too, not to say Man Hunt is a VERY savage game (and some people think GTA is bad) I would personally not bother buying it.

Jo269976
Jo269976

There are plenty more games that use knives and hammers. I don't see how this specific one should be blamed, maybe the kid had some mental problems.

Brotherbraak
Brotherbraak

No matter what game it is, parents will always find an excuse to blame a problem on a game.

jmanns
jmanns

The game should be for adults 18 and up. Warren is not a mature teenager, he should of known that killing is wrong and that Manhunt is just a game. When a Mature person plays or watches a violent game or movie they should know the difference. This could of happened if he watched a movie. There for Manhunt should not be blamed, because the game didn't kill/murder Stefan, Warren did.