When 14-year-old Stefan Pakeerah was brutally murdered in a park in the UK in February, his grieving mother blamed the crime on Rockstar Games' violent stealth action game Manhunt. The 17-year-old accused of murdering Stefan with a claw hammer and a knife, it seems, was a big fan of the game. It later emerged that a copy of the game was found in Stefan's bedroom, raising questions as to how the schoolboy was able to get his hands on the 18-rated game.
With all of the publicity surrounding the murder and the decision taken by a number of major retailers to withdraw the game from sale, the level of interest in Manhunt, according to a recent report in the Daily Mail newspaper, is now higher than it was when the game was released last year. A spokesperson for HMV, which still stocks the game in its 200 stores, told the newspaper that demand for the game had "significantly increased" and added that "people who had never heard of the game now want to buy it. Many think it's going to be banned and that lends a certain cachet."
Mrs. Pakeerah, who has been campaigning to get Manhunt banned, has spoken of her sadness that Manhunt has sold out across much of the UK. "It doesn't really come as surprise, they say no publicity is bad publicity," she said. "But I must say I'm saddened and disappointed. The content of this game is contemptible. It's a societal hazard and my concern is to get it off the shelves as there's enough violence in society already."