Mental Health Alliance Blasts Manhunt 2

manhuntcrazy.jpgAs if Rockstar didn't have enough Manhunt 2 problems, what with the gore having been unlocked in versions of the game and network news programs across the country running chilling exposés about how a game you should make sure your children don't play shouldn't be played by children. Now the National Alliance on Mental Illness has come forward, calling for the company to modify the game and retailers not to sell it based on negative portrayal on the mentally ill.

"Even though some people may consider Manhunt 2 to be only a game, it unfortunately perpetuates and reinforces cruel, inaccurate perceptions that people who live with mental illnesses are violent. The U.S. Surgeon General has condemned such stigmatization, identifying fear of stigma as a major barrier to people getting help when they need it. The overall contribution of mental illnesses to violence in society is exceptionally small. In fact, people living with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence.

Oh really? Tell it to Batman, NAMI. Have you ever been to Arkham Asylum? Those dudes are so crazy they had to order an entire truckload of them crazy buckets, and there were still a bunch of guys going bucketless. Poor Batman.

I kid of course, but Arkham Asylum is an excellent example of another fictional mental hospital where the patients would kill you in several creative ways were you to wander in on door-unlocking day (worst idea ever). If a game were made starring Batman fighting his way out of Arkham after being trapped deep inside when say, an earthquake hits, freeing all of the inmates, it would be completely awesome. It would also be fictional, and we'd recognise that, just like we recognise that Manhunt 2 is fictional.

When it comes right down to it, I seriously doubt anyone is using Manhunt 2 as a tool to learn about the mentally ill, and if by some odd chance they are, they've probably already got a pretty good idea of what being mentally ill is all about anyway.

ManHunt 2 Video Game: Blasted for Linking Mental Illness to Violence; Retailers Asked Not to Sell Based on Public Health Concern

ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) today condemned the controversial video game Manhunt2 based on its irresponsible, stereotyped portrayal of people with mental illnesses, asking that it be recalled or modified, or that retailers decline to sell the game. NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick issued the following statement:

"NAMI asks Rockstar Games to recall or further modify the videogame Manhunt2 due to its irresponsible, stereotyped portrayal of mental illness. We also ask retailers to be responsible in responding to public health concerns.

Even though some people may consider Manhunt2 to be only a game, it unfortunately perpetuates and reinforces cruel, inaccurate perceptions that people who live with mental illnesses are violent. The U.S. Surgeon General has condemned such stigmatization, identifying fear of stigma as a major barrier to people getting help when they need it. The overall contribution of mental illnesses to violence in society is exceptionally small. In fact, people living with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of violence.

Released on Halloween, Manhunt2 enables players to assume the role of a patient fighting to escape from the "Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane." The patient uses a variety of sickening techniques to torture and kill security offices and others in his way.

Manhunt2 initially received an "Adults Only" rating for players ages 18 and older in the United States. This rating would have limited the game's market; several major retailers will not sell games with that rating. Rockstar made some small changes to the game, including the removal of a graphic scene with castration, and received a new rating of "Mature" for players ages 17 and older. The British Board of Film Classification was not satisfied with the changes and citing the game's "unremitting bleakness" and "casual sadism," has banned the game in the United Kingdom.

Concern over the violence reflected in the game up until now has not yet been extended to include the outrageous portrayal of the 54 million people in the United States who live with serious mental illnesses. We do not favour censorship, but we do ask for responsible exercise of creative rights when serious public health concerns are at issue. It is our right to demand a higher standard."


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