I was reading on IGN about Manhunt 2 for the Wii, where the site was calling it the goriest game they’ve ever seen. After reading the preview, it’s a pretty accurate statement from the description.

At the Nintendo forums, there’s a lot of debate about the game’s subject matter, and this is a variant of what I posted there. Manhunt 2 does indeed sound very gruesome. As a person, it does nothing to appeal to my nature. Shooting/stabbing/killing bad guys in video games is nothing new. It’s been around since the Atari 2600 days. But the level of disembowelment and torture really isn’t that “new”, either. Mortal Kombat did this years ago. But it was more cartoony and a quick shock, because no one had 14 sets of intestines or 19 legs like the characters did when they exploded. Manhunt 2 raises the bar as it takes it more seriously, and in a more intricate level.

As a long-time gamer, it does raise my curiosity as to how far the game is really going to go, and it’s going to be an interesting study in “how far is too far”? I do think this is going to be the new industry scapegoat, even eclipsing other controversial games like Doom, Postal, Mortal Kombat, Night Trap, and Grand Theft Auto.

This, of course, comes from reading the preview and watching a trailer on it. At the very least, I’m curious to see how this game is going to turn out.

Honestly, my thoughts are a mixed bag on the game. I can’t stand Jack Thompson, and I think he’s an uninformed idiot. Still, if there was an “enemy” for the industry, he’s perfect. Anyone with a 1/4 of a brain in their head can’t really take his insane rants seriously, so ultimately, he’s largely harmless, though very annoying. I mean, the guy is going after Wendy’s for selling Wii-themed toys in their kid’s meals, for crying out loud.

However, you know the next time something goes wrong, when some “anguished”/”troubled”/”crazy” kid goes off in a school (and I’ve yet to understand why this has all of a sudden become such a “thing” in the last 10-15 years when hearing about something like this was extremely rare, or even unlikely to ever happen), people are going to turn on Rockstar and Manhunt 2 like wolverines, citing it as the reason for all the evils that are, ever was, and ever will be. Of course, this will be forgetting all the previous games/people/music/movies/TV shows that supposedly were Armageddon bringers before this title.

But none of that will matter now, because evil has finally taken shape (again), or whatever. People thought Elvis Presley was corrupt evil back in his heyday. People change. And something will eventually outdo Manhunt 2. Yet people don’t seem to learn anything from the past, or take anything in consideration for the future.

So is Manhunt 2 a dangerous game? Possibly more to the industry itself than some gamer playing it. I hope the game stores make sure they know who they are selling this game to, and I hope parents are educated on this one. This is not a game meant for everybody. I don’t think it will build a super-army of serial killers. I’ve played so many M-rated video games, and have wiped out armies of thugs, gangsters, supernatural beings, demons, zombies, killers, etc., and I know that “reality” ends when I power down the game system.

What we’re looking at here is the new industry scapegoat. When something goes wrong, concerned groups looking for answers are blindly going to flock to this game. And with censorship tactics becoming more and more restrictive because everybody is “afraid” of something these days, all the Nintendogs, Brain Ages and Lego Star Wars games in the world aren’t going to be as strong a counter-point as they used to be. Video games allow people to enter a multitude of different worlds with just as many diverse roles to take on. Some uneducated person who thinks the “ugly game of the week” is the embodiment of the entire video game industry, and uninformed people are just scary.

If it gets an “M”, that’s going to be interesting. I’d half-expect an “AO” (Adults Only) rating.

So for those who read, what are your thoughts? Part of this is rambling on and on, but the points are valid. I may check out the game just to see what the fuss is all about, but I’m old enough, educated on its content, and can separate fantasy from reality.

Let’s hope other people are too.

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