Monday, July 02, 2007

Stupid petitions

Following the BBFC's refusal to certify Manhunt 2, some bright sparks here in the UK got together and thought, "Hey - the Prime Minister's website has an online petition feature! Let's get on there and complain that we can't play a videogame!"

So they did.

Here's the full text of the petition proposal, followed by my arguments for why I thik it's a stupid move and a missed opportunity.
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Restrict the powers of the BBFC with regard to the banning of videogames.

More details from petition creator
The BBFC have recently refused to rate the videogame "Manhunt 2". As such, adults in this country will never be allowed to play this game. Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions with regard to what videogames they want to play. We all understand that this game is extremely violent and unsuitable for children. As such an 18 rating should have been applied.
Why, for the love of God, did they restrict their complaint to just this one videogame? The BBFC should not, in my opinion, be able refuse certification of any media. If it's violent, slap an "18" on it and let that be the end of it. The BBFC should operate on the assumption that their ratings work, not worry that someone might get their hands on something deemed "inappropriate". In my opinion, that's just admitting that the system's broken.

Even aside from that, by only pointing out the games angle, the petition makes it sound like a bunch of petulant kids whining that they can't play Nintendo. I mean, if it was a commentary on the state of the ratings system and asking the Prime Minister to review the BBFC's powers and even the relevance of the Video Recordings Act 1984 in today's society, then it would possibly be taken seriously. As it is, it's just... weak.

I still signed it, though.

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