Yee calls for violent-game investigation

A video game set for release this Halloween by Rockstar Games has been targeted by state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, as the most violent video game ever, prompting a call for a federal investigation into the game’s rating.

“Manhunt 2,” which allows players to saw their enemies’ skulls in half, was given a rating of AO — adults only — by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board earlier this year. But Friday, the board announced it had downgraded the rating to M — for mature audiences — after reviewing modified versions of the game.

An M rating recommends that it is appropriate for those ages 17 and older. A 2005 Federal Trade Commission undercover operation revealed that 42 percent of unaccompanied children ages 13 to 16 were able to buy M-rated games.

Initial reviews describe players mutilating opponents with an axe, castrating them with a pair of pliers or killing them by bashing their heads into an electrical box.

Both the ratings board and Rockstar Games have declined to say what elements were taken out to earn the lower rating. On Monday, Yee sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking for a probe of the rating process.

Yee said the ratings board, because it receives funding from the video game industry, is under pressure to lower ratings and increase profits. Some large retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart refuse to stock adults-only games.

In a statement, ESRB President Patricia Vance said the game will be marketed to adults and encouraged parents to consider the game’s rating before allowing a child to play it.

Three weeks ago, a federal judge struck down a law authored by Yee that would have fined retailers who sell extremely violent video games to minors. Yee said he is appealing the decision.

tbarak@examiner.com

What do you think? Voice your opinion and vote in our poll at examiNation SF: How do you feel about super-violent video games being sold to children under 18?

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

Pregnant women are in the high-risk category currently prioritized for booster shots in San Francisco. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Inoculations for immunosuppressed individuals recommended in second trimester

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

The Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus is pictured on Jan. 14. The Democrats’ Build Back Better bill would enable free community college nationwide, but CCSF is already tuition-free for all San Francisco residents. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What Biden’s Build Back Better bill would mean for San Franciscans

Not much compared to other places — because The City already provides several key features

A directional sign at Google in Mountain View, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2020. Workers at Google and Amazon are demanding their companies pull out of Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion contract to provide cloud services for the Israeli military and government. (Laura Morton/The New York Times)
Google and Amazon employees criticize $1.2 billion cloud services contract with Israel

‘We can create a world in which tech companies can thrive without doing harm’

Most Read