LA News Release, "Ban on 'Violent' Computer Game Unacceptable" (June 2007)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
Release Date: Thursday 21st June 2007
Release Time: Immediate
Dr Sean Gabb (Director), 07956 472 199, email@example.com
"BAN ON 'VIOLENT' COMPUTER GAME UNACCEPTABLE", SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK
The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties policy institute, today condemns the ban placed by the British Board of Film Classification on the computer game Manhunt 2, and calls for the immediate repeal of the Video Recordings Act 1984.
(This computer game was refused a certificate on the 18th June 2007 by the BBFC. The reason given was "unremitting bleakness" and encouragement of "casual sadism". Though it is formally a private body, no video recording or computer game can legally be sold in Britain without a BBFC certificate.)
Libertarian Alliance Director, Dr Sean Gabb, says:
"This is an outrageous interference with individual freedom. It is unacceptable in what our rulers still like to call a free society. If books were subject to the same regulation as computer games are, The Bible, The Koran and The Communist Manifesto would all be banned for their alleged incitement to violence.
"In a society not driven mad by political correctness, there would be an obvious distinction between speech and action. Of course, individuals should be punished for violent acts against life or property. But they alone must be held responsible for their actions. It is both wrong and unwise to spread the legal blame to anyone who may have inspired such actions. It is wrong because it denies individual responsibility. It is unwise because any diminution of individual responsibility must tend to weaken the individual moral restraint on which all social peace depends.
"The Video Recordings Act 1984, under which this ban was imposed, is a censorship law. It must be repealed. The British Board of Film Classification, being a private organisation, should not be touched by the Government. Neither, however, should it directly or indirectly receive another penny of the taxpayers' money."
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