Manhunt is a gory and violent game that has raised many social issues concerning violence. The first and foremost issue is that of children playing this game. This is a moot point. Children should not play this game. At all. Ever. It was not meant for children, and only hideously irresponsible parents would let their children play this game. The M rating for this game is a mistake, the (rarely used) AO rating should have been used.
I am sure most of you have heard the visceral details but here is a quick summary:You play James Earl Cash, a convicted killer sentenced to die. (The question of your innocence is determined by how you handle certain situations in the game.) However, your execution is staged and you find yourself in Carcer City; a ruined and isolated town. You find that you have been spared for the sole purpose of amusing a sadist called "the director". Carcer City has been setup with closed circuit camera's everywhere, PA systems and of course, gangs of people/thugs trying to kill you.Basically, the director wants a real live version of The Running Man (TM). Your character must use stealth and brutality to dispatch the various thugs running around Carcer City. Here is the twist though, the thugs are various malcontents willingly hunting you down for they view you as a sub-human criminal. The way you choose to kill the thugs, the level of gore/violence, gains you points and the approval of the director and affects your character's innocence or guilt.Technically speaking, the game excelled in keeping a constant atmosphere of decay, hoplessness and fear. This type of game is meant to appeal to the macabre and voyeuristic curiousity in all humans. Think of it as an extremely violent and brutal satire of Survivor (TM) and other reality shows. The participants in the aforementioned shows are humiliated and put into difficult situations. They must "eliminate" each other to survive and win the grand prize. In the game, Mr. Cash must literally eliminate those who are trying to kill him. He wants to survive and to win the ultimate prize; his freedom.This game is not suitable for ANY children and certain adults. However, the furor over the game; and the outright attempts to ban it, are not the correct approach to this issue. People have gotten very upset over the violence in this game. I believe that the violence in this game pales in comparison to real life violence happening locally and around the world. Its ironic that violence (in real life) is met with a "Oh, thats terrible." type of false-sympathy or direct apathy, while video game (fantasy) violence is apparently horrific.