LA News Release: Ban on ‘Violent’ Computer Game Unacceptable

The Libertarian Alliance

In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Thursday 21st June 2007
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb (Director), 07956 472 199,

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url:


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 It must be repealed.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.”


Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His new book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, is available for free download at

He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published more than 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Landsdowne Row
Berkeley Square
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press –– the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars.


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