The more things change, the more the stay the same, no? When Manhunt 2 was first threatened with the AO rating, it was a pretty strong statement. This essentially killed the game for the Wii, and it had be designed specifically for use with the Wiimote. Nintendo’s official stance is that no AO games will be sold for the Wii. Likewise, Sony will not sell any AO games for the PS3.
Stumbled across this NY Times article where the guy got to play Manhunt 2 for a few hours, and then compared the game to some of the latest horror movies. Take-Two is positioning Manhunt 2 in the horror genre. It was an interesting read, mainly because I finally got to see what a mainstream person thought of the game after actually playing it. He does make one good point though. Manhunt 2 has received a ton of free publicity for when the game gets toned down to be released under the M rating.
My own stance about violence in games has never changed. If kids are able to get their minds warped from playing violent games, there are more issues at hand than just the games. Upbringing, social circles, parents, loneliness, whacked education systems. But we can’t exactly sue parents, peers, or teachers for social malpractice, can we? So we sue the remaining obvious target: the game developers.