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Hot Coffee Cooling Off 559

Posted by Zonk
from the can-i-get-back-to-kirby-please dept.
The storm of media and cynicism that was "Hot Coffee" is, thankfully, coming to an end. To wrap things up, reactions were mixed to the re-rating of GTA. Some thought it too much, some too little too late. With the removal of the M rating, ESRB president Patricia Vance considers the matter closed. Even those in the industry itself seem glad that it's over, though the folks quoted for the 1up story seem cynical about the whole thing. "[Rockstar] TOTALLY screwed the modding community, as far as I am concerned. Because they could have just removed the content. They tried to get cute and leave it in. In my experience that sort of thing is always deliberate. Anyway, the point is that most game developers are recalcitrant and immature jerks. When mom tells us we can't do something, we're sure as hell going to do it. If you get my meaning. I think 'mom' in this case was the ESRB." As a sidenote, stock in Take-Two Entertainment dropped by almost five percent at close of market today, on the news that even Gamestop is dumping the now AO-rated GTA title.
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Hot Coffee Cooling Off

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  • It's about time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChibiLZ (697816) * <john AT easygoldguide DOT com> on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:46AM (#13134598) Homepage Journal
    I for one am very glad that this whole debacle is over. I think it's somewhat ridiculous that people are angry at Rockstar. AFAIK, GTA:SA is rated M for violence and sexual content. Why must it be AO now? This certainly wasn't hardcore porno, it was not even as bad as what you see on cable late at night.

    And to think that GameStop is not going to sell the game anymore? Regardless, it's well out of the spotlight now, but the game they stop selling today is the game that they were hyping the hell out of for pre-orders 1 year ago. I don't care what the ESRB rating is, nothing has changed.

    I certainly don't think kids should buy this game, regardless of the sex, they shouldn't be exposed to that kind of violent content. However, it's now a pain in the ass for me if I want to buy a copy. It seems I can no longer go into my local videogame store and pick it up, I'll have to order it online and wait. I wonder if it will arrive in a plain brown envelope. Wouldn't want the neighbors or mailman to know I'm getting such perverted things in the mail.
  • I hate America (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr.Dippy (613292) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:46AM (#13134603)
    Let's see the game is about black men running around smacking hoes and doing drive bys and most people don't have a problem with this. But, once you add some sex into the game there are congressional hearings. Stupid America, when will you ever learn?!
  • by BlackCobra43 (596714) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:46AM (#13134605)
    GTA: SA was the best-selling console game of 2004, despite only being published on one platform at the time. Are we seriously expected to believe major retailers will forever keep the evil, evil GTA games off their shelves? Why should Rockstar Games/Take Two?
  • Re:I hate America (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ced_Ex (789138) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:49AM (#13134624)
    I wouldn't say America, more like those stuck up Holier-Than-Thou retards at the ratings board.

    I can't see how sex is more evil than violence. Think of the utopia they want to have. A world with violence and no sex. Wait... wouldn't that be the fuckin apocalypse?
  • I'm really puzzled (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Arthur B. (806360) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:51AM (#13134648)
    On the one hand, in the USA, you can easily buy a rifle or a machine-gun with ammunitions. On the other hand you can't see consensual sex in a video game ? Urrr.
  • Publicity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MarkByers (770551) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:53AM (#13134667) Homepage Journal
    Despite all the bad publicity about this game, I can only imagine that it will have a positive effect on sales, as loads of people that otherwise would never have bought this game are now interested in it, purely because of the amount of hype surrounding it.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:54AM (#13134672)
    I think it's somewhat ridiculous that people are angry at Rockstar. AFAIK, GTA:SA is rated M for violence and sexual content. Why must it be AO now?
    When you decieve somebody, their reaction when the truth comes out is greater than if you had told them the same thing upfront.

    What annoys people about this is that Rockstar decieved both the industry and the public about the content of the game. So long as this occurs, consumers can't know what they're buying. OK, so you don't mind. But the point is people should have the information up front to make their own choice.

  • Re:Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Angry Toad (314562) on Friday July 22, 2005 @08:54AM (#13134683)

    I'll be taking it back to the shop as soon as possible and demanding they exchange it with a copy that is suitable for a child of his age.

    Good idea. GTA is, with or without sexual content, utterly inapproriate for a 12 year old.

  • The Sims (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:00AM (#13134731)
    There were hundreds of adult themed addons for the sims and the content of many of them was a lot more explicit than the Hot Coffee mod. It's ESRB Rating is T (Teen) and it is specifically designed for people to produce whatever addons they want. Considering The Sims franchise is just as famous, if not more than GTA, how come nobody cares?
  • by AxemRed (755470) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:00AM (#13134732)
    According to their own criteria, the game should have been AO from the beginning. http://www.esrb.org/esrbratings_guide.asp [esrb.org] "Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity." The whole game is a scene of intense violence.
  • by ipfwadm (12995) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:03AM (#13134768) Homepage
    What annoys people about this is that Rockstar decieved both the industry and the public about the content of the game. So long as this occurs, consumers can't know what they're buying.

    No, Rockstar didn't deceive anyone. When you went out and bought the game, there was no possible way that you were going to get exposed to this "sex scene" without knowingly going out of your way to enable it. No possible way. Therefore, the sex scene was not part of the "content of the game", and therefore Rockstar did not deceive anyone about the content of the game.

    People's reaction to this is "greater than if you had told them the same thing upfront" because they don't understand what it's all about. They hear that there's a sex scene in the game and they pull out their pitchforks and torches. They probably think this is actually a scene you'd come across during normal gameplay, and therefore they do feel deceived.

  • by kortex (590172) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:04AM (#13134773)
    This is just another example of a really messed up society. Through the years, things that are considered 'bad for kids' has constantly evolved and changed. There was a time that saying 'damn' on TV was completely taboo. Today I routinely hear much worse on broadcast (let's not even talk about cable!). Every generation has had it's gripes about what the kids during that time were watching, doing, playing and saying.

    Unfortunately, there has yet to be a generation where the parents take reponsibility for educating and censoring (if necessary)the content available in their own homes. Parents that do take the time to take care of their own are not the ones screaming their heads off. People argue 'What about when my kids are not at home?!'. To that I say, educate your kids! I believe kids can be taught right from wrong. Nothing will keep children from doing 'bad' or seeing 'bad' things once in a while. This is a part of growing up and part of the learning process.

  • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:06AM (#13134793)
    The big problem wasn't that there was sex involved in GTA:SA. So you have ways of moving the pixels so that it looks like some guy is banging the hell out of some girl. Big deal.

    The major problem was with the timeline:

    1. Rockstar tells the MSRB, "Yeah, OK, we have some adult-themed material in this game, but that's why we figure an M-rating to be about right, because there's nothing explicit in the game."
    2. Hot Coffee comes out, showing the sex, and Rockstar says "Those @#$%ing modders! They must have inserted that porn!"
    3. Rockstar comes out and says, "Well, OK, the modders didn't insert the porn - it was already in there, but no fair drawing adverse inferences!"

    It wasn't so much the sex, but the lies that got people up in arms about Rockstar. (No videotape this time, at least) We don't like being made to look like fools, and so the ESRB lowered the boom on GTA:SA.

    I, on the other hand, am willing to throw brickbats all of the involved parties:

    • Rockstar for lying about what content it did provide and for trying to blame the modders who exposed (pardon the expression) the hidden stuff;
    • The ESRB for having such a skewed viewpoint about the difference between "M" and "AO"
    • Above all, the parents who bought the game for Little Johnny and Janey who ignored the "M" rating and the criminal and violent subtext of the game, but were shocked, shocked! when sex reared its head.

    A plague, not on one, not on both, but on all your houses!

  • by AdamD1 (221690) <adam&brainrub,com> on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:09AM (#13134814) Homepage
    What baffles me the most is that M (for mature) is rated as being for customers "17 and older", while AO is for customers "18 and older." That's not a huge difference. One year. What does a 17 year old not know that an 18 year old is suddenly an expert at these days? Especially since I regularly get my ass handed to me by 16 years olds (or younger) on many online games, I fail to see how a rating system would make any sort of difference to a game like this. If I'm 16, I'll probably find the means to get this game one way or the other.

    Also: there isn't any nudity in this game (not even, specifically, in the hot coffee segment where one would expect it.) It's quite obviously cartoonishly presented. I can understand the uproar over Manhunt, which is by comparison very detailed and brutally violent. But this is to my mind one of the most ridiculous "debacles" I've ever heard of. Anyone who assumes that a game named "Grand Theft Auto" is for teenagers is living in a fantasy world. Why it takes a sticker saying "AO" versus "M" to drive this home is beyond me. Does this mean I can make a game called "Assassinate The President" or "Serial Rapist" and expect the rating to determine whether Walmart will carry it or not?

    And where are the freakin' parents? Out carjacking?

    ad
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:11AM (#13134831) Homepage Journal
    The sex part is being used by those trying to excuse the fact that they knowningly did something they were not supposed to. In other words they were trying to trivialize it by attempting to put the blame on the people who complained!

    Just because your values or my values do not align themselves with others in no way makes ours superior.

    Many of these programmers do act like jerks. Ever spent time dealing with MMORPG developers and you quickly find out there are many jerks and too many have god-complexes. When you point out things they should not do they quickly turn around attacking the person pointing out the issue instead of dealing with the issue.
  • by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:12AM (#13134840) Homepage
    1. Anyone who previously thought that the ESRB was a good idea and defended it on the basis that if the industry self-regulated it would provide a bulwhark against censorship from outside has just been proven wrong.

      The ESRB has been demonstrated a tool for censorship from outside, as demonstrated by the fact that a game has just been effectively banned from sale in the U.S., by way of it being moved from M to AO, based on nothing but a targeted public smear campaign. The content even in the modded "AO" version of GTA:SA is significantly tamer than the sexual content that which is already present in a very large number of M games.
    2. Anyone within the Hillary Clinton / etc "blame video games" camp who previously claimed that they just cared about protecting "the children" has just been shown to be lying.

      This has been demonstrated by their extended attack on a game that was already "mature, 17 or older only, not to be sold to minors" with a "strong sexual content" label, an attack which apparently only ended with the effective banning of the game. Apparently these people don't care about children, they just care about either political self-promotion or imposing their morality on others, and children are just a tool to achieve this.
  • Re:Good! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tolkienfan (892463) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:15AM (#13134876) Journal
    With the sex and without the violence.

    I'd rather my kids appreciate sex than violence.

  • by Rasta Prefect (250915) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:16AM (#13134887)

    People's reaction to this is "greater than if you had told them the same thing upfront" because they don't understand what it's all about. They hear that there's a sex scene in the game and they pull out their pitchforks and torches. They probably think this is actually a scene you'd come across during normal gameplay, and therefore they do feel deceived.


    Or, Rockstar disabled the content but left it there knowing that somebody was eventually going to find it - but not until after they'd been rated.

  • Double edged sword (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iriel (810009) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:16AM (#13134888) Homepage
    Glad it over. There, I said it too.

    On one hand, I agree that this game was already intended for an audience far older than the children that lawmakers and soccer moms are trying to protect. However, with no forms of penalty to enforce the ratings on these games, nobody can expect them to follow. They're only mild suggestions without any kind of fine for selling to/buying for children under the age recommended by rating.

    However, R* is also quite guilty of deliberatly hiding an easter egg in the game that (in America, anyway) dramatically changes some peoples' view on it. In a country where sex is almost strictly taboo, it was purposely sneaky of R* to put the Hot Coffee material into the game because we, as gamers and geeks, have already proven many years ago that if it can be cracked, it will. They can't just unhook the content and expect it to be done, and that's not what they did. R* left it in there for the people curious enough to find a way to get Hot Coffee.

    I hope both of these parties can learn something from this. Ratings aren't effective without being enforced and unhooked content can and will always be found, cracked, and distributed on the internet within an hour.
  • by harks (534599) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:22AM (#13134934)
    you *can* see sex in a video game if you are over 18. It's a rating change, not a ban.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:22AM (#13134937)
    They should pick up the clean copies of 50cent's new album while they're at it.

    It has been discovered that the "clean" versions of 50 Cent's latest album can be easily converted into the dirty version again by shouting obscene words and lyrics at the appropriate time.

    "Blaming the modding community is no excuse, they deliberately designed it so that it would be incredibly easy to 'convert' it to the adult version", said Ada Blau-Jobs of the pressure group "Families United to Control Kids".

    In the wake of this scandal, it has been discovered that other, more innocuous CDs have also proven incredibly easy to 'mod' into "filth-fests".

    This was demonstrated by Ms. Blau-Jobs playing a 'Barney' CD and yelling "Bitch!", "M**********r!" and "Yeah, you like being screwed up the ass, ho" over the purple dinosaur's latest crime against music.
  • by ipfwadm (12995) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:22AM (#13134947) Homepage
    Or, Rockstar disabled the content but left it there knowing that somebody was eventually going to find it - but not until after they'd been rated.

    Possibly... But my opinion then is "who cares?" If it's not part of the normal gameplay; if someone has to go out and look for a hack that will enable whatever it is they're looking for, then what's the big deal? No one is stumbling upon this. No one is being exposed to anything against their will.

    And at the same time, I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot of games out there that have similarly-locked features. It just happens that GTA's was discovered.

  • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:25AM (#13134970)
    You need to use a patch to see the scene.

    It would be easier to watch porn using my web browser than it would be using this game.

  • Re:So.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dhalka226 (559740) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:33AM (#13135054)

    GTA:SA will sell no matter the age rating

    I think it's true that changing from M to AO wouldn't deter most people from buying it.

    It DOES, however, deter many stores from selling it. Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart have already pulled it from their shelves. I know Wal-Mart refuses to stock ANY AO-rated game, I'm not sure if the others do as well or if they were just reacting to this present controversy.

    So, it might increase (or hold steady the) DEMAND, but it will also make it harder to find. Since the ostensible goal is to keep it out of the hands of people under 18 now, online stores might not be an option (no credit card).

    Personally, I think the whole thing is damn stupid.

  • TV vs. GTA (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:36AM (#13135080)
    Can someone exlain this to me: Last night i was watching "That 70's show" with i belive is teen orianted program and sow a trailer for "Devils Rejects" during a comershal brake. 30 second trailer shows women raped, burned alive, people shot and cut apart. Now how is this aceptoble when a video game that you can not buy unless you are 17, and then have to go online, find a mod, download that mod, in order to to see digitaly rendered and not wery realistic simulated sex sine.
  • by rhsanborn (773855) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:36AM (#13135089)
    I think people's gripe is that Rockstar did this to deliberately circumvent the rating system. I.E. they wanted people to find this little hack, maybe someone even said something in passing to someone else, who told his friend's brother's neighbor's dog to write a little script to unlock the content.

    My gripe is that Rockstar initially came out saying this was all lies and that Hot Coffee added content to the game. Why couldn't they just walk out and say, "Yeah, they found it."

    The lack of any and all corporate, or general integrity irritates me to no end.
  • by robyannetta (820243) * on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:40AM (#13135127) Homepage
    When will these jackass lawmakers learn that the only reason they're here -- is because of sex!!!
  • by colinferm (262940) on Friday July 22, 2005 @09:46AM (#13135186) Homepage
    It's nice to hear a little bit of common sense.

    Where this is coming from is that this country is in the same place, culturally, as we were with comic books in the 50's. At the time, all the great crime and horror comics were being published by one house (EC) and politicians - and one doctor who's name escapes me - screamed about how terrible this was for kids and how the nation was going to be full of little murderers if something wasn't done. There were congressional hearings, banner headlines, all the same as we're seeing right now for video games.

    In response, the comics industry put together the "voluntary" Comics Code Of America which most DC and Marvel books carried into the mid-90's that included various draconian "guidelines" forbidding , for instance, a comic to show anything bad happening to a police officer.

    The sad fact was that most of these books were picked up at news stands by bank clerks, butchers, and other adults who wanted something entertaining to read on their way to work and not so much by children. What the comics code did was essentially dumb down comics to the point that adults stopped reading them through out the 50's, 60's, and early 70's and basically put EC out of business since news stands wouldn't carry comics that didn't have the Comics Code stamp on their covers.

    It's too bad to see that the same thing is happening today with video games. I mean, I read that the median - median, average - age of video gamers is 27. That said, if we can have movies - and thankfully, comic books again - for adults, why not video games also? The box says 17+, so is it Rockstar's fault if parents are buying nine year old little Johnny a game that includes violence and now sex? The common sense answer, as you've said, is no.

    Anyway, just some history to go with it.
  • Fact: The developers at Rockstar thought that it might be fun to include a sex mini-game. Fact: This mini-game was built, but ultimately scrapped. Maybe this was because it pushed the game over the line with the ESRB, or maybe it's because the mini-game is not really funny and not very fun. Fact: There is no sex mini-game included in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as shipped.

    I repeat: There is no sex mini-game included in Grant Theft Auto: San Andreas as shipped. I've played the entire game, end to end, and while it does let me beat people down with a giant black dildo if I feel so inclined, the sex mini-game is just not in there.

    That is not to say that the code for the sex mini-game is not on the DVD, but it is not in the game. This is an important distinction. If the mini-game is present on the DVD, but there is no way to access it while playing the game as shipped, then that sequence isn't really part of the game, any more than a deleted scene on a DVD is part of the movie.

    It is common practice in software projects to strip out features as the release date approaches. Maybe the feature just doesn't work right, or it does work right but isn't really as good as everyone thought it would be, or maybe it introduces bugs, or maybe it pisses off media decency watchdogs. For whatever reason, features are disabled. This is usually done not by deleting the feature from the project entirely, but rather by deleting the calls that activate it. Deleting large chunks of code carries a huge risk in the later stages of software development, because it's easy to make a mistake that will break the build. If someone makes a mistake and deletes the wrong class file when they're taking out un-used code for something like, say, a sex mini-game that management has decided not to include in the final product, they could all too easily cause just such a problem.

    Breaking the build is a Very Bad Thing, especially in gigantic projects like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which cost $50 million to develop and employed hundreds of people. At the end of the software development cycle, new builds of the program are made every night. These are copied and sent out to teams of testers, sometimes hundreds of them, who run through the program and look for bugs. These bugs get fixed, a new build is made that night incorporating those bugfixes, and the cycle continues.

    If the build is broken, nobody works. If the testers don't get a new build, then they can't find new bugs, because they're still running into the old ones. If the developers don't get a new build, they can't fix other bugs, because they don't know how their changes will interact with changes they've already made. Everyone winds up sitting idle, getting some sleep, talking to their significant others, and maybe realizing that working 20 hours a day for 7 days a week at substandard wages sucks. Maybe they begin to question their sexless and empty lives, and maybe they start chatting with each other about how a union would fix all this mess before their jobs are shipped off to China, and it's too late to do anything about it.

    Morale suffers, the whole project slips, deadlines are missed, analysts revise your publisher's stock downwards, and you suddenly need a new job.

    So instead of making a major change like deleting the entire mini-game, it's much safer to make a small change, like deleting the parts of code that start the mini-game. If there is no way to invoke certain parts of a program, then those parts may as well not exist. This is so common in software projects, both for business and entertainment programs, that the current controversy surrounding Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas seems from the perspective of the software world like a tempest in a teapot. Grand Theft Auto III had code for a half-completed fourth island on the DVD. Knights of the Old Republic II, which is notorious for its terrible and seemingly unfinished ending, had the voice acting and artwork for

  • by renderhead (206057) on Friday July 22, 2005 @10:09AM (#13135433)
    They probably think this is actually a scene you'd come across during normal gameplay, and therefore they do feel deceived.


    Not necessarily. In the case of GTA:SA, the whole issue may seem to be splitting hairs. The entire game already revolves around violence and sex anyway, right? But the parent groups may be concerned with the precendent of the thing.

    Suppose a year from now, parents are mystified that their 13 year old sons want to own some game called "Happy Bunny and the Carnival Mystery" (Rated "E" for Everyone). but how can they object? All of the game's content has been reviewed and approved by the ERSB and multiple gaming publications as being suitable for kids.

    Then it turns out that a code, widely available on the web but largely unknown outside of gaming circles, unlocks the "freak show" mode, granting access to rooms full of violent and pornographic images. Some developer put it in as a joke, with the rationale that none of the kids will ever see it because it requires them to 'knowingly go out of their way to enable it.'

    Again, GTA is an odd place to set the precedent because most conscientious parents wouldn't allow it in their houses in the first place, but no parent likes the idea that a gaming company might, willfully or accidentally, help their child smuggle obscene material through their door under the guise of a milder game.

    Rockstar is being made into an example for all game companies to discourage the insertion of "easter eggs" that might change the rating of the game were they enabled by default.
  • by Caiwyn (120510) on Friday July 22, 2005 @10:14AM (#13135489)
    No, Rockstar didn't deceive anyone. When you went out and bought the game, there was no possible way that you were going to get exposed to this "sex scene" without knowingly going out of your way to enable it. No possible way. Therefore, the sex scene was not part of the "content of the game", and therefore Rockstar did not deceive anyone about the content of the game.

    Bullshit. The content is on the disc, and that makes it part of the package that Rockstar sells. It's content that was made by Rockstar and included in the game, regardless of whether it has to be unlocked by a third party. You're going to tell me that the company that regularly gets attacked for the content of their games had the purest of intentions in leaving the minigame on the disc? At best, they were negligent. At worst, they were downright malicious.

    You don't need a mod to enable the content; all you need is a savegame file with the minigame unlocked. Right now, that means downloading an edited savegame file or editing your own, but considering that Rockstar wasn't forthcoming about the content of the disc, do you really trust them not to have thrown in a way to unlock the game without editing the savegame file? There could be an as-yet undiscovered cheat code, or any number of other possibilities. Rockstar sure as hell isn't going to be up front about that now.

    But even if you give them the benefit of the doubt, they screwed up royally, and deserve to have the game re-rated. And they deserve a lot more scrutiny by the ESRB in the future, for pulling this little stunt. As the grandparent poster said, the minigame doesn't bother me nearly as much as Rockstar's willingness to hide it on the disc as a surprise for unwitting parents later on down the line. Everyone (including myself) who defended Rockstar in the past by pointing to the ratings system has had their argument shot down by none other than Rockstar themselves.
  • by steve_ellis (586756) on Friday July 22, 2005 @10:41AM (#13135790) Homepage
    It is entirely possible that keeping the product hot and in the news was the whole point.

    Could Rockstar have done this on purpose to increase sales? If the 'hackers' hadn't exposed HotCoffee, Rockstar could have seeded the idea. As I see it, the only real downside to Rockstar is that HotCoffee was exposed too soon--the game seemed to still be selling quite well.

    -se

  • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Friday July 22, 2005 @10:43AM (#13135815)
    Or, Rockstar disabled the content but left it there knowing that somebody was eventually going to find it - but not until after they'd been rated.

    I view it as analogous to an easter egg on a DVD movie. Except for this easter egg, you have to know what you're looking for, use external hardware to get it, and spend several hours trying to find it. But other than that, an easter egg.

    All DVDs nowadays come with a notice saying "DVD extras and commentary unrated" -- only the movie, the main content, the stuff you really paid to see, is rated. If you have to hit a dozen buttons to access the secret menu of hidden sex scenes cut from the movie, you probably know what you're in for. Nobody is going to protect you from what you worked so hard to find.

    Now, if they would only add the video game version of "extras unrated", we'd be fine. People know (or should know) what GTA is when they buy it; is there really some uproar among consumers about this? You know, that game where you go around stealing cars, beating up hookers, and killing cops -- why, it has sex in it! It was fine for little Jimmy before, but not now! You must take it off the shelves and burn it!
  • by fermion (181285) on Friday July 22, 2005 @10:53AM (#13135936) Homepage Journal
    What concerns me about this is fantasy and how it relates to entertainment. I think we have violent entertainment becuase it not only satisfies a natural urge in some of us to be violent, but also societal tendencies to solve problems with violence. Likewise, the sexual is minimized because of our societal tendency not to, as a whole, be loving and caring people. Therefore, and this is really scary, the sexual is often presented in a negative or violent way, which may in fact be my only concern with this game.

    What also worrying is that most teens will not have experience with real violence that can put what they see on the screen in a proper context. OTOH, most teens will have some, if limited, sexual experience that can be used to put what on the screen in context. Anyone who has had sex knows most of the sex on the screen is contrived, while most of us, even adults, can't say that about the shooting.

    Certainly many kids have seen a date sort of topless, and nude pictures, but I hope most kids have not seen someone shot or shot someone.

  • Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IsoRashi (556454) on Friday July 22, 2005 @11:01AM (#13136031)
    Finally, someone with their head on straight. Mod parent up!
  • Re:I hate America (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chphilli (885315) <chphilli+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 22, 2005 @11:03AM (#13136044) Homepage Journal
    I think you have a severe misunderstanding of the role of sex in the Christian life. Go pick up a copy of C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity (most bookstores will have it), and read it. That should clear up a lot of the misunderstanding you seem to have about the issue.
  • by fonetik (181656) <fonetik&onebox,com> on Friday July 22, 2005 @11:22AM (#13136228)
    Another perfect example to prove this case is that there are pieces left from a skateboard that was going to be included. The icon can still be found for it, but they pulled the skateboard as a vehicle. (Read more about it here: http://www.gtasanandreas.net/weapons/ [gtasanandreas.net]) And there is even a mod to allow you to switch the shovel with the skateboard, but you still can't ride it. They didn't remove all of it because it may have caused problems to the build. They removed just enough so that you wouldn't notice it.

    But I think all of us know that this is far more important than silly little things like the Downing St memo or Karl Rove and his crazy antics. After all, this affects children!

  • by snowwrestler (896305) on Friday July 22, 2005 @11:54AM (#13136515)
    You're talking about easy access to explicit content anyway. If a kid's going to go through all the trouble of finding, downloading, and implementing an easter egg patch or a mod, why wouldn't he just surf over to the BangBus for some XXX action and skip all the hard work?
  • by thesandtiger (819476) on Friday July 22, 2005 @12:17PM (#13136779)
    Any game that is moddable can be modified in this way then, and therefore all game companies need to make it impossible for users to create and then distribute "disturbing" (whatever your definition of it is) content with the game - if we follow your logic. Which I don't, but I understand the attraction of it.

    Rockstar made a mini-game and then didn't remove all of it from their game, but they didn't make it accessable by "normal" play (or ANY play), either. It requires a modification of the software, not just some code that needs to be entered at a pause point. ANY game that is moddable can be modified into providing content that people will be up in arms to.

    Oh noes, someone made a mod that turns the monsters in Doom 3 into children, and all the weapons into sex toys! Clearly, Doom 3 needs to be made Adults Only!

    Oh noes, someone made some skins for The Sims that make them nude, and Little Jimmy has now got a house full of naked polyamorous lesbians running around! Clearly, The Sims needs to be made Adults Only!

    Oh noes, someone made skins for Morrowind that makes every NPC in the game into an extremely well-hung and otherwise well-endowed transsexual centaur! Clearly, Morrowind needs to be made Adults Only!

    Oh noes, someone made a mod of Barbie's Baking Challenge that converts the pies she bakes into Jewish Children, and the Betty Crocker Cooking Campus into Auschwitz! Clearly, Barbie's Baking Challenge needs to be made - what, it's only monstrous violence and not sex? - well, Mature then.
  • by bmetzler (12546) <bmetzler@ l i v e . com> on Friday July 22, 2005 @12:55PM (#13137106) Homepage Journal
    So what do I do with this? Does it now become valuable because it is unopened, and contains the Hot Coffee content, or do I throw it in the trash because I don't plan on buying a PS2 ... ugh!

    Do like everyone else. Sell it on eBay.

    -Brent
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 22, 2005 @01:15PM (#13137325)
    Hacking the savefile is no different than hacking game. It's a hack. The content cannot be viewed by playing the game through any avenue presented by the content provider. Without alteration of some sort, that scene is not accessible. Period. Therefore, I don't believe that it is justified to re-rate this game based on content that cannot be viewed without alteration. Arguments about re-rating this game based on the hack is absurd given the nature of the default content to begin with.

    And FYI, as a software developer myself, often sections of code rendered obsolete or part of functionality removed are quite often left in due to time constraints. Many times components of a piece of software cannot be completed in time or doesn't meet some requirement (maybe in this case exceeded the M rating). So it is removed, but the way in which it is removed is uaully removal of the calling functions rather than outright removing all pieces of code because they would require a great deal more regression testing to ensure that there were no impacts to the rest of the game (which may lead to a push in the delivery date). I suspect that this is likely the cause of the code being in the game. THe original poster says Rockstar screwed the modding community. In fact, I contend that the modding community screwed Rockstar. Nice going, guys.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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