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Games Entertainment

Gaming's 10 Biggest Scandals 96

Posted by Zonk
from the skeletons-in-the-closet dept.
GamePolitics has a list of ten of the most well known gaming scandals to hit the games industry. Starting back in 1993 with the senate hearings on Night Trap (a game that arguably led to today's ESRB), the list catalogs some things that the companies responsible would probably just as soon forget. "Hot Coffee (2005) - needs no introduction. Cheeky Rockstar programmers left hidden sex animations (accidentally or otherwise) buried in the PS2 code of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Modders made sure they didn't stay buried for long. Rockstar's denials only made things worse. And then Hillary got involved ..." At the post's close they call for additional nominations, as it's definitely not an exhaustive list. They left off the ESRB's decision to re-rate Oblivion , for example. What 'scandalous' gaming events can you see rating with this topics?
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Gaming's 10 Biggest Scandals

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  • Night Trap (Score:3, Interesting)

    by doublefrost (1042496) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:17PM (#19894011)
    I remember everyone rushing to buy the game when the story broke out. Maybe that was the idea.
  • The guy game? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by crossmr (957846) on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @06:57PM (#19894455) Journal
    Wasn't it the guy game or one of those similar games released with a nude 17 year old contained within (that was only discovered AFTER the game was released). Animated guys kissing vs underage nudity in the US... I guess that is a pretty tough call on which would get more blown out proportion...
  • Tagged: Top10 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @07:33PM (#19894833) Journal
    From now on, I want to be able to filter out any "Top 10" list from some random blogger. Generally, these lists have at least five things that I've already heard about, and five more that I honestly couldn't give a damn about.
  • How about.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by UncleTogie (1004853) * on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @08:09PM (#19895187) Homepage Journal
    ...the porn hidden in Star Castle [everything2.com]...?
  • EVE Online (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L-Train8 (70991) <Matthew_HawkNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2007 @10:45PM (#19896419) Homepage Journal
    How is an MMO game where the developers are cheaters who give themselves and their friends an advantage? That's scandalous. http://endie.net/cs/blogs/endie/archive/2007/05/25 /Eve_Online_Developer_Cheating_Again.aspx [endie.net]
  • by solar_blitz (1088029) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @01:33AM (#19897451)
    I can think of several different controversies or scandals in the video game industry that need to be explained. Yes, Mortal Kombat is definitely one of them. Harris and Klebold are another. But aren't we forgetting some others?

    Christian Conservative backlash over Pokemon is one of them - summoning demons, doing demonic acts, James the cross-dresser, etc. As well as Jewish backlash against Pokemon because one of the Japanese card had the manji character on it (essentially a swastika), even though it was in use for thousands of years prior to World War II, and African American protests over the character Jynx, which was based upon a reference to picadilly characters in old Japanese comics. Oh, and the epileptic seizures caused by an episode of Pokemon.

    Also consider the Gizmondo, which had everything from a trashed 1 million dollar ferrari to the Swedish mafia. Oh yeah, and Phantom.

    Then there was that lawsuit Universal Studios threw against Nintendo in the early days over the creative license of Donkey Kong. Nintendo won, by the way. And got Universal to pay off their legal fees.
  • by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @04:52AM (#19898313) Homepage Journal
    For those who don't remember it: man-boobs forbidden.

    Oblivion originally used the same skin for both male and female models. Males had normal male chests with normal nipples on them. Female models had an extra unremovable piece of clothing - a bra or a strap of cloth, or some other halter, so the breasts never show. Except a mod removed the piece of clothing and what you got were stretched, misplaced textures of nipples that came from the male body.

    Result? "Bethesda tried to sneak adult content into the game!" outrage. And re-rating it.

    Incidentially, the male nipples appearing on female models were more offensive (and caused re-rating the game) than a mission to murder all children of a mother, then the mother herself, or performing a live sacrifice (ok, not actually human, but sentient...), or murdering innocent citizens on behalf of a schizophrenic madman... oh well, things that kids shouldn't be allowed to play. But cheating, stealing, murdering innocents in cool blood, that was all OK to ESBR. Piss-poor textures of nipples weren't.
  • False (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @06:38AM (#19898693) Journal
    Actually, that's false. Oblivion has different skins for males and females, and there's no freakin' way a male, even a bodybuilder, would have _that_ kind of shading of the pecs. The mis-placing the nipples is more of a result of not paying much attention to how it aligns with the mesh. (Probably most of Bethesda only saw it with the bra on.) But the texture itself, if you look at it as just a bitmap, is clearly a female skin and includes extra shading to accentuate the breasts. It's _not_ a male texture.

    And it would be trivial to tweak the texture coordinates for the vertexes so the nipples fall anywhere you want them on the mesh. Now obviously Bethesda didn't bother, so it's a fairly safe assumption that they never intended the game to be playe with naked characters. But don't mistake it for anything more than that: it doesn't mean it's the wrong texture, it doesn't mean it can't be done, it just means that they had better stuff to spend their time and money on than aligning the nipples.

    Now I'm not for censorship, and I do consider the whole "scandal" pretty stupid, but spewing falsehoods doesn't help either.
  • by necro2607 (771790) on Wednesday July 18, 2007 @01:51PM (#19904073)
    The Columbine RPG note brings up a fact I found funny - that the shooting by Kimveer Gill was apparently "blamed" on the Columbine RPG. What the media didn't really mention is that Kimveer listed on his website quite a few other games that he had played. More significantly, one of them in common with what Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had played avidly: Postal [wikipedia.org]. Frankly I think the violence and "disturbingness" factor of this game well exceeds Doom or really any other game of the time.

    You basically ran around with the sole purpose of killing a sufficient percentage of "hostiles" in the city. Wounded people would crawl along the ground leaving a trail of blood [mobygames.com], crying in pain saying things like "I can't feel my legs!" or "I can't breathe!"... The audio in this game really completes the disturbing atmosphere. The ambient sound is some of the most creepy stuff I've heard in a game since, especially during some of the loading screens.

    Oh, did I mention the infamous marching band scene [mobygames.com]? (A marching band is parading through town playing music - you can guess as to the craziness that ensues when you lob a molotov cocktail in the middle of the group)...

    During all of this, whether you're on a senseless killing rampage or simply defending yourself from people trying to kill you is left for you to speculate - the loading screens give a bit of diary-style text written from the perspective of the player character, but that's all you have to go on. While he claims everyone is out to get him, as you progress further into the game you really begin to feel like maybe 'you' are just a psycho killer who is completely delusional, killing innocent people who are only armed because they know there's some rampaging killer on the loose. Gee, sound familiar at all to the "everyone is out to get me" attitude of basically every school shooter in recent history? Not to mention that the player character is wearing a full-length trenchcoat, no less.

    So, after hearing all this, and the fact that it was a game avidly played by at least three of the most infamous school shooters, I have trouble believing it wouldn't be a larger influence behind someone's violent actions than a low-tech "fan made" style of game (not to mention that Kimveer very likely just put "Columbine RPG" on his list of favorite games for the sheer purpose of maintaining a certain image of himself).

    Of course, I just spent all that time explaining something that any journalist would never even have been aware of - they just jump on the Columbine RPG thing just because of its name and reputation, despite how blatantly more extreme and disturbing Postal is. Regardless, Postal is definitely a key game that has gone largely overlooked despite its significance/value to at least a few notorious school shooters...

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