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Censorship Entertainment Games

Hackers Uncensor Manhunt 2 125

Posted by Zonk
from the i-have-a-feeling-the-esrb-may-have-something-to-say-here dept.
Less than 24 hours after the release of Manhunt 2, you can already play the full and uncensored version thanks to some enterprising hackers. The news for Rockstar is just ... bad: "The game has been censored in the US in order for it to receive an M rating - and therefore a release - rather than the original AO rating it was given by the ESRB. The illegal exploit of the original PSP code indicates that the scenes that were cut in order to secure an M rating were not removed from the full game, rather disabled, much like the Hot Coffee mini-games in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." This is also exactly what prompted the re-rating of Oblivion and Halo 2 for the PC. We should expect to see an ESRB response to this very soon, then.
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Hackers Uncensor Manhunt 2

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  • by davidwr (791652) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:53AM (#21196731) Homepage Journal
    You wait until AFTER the game has been out a week or two before posting the AO-hack.
    • The news for Rockstar is just ... great. More publicity!
      • So is this hackable manhunt release going to increase in value? Had I known marvel vs capcom2 would be like $70 now, I would have bought 20 copies.
        • With very easy to find hacks, Tomb Raider can be topless.. Why didn't they rerate that game AO? I would have been happy to see that entire franchise go DOA. Like Halo2. Like Oblivion. Like GTA:SA...
        • Grab it now, because they're going to patch this one up VERY quickly, likely in the form of a mandatory PSP upgrade.
          • by BLKMGK (34057)
            Mandatory PSP upgrade? Tell me that was a poor attempt at sarcasm, please! For starters I wonder how a 3rd party software company would get Sony to do that - even if it were possible. Who runs Sony firmware anyway?
            • Remember the Grand Theft Auto version that allows people to run unauthorized games? They got rid of that, and subsequent firmware updates disabled said ability. I can see the same thing happening.
              • by BLKMGK (34057)
                It was not a mandatory upgrade. Some later games were encrypted differently but there was nothing "mandatory" about the upgrades that followed. GTA still worked fine even if you did the upgrade. Sure, they tried to stop the exploit - worked out well in the end didn't it?

                Again, who is running the stock firmware to begin with? Heck just to do this little "tweak" you have to be running 3rd party firmware. Apparently the mod consists of modifying one file, how exactly is a firmware tweak going to stop that? The
        • by jeffy210 (214759)
          I have a copy of MvC2 for the DreamCast... what I am missing here?
    • by walnutmon (988223)
      I wish I didn't know that the illegal hack is going to fuck Rockstar again...
    • Fix your goddamn sig, it's "Jon Stewart" not "John Stewart".
  • by p0tat03 (985078) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @10:59AM (#21196827)

    Didn't you people learn *anything* from the Hot Coffee debacle? Heck, the Hot Coffee components of San Andreas weren't even *well publicized* and people s till managed to dig it up. What did you THINK was going to happen? You've already got congress breathing down the necks of the entire industry and STILL you think layering gruesome, brutal scenes that would have resulted in a higher rating over a simple... screen flash?

    I realize this shouldn't be as big of an issue, society and violence, blah blah, but the truth remains that the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AmaDaden (794446)

      Didn't you people learn *anything* from the Hot Coffee debacle?
      Oh hell yes they did. They basically were able to release an AO game with a M rating. So they got the game out the door on most systems AND did not have to actually cut anything out because they knew the hacking community would find it. I bet the everyone but the legal department is laughing their ass off over at Rockstar right now.
      • The legal department may be laughing their ass off now, but they'll have to explain their actions to perspective employers soon since they'll be out of work before the end of the year...

        I doubt R* legal had anything to do with keeping this content in the game. In fact, if they are in any way competent, they would have "strongly encourage" them to remove it.

    • by jeks (68) * on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:22AM (#21197239)
      Can we be so sure this is really an accident. They have been down this road before and must have learned the implications of it. Rockstar has some of the most brilliant people working for them. Are they really run by a bunch of idiots? I find that hard to believe.

      Nothing pisses me off more than conspiracy theorists, but here goes. Is it just me, or could this have been done on purpose? Maybe simply to maintain their "we don't give a f*ck" public image in anticipation for greater platform releases.

      Do ratings really affect end sales results? Most kids are determined enough to get their hands on what they want anyway, ratings or not, even if they have to go behind someone's back (naturally their parents). I sure know I was, even though there were no consoles back then, there were video tapes of magical events (rated and censored dare I say, here in Sweden) where real fighters squared off. I think the winner more often than not was named Bruce Lee.
      • by p0tat03 (985078) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:37AM (#21197459)

        Oh, I have no doubt Rockstar will benefit from this. Manhunt sales will jump, and achieve sales far better than it deserves (almost all reviews have universally judged it mediocre at best). It's the blatant disregard for the rest of the industry that pisses me off. This is the type of irresponsible "me" thinking that will get this industry censored by the guys on the hill. The *rest* of us are fine releasing M games, and AO games, and T games, and E games, why does Rockstar deliberately have to generate the media frenzy and even FURTHER undermine the authority of the ESRB?

        • by dintech (998802)
          Nasty as it is, Rockstar is a business with with its own interests. It only really cares about #1.
        • You don't know what you are talking about. Night Trap [wikipedia.org] proves beyond all doubt that certain members of congress are card carrying members of the Taliban who wish to censor everything. You ever played Night Trap? If you didn't change anything except making the girls a few years younger, it probably would've been aired on Nickelodeon's "Are you afraid of the dark" series. The "violence" and "sex" in that video game are G-rated at most.

          The attacks on video game "violence" and such have nothing to do with any

        • "The *rest* of us are fine releasing M games, and AO games, and T games, and E games"
          How do you propose that "we" are fine releasing AO games when the console manufacturers have stated time and time again that they will not license AO games to be released for their systems?
      • by cliffski (65094)
        "Rockstar has some of the most brilliant people working for them. Are they really run by a bunch of idiots? I find that hard to believe."

        having dealt with their parent company on several occasions, I would postulate you put way too much faith in their abilities.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
        Maybe it's time for game manufacturers to stop being bullied by the Wal-Marts and Best Buys. If you're gonna create a game for adults, then goddamit, make a game for adults. Are you really telling me that somebody who has the wherewithal to set up a system capable of running one of these new games can't figure out how to order a copy online instead of driving their 1978 Toyota pickup down to the Wal-Mart so they can pick up a game along with their cheap-ass child-labor made Nike knockoffs?

        Maybe the popula
      • by ReKleSS (749007)
        There's nothing they could have done in this case - the uncensor mod just removes the graphical blurring. The only other real option was FMV, which would just be crap.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      I think Rockstar though nobody would think they'd be stupid enough to risk another Hot Coffee so nobody would even bother looking for it.
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:47AM (#21197643)
      You have to understand that it's near impossible to redo half of a game after it's gone gold. Unless you want to push the release back another half year.

      So the choice was, either to do a half assed attempt to shove it out the door or back to the drawing board. Question for 200: Which route will the average game company take? Take into consideration that it's November and the XMas sales are at stake.
      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        A week at most, and this is from someone who's had experience developing games (albeit indie, but the same rules apply). Rockstar covered up the brutal parts with screen overlays, which was well enough, all they had to do was change the animation to something more benign during this "invisible" period. Heck, it's something so simple it could've been done in Maya, 3dsmax, or whichever tool they were using for animation. NO CODE CHANGES REQUIRED. You can do all of this in a day (a couple hours with multiple p

      • They took the time to make sure the naughty parts didn't get displayed without a hack.

        How hard is it to either completely yank the naughty bits or replace them with functionally-identical bits that are just outlines or other innocuous, not-fun-to-play, shapes? After all, unless someone writes a hack they will never show up on screen, right?
        • by plague3106 (71849)
          Why should they have to do this to appease anyone to begin with?
          • If you don't care about selling in stores like Wal-Mart that won't carry AO games, then you don't have to appease anyone.

            If you do, you do.
        • uh what? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by SirSlud (67381)
          How hard is it to either completely yank the naughty bits or replace them with functionally-identical bits

          You can't just open the binary in a text editor and zero-out the bits that are the surrounded by that 'im naughty' glow. You need to change the all the associated assets (the animations) remove all offending particle effects, yadda yadda. It's not a walk in the park. You've just worked in crunch mode for however many months to make sure the game never crashes, and suddenly, you're ripping out assets, re
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by XenoPhage (242134)
      From what I can tell the "hack" in this case requires a homebrew PSP (legality questioned), and ISO of the games (legality questioned) and the modification of a few configuration files (not something normally possible on a console) ... Hidden content is all over the place, in DVDs, games, business applications, etc. If it takes extraordinary means to get to it, something that technically shouldn't be possible if the device it's played on is used properly, how is that the fault of the developer?

      Sure, they
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Sure, they left the content in. But realize that what they did to the scenes was "fuzz" them over with odd camera angles and filters. You need the scenes there in order to filter them..
        If this game gets re-rated because the content was only blurred and the objectionable content was still on the disk, this would give Jack Thompson the reload of ammo he needs to go after The Sims and its pixelated nudity.
        • by Endo13 (1000782)
          And getting a view of the non-pixelated nudity in The Sims was so easy anyone could do it. It's really surprising nothing ever came of that.
          • by XenoPhage (242134)

            And getting a view of the non-pixelated nudity in The Sims was so easy anyone could do it. It's really surprising nothing ever came of that.
            Sim Coffee? Hot Sim Coffee? Simulated Hot Coffee?
            • by Endo13 (1000782)
              1.) Create game simulating life
              2.) Have characters drink Hot Coffee
              3.) ??????
              4.) Profit!
      • I'm not following you, how is this better than Hot Coffee?

        Hot Coffee ("HC") required hacking the code as well(illegal) and, if you wanted nudity, you had to add your own content. Plus the HC content was never rated by the ESRB (because it was never included in a "released state").

        The Manhunt2 content was rated by the ESRB and, as far as I know, R* had to promise to remove it before they could get the M rating.

        So, unless R* told the ESRB that they were just going to hide the content, they're screwed.

        • by XenoPhage (242134)

          I'm not following you, how is this better than Hot Coffee?

          Hot Coffee ("HC") required hacking the code as well(illegal) and, if you wanted nudity, you had to add your own content. Plus the HC content was never rated by the ESRB (because it was never included in a "released state").

          The Manhunt2 content was rated by the ESRB and, as far as I know, R* had to promise to remove it before they could get the M rating.

          So, unless R* told the ESRB that they were just going to hide the content, they're screwed.

          I'm not sure they ever promised to REMOVE the content, but to ALTER it. And they did just that. The content was altered through the use of filters and camera angles. Big deal.

          I have the game, and I'm enjoying it. (Quick, run and hide, I might go on a shooting rampage any second now) .. The filters don't obscure all that much, so I don't see what the big deal was to begin with. And I don't see it as a murder simulator at all. I mean, come on.. I'm fairly certain that most kids know that if you beat

          • This is the part where lawyers will come in. Did R* promise to REMOVE or ALTER it? I don't know. I've seen reports that have said both, but who knows where they got their info.

            I'm glad you enjoy the game (personally I like GTA:SA a lot more). I'm also guessing you're over the age of 17?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "I realize this shouldn't be as big of an issue, society and violence, blah blah, but the truth remains that the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours."

      Rockstar was faced with an injustice in the first place. Cry me a fucking river.
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Rockstar was faced with an injustice in the first place. Cry me a fucking river.

        Elaborate please?

        Rockstar is just in the exact same position as every company that makes movies, video games, or CDs. (For some reason, books don't have a rating system-- American Psycho should be an AO.) Maybe you consider that an "injustice", but there's nothing unique about this case, is there?
        • "Maybe you consider that an "injustice", but there's nothing unique about this case, is there?"

          Their game cannot be sold because it was given a worse rating than, say, the Saw movies. (And those are only rated-R.)
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            Possibly, but that's just an indicator that the MPAA is doing a crappy job of rating movies and the ESRB is doing a better job of rating games, isn't it? The fact that a movie like Saw, or my personal favorite example Scary Movie (which had a scene where a guy is killed by being stabbed in the head by a dildo) is getting an R rating is an entirely different issue.

            Or my less offensive example, how the movie Whale Rider (an great and inspirational film that all kids/teens should see) was rated PG-13 because i
            • "Possibly, but that's just an indicator that the MPAA is doing a crappy job of rating movies and the ESRB is doing a better job of rating games, isn't it? "

              Nope. It may be an indicator that the ESRB is being overzealous against Manhunt 2. Alternatively, it could be an indicator that they're judging the games based on human intuition as opposed to actual measurable aspects of the game. It doesn't really matter either way, but I suppose it's a fun academic exercise.

              "2) The ESRB is, by far, the lesser of tw
              • by Blakey Rat (99501)
                No, I have an understanding and it's this:

                The ESRB is a lot better than the alternative, and I'm pissed that Rockstar is cutting off their nose to spite their face. It's in Rockstar's best interest to support the ESRB, because I can guarantee that if the government takes over, you're not going to see anything even close to the level of Manhunt on shelves.

                I know that the Slashdot way of thinking is "we hate all censorship" but in this case you need to set that aside for the greater good.
                • "It's in Rockstar's best interest to support the ESRB, because I can guarantee that if the government takes over, you're not going to see anything even close to the level of Manhunt on shelves.."

                  That's already happening, that's why they're drawing the line.

                  "I know that the Slashdot way of thinking is "we hate all censorship" but in this case you need to set that aside for the greater good."

                  Your assumption doesn't accurately reflect my sentiment. I find your call for voluntary censorship amusing, though. In
                  • by Blakey Rat (99501)
                    If the ESRB is going to bend to the whims of a few noisy people, we're not actually any better off.

                    No, we are better off because the ESRB's system, like the MPAA's, is *voluntary.*

                    That is, if I produce a video game and I don't want it to get rated, I don't have to get it rated. If my video game is rated AO-21-OMG then I can still it, the government won't clamp down on it and force me to throw it in the trash can.

                    The counter-argument to that is since major retailers can choose to not sell un-rated games, or
                    • "I think that's a bogus argument, because it's ignoring the thousands of small retailers with no such policy (just as there are thousands of theaters that will show movies un-rated by the MPAA), and it ignores the possibility of Internet distribution"

                      Possibility and reality are two very different things. If reality were as you've described, this wouldn't be a contraversial issue. Not that it really matters, anyway. If the ESRB is as inconsequential as you're saying, then your desire to have it around is am
            • by AndersOSU (873247)
              Whoa there. SCOTUS will still uphold the first amendment. The problem here isn't government control, it is corporate control. The console makers won't license any games, and the stores won't carry them unless they receive less than an AO rating.

              If the government did decide to take over ratings (once again, a move wrought with negative 1st amendment issues) they couldn't outright ban anything without a very fundamental shift in constitutional law. What would happen is the stores and console manufacturers
              • by Blakey Rat (99501)
                Yeah, but, again, how is that any different than any other content industry? (Sans books for some reason.)

                You have to submit your movie to the MPAA, if you get an NC-17 rating it's basically commercially dead and you either stick to your guns and have a very limited release, or you re-edit the film to hit an R rating. Right? If you don't get it rated at all, well, then no theater is going to carry it and you're in the same boat.
              • by Rakarra (112805)
                If the government did decide to take over ratings (once again, a move wrought with negative 1st amendment issues) they couldn't outright ban anything without a very fundamental shift in constitutional law.

                Are you sure about that? What about obscenity laws?

                • by AndersOSU (873247)
                  Obscenity laws are different in kind because (a) the work in question has to lack serious literary, artistic, political, and scientific value - a test that would deem manhunt and hot coffee moded GTA not obscene as they contain artistic, political, and probably literary content, (b) the work has to depict, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions - a test that would deem manhunt not obscene, and (c) an average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the w
        • Rockstar was faced with an injustice because politicians are trying to use it as a gold standard for how 'bad' games are today. Nobody accusing Rockstar of 'corrupting youth' even believes that nonsense. Rockstar wants to make a game for adults to play that deals with adult themes. Various overbearing parents simply don't want to tell their children no, or want to explain why this game should not be played by them. Politicos want to make some big yet pointless issue to grandstand on. Nowhere in this sp
    • There are almost NO details in the article. For all we know, the "mod" takes data from the leaked PS2 version and imports it into the PSP version. In fact, were I Rockstar, this is what I would say in my own defense. (Remember, they tried to "lie" by obfuscation the first time.)
      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        Perhaps I should have linked something in my post. For information's sake, the mod is as follows (as near as I can tell without actually playing the game):

        - Rockstar had very graphic/brutal animation sequences in the game, which got it the AO rating.
        - To get around this they inserted graphic overlays to "white out" the screen as the worst of it was happening (which as another poster brought up, is probably psychologically scarier)
        - For some reason the config for this feature was left in an INI file on t

    • by westlake (615356)
      the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours.

      The adult content remains embedded in the game. The hack appears "out of thin air" on the day after its release. To the surprise of no one.

      Jack Thompson couldn't script this better if he wrote the scenario himself.

      I'd like to see the expression on the face of the Walmart exec who has to pull the plug on another Rockstar game.

      In the opening days of the Christmas shopping season, no less.

  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sciros (986030) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:00AM (#21196845) Journal
    The re-rating of Oblivion was insanely stupid. Ooh, you can mod it to include some nudity. Okay.. you can MOD a ton of games to include whatever you want! That doesn't change the fact that unless you go in changing things as (or via) a third party, the game remains the same as when it was originally rated by the ESRB.

    In all of these cases, the rating should not change. A third party mod can add content, unlock content that otherwise cannot be accessed, etc. I don't see any logical, practical reason why in one case the rating shouldn't change and in another it should. Really, in all cases it shouldn't.
    • by metamatic (202216)
      What we need is for hackers to spend some time modding the Veggie Tales games, or Bible Adventure...
      • by dosius (230542)
        I think you can use a Wolf3D level editor to mod the full DOS version of Super 3D Noah's Ark...

        *runs*

        -uso.
      • If I had mod points, I would have boosted this comment.

        Just a single instance of a mod to a wholesome children's game to introduce violence and/or nudity would halt any further re-ratings of games. Imagine the censors:

        Censor A: Ahhhh, cute, Christian vegetables!
        Censor B: Wait, wait... is that a screen shot on the internet of exposed melons on that cucumber that's being raped by that carrot?
        Censor A: But, but... it's a Christian game! It wasn't that way when it was released! We can't possibly re-rate this as
      • Excellent idea. If there were a Bible game true to the book, I'm sure it would be rated at least M. Think about it; fratricide, genocide, rape, murder, torture, suicide, arson, fornication, animal sacrifice, etc. are all in there, especially in the Old Testament. In fact, sometimes it's the protagonist perpetrating the acts.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That doesn't change the fact that unless you go in changing things...

      Ratings aren't for "you", they're for parents. From the parents' point of view, it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.

      • by Sciros (986030)

        Ratings aren't for "you", they're for parents. From the parents' point of view, it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.

        Why, because everyone who raises children is an irresponsible retard who doesn't know the difference between using something out-of-the-box and using it with after-market mods? Besides the fact that ratings are for people in general, not just parents, what does it matter if something is "trivially" locked as opposed to "non-trivially"? And who decides the triviality? The ESRB?

      • by AndersOSU (873247)
        One time I was playing Mario 3, and just for kicks I taped a giant picture of a phallus to the TV screen. I was scared for life, and really feel that the Bureau for Consumer Protection should do something about this avenue for potential gross abuse.
      • From the parents' point of view, it may not make a difference, but shame on you for saying this:

        From the parents' point of view, it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.

        With Manhunt, maybe. With Oblivion, sorry, NO.

        The offending content in Oblivion was not ever shipped in Oblivion. It wasn't "trivially locked". It was completely absent from the game, until someone added it -- as an optional, third-party mod.

        To make it simpler, I'll use a car analogy: Manhunt is like a m

    • by brkello (642429)
      This brings up a point and gives me a great idea. Why don't we get people to make nude patches for Barbie Pony Princess (fake game, but you know what I mean...some E game targeted at kids)? Then get the media to cover it and make them reclassify Barbie as Mature :)
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        Why don't we get people to make nude patches for Barbie Pony Princess (fake game, but you know what I mean...some E game targeted at kids)?

        There is "Barbie Horse Adventures", now with two games in the franchise: Wild Horse Rescue and Mystery Ride. They were rated E. (X-Play rated the first one as a "game you should never play".)

        Question is, should the nude mod for Barbie still make her "smooth around the bend", making her just as age-appropriate as the dolls, or make her anatomically correct?

    • by Nimey (114278)
      This is for the chilllldruuuun. Logic doesn't enter into it.
    • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:37AM (#21197473) Homepage
      I played Drawn To Life (http://www.thq.com/games/gameinfo.php?id=1283) with a naked main character. Not to mention the kind of depraved stuff I drew as "clouds". ESRB should rate Drawn to Life AO.
    • by HunterZ (20035)
      I think it's a gray area when the content is actually there but locked. Sure, adding content (a la Oblivion mods) shouldn't change the rating, but if there's a cutscene included with the game that's "disabled" then it's still technically part of the content included in the purchase of the game.

      Honestly, game companies (especially Rockstar!) ought to know better by now. It shouldn't be that hard to replace a video or audio file with a stub, or null out some game-rendered cutscene script, even at the last min
      • by RingDev (879105)
        Ehh, it could be a PITA.

        If the game has already gone gold, they would be looking at a huge loss to re-package a new CD. Especially if the game is designed to call home so that the disabling could be enacted after the purchase with out any significant overhead.

        Even if the game hasn't gone gold, if they still intend to ship both an AO and M rated version, having all the data on 1 image, and just flipping an enabled switch is likely cheaper for production costs.

        But yeah, you would think that these guys, having
    • Erh... one question, because I'm not familiar with Oblivion, was the nudity part of the game and was "dressed", or was it a complete third party implementation?

      I see this as a big difference. When it's part of the game, just hidden to get an agreeable rating, the game company does have some liability. If it's completely third party then yes, I agree, 100% pure bullshit to rerate.
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Partial nudity (not well done) was already there because the clothing was basically laid over it. But without making a mod, getting at that nudity was not possible.

        Still, I don't really see how a company should have a game rating change by having locked content that cannot be accessed without a 3rd party effort. It's not "part of the game" from a practical standpoint. And ratings are *supposed* to be about practicality. (Granted they aren't; they're inconsistent and nonsensical BS, but that's not the point
    • The point is not that a piece of software can be mod'ed. The problem with the game is that the content is included but disabled. While in some ways I think it's stupid to make a distinction, I also think it's stupid that the company is being so lazy as to not product a finished product solely in the form expected.

      Think of it this way: Child porn is legal in some parts of the world. A magazine is printed that contains it and some company decides that people in the US might want to read everything save the
      • by Sciros (986030) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @12:48PM (#21198561) Journal
        Your analogy to the magazine is way off, though. Folding over pages doesn't make them unavailable, heh, even if they're glued shut. Besides, the point isn't about accessibility per se (a high difficulty mode-related unlock can be just as inaccessible as outright disabling content from an effort-related standpoint), as much as it is a question of *what exactly is being rated.* Is it the game you will be playing? or is it the game you could potentially be playing if you use 3rd party apps to mess with the content in some fashion?

        I'm not defending Rockstar's decision necessarily, but I'm certainly not criticizing it and I am definitely criticizing the ESRB's usual reaction to these situations.
    • by KevMar (471257)
      Where do you draw the line?

      some people would argue that it shipped on the disc, they should be responcible for it. How do you counter that? If they didnt want it to show, they should have removed it.

      I write code. I undersand how it works. There are many times where I will comment out something and never use it. Or just disable functionality instead of removing it. But alot of people have no clue.

      Its just another technilogical issue that someone with no understanding about will try to relate it to someth
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Hm... but that's not the point! Changing a game rating from "M" to "AO" or from "T" to "M" isn't the equivalent of "placing responsibility" on Rockstar for the content. Rockstar could have released a separate free download that adds crazy levels of gore, explicit sex, and whatever else they feel like and though they would be 100% responsible for it, it wouldn't change the fact that the content of the game that you will be subject to if you play it out-of-the-box is (supposedly) appropriate for some particul
      • by Eivind (15695)
        Sorta. But if you make a game-model of a human, then clothe him/her and ship the game so that this (clothed) state is the only way to see him/her, are you liable for the fact that he/she is "really" naked underneath the clothing ?

        It's not as if Natalie Portman ain't /really/ naked under those clothes in Star-Wars...

        If you walk over to some girl (let's say she consents) and take her clothes off, can you then sue her for having exposed herself to you ? Is that any different if you're deliberatedly disrobing a
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I think Oblivion should have been rated Mature from the start. The naked skin excuse was pretty weak, but re-rating the game to be more accurate I don't see as a big deal... except that it's a pain for retailers who have to stick stickers on all the boxes.

      If Halo 2 gets a Mature for fantasy combat against aliens, then Oblivion with realistic combat against other humans definitely deserves Mature.
      • by Sciros (986030)
        Well that's a whole different argument altogether. The ESRB has no hope of being consistent across different games with their ratings so there's probably not sense in saying "if Halo has alien combat and is M then Oblivion should be M as well," even though from a practical standpoint that makes sense.

        Really, I disagree with the notion of Halo being M. It's definitely a teen title and doesn't have anything that you don't see on T-rated TV shows (actually it's quite a bit milder in many ways). Oblivion can be
  • Illegal? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    How exactly is the hack illegal? Shouldn't you be able to look at all the data on the disk you bought?
  • Game play experience may change once game is online. I always laughed seeing that in games like Animal Crossing. But, MODs could be seen under that blanket warning. Once a game is live and online there's always going to be some odd way to view it... Ever been T-Bagged in a Halo match or downloaded a new item skin for Elder Scrolls?
    • Game play experience may change once game is online. I always laughed seeing that in games like Animal Crossing.

      That's because you eventually find players like Chester@Picken(2620-8829-0820) who have gone to Able Sisters and designed the equivalent of a French Connection logo T-shirt. Other players have even taught [metro.co.uk] their spoon-speaking [tvtropes.org] neighbors to swear.

  • The weird thing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by naam00 (1145163) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @11:14AM (#21197105)
    ...well to me at least, is that the edited scenes (yes with overstated screenjarring during the more brutal moments) are actually more disturbing to watch (in a good way) than watching the same things happening in clearly visible low-poly animation. The power of suggestion at play.

    Weird in the sense that the people with their underwear in a knot over this manhunt business are still going to cry out over these less disturbing and plainly silly rendering resources being on disk, and the fact that hackers have removed the elements that make the scene more chilling.

    But I guess they will want to blow off no matter what the game actually looks like.

    http://gamevideos.com/video/id/15918 [gamevideos.com]
    • by nuzak (959558)
      No kidding -- watching that video, it actually doesn't look like they're obscuring much at all. This is CLEARLY an AO title, and I really wish that they'd take the fight to get the console makers to allow AO titles rather than further muddle the M rating. I mean shit, The Longest Journey has an M rating, and it's a game I'd let any kid play, since the worst thing in it is the occasional language.

    • Old movies play on that too, and were more successful than those gore movies of today. Psycho still gives me more thrills than any bloodfest that drips red goo on the floor unter my TV.

      The human mind comes up with more horrible ideas than the most graphic display could show. For reference, play Call of Cthulhu with my GM. I can stomach any horror movie, but when he starts describing what's going on and his cat jumps onto your lap, you piss your pants.
  • Seriously, TFA refers to it as an illegal exploit.

    No no. It's merely against the license agreement, and is at the most unlawful.

  • The message is clear: "BUY NOW! SUPPLIES ARE RUNNING OUT (or forced to run out soon)!"

    If anything, this will push the sales for as long as it's possible. And, well, I'd buy it now for one reason: Soon you can sell them for rather good money on EBay.
  • by entmike (469980) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @12:50PM (#21198585) Homepage
    You may want to contact Adobe! There is a feature in their "Photoshop" program that will allow you to create naked celebrities! This product is available for Our Children to purchase with no age restrictions.
    • by nefiga (1048570)
      You better watch what you say. Soon kids under the age of 18 won't be able to purchase pen and paper for fear that they could draw giant penises during a boring math class. I know I did.
  • by Deceptin00b (1182903) on Thursday November 01, 2007 @02:20PM (#21199999)
    There are movies that have more than one DVD for them: the official one rated by the MPAA and the unrated version that has everything. Why not make games that way? The ESRB rated version, then an unrated version for those of us that have pubic hair?
    • by Ryvar (122400)
      Modern consoles require authentication keys from discs before they will run the content on them. These keys are doled out by the console manufacturer. Different SKU = different key = new run through the platform owner's (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) certification process. No modern console manufacturers allow AO or unrated games on their systems to prevent liability from shrieking parents/tarnishing of the company image.
  • Dev team, that was, i assure you. Textbook gig - just obscure/hide the objected content, so that some enterprising 'hackers' can uncensor them. which hackers ? ones using absurdly l337 nicknames, for sure. but what are their real names ? you guessed right.

"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers." -- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a particularly vivid fantasy)

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