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ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature'

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the country-governed-by-infants dept.

282

kukyfrope writes "Perhaps reacting based on the debacle that was the 'Hot Coffee' scandal, the ESRB today changed the rating on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Teen to Mature. From the article: 'The content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating, as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or 'skin' that, if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters,' said the ESRB in a release."

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So this out yet? (5, Funny)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257099)

if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters,' said the ESRB in a release.

So is this out yet?.....

Re:So this out yet? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257130)

allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters

The change in rating is to prevent younger players getting scared by all those women with their heads missing.

Re:So this out yet? (1)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257291)

I believe it was out ages ago--and promptly replaced by more detailed 3rd party skins.

Re:So this out yet? (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257732)

Yeah, I tried it a while back... so there's some pixelated tits, but they do absolutely nothing. There's no way to use them in any erotic context. It was about as arousing as an article about breast cancer with illustrations. With the game mostly in 1st person or from behind in 3rd person, you barely see them. If this is "Mature", then the nude skins + kissing in the Sims should make it rated XXX.

Europeans watch with mouths agape (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15258143)

The problem that Americans have with nudity is pretty much incomprehensible to Europeans. We laugh when we hear about it, but actually it's pretty sad.

The greatest nation on Earth is also one of the most primitive and most inhibited cultures in existence. And as it's a core inhibition within the religious fundamentalism of the government, the cultural barbarianism gets institutionalized, and isn't going away.

Things like this remain around until the current generation of standard bearers die off. The inevitable conclusion is that if you're American but "enlightened" (you know what I mean, and if you don't then don't worry your little head) then you'd better spend part of your year across the pond, even if it's just for the yearly holiday.

Very sad.

mmmm (3, Funny)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257121)

MMMMMMM...polygon'd boobies!!!

Screw that, Minesweeper Boobies!!! (3, Funny)

winmine (934311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257516)

Oh noes! [imageshack.us] Quick ESRB, slap minesweeper with an M rating!

Re:mmmm (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257764)

MMMMMMM...polygon'd boobies!!!

One may laugh, but [google.com] ...

Re:mmmm (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258165)

Shit, I used to masturbate to bra ads, memories of people fully clothed, three's company (once).

Are all these "mature" and kids should be sheltered?

Re:mmmm (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258184)

Man, I was gonna post that link but forgot which video site I saw it on. I laughed so hard at that video. That guy must not be able to go to any major city in WoW because thats all you see. Wonder if he tipper her a gold at least =P.

When I was your age (5, Funny)

Burlap (615181) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257160)

virtual boobs only had 5 polygons and we had to walk to school up hill, both ways!

Any game? (4, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257165)

Uh, you could technically mod any PC game into toplessness. Therefore all PC games should be Mature? Do I smell a console conspiracy?

Re:Any game? (5, Funny)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257205)

Let's crack Microsoft Word to make Clippy flash us on command. We can finally bring those fuckers down!

Re:Any game? (1)

DoctorShadow (868387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257303)

That might explain the surge in "Hello Kitty" game purchases by the "furry" crowd.

Re:Any game? (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257327)

In all seriousness, I think that Oblivion should have been rated mature in the first place, but this is for bogus reasons. If it's not in the vanilla unmodded game why the fuck are they rating for it? ESRB, do you have an answer for me? It's also interesting to note that the ESRB usually overrates games, i.e. Halo and Halo 2 getting M ratings. All of the blood there is blue or fluorescent orange, and there's less than Oblivion.

Re:Any game? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257430)

I think I'm going to start taping 'The View', ripping it, making some modifications to the hosts' clothing and then make the copies available on the internet. Barbara Walters is almost scary enough to for the show to need a mature rating as it is.

Re:Any game? (2, Informative)

esper (11644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257609)

You could technically mod nudity into any PC game, yes, but, in this case, the original topless female mesh was already present in the game as distributed, it was simply not usable until a mod enabled it (by pulling the resource out of an archive and placing it into a separate file, overriding the normal female upper body mesh).

Re:Any game? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257741)

You could technically mod nudity into any PC game, yes, but, in this case, the original topless female mesh was already present in the game as distributed, it was simply not usable until a mod enabled it

And?

The simple fact of the matter is that there were nude patches created for Morrowind as well as for Oblivion, in similar timescales, with similar detail levels relative to the rest of each game. In both cases, the required step to add nudity was the same (download and install unsupported third-party modification), and the outcome was the same (nude females appear in game). The only difference is the source of the data used by the third-party modders.

So why was the rating changed for Oblivion, but not for Morrowind?

Re:Any game? (3, Interesting)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258059)

The source of the data is the critical point. While the ESRB can't base their ratings on third-party content, they have every right to rate the content that actually ships on the disc. So, for a slightly more off-the-wall example, if a T-rated game shipped with a password-protected archive of Playboy photo shoots on the disc - completely unaccessible from, and unrelated to, the game itself - the ESRB would still jack the rating up because the material is being shipped.

I personally don't think bare breasts are that big of a deal (though they can be a lot of fun in RL), but the ESRB isn't there to either protect me (age 34) or to represent me (childless). They exist to keep f***ing legislatures out of the gaming business, and they've succeeded to a large extent. Since they know that politicians and many parents would care a lot about bare breasts, they've got to rate games accordingly.

In other words, I think some people here need to learn to love the ESRB...and the bomb...

so all mod content... (4, Insightful)

gerbalblaste (882682) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257169)

If i make a mod for Oblivion allowing the player to engage in sexual intercourse would that mean the ESRB would have to rank Oblivion AO?

Basing the rating of a game upon the available third party content seems very stupid to me. I'm sure i'm in the majority of slashdotter who think that changing the rating of a game because of mods is stupid.

this does not bode well for the future of video game ratings.

Re:so all mod content... (1)

okayplayer (670828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257244)

I kind of want you to just go ahead and try it... Make the mod, post an article to slashdot about how we are all going to take part in a test to show the silliness of the ESRB's new found understanding of released content, and then step back and observe the results.

Re:so all mod content... (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257356)

Did you even read the entire summary?

The "art file or 'skin'" was already present in the game, locked out or otherwise.

The third party tool gave you access to what was already there... exactly like GTA & their hot coffee disaster.

What the ESRB is trying to tell game makers is that they need to stop including postentially sexual content on the game discs, even if it's "locked out".

Re:so all mod content... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257481)

What if I create a mod for a different game (A T rated game) that swaps a skin texture from one character (say, a shirtless guy) to another (a female character) and creates the effect of a "topless character"? Should the game then get an M higher rating? It's only using content that was already in there, although not normally accessable to players? "Potentally sexual content" could be nearly anything!

Re:so all mod content... (1)

casings (257363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257542)

And you think that would actually work?

Theres no chance in hell a skin for a male model would even fit a female model, unless for some strange reason they were modeled the exact same way. And anyone who is familiar at all with the human anatomy will tell you, Men and Women cannot be modeled the same way.

That being said taking a male skin and applying it to a female model, will probably come out riddled with errors.

Re:so all mod content... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257538)

What if I make a third party mod that "unlocks" the "hidden" nudity that comes when you layer thousands of images on top of each other, and for each pixel position selects 1 of the thousands of images to show though. It'd be simple to take pre-existing algorithms and get xxx pictures outta that.

Now, my mod is simply taking stuff that's already on the disc and displaying it. It's just doing so in a way that the developers didn't intend. 18+ rating for everything!

There's got to be a line drawn, and it should be drawn by saying that if you can access the content without the use of third party tools/mods/whatever, then it should count for the rating. If you have to hack the system in order to modify the game in order to gain access to content, then it shouldn't count against the rating. Once you allow content unlocked by a third-party modification to the game to count for ratings purposes, you've started down a slippery slope.

Slap an M on my ass, under my clothes I'm naked! (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257780)

If your kid can unlock the art file, it is time to get a fucking clue and realize that your kid is more then capable of downloading more pr0n then you can possibly imagine. Further, these are just tits. This is not a sex mod. This is a human fucking body. I know the human body is evil and all, but grow the fuck up. Human females have tits. OMFG!!!11!!! Your mom has tits under her shirt and bra. That is right, even your mom has a little round circle of pink or brown skin with a raised pump. Guess what, your dad has a penis. Why in the hell are we so terrified that a kid might see what 50% of the population has? I know breasts are evil, but denying their existence doesn't make them go away.

If Oblivion had S&M mod locked away, I would understand the concern. They don't. They have nude models because all the characters in the game are dressed from the nude... you know, like real people. Maybe we should slap an M for mature on everyone's ass in the real world, just so that parents know that underneath all of their clothing they are naked, and nudity is the devils work.

I love America. I really do. There is no place on this Earth I would rather live. That said, some times we are so fucking uptight that if you shoved a lump a coal up the average American's ass, in two weeks you would have a diamond.*

*thank you Ferris Bueller.

Woohoo! (2, Funny)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258026)

That said, some times we are so fucking uptight that if you shoved a lump a coal up the average American's ass, in two weeks you would have a diamond.
I'm rich!!!

Re:Slap an M on my ass, under my clothes I'm naked (1)

casings (257363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258060)

With your reasoning it is perfectly reasonable to claim that sex doesn't matter as well, because after all it is natural and everyone does it, yes even 14 year olds, Oh my gosh!!!

Point of fact is the repressive nature of this society doesn't stop squarely at the anatomy.

Oh man! Are you kidding me? (1, Redundant)

ABaumann (748617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257179)

Are you telling me that the ESRB doesn't understand the difference between included content and a 3rd party addition? There are nude patches for the Sims too. Let's see that go Mature. Ooh! And you can modify the art for Civilization games. Stamp those mature too!

Re:Oh man! Are you kidding me? (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257217)

Obviously, they were burned by Hot Coffee.

Re:Oh man! Are you kidding me? (1)

Wisgary (799898) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257347)

We're talking about existing content that can be accessed, like the Hot Coffee mod. It was created by the developers, excluded, yet accessible through something like a Gameshark or Action Replay.

Re:Oh man! Are you kidding me? (1)

Bagels (676159) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257561)

To be fair, the nude texture/model is actually included in the game - like Hot Coffee, all the mod would do is unlock pre-existing content.

Still stupid, though.

Is (-1, Flamebait)

reldruH (956292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257183)

anybody else depressed that the first two comments on this article didn't have anything to do with ratings, with their unfairness, with how it would affect people buying the game. All they said were 'how can I get this' and 'OMG BOOBIEZ!!!' I think the lack of female gamers is more because of completely insensitive male gamers than anything else. If I were a girl, and I wanted to go to a LAN party, or a guild, or anything with other people, I don't want all the guys there constantly talking about breasts and how they can see them. That's just not an environemnt I'd want to play in. So, in the future, if we could not jump on, grab, or otherwise molest every article with the word 'breast' in it, we might have a much better (and safer) environment for everybody to game in.

Re:Is (1)

panda (10044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257213)

Yes, and some people need to buy a sense of humor.

Re:Is (-1, Flamebait)

reldruH (956292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257335)

You think that just because it's a joke it's OK? Do you apply the same logic to racial jokes? Holocoust jokes? It's a joke, therefore it doesn't hurt anybody? You think that Latinos aren't bothered when somebody makes a joke about how they're all gardners? How it doesn't hurt when people assume that they'll know how to use a mower when nobody else does? You want your sense of humor to be based around discriminating and insulting others? And you think I should pay money for such a thing? Open your eyes and get a clue, man. That's not cool.

Re:Is (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257744)

Wait, wait, wait... you're comparing breasts in video games... to racism and the holocaust???

Re:Is (1)

reldruH (956292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257843)

I'm comparing the attitude that allows one to exist to the attitude that allows the other to exist. But apparently that's flamebait.

Re:Is (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257383)

If you don't want to participate in a guild where everyone is acting like 14 year old boys, don't join a guild populated by 14 year old boys.

Similarly, if you're a girl that wants to avoid being hit on by guys in games, play a male character. Hell, most of the female characters are really guys, and they're usually the ones trying to flirt with everyone else.

The lack of female gamers is due to a general lack of interest in computer games among females. Some of this might be inherent in their genetic makeup, but most of it is probably due to a general lack of encouragement girls get to pursue computers or other technical things, either as a career or a hobby.

Re:Is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257615)

If you don't wantelse to participate in a guild where everyone is acting like 14 year old boys, don't join a guild populated by 14 year old boys.

Welcome to the land of the free . . . oh wait . . . nevermind.

I'm so tired of hearing the pat "if you don't like it, leave" responses. To quote something you may recognize:

In order for mass defections to occur, there has to be a viable alternative to defect to

I haven't seen a Slashdot for women yet, so where should she go?

Re:Is (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257830)

I never said "if you like it, leave." You don't have to leave the game, just the guild. If you don't like the people you're grouping with, why would you group with them? Join a guild with more mature members. In the case of guilds, there are many, many viable alternatives.

Nudity is fine (3, Funny)

foundme (897346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257197)

It's the marriage with an Orc [slashdot.org] that summons a Mature rating.

Re:Nudity is fine (2, Funny)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257440)

Why? I know plenty of women married to Orcs.

It's OK (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257442)

As long as it's one Orc.

Polyorcamy would warrant mature in this political climate.

Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257204)

But if someone makes a mod to a game, the ESRB now reconciders its raiting? Welp, there goes the Mod community...

The difference between this and The Sims 2 is... (1, Interesting)

Blackwulf (34848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257220)

There are several comments here wondering what's so different in this case, and rather than spam reply to all I'd just put my thoughts here.

The difference here is that the 3D model of the nude avatar is actually included on the disc. It's the same crap as Hot Coffee - it was created by the developer and shipped on the disc, but nothing was pointing to it. So a modder can go in and point to it.

Not saying I agree with this at all, just pointing out that this isn't your typical "nude patch" where someone creates a 3D Model of a nude Lara Croft and replaces the game model with the nude one. The modder would just replace the 3D Model in the game with another 3D Model in the game that just happens to be topless.

Re:The difference between this and The Sims 2 is.. (4, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257470)

That's not quite how it works. I haven't played the game, but this is what I've gathered from reading the author of the mod's comments.

Most games handle clothing by making it directly part of the character model. Oblivion models character bodies and clothing seperately. Although this approach increases the complexity of the graphics, it allows more reuse of art assests. With this approach, you can mix and match body types and clothing without having to redo the artwork for the different combos. This patch simply removes the clothing layer.

Also, according to the mod author's comments, the topless women don't quite look right. The models were designed to look right wearing clothing, not bare.

Re:The difference between this and The Sims 2 is.. (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257620)

Also, according to the mod author's comments, the topless women don't quite look right. The models were designed to look right wearing clothing, not bare.

Unfortunately, the author of the mod in question hasn't had any pussy since pussy had him, and as such, is unqualified to make such a statement since most real women don't look like the ones that you can see in the moments in between the heavy purple static on scrambled porn channels.

Re:The difference between this and The Sims 2 is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257812)

lol, that's a lot of assumptions crammed into one post.. congrats :)

But you really need to stop masturbating to 12 year olds just because you haven't had sex with your sister for a long time by now.

Re:The difference between this and The Sims 2 is.. (3, Informative)

LiquidAvatar (772805) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257807)

My understanding of it was that they accomplished it by replacing the default female torso texture with some other undressed torso texture that was supposedly hidden. Seeing as how they admit that the nipples don't look quite right, is there any chance that they simply replaced the femal torso textures with the male torso textures? Not too many games have males that wear bras, so it would cause nipples to be displayed. And, if the wrong texture was being applied to the model, that could explain the mishapen nipples that have been mentioned.

If this is the case, it brings up all sorts of interesting questions about the nature of nudity, since the texture, on one model, is perfectly acceptable but the same texture, on a different model, is obscene.

Finally. (4, Insightful)

Cheapy (809643) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257222)

I love the game, but there is no way it should ever have been Teen. The necromancer and vampire lairs can be very graphic (If you've seen Memorial Cave, you know what I'm talking about.), way too graphic for a little kid. Decomposing bodies with a noose around their neck hanging from the ceiling? And a 'kicked out' chair underneath them? More decomposed bodies stuck to the wall with spears (Incidently, the only spears in the game, other than the skulls.)

Way too graphic.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go buy one of the last 'T'-labeled games, and sell it for a profit later on.

Re:Finally. (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257300)

way too graphic for a little kid. Decomposing bodies with a noose around their neck hanging from the ceiling?

Oh, there's nothing wrong with decomposing bodies, according to the ESRB. But look, one of them has the tits hanging out. And you can almost see the nipple! OMG! Think of the chiiildren!

Re:Finally. (3, Interesting)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257493)

There are certainly some aspects of the game that aren't suitable for younger audiences, which is the case with a lot of games. What really bothers me is that it wasn't any of the violence that prompted the rating, but something stupid like this. No wonder people don't have much faith in the ratings system.

Re:Finally. (2, Informative)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257845)

FTFS: The content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating[...]

You think that was just a cover-up (no pun intended)?

Re:Finally. (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257973)

I don't know about that, but the developers have a good idea of what is included in a game. I don't know if it's the devs not saying or the ESRB not asking (or not looking hard enough). I kind of suspect that the rating change has more to do with the 'skin' than the gore. I'll admit though that some areas of Oblivion are on par with the violence depicted in other M games I own, but it's still not the corpses on meat hooks from Quake 4 or large numbers of body parts lying around in D3.

Re:Finally. (3, Insightful)

Cutriss (262920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257510)

Please resolve these conflicting statements:

I love the game, but there is no way it should ever have been Teen.

The necromancer and vampire lairs can be very graphic (If you've seen Memorial Cave, you know what I'm talking about.), way too graphic for a little kid.

Re:Finally. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257599)

You ever play Diablo? Not the sequel, just good old Diablo. Once you make it down to hell you have the butcher's room and several other places that are full of impaled bodies.

And, of course, on the nudity front, there's the succubi (and related boobie demon bitches) that have naked tits, and that scream like they're getting anally violated and fall down with their asses up in the air when you kill them.

ESRB rating: Teen.

Re:Finally. (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257674)

yes but the true geek nature of the player blead through and they ran when you got too close to them.

(i hated them - as a fighter you couldn't chase them down until they ran into a corner with about 20 others and then they kicked your ass)

Re:Finally. (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257685)

Just goes to show how screwed up the puritanical US view (at least of those in power) on media is. It's ok for a youngster to see graphic violence, but god help 'em if they see tits! (And frankly, those are some of the poorest 3d representations of tits I can recall seeing.)

Sex and attraction to physical attributes of people is natural (it's part of human survival). At least amongst thinking people, violence is NOT required for human survival. But yet, it's cool to watch someone get their ass kicked, but it's totally unreasonable to depict a naked human form.

I could rant for hours about this. I think the ratings nazis just need a good fuck, personally. Then maybe they could relax and enjoy natural life. I know I enjoy it :)

In other news... (0, Redundant)

Chrismith (911614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257224)

In other news, "Spongebob Squarepants Typing" has also received an M rating, because it was found that a third-party modification could replace the opening "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea" movie with a porno clip of the user's choice. Seriously, since when does the ability to insert something lewd into a game mean that the game should get a higher rating? If I can start a game of Final Fantasy and call my characters "Fuck" "Shit" and "Ass", does that mean that the game should no longer be sold to children?

Re:In other news... (1)

Whyte Panther (868438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257428)

No, but if the game were to specifically exclude you from using those names it would be, because that means that those words would have to be IN THE GAME CODE!

Yes, this is how silly we're getting folks.

Unfair distinctions (5, Insightful)

Vallimar (323618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257229)

Why is the ESRB now adjusting a games rating based on post-release modifications? Have you seen what topless Oblivion is like? You have to be pretty desperate to get off on those lumpy misshapen breasts.

And, since they have started this crusade, why hasn't the Sims 2 been pulled and modded Adults Only yet? That has far more explicit mods and in-your-face sexuality. Hell, the only way to get ahead in that game is to have sex, and that only gets a Teen rating still?

If the ESRB is going to keep pulling this, all game makers should just slap Adults Only labels on their games and let the parents figure out which ones are safe for their kids, like they are supposed to be doing in the first place.

So once again, 3rd party apps change rating (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257234)

The surprising thing is how the ratings of both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Oblivion only changed with third party users made patches to enable them.

In my mind, this is no different from the Bra and Panties Oblivion mod I've seen floating around (which changes the undergarments from boring brown to something lacy) - not Oblivion's fault as it wasn't meant to be seen when they shipped it.

The violence - OK, I'll deal with that, but notice that the rating change only happened when somebody went "OMG - there are boobies here!", and some religious nutcase went "OMG - can't have boobies there - think of the children!" ([sarcasm]Personally, I know that I've harbored deep hatred of all women since being exposed to breasts directly after my birth and the next year thereafter. I hate it when my wife shoves her large breasts in my face today.[/sarcasm])

Odds are, we'll see some press releases from "concerned groups/individuals" (we don't need to name them - that would only feed the trolls), I've already got a press release from IEMA about how fast they alerted the retailers so they could change the ratings right in the computer to prevent minors from buying it, and Oblivion sales might actually go up when 13 year olds looking to feel "mature" convince their parents to buy them the game.

Re:So once again, 3rd party apps change rating (1)

esper (11644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257688)

Although I agree with you about the hysteria over sex/nudity being uncalled for, I have to disagree about this being the same as a purely-third-party mod. Hot Coffee supposedly just unlocked content which was included in the game by the publisher, just in a disabled form. The original Oblivion topless mod was taking a topless mesh which Bethesda had included in the game and made it available for play (and, incidentally, first became available before anyone had figured out how to create third-party meshes). The bra/panty mods, in contrast, are new textures created by a third party. There is, IMO, a very big difference between content included in the game by the publisher (even if inaccessible) and content created by a modder.

Re:So once again, 3rd party apps change rating (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257825)

I'll mostly agree with you, but in either case, it takes a third party to activate the hidden content.

Odds are, this in the long run can be a good thing: if a game developer includes the "inappropriate" content - whether or not it is hidden - they run the risk of getting a bad rating.

I think the problem is... (2, Interesting)

Al Oser (950774) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257236)

From the article..."as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or 'skin' that, if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters"

I think the problem is that the content in question is actually included in the game itself, though locked out. I'm not exactly sure what the developers were thinking, including those skins. After the whole Hot Coffee fiasco, you think they'd have learned.

Re:I think the problem is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257402)

actually, from what i understand, the model of polygonal breasts was there so that certain forms of clothing would override the bra underneath (i.e. a tank-top type shirt wouldn't show a hideous grey sports-bra peaking out of the sides), but the 'skin' wasn't there. there were no textures, only the model. the people who've made mods made textures for the model.

Breasts! OMG! (5, Funny)

Tom (822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257237)

Because, you know, you can't possibly confront young people with images of something they've sucked on 10 years ago.

Re:Breasts! OMG! (1)

casings (257363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257397)

Or in the ESRB's case, 2 years ago.

Re:Breasts! OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257539)

Because you know the sight makes a 15 year old and a 1 year old want to do the exact same thing right? Like gasoline on tinder, just takes a match. Keep matches labeled as matches so I can keep them the hell away from my pyro kid you hear?

Re:Breasts! OMG! (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257668)

Right, if we just don't show the kids tits, they won't want to have sex. Hello! Our bodies are designed to be fucking machines at that age. The reason why 15 year old kids are horney isn't because they see tits, it is because their bodies are pumped up on enough hormones that they can't pass an Olympic drug screening (hyperbole people).

Now, we as a culture might have decided that it is socially unacceptable to have sex until you are 18, but that doesn't change the reality of the hormones rushing their every adolescent kids' veins. Video games are not going to cause a kid to run off and have sex. If anything, being able to see a nice pair of fake digital tits and a few minutes in the bathroom might offer some temporary relief.

Video games don't make kids horney, hormons do.

Adult Quests (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257251)

The game contains several obviously adult-themed quests - the killing of a "skooma" dealer ("skooma" refers to an in-game drug) and a quest where you murder (as the game is quite compelling and realistic, yes, murder is the word i choose) three women who entice married men out to a farmhouse amnd ask to strip, followed by robbing their possessions!

Also, blood is evident from the beginning, and the world is highly interactive with stealing for the sake of it (takable items having no monetary value or use - i.e. planters, most of the plates etc.

In other words, IMHO, this was obviously an adult game. I love the game, and I hope that this re-rating will not invoke the flame wars caused by the frankly immoral (not just adult, immoral) Hot Coffee Mod and in fact GTA in general.

Phew.

Re:Adult Quests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257616)

(not just adult, immoral)

lol I can't stop laughing

Re:Adult Quests (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257661)

I love the game, and I hope that this re-rating will not invoke the flame wars caused by the frankly immoral (not just adult, immoral) Hot Coffee Mod and in fact GTA in general.

And lines like that are what spark the flame wars you're so worried about. You basically just said that sex is immoral. Nevermind that the rest of the game involved killing, drug running, gang wars and any number of other actions that could be considered immoral or socially deviated. But no, it's the (horror of all horrors) depiction of oral sex that's outright 'immoral' and gets everyone's attention.

Really, it's getting tiresome. The fact that the term 'puritanical' has become cliched at this point is an indicator that there's a definite schism in society right now.

Re:Adult Quests (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257824)

I just hope for one thing, that Bethesda will cut on the hipocrisy and allow adult-themed stuff on the forums. Currently discussion of adult-themed mods is forbidden and there's a separate sticky to inform of the dire consequences of violating this rule.

Re:Adult Quests (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257907)

The three women actually attack you first, so it's self-defense, but there is an entire line of quests dedicated to killing in cold blood.

Check out the nude patch in action! (4, Informative)

Durrill (908003) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257259)

I saw a video of this nude patch a few months ago, check it out here [gametrailers.com] .

3rd party modification? (4, Funny)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257281)

I have been told by reliable sources that the ESRB rating board in fact contains nudity, and that it can be unlocked simply by undressing the board members. I must therefore recommend that this story be rated M, and that /. prevent minors from reading it.

Re:3rd party modification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257527)

Have you seen the ESRB Board members?

The horror! The horror!

Re:3rd party modification? (1)

Shai-kun (728212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257781)

Good god man, where are my mod points?! I must supply you with several +1 mods!

False claims (5, Funny)

Ralph Yarro (704772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257283)

the PC version will carry an additional content descriptor for Nudity

If the nudity isn't available in the basic game but needs a third party hack, isn't it false advertising to claim "nudity" on the box? I'd expect a refund if I bought this and found no nudity included.

Re:False claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257365)

Nigga, you deserve a +5 Insightful.

Re:False claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257683)

One of Bethesda's selling points is the mods, however. They are using mods to their advantage - like selling horse armor for $2.50. Only makes sense that this would come back to "bite" them. Realistically though, this won't have any impact on sales, I would think.

Re:False claims (5, Insightful)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257749)

If the nudity isn't available in the basic game but needs a third party hack, isn't it false advertising to claim "nudity" on the box? I'd expect a refund if I bought this and found no nudity included.

You just don't understand the new thinking, is all. See, we need to be "protected" not simply against what things are but also against what things can be made to do. And, frankly, it is the fault of godless monsters like Bethesda for putting tools into people's hands that are capable of creating nude images, and they should be labeled as the pornmongers they are.

Seriously, it won't be long until game makers lock down code so that modding is impossible. There will never be another Counter-Strike for fear that someone will make a whorehouse map.

Recall? (1)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257306)

It will be interesting to see if Bethesda decides to pull the current version from the shelves and release a toned-down version to match the original rating, or if they're content with the Mature rating.

It will also be interesting to see how retailers respond; whether they'll pull "mis-rated" copes from the shelves. This isn't like GTA where the game went from M to AO, which most retailers won't carry.

Re:Recall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15257521)

A few years ago, Dungeon Siege got pulled from store shelves and rerated from Teen to Mature briefly. There was a cheat code in the game that allowed one to increase the amount of "gibs" that came out when an enemy character exploded. After this, the game-makers released a patch that removed this cheat, and also decreased the amount of blood/gore in the game (which was not substantial to begin with), and the game was again released as Teen. So yeah, if Bethesda wants to fight for the Teen rating, it may be a bit of a headache.

Game Physics (2, Interesting)

Brent Spiner (919505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257330)

I bet it has less to do with blood and more to do with game physics. In Morrowind if you attacked something it pretty much just bled and died, there didn't seem to be much of a problem with that. Now when you kill something and wack it's body with your +2 club of Enfeebling it will flail about in a most humorous manner.

So in other words the stationary boobies aren't the problem, it's the jiggly ones.

So what? (1)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257372)

I would hardly consider any of the female models in the game to be anywhere near attractive, but i guess that doesn't matter when you'll be dealing with adolescent teenagers who spring erections with the change of wind direction. This wouldn't be necessary if Oblivion weren't so popular. Take any sleeper hit that happens to have some kind of "nude" patch and no one with an opinion that "matters" would notice.

Barbie Dolls (0, Redundant)

No Salvation (914727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257387)

In other news Barbie Dolls are being recalled and given the Mature rating because mods exist that allow Barbie to go au naturel.

Great idea... (3, Insightful)

Thad Boyd (880932) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257415)

Because the best way to demonstrate the strength of your ratings system is to REPEATEDLY CHANGE RATINGS AFTER ASSIGNING THEM.

Re:Great idea... (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257879)

How would you fix it, then?

Seems easy with a movie, 'cos all you have to do is sit in front of it for 2 hours and watch - but with a game, you have to play it for god knows how long, be sufficiently good at it to be able to play through everything, and be aware of 3rd-party mods that don't appear until after the game's release.

Maybe the ratings boards need to be able to demand all the assets from a game, and be able to slap a hefty fine on the developers for failing to disclose information. Maybe, to help with that, they should ask the developers what rating they think it should get, too.

Re:Great idea... (2, Funny)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258129)

I read that the ESRB rates games by watching game footage, not by actually playing it. That does explain why they never found out about the secret nude Mc. PacMan level... ;-)

Hot Mead? (4, Funny)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257472)

Anyone up for labeling this scandal "Hot Mead"?

Oblivion nudity (1)

orz (88387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257530)

The Oblivion female character is done as a nude model with a seperate bra added when not wearing any other top. This was done because different outfits cover different areas of skin - for instance, the chainmail top has a narrow slit between the breasts which revails a small amount of skin which is covered by the middle of the bra when topless. Plus, doing it that way makes it easier for mods to add things like backless dresses etc that don't go well with the bra.

The only nude mod I've seen so far simply removes the bra. The underlieing stuff was never really intended as a nude model and looks like a boob-job with tan lines and very strange lighting. Probably a nude mod with original artwork will come soon to fix those issues. I know at least one modder who did nude mods for Morrowind is active in the Oblivion mod community (Maboroshi Daikon) so the talent is definitely available.

After the hot coffee fiasco, Bethesda really should have had the sense to remove nipples and black out a little of the area around it, just so that they could say that none of the naughty bits in the nude mods were done by Bethesda.

This sick filth must stop! (5, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257643)

Why, only yesterday I was sickened to find that by cutting out and supergluing the centrefolds from 'Playboy' onto my television, I was able to turn the supposedly child-friendly film 'Bambi' into a cornucopia of filth. I have written to the head of Disney to complain and will be protesting outside my local Best Buy to demand this sick spectacle be taken off store shelves.

The Lusty Argonian Maid (3, Informative)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257689)

A book, present both in Oblivion and in Morrowind. Contents follow:

The Lusty Argonian Maid

by Crassius Curio

Act IV, Scene III, continued

Lifts-Her-Tail: Certainly not, kind sir! I am here but to clean your chambers.

Crantius Colto: Is that all you have come here for, little one? My chambers?

Lifts-Her-Tail: I have no idea what it is you imply, master. I am but a poor Argonian maid.

Crantius Colto: So you are, my dumpling. And a good one at that. Such strong legs and shapely tail.

Lifts-Her-Tail: You embarrass me, sir!

Crantius Colto: Fear not. You are safe here with me.

Lifts-Her-Tail: I must finish my cleaning, sir. The mistress will have my head if I do not!

Crantius Colto: Cleaning, eh? I have something for you. Here, polish my spear.

Lifts-Her-Tail: But it is huge! It could take me all night!

Crantius Colto: Plenty of time, my sweet. Plenty of time.

END OF ACT IV, SCENE III

---
(and make friends to the alchemist in Skingrad, she'll ask you an interesting question...)

Re:The Lusty Argonian Maid (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257942)

The same character was in Morrowind... there was an early quest to find her husband, who turned out to have been killed by Nix Hounds IIRC. Apparently she doesn't believe in the whole "till death do us part" thing. :D

Skins (1)

richmaine (128733) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257728)

This gives new meaning to the term "skin". Or is it old meaning? :-)

So... (1)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15257804)

When we're looking at a PC game that has custom skins for players, the difference between company-made nude mods and player-made nude mods is only time.

That is, the player-made ones come out first.

"Mature" dialogue (1)

esper (11644) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258032)

I can't help wondering whether the ESRB has noticed yet that there's an NPC (with fully-voiced dialogue!) who asks whether you know what the local penalties are for necrophilia, then nervously attempts to pass it off as idle curiousity.

Re:"Mature" dialogue (1)

rblum (211213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15258232)

Uh - no. The character asks for the penalty for necro*mancing*, not necrophilia. Those are quite different beasts.
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