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Surprisingly Few People Collect On GTA Hot Coffee

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the simulated-murder-is-fine-but-simulated-boobs-will-warp-you dept.

The Almighty Buck 343

Relin writes "Out of the millions eligible, less than 3,000 have come forward to collect their money in the 'Hot Coffee' settlement. While the plaintiffs' lawyer is surprised by the development, Theodore Frank of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was 'meritless' and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two."

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Any surprise? (5, Informative)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943301)

It's $5

Re:Any surprise? (5, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943439)

And when I paid for GTA, I actually wanted that 5$ to go to Take Two. And I STILL want them to have it.

Re:Any surprise? (1)

Alibaba10100 (1296289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944251)

I'm not sure how this works, but if you don't claim it what if it goes to the lawyers who brought the class action? You should claim the money and then send it to Rockstar just to make sure. Cash, so they can't throw it out.

I pirated it (5, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943639)

and I still want my money!

Re:I pirated it (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943709)

Sure, just give us your name and address and we'll send you a check!

Thanks,
Take Two

Not surprised (5, Insightful)

Monkey_Genius (669908) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943309)

"Seth Lesser, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs said that he is "disappointed" by the outcome, and doesn't understand why so many people don't care."
It is, after all, just a video game.

Re:Not surprised (5, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943347)

It is, after all, just a video game.

It is a video game where you can regenerate health with the services of a prostitute, kill her when she gets out of the car, take your money back, kill a cop and steal his cop car, kill national guard members and steal their tank, and these people are worried about a little bit of clothed dry humping?

Re:Not surprised (4, Funny)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943401)

Ah, I see you were stalking me this morning :-p

Re:Not surprised (4, Insightful)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943473)

Free worldview improvement suggestion of the day: Google for "this is not a pipe"

Re:Not surprised (5, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943645)

It is a video game where you can regenerate health with the services of a prostitute, kill her when she gets out of the car, take your money back, kill a cop and steal his cop car, kill national guard members and steal their tank, and these people are worried about a little bit of clothed dry humping?

Exactly. I bought this game and enjoyed it. There's no way I would stick it to the people who gave me so many hours of fun game play.

I really doubt any of the people actually purchasing this game were offended. There might be an occasional stupid parent who thought the hyper-violence in the game was tolerable, but the nudity was over the line. Regardless, it was baseless, in my opinion-- and the people who are okay with violence and freak out over nudity are rather scary. I would not enjoy living in their heads. Give me nude women any day over guns. I'll take both in my video games when it's an option, though.

Actually, the people who have a stranglehold on America's censorship are the scariest of all. Every other TV show or movie have probably ten times the violence than sex. I remember in the 1970s and early 80s, you could, at least, see the occasional boob on UHF broadcast. Something went wrong somewhere.

Re:Not surprised (5, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943687)

One minor correction to your post, although I agree with all of it:
There is no nudity in the Hot Coffee [wikipedia.org] minigame as it was on the disc.

Re:Not surprised (0, Flamebait)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944359)

It's interesting, because neither enjoy the violence nor the sex. Granted, I don't watch R rated movies and carefully choose the PG-13 and PG movies. (Yeah, PG is getting annoyingly bad.)

I think there were a lot of unsuspecting parents who picked up this game for little Johnny and didn't bother to look at the rating. I had a co-worker who did just that for her 9 year old son. She had to take it back from him once she figured out what was going on.

Now, I agree, the lady wasn't smart by not paying attention to the rating and warnings. I also agree that it's stupid for the government to sue Take Two. But I also think that GTA stands for everything that is wrong with the world and does nothing to help improve it. In fact, I believe it actively does the opposite. I feel the rating on GTA should warrant something much stronger than "mature", in that it should not be sold to anyone.

... Oh, anyone considered a "minor".

Re:Not surprised (3, Informative)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944449)

I'm sorry, the game is called Grand Theft Auto and the box art is rather informative. I mean, If it had been called Brokeback Fountains, and the box had depicted dressed women wearing suggestive clothing, would you also have excused her for not paying attention to the rating ?

Re:Not surprised (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943691)

AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!!! Some people seriously have their priorities out of whack.

Re:Not surprised (5, Funny)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943803)

Remember, any suggestion of sex or sexuality to children will warp their tiny widdle minds. ...but violence, that's just good red-blooded American fun.

Re:Not surprised (5, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944599)

That makes me so, so sad.
My wife and I have had long discussions about that very topic, and we've both agreed that sex/nudity/etc. is ok for the kids to see, but Violence is what we want to protect them from.

That my 5 year old daughter knows she has a vagina and that her brother has a penis actually offends people. My son (3) also knows the appropriate verbage to describe his body. Meanwhile one of my daughters friends thinks that she has a "WooHoo".

Which is more degrading to a woman?
Which is more useful in a conversation with a doctor?

I'll shut up now since I'm just rambling, but suffice to say when my daughter walked in on me playing GTA the other day she admonished me to stop at red lights and not run anyone over. :-)

Re:Not surprised (4, Interesting)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943873)

"Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves." - Numbers 31:13-18

It's sort of obvious, you can't have sex with a whore, but killing her is alright. This is where the game crosses the lines of correct morality.

*shakes head at this crazy country he lives in*

Re:Not surprised (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944207)

I wish the real world were so awesome.

Re:Not surprised (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944235)

I think that's why so few people turned out for the cash-handout. Its really hard to rationalize a displeasure with your kid seeing video-game 'sex' when you compare it to the rest of the game that the parent knowingly purchased.

I still don't understand how they won. Its like going to a Friday the 13th movie and expecting only drug use and murders without the irresponsible sex. Its just not the 13th without the irresponsible sex (lol).

Should the buyers have been so surprised? lol.

   

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944479)

You got to hit some parents with a clue bat...the T in GTA stands for Theft, so would you please take the time to read the box or look at the big bold rating?

What am I saying. THese parents probably walk around nekkid in their living room anyway.

SURPRISED! (4, Insightful)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944261)

I've never seen so much consensus in Slashdot comments! And you're all right - the fact that gratuitous violence is more acceptable than sex is sick, sick, sick.

Re:SURPRISED! (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944451)

I've never seen so much consensus in Slashdot comments!
Slashdot prefers to call that redundancy.

Re:Not surprised (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944309)

Yes, sex is evil.

Re:Not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944601)

Hey, just cause YOUR not getting any doesn't make it evil...

Re:Not surprised (4, Insightful)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943503)

doesn't understand why so many people don't care

Ahh, but they *do* care.

They care that to get their five bucks they have to fill in a few blanks. Like with their name and address. And somewhere, in some database will be a bit of trivia about just what it is they do on their computer. And I don't remember all the terms of the settlement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were possible to obtain the names of all claimants. Imagine someone posting *that* list on a public webserver that Google indexes.

Re:Not surprised (5, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943555)

I woudlnt be ashamed to be on a list of people that own GTA, but I would be ashamed if someone thought I had asked for a rebate because a game included the content I was looking for when I bought it.

Re:Not surprised (2, Informative)

rm999 (775449) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944369)

I somehow doubt a list of people who bought the best selling video game of all time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto:_San_Andreas#Sales) - with 22 million sales - would generate much buzz online. I think GTA is far less controversial than the media wants us to believe; for every Jack Thompson/vocal-overprotective mom out there, 50,000 people bought the game.

Re:Not surprised (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943655)

"Seth Lesser, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs said that he is "disappointed" by the outcome, and doesn't understand why so many people don't care."
Dear Mr Lesser:

Please let me, speaking on behalf of Americans who bought San Andreas, clear up your confusion. The few people who were offended by the game lack the necessary level of intelligence to understand how to claim their settlement money.

Just in case you were one of the above mentioned persons, I'll repeat it in smaller words. Move your lips if that helps.

Only ignorant fucking morons with the mental capacity of a particularly stupid puddle of mud were offended and can't figure out how to get their check.

Hope that helps.

Re:Not surprised (2, Funny)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943661)

For a second there I read it as 'Seth the Lesser' and wondered why a WoW character was lead lawyer.

Surprise surprise (5, Funny)

Skreech (131543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943343)

American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was "meritless" and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two.

Oh boy, I can only hope. Oh please.

Not worth my time. (5, Insightful)

iansmith (444117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943361)

The time it would take filling out the forms and cashing the $5 check is better spent on something else.

And frankly, anyone who buys Grand Theft Auto, the game that lets you kill hookers instead of paying them, is going to be hard to offend with some sex scene they have to use a hack to see in the first place.

That lawsuit never should have been brought to court, I hope the laywers don't see a penny!

Re:Not worth my time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943443)

aww, have a little sympathy for the lawyers - I'd send them a check for $-100

Re:Not worth my time. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943505)

And frankly, anyone who buys Grand Theft Auto, the game that lets you kill hookers instead of paying them, is going to be hard to offend with some sex scene they have to use a hack to see in the first place.
I know, seriously! And how you can blame the makers of a game that merely simulates reality? What, next some lawyer's going to be telling me I can't kill hookers instead of paying them in real life?

Re:Not worth my time. (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944445)

What, next some lawyer's going to be telling me I can't kill hookers instead of paying them in real life?

What?!? Since when???

Re:Not worth my time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944349)

It'll cost you $5 in gas to get to the bank to cash your $5 check!!! LOL!

Good. (1)

cyberworm (710231) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943377)

I'm probably eligible, but all things considered I'd rather they just kept the 5 bucks and bought themselves some hot coffee and get to work on some DLC for gta 4.

Well is it worth it. (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943389)

Being that it requited a hack to unlock the feature (aka censors already deemed the code unacceptable) and the kids who downloaded the hack could have just as easily have gotten real porn. It really isn't that big of a deal. Besides who wants to say after buying GTA I am such a prude that I want money to accommodate my suffering. I think most people will say they hypocrisy needs to stop at some point.

Re:Well is it worth it. (5, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943715)

the kids who downloaded the hack could have just as easily have gotten real porn

Yeah, that's exactly why this whole issue has always cracked me up. Oh noes! If a kid goes unsupervised onto the internet, he may download a mod for a game that would show him low-poly-count boobs. We need to stop this, prevent minors from buying GTA, make Take Two release new discs without the content on it, and then, at long last, kids won't be able to find boobs on the internet!

Really, it's just too funny.

Re:Well is it worth it. (4, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944099)

It's called a political opportunity. It's not about reality, its about aligning yourself to an issue and making news. "The choir, let me preach to it."

Besides, in laymans terms, the game contained material not suitable for the rating it received. The amount of work you have to do to "unlock" it via the patch (and I did out of curiosity - it took 5 minutes) is trivial, but the joke is, the only reason I became aware of it is because of the news.

Lets face it - it was sloppy of Take Two. They didn't deserve the attention and the suit, but it would have been easily preventable. Having shipped more than a few console games myself in my day, I can assure you that whatever didn't enable the game mechanic of bangin your gf in the build was 'removed' on a pretty high level - just a boolean or the removal of a game event or trigger.

I agree with everyone saying the lawsuit was meritless, but its a valuable lesson for all game developers. (Case in point: my friend wrote something obscene on a texture in a game that would never be readable by a customer with the in game camera. Clients get a 'free camera' mode where they can run through everything, up to any level of detail. Guess who falls on the 'right' side here? The people paying the money. My employers and the client were rightly not amused. Whats to be gained?) Ship a violent movie, and a super ultra softcore porn scene that isn't accessible via the movie on one DVD ... there is political weight to taking issue with that, if only because its possible to access it and because if its not meant to be accessed, what is it doing there?

So to summarize, it was a meritless lawsuit, for obvious reasons, but I don't have much sympathy for Take-Two unless it was one developer who kept the assets in there technically unbeknownst to everyone else. I doubt that was the case, and while they didn't deserve the lawsuit, they certainly opened themselves to misguided criticism. There are more stable platforms to assert one's distain for overly heavy handed sexual censorship.

I don't have to agree with somebody to necessarily not want to provide the opportunity for them to feel provoked, especially when money or political power is involved, no matter how fucking stupid they might be.

Re:Well is it worth it. (2, Insightful)

blitziod (591194) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944301)

i am pretty sure the news from the lawsuit sold more games than the makers of GTA4 had to pay.

Re:Well is it worth it. (4, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943783)

Not to mention that the game is rated M in the US - which means that the only people who Take2 was (legally) selling the game to that couldn't legally watch porn were 17 year olds. The same 17 year olds who can see full frontal nudity and way racier sex scenes in an R rated movie, or even on M rated TV (anyone watched Nip/Tuck lately?)

Re:Well is it worth it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944423)

which means that the only people who Take2 was (legally) selling the game to that couldn't legally watch porn were 17 year olds.
While some stores may refuse to sell M-rated games to minors, there is nothing illegal about doing so. The ESRB is not a government organization, and whether or not publishers have their games rated is completely voluntary; it just so happens that most stores won't sell unrated games. Nonetheless, the only thing game stores have to fear about selling M-rated games to minors is the negative backlash from the public and distributors.

$5? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943413)

I wonder what % of those collecting 5$ are just retailers and wholesalers.

mcdonald's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943431)

this lawsuit was just as retarded as that other hot coffee lawsuit
 
and no, you are not smart for regurgitating what the litigation lobby has fed you

Re:mcdonald's (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943489)

and no, you are not smart for regurgitating what the fast food lobby has fed you.

Re:mcdonald's (-1, Redundant)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943581)

and no, you are not smart for regurgitating what the fast food lobby has fed you.

Re:mcdonald's (1)

idlemind (760102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943619)

and no, you are not smart for regurgitating what the fast food lobby has fed you.

I think you mean the tort reform lobby. Anyways look at each side and what they stand to gain. Those in support of the current tort system want to continue to earn buttloads of money from stupid cases. Tort reform folks want to reduce the amount of money sucked from stupid lawsuits which gets passed on to the consumer.

It's estimated that ladders cost $25 more than they should because of the tort tax.

And yea, I am biased, I am for tort reform.

Re:mcdonald's (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943941)

There are plenty of ladders available for less than $25. Does it cost a negative amount to manufacture and ship the things? I doubt it.

Re:mcdonald's (2, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944085)

It's estimated that ladders cost $25 more than they should because of the tort tax.

Heck, look at the price difference between a drug marketed for humans and the same drug, made in the same facility, put in the same bottle, just labeled for animals - a lot of the price difference is the tort cost.

Generics don't have to worry as much, as do drugs that have been out for a long time.

I think that they should put a $50 or so deductible on cases like this - per person. Sure, it'd encourage some companies to try to screw every customer out of $50. But, I wouldn't have the deductible count in small claims court(IE not brought by big lawyer firm), or in cases where people were pursuing independent action. Of course, under $50, most people would be in small claims anyways.

But I tend to dislike the cases where they claim some company screwed people out of money or whatever without them knowing. When I bought some money from crucial - then later received paperwork from some lawyer firm for a class action, I didn't bother pursuing it - because I had paid what I felt was a fair price.

Re:mcdonald's (3, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944011)

Actually a little reading/education will go a long ways in this discussion. The suit vs. McDonald's was legitimate though the jury-awarded amount was a bit extreme. Do some research and you'll see why she lost the lawsuit. (Hint: 700+ prior cases of injury, third degree burns requiring skin grafts and stuff, the judge lowered the punitive damages to less than $500,000 USD, and the elderly lady who was burned was burned a second time when the corporation didn't want to pay only her medical bills and they became the first and only people that she sued.) I realize that people love to point to that particular lawsuit and make fun of it but the reality is a lot different than most people are aware. Her suit was legitimate.

Re:mcdonald's (2, Informative)

idlemind (760102) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944375)

The suit was not legitimate. If it were, do you think companies today would still be serving coffee at the same scalding temperature? No, they would not.

I have looked into this case a lot and I once shared your view. Check out overlawyered.com if you genuinely want more insight. http://overlawyered.com/2005/10/urban-legends-and-stella-liebeck-and-the-mcdonalds-coffee-case/ [overlawyered.com] It is alluring to think the common sense answer is wrong but in this case it is not. Keep in mind that trial lawyers have a vested interest in making you think this case was legit.

Thanks for your time.

Everybody now..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943447)

So it might just turn out that all that moral outrage and mass hysteria was just a ruse brought up to try and cash in on a game franchise.

Everybody now: "YA THINK!?!"

Take Two owes more in legal fees (4, Informative)

mo (2873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943451)

TFA states that the attorneys that brought the case are demanding 1.3 million in legal fees, way more than the 2,676 * (max $35) = $93,660 settlement fees that Take Two will have to pay.

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (5, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943795)

I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.

So instead of $1.3M, at the moment they've 'earned' ~$12k.

It'd stop some of the stupider lawsuits. I still remember getting a settlement offer for some memory I bought from crucial years ago - as far as I was concerned, I paid a fair price for it. Crucial sold me quality memory at a price seen more for shady chips.

Before I ever started going after the profit margin on computer chips I'd take a look at the jewelry industry.

I figure that most of the <3k individuals are just after a buck(five-thirty five).

On my end, if I was the judge or jury(don't know how it was decided), I'd have thrown out the case from the sheer fact that you had to download a mod to enable the content. Might as well sue 3DRealms for the mod to Duke Nukem that put actual porno on the movie screens, made the strippers actually strip(sorta), and all around more explicit. Don't mention the fact that it was a straight image swap with the more explicit stuff.

Heck, 'Hot Coffee' has made the value of the first edition of the game(before new disks were issued) more valuable!

That shows deliberate work on the part of the player. Like others have said, they could have as easily downloaded far more explicit porn, not to mention outright sex games about as easily.

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944155)

I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.
Only if each $5 is required to be requested on a hand filled form, and sent in an individual envelope with a self addressed stamped envelope inside for the return check.

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944523)

It's actually cheaper to not do the self addressed stamped envelope today.

It takes more labor to deal with non standard envelopes* than to simply enter all the information into a computer, print out the checks with the addresses on them and stuff them into envelopes with the clear plastic address section. Or even the ones where you use a pressure/heat/UV printing process on already sealed envelopes that you rip open to expose the checks. I do agree with the hand filled form.

That way you can print them in the presorted order and save all sorts of money on the postage. Enough that, like I said, dealing with the non-standard letters is more expensive even if you don't have to pay postage.

*Yes, I know 95% of them would be one of two sizes, but you still have the fun of dealing with various sealing methods between the two - you have paste, self sealing where you pull the protective cover off to expose the adhesive. Various weights, etc...

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (1)

SengirV (203400) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944417)

Before I ever started going after the profit margin on computer chips I'd take a look at the jewelry industry.

They have - https://diamondsclassaction.com/FAQ.htm#16


I also got that crucial class action crap and pitched it as well. Seeing as I paid like $100 for memory at the time, I doubt that the $5 I would have gotten back from that would have been worth it.

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (4, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944465)

I say we cap the legal fees at 50% of the final settlement - IE for each $5 'settlement' received they get $5.
How did you manage to weave Microsoft's Internet Explorer into this mess?

Re:Take Two owes more in legal fees (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944573)

Because MSIE is the designated scapegoat on this board? ;)

(In case of true ignorance IE [wikipedia.org] stands for "that is; in other words")

AEI opposed this?? (0, Offtopic)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943457)

American Enterprise Institute seems convinced that the lawsuit was "meritless" and will result in no payment for the legal counsel opposing Take-Two."
Interesting that AEI, the epitome of the neo-con agenda didn't like the verdict. Anyone else struck by this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Enterprise_Institute [wikipedia.org]

In other news, it'd be GREAT if the scummy lawyers didn't get paid, or if they got paid on contingency and get a percentage of the overall "winnings". (this is typical of class action suits)

Re:AEI opposed this?? (1)

GleeBot (1301227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943515)

The AEI is more libertarian than conservative, I'd say. They're all for cutting back on legal protections under the mantra of "frivolous lawsuits". There's a reason why trial lawyers are mainly major donors to the Democratic Party, even though presumably they're the sort of rich, upper class professional that goes for the Republicans. Like doctors.

Re:AEI opposed this?? (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943543)

Err sorry, to be more accurate I'd say AEI didn't like the case being brought at all. Seems as though they settled and there was no verdict.

Maybe they liked the game? (5, Insightful)

xRelisH (647464) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943459)

Perhaps the remaining millions who did not claim the money actually, you know, liked the game?

I don't think it would make sense for gamers to exploit a frivolous lawsuit to get a few dollars out of a company that made a game they enjoyed.

Cheap Marketing (5, Interesting)

TornCityVenz (1123185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943471)

I wonder what the networth of the attention take 2 got from this is worth. Surely far more than the cost of paying out the penalty and the fees of the lawers that they probably have on full time retainer anyhow.

I didn't know... (2, Insightful)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943553)

about the suit until now, and I have that game. Maybe the numbers will go up now that /. is covering it...

odd (5, Insightful)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943567)

Suppose I bought some porn video and there was a code that my kids found that let them play a game where they beat people and ran them over for fun. Would I have case?

Who exactly is supposed to care about this?

Re:odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943889)

I think the judge might have bigger issues to discuss with you if you brought a case involving buying porn for your underage kids...

Re:odd (5, Insightful)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943895)

Your kids would be taken away because you allowed them to access porn. Thank the puritans.

Re:odd (2, Informative)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944171)

Suppose I bought some porn video and there was a code that my kids found that let them play a game where they beat people and ran them over for fun. Would I have case?
No, since North America treats violence as equivalant to a recommended 17+ 'M' rating, while porn uses a strict 18+ 'AO' rating. Maybe something could happen in another country, but it's doubtful said rating system varies like that.

There would be a case (a minor one) if you include 18+ 'AO' content in the 17+ 'M' game. Aside from breaching the contract with the ESRB, it's also implying that the game itself was safe enough for parents to buy for the children they believed could properly handle the 17+ rating. (Remember: The ESRB states 'M' rated games are suitable for people aged 17+, and does not exclude 16-year-olds. The 'AO' rating is much more strict. )

Re:odd (1)

wasmoke (1055116) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944629)

Who exactly is supposed to care about this? Two words: Jack Thompson, keeping red-blooded American children save from the evil videogame-designing villains for..umm...far too long now.

Seriously... (5, Insightful)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943585)

"I read instructions on the Internet on how to mod GTA so that I could see a sex scene, and when I followed those instructions, the game actually let me see a sex scene! Now I feel surprised, shocked and offended and want $5!"

Sometimes I really wonder if there are any normal people left in this world.

Re:Seriously... (1)

rhombic (140326) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943963)

21,000,000 people bought the game; 3000 have claimed their settlement. So there are more than 20 million rational people left.

Re:Seriously... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944505)

Sometimes I really wonder if there are any normal people left in this world.

Nope, you're the last one.

heheheheheheheeeeeeeeee!

Second Life? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943621)

If the GTA makers owe me $35 for their hidden NPC sex scene, then the Second Life makers owe me seven figures for emotional trauma from the brief virtual walk I took though the general area.

VLAD FARTED LOUDLY AS HE RAPED MARTICOCK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23943677)

sickening

just makes you want to puke

The only people benefiting. (5, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943683)

are the lawyers. The lawyers don't care if everyone get pennies, because they get their millions. And if there is a settlement or verdict, it should always be in monetary form distributed automatically to every class member. Members shouldn't have to fill any paperwork. The corporations should calculate it for them. Two examples:

1. Bank of America privacy lawsuit. [consumerist.com]

Fees waived for deposited items getting returned!
Fees returned for calling customer service!
12 months free subscription to a credit card protection service (a $30 value)!
90 free days of Privacy Assist Identity Theft Protection Service (a $17.85 value)!

Hell no. Basically, they get free marketing. OUCH.

2. Visa MasterCard Discovery Currency lawsuit. [ccfsettlement.com]

They want you to calculate your foreign purchases yourself and document them for your reimbursement. Hell no. They should pay us $400/hr as they do their lawyers for the time we spend sorting through years worth of credit card statements. Some companies even charge a fee for requesting older records.

Settling should not be an option for class action lawsuits. The client/s should decide whether to settle, not the lawyer/s. A settlement should always be an opt-in, not an opt-out.

Re:The only people benefiting. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943741)

Settling should not be an option for class action lawsuits. The client/s should decide whether to settle, not the lawyer/s. A settlement should always be an opt-in, not an opt-out.
One can always choose to litigate individually if they do not like the way the class action is handled.

Re:The only people benefiting. (5, Informative)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943921)

Ya, that is what the class action lawsuit pamphlets always say.

"It's taken 5 years and 10 million dollars in lawyer fees to get this far, and good news, we won, and you get free Mortgage coupons! To opt out you may write the court judge at {address}."

Ya, I am going to go after Bank of America individually. That is really a feasible option. Let me look up a lawyer in the phone book.

Hell no.

Class action lawsuits are for lawyers, and the wrong-doers settle to make them go away. It is never about the victims. Ever.

Re:The only people benefiting. (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944341)

The opt out usually precedes the case. It gives the people bringing the case more leverage to actually get a settlement.

Take this case for instance, if you wanted to put it to Take Two, would you take the $5, or would you make one of their lawyers spend a couple of hours doing paper work for another case? If the opt out came after the agreement, Take Two would work a lot harder not settling.

Re:The only people benefiting. (1)

dissy (172727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944483)

Class action lawsuits are for lawyers, and the wrong-doers settle to make them go away. It is never about the victims. Ever.
Well, it was in that movie, Erin Brockovich.
Now that was some class action that was easy on the eye!

Re:The only people benefiting. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944531)

The system isn't designed to compensate victims, it's designed to discourage hurting them in the first place. If lawyers didn't make tons of money on class action suits, no one would litigate them and companies would lose a disincentive to causing small amounts of harm to large amounts of people. Not that this point is relevant to the case in question...

Re:The only people benefiting. (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943793)

Easiest solution would be to require lawyers to be paid in the exact same manner as the class in a class action suit.

If they class gets coupons, the lawyers should get coupons.

Re:The only people benefiting. (1)

Fanboys_Suck_Dick (1128411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944127)

I remember signing up for the Visa MasterCard Discovery Currency lawsuit. Calculating foreign purchases yourself was one of several options offered. Another option was to claim a default amount of $25. Signing up for $25 took me less than 2 minutes of time.

Re:The only people benefiting. (2, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944535)

There has to be at least a minimal amount of paperwork. For example, members of the class have the right to refuse to take part in the settlement. They may do that on ethical grounds because they don't agree with the suit or because they prefer to sue individually (perhaps they don't feel that the class-action adequately stated the case or they believe they were harmed to a greater extent than other members of the class.

Meanwhile, accepting the settlement generally requires a formal legal agreement that the settlement closes the matter.

Re:The only people benefiting. (1)

achurch (201270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944607)

2. Visa MasterCard Discovery Currency lawsuit.

They want you to calculate your foreign purchases yourself and document them for your reimbursement. Hell no. They should pay us $400/hr as they do their lawyers for the time we spend sorting through years worth of credit card statements.

You might not play the same tune if you had over $25k of foreign currency purchases during the relevant period. (And it only took me about 30 minutes to work that out, so filing's a win even under your suggestion.)

Maybe nobody cares? (2, Interesting)

sidragon.net (1238654) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943727)

Maybe this vocal minority is smaller than believed? Meanwhile, the rest of us are able to distinguish fantasy and reality, do not find the former offensive, and would prefer seeing naked human bodies engaged in sex acts rather than human bodies being brutally blown apart.

*less* than 3000? (-1, Troll)

Jubilex (28229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943857)

Really, so something like 2676.2732 people collected?

I would pay dearly for a Grand-Theft-Auto Mod that (4, Funny)

ancient_kings (1000970) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943875)

had Joe Pesci, these stupid lawyers against Take-Two and a big, fat baseball bat....

My hipocracy only goes so far... (4, Interesting)

jafo (11982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23943893)

I'm a GTA San Andreas player who was not at all interested in money from Take Two because of the Hot Coffee content in the game. I'm not surprised that only a handful of people have taken them up on it, the game is limited to sale to a 17+ audience, an audience that already knows (except in the states whos names start and end with a vowel) that people have sex.

I *DO* however wonder how many of those 3,000 people were really offended by the Hot Coffee content, and how many were just going "Cool, free money!"

The Hot Coffee patch reminds me of ROT-13 encryption. It's trivial for someone to get at the content if they want to, but you have to deliberately go after it. You can't "accidentally" see it. You're saying "I know this might offend me, and I want to see it anyway".

We sadly live in a culture where it's more acceptable to beat up or kill a woman than it is to have sex with her. Which explains a lot of unfortunate things. It doesn't make them right though.

You want to know what is really offensive? And I don't think I'm alone here... I find it particularly offensive that someone would sue over this. And win.

I had so much hope for our species.

Sean

Re:My hipocracy only goes so far... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944019)

I thought cool, free money. Although I don't know if I will get it because I got GTA online from EB and the receipt they sent had no cash amount. Most of the offers they had required you to send in your copy of GTA for a new one and money. I'm sure that had something to do with it.

Re:My hipocracy only goes so far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944203)

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma? You don't mention Georgia, or South/North Carolina. (NC, proudly living in denial since 1653)

Re:My hipocracy only goes so far... (1)

Libertarian001 (453712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944437)

"I had so much hope for our species."

That's the difference between you and me. As such, I am never disappointed and am occasionally presently surprised.

Re:My hipocracy only goes so far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23944519)

I saw Janet Jackson's tit on TV and was offended! Where is my money?

I live in the GTA... (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944015)

I live in the GTA. Where do I get my free coffee?

I don't think it affects me (2, Interesting)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944069)

This doesn't apply to any versions of the game sold outside of the US, correct?

Duke Nukem (2, Interesting)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944117)

Reminds me of Duke Nukem were all the sex scenes were cut out but could be activated by typing in a code word. Here is a game were you can blow peoples heads off and swear but oooh no, boobies are not allowed.......sheesh

Lack of option (5, Funny)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944121)

Could we send in $5 to enable the hot coffee mod?

Give me my F*ckin 5 dollars tough guy! (1)

KozmoKramer (1117173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944283)

maybe I'll go to the movies, by myself....

Actually (4, Funny)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944427)

I bought a version that didn't have the sex scene. Can I collect $5 from the people that made them cut it out?

Still waiting. (1)

Anonymatt (1272506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23944579)

Whenever I call them about the $5, they always tell me that the check is in the mail.
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