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Take-Two Faces $20 Million Settlement For "Hot Coffee" Scandal

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the expensive-cup-of-joe dept.

The Courts 124

eldavojohn writes "Take-Two has settled with shareholders to the tune of $20 million dollars over the 'Hot Coffee' debacle. Ars brings the details on how a badly-handled situation resulted in shareholders suing Take-Two. '[The scandal] led to a media panic because it was assumed the sexual content was easy for children to get to (it wasn't) or that sex themes were becoming common in games (they aren't). Still, the lawsuit shows how badly the company bungled the situation, and it's easy to see how Take-Two's management directly caused shareholders to lose money. ... The suit alleged far more than a single misstep with Hot Coffee, however. "Take-Two's management was not cooperating or assisting with the Company's audit committee and was failing to keep the Board of Directors informed of important issues or failing to do so in a timely fashion," the complaint stated. Inventory was misstated, as was software development costs."

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That's what you get (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308605)

for having shareholders. Raising capital is a necessary evil, but hell, grow organically if you can.

Re:That's what you get (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308621)

Its funny that you shoot people, hijack cars, drive over people and do all kinds of illegal things but when theres normal activities like sex that all people do, everyone goes "oh my god things like that shouldn't be allowed!" and bring in the lawsuits.

Weird world, or should I say weird country.

Re:That's what you get (5, Insightful)

Pentium100 (1240090) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308809)

GTA SA had the same rating as Manhunt, the game in which you brutally kill people, while having a good look at how you do it (like strangling with a wire, or cutting the throat with the same wire or may more ways of killing people), in GTA SA you can run people over with your car, shoot them, burn them, cut them, explode them and so on. Both games actually depend on you doing that (unlike, say, Postal2 which you can finish without killing anyone). So all this is acceptable to allow people that are 17+ to play. But if you show two people pretending to have sex (IIRC the hot coffee mod showed people fully clothed) then what were you thinking, we can't allow THIS and people would have to wait a year before being allowed to play this game (18+ vs 17+).

Really really weird country.

Re:That's what you get (3, Insightful)

MistrX (1566617) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308859)

Oh good, I wasn't the only one that noticed that. I always wondered why we can have TV with murdering and killing as the order of the day while people are busy with a form of 'love' (like making it) and everything is in an uproar.

I blame the church for trolling at people making people and promoting wars as a way to spread faith.

Go forth and reproduce!

Re:That's what you get (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310005)

Sex on TV is only allowed on the condition that it is part of a rape, rape/murder or other type of violent act. Even implying such a thing as consentual sex is just plain unamerican.

Re:That's what you get (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 5 years ago | (#29313435)

Yeah, and American's say that the Japanese have strange tastes in their portrayal of sexual acts. Pot meet kettle, I say.

Re:That's what you get (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308973)

Postal 2 would lose tons of appeal if killing people were necessary. It's just not as funny.

Re:That's what you get (3, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309385)

In the latest version of Americas Army, the rectuiting tool produced by the United States you get to zip tie people after you have wounded them and let them bleed out on the floor.

Re:That's what you get (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312623)

But if you show two people pretending to have sex (IIRC the hot coffee mod showed people fully clothed) then what were you thinking, we can't allow THIS and people would have to wait a year before being allowed to play this game (18+ vs 17+).

Correct me if I'm wrong (there's a good chance I am), but I think the 17+ thing is just a recommendation while 18+ is legally enforcible. No?

Re:That's what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29313305)

The difference is that M (17+) is the "real" adult game rating, while AO (18+) is a polite way of saying "banned". None of the major console producers allow AO games on their consoles, and most stores refuse to carry them. I'm fairly certain that neither are legally enforceable, though many stores voluntarily enforce them.

Re:That's what you get (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308835)

This wasn't a lawsuit by people upset by the nudity, it was a lawsuit by shareholders, upset that the company had lost money. They felt the whole thing had been poorly managed, and wanted changes. It turns out they were correct, not only was that particular 'scandal' poorly handled, the entire company was being poorly run, they didn't even know how much money they had.

In addition, $15 million will be paid by their insurance company. Though I'll bet their insurance premiums are going up next year.

Re:That's what you get (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308981)

Yeah - strange as it sounds, this lawsuit actually makes sense. Take Two's management really made a fiasco out of what should have been a 1-day story.

Re:That's what you get (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311101)

it was a lawsuit by shareholders, upset that the company had lost money

Which is insane on top of insane. Suing management would have been fine, but suing the company? Why? Even if you win, instead of stock shares in a $800M company, you end up with cash shares in a $20M settlement plus stock shares in a $780M company.

No, wait, make that a $760M company; trials and infighting cost money. So the lawyers are the only ones who come out ahead. Oh, wait, and it turns out that this was a class-action suit, so the lawyers were really the ones suing in the first place? Now it all makes sense.

Re:That's what you get (1)

chadplusplus (1432889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29313119)

Well, lets say Cowboy Neal invested in Take 2 when it was $50/share, then the hot coffee incident broke and was mismanaged by the then acting board, the price dropped to $25/share and Neal sold. He now has the opportunity to sue to try to recoup some of that loss.

So he had $10,000 worth of company, then $5,000 worth of company, then sold and has $4,988.00 in cash (damn commissions). He wants his $5,000 back because he thinks the board negligently mismanaged the incident causing him injury. Yup, that's where we are. I'm surprised I haven't heard of anyone doing this with Freddie/Fannie.

Re:That's what you get (1)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 5 years ago | (#29313515)

So he had $10,000 worth of company, then $5,000 worth of company, then sold and has $4,988.00 in cash (damn commissions).

And now he wants to sue the entity owned by the people who paid him $5,000 for his shares of it, for mismanagement that occurred under his watch, not theirs? That sounds pretty crooked.

He wants his $5,000 back because he thinks the board negligently mismanaged the incident causing him injury.

And if the board was going to be on the hook for $5,000, that would mean something.

Re:That's what you get (1)

tick_and_bash (1256006) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312093)

I doubt their premiums will go up very much next year. Any business of that size will have their own captive. With no significant losses in the prior years (at least that I know of publicly), there's no reason to jack their rates beyond inflation.

Re:That's what you get (1)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 5 years ago | (#29314605)

Makes you wonder why they really rejected EA's bid. I mean sure they were trying to buy them out RIGHT before GTA4 came out so they can get that stock push. Makes me wonder if they didn't want to be bought out because of the incompetence shown. Who knows if they are dipping in the bucket too.

If they had come out and said "This was an undeveloped concenpt that was not possable to access during the normal play of the game." something in that regards, they might of got out of it.

To be honest though, the only reason I can think they left it in, is because pulling it out would break stuff and they had to ship a game. Again, a management decision:P

Re:That's what you get (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29315159)

This wasn't a lawsuit by people upset by the nudity, it was a lawsuit by shareholders, upset that the company had lost money. They felt the whole thing had been poorly managed, and wanted changes.

Nip it in the bud I say; who knows how far they would have slid down the slippery slope unless reigned-in? It may even have gotten to the stage where the shareholders were forced to earn their own living! and omg, noone wants that!

Re:That's what you get (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308839)

Make a movie. Kiss a pair of tits and it's rated M. Chop 'em off and it's PG13.

Nicholson said it afaik. And he's damn right. It's more acceptable in movies to kill people than to fuck them. Let's be honest here, imagine killing spree scenes would be like the average sex scenes, we'd get to see people running around with their index fingers pointing at their enemies and shouting "pew pew".

Re:That's what you get (3, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309405)

Make a movie. Kiss a pair of tits and it's rated M. Chop 'em off and it's PG13.

Show a penis and it's R. After all, it's not like half the children actually have one.

Re:That's what you get (2, Interesting)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309587)

Also, the amount of penis you can show and still keep an R rating is much much lower than the amount of breasts/vaginas you can show within an R rating.

I forget where I heard this, I think it was in one of the Indie Sex [wikipedia.org] films.

Re:That's what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29313347)

The word you might be looking for is "vulva", which describes the entirety of the female genitalia. The vagina is, to put it crudely, the "fuck hole" and doesn't include the outer or inner labia, the clitoris, and so on.

For most women, when they're nude you don't actually see any genitalia. You only see pubic hair. Even shaved, many woman you'd only see a small slit between two pieces of otherwise normal skin. Even the hairiest man, when nude, you'll see the entirety of the genitalia including penis and scrotum. The equivalent would be to have a woman laying on her back spread-eagled and holding her labia open so that you could actually see genitalia.

Re:That's what you get (3, Interesting)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309907)

actually, an R rating only gets you tits and ass. show a cock in any sort of sexual context and it's NC-17.

Re:That's what you get (2, Informative)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310647)

If that's true now, it didn't used to be true. There's plenty of R rated movies from the 70s and 80s that had a few frames of penis or female pubic hair.

Re:That's what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29311319)

The NC-17 rating was added in 1990.

Re:That's what you get (2, Funny)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312073)

then I guess Watchmen is NC-17 eh? So much giant blue cock o_O

As Oscar Wilde said... (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310743)

"If God wanted us to be naked, we'd be born that way." - Oscar Wilde

Presumably a prude who objects even to simple nudity must have had a mother who kept her pants on through the entire birth, and insisted on the baby closing its eyes before being allowed to suckle her breast.

Re:That's what you get (4, Funny)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309763)

You know what...you can go to hell. I for one am very concerned about our poor public servants that would have to clean up the mess left by drive by orgies. This isn't about children, this is about stopping sex from happening in society all the places violence does. How the hell would the post office function if people would just quit and it turns into a big damned orgy? School orgies?! Do you really want that!? My god...those poor janitors...

Re:That's what you get (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310321)

This isn't about children, this is about stopping sex from happening in society all the places violence does.

Yeah, this is even gayer than all the men getting in a big pile and having sex with each other.

How the hell would the post office function if people would just quit and it turns into a big damned orgy? School orgies?!

Okay, sorry, my bad, e-everyone back in the pile!

Re:That's what you get (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310431)

Yeah, I walk around the office on eggshells because there are a couple of people I figure would just go porno if they got upset.

Re:That's what you get (2, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310229)

Let's be honest here, imagine killing spree scenes would be like the average sex scenes, we'd get to see people running around with their index fingers pointing at their enemies and shouting "pew pew"

Why am I reminded of LOLBat from PVP? http://www.pvponline.com/2008/08/28/epix-battle/ [pvponline.com]

On another note, imagine what movies would be like if the average sex scenes looked like the average movie's killing sprees. The hero would be surrounded by the (female) villian's bodyguards - fifty drop dead beautiful women. He would "take them on" all at once in the most graphic way possible. Finally, just when you thought the hero couldn't go any further, he and the female villian would have their "show down." Meanwhile, they'd toss some violence (in the form of a wedgie or two) in for good measure.

Re:That's what you get (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 5 years ago | (#29314091)

Make a movie. Kiss a pair of tits and it's rated M. Chop 'em off and it's PG13.

Thats what you get when the whole Western "culture" is just a thin veneer of rationality covering up fucked in the head religious wackos and power-hungry authoritarian demagogues who are running the show in reality, just underneath the surface. Conditioning kids to kill on command because "we are the Good Guys!", "we are Righteous!" and ultimately "God is with us!" is a very useful tool for those who see the world as an everlasting, apocalyptic conflict between "Good" (defined as whatever the fucked-up authoritarians of "our side" come up with) and "Evil" (which is everything else, with a particular emphasis on the nearly identically fucked-up authoritarians of "the other guys", with a generous doze of contempt for everyone either neutral or having a functioning brain). And hypocritical, obsessive, hysterical and schizophrenic attitude toward sex of course is a direct link to the screwed-up religious bullshit all of these fucked-up authoritarians subscribe to in order to "justify" to themselves their greed for power and control over others.

It is no coincidence that nearly all the crazies which run around raping little girls, or kidnapping them and keeping them prisoners also happen to be far-out religious zealots, as it is also no coincidence that Judeo-Christian religions try to apply incoherent, illogical, irrational and usually very draconian rules to anything sex related. In this all the members of Al-Qaeda and the various screwed-up Western "think of the children!" authoritarians are of identical mind.

That is why there will never be sane policy on sex, drugs and many other things in the West. The fucked-up, religious wacko authoritarians will simply not allow it, whatever the cost.

Re:That's what you get (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#29314527)

Yeah, I know I'd rather get stabbed in the face repeatedly until I died a death so awful even a closed-casket wouldn't suffice than have consensual sex with another adult my age.

Re:That's what you get (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308977)

I agree. And to add one more thing, I don't understand why so many companies want their games to be teen-rated. In fact, wouldn't it be nice to have games for teens and games for adults? For me as a thirty-something it gets increasingly hard to decide (from the box and reviews) whether a game is a lame teeny game or has some story that is at least tolerable for a halfway educated and mature person. If the story is good, why shouldn't it contain sex scenes? After all, most people have sex in real life, too.

I'd also like to see online games that require proof of age above 30---I don't claim that all people above 30 are reasonable or that the kids are all annoying, but in general I'd prefer to play with people of my own age group.

Re:That's what you get (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311387)

-I don't claim that all people above 30 are reasonable or that the kids are all annoying, but in general I'd prefer to play with people of my own age group.

If you want to play an MMO, form your own clan/guild/linkshell. Recruit only like minded individuals who are also mature and you'll go far.

Re:That's what you get (5, Funny)

tfmachad (1386141) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309339)

Don't worry, organized (?) societies at other parts of the world are inconsistent as well.

I reckon the real issue is not depicting sex in itself, but rather depicting it as an entertaining and carefree activity. I doubt it that the whole Hot Coffee debacle would even exist if the Easter egg depicted instead the protagonist involved in worriedly procuring a condom, doing it under the sheets as to not expose himself and his partner (in a closed room), having erection and ejaculation problems and so forth.

It's not that you can't have sexual content; what you can't have is guilt free sexual content. Oh, no, mister.

Re:That's what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309519)

Exactly what I was thinking mate! You get to kill people in brutal ways, rob, steal , lie and cheat, but a natural thing like naked bodies and everyone freaking loses it!!! I just don't understand it! "Think of the children!", yeah right! You mean the ones that were lying, stealing and cheating their way through the game until you caught sight of a naked ass?!

Listen stupid, right-wing, moral-majority dickheads: IT'S AN ADULT ENTERTAINMENT, FANTASY ADVENTURE GAME! RATED FOR ADULTS! TO BE PLAYED BY ADULTS!

Now have you noticed the word I keep using? Yes, A-D-U-L-T!

Re:That's what you get (1, Redundant)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309599)

Its funny that you shoot people, hijack cars, drive over people and do all kinds of illegal things but when theres normal activities like sex that all people do, everyone goes "oh my god things like that shouldn't be allowed!" and bring in the lawsuits.

OK, you typed that on slashdot. Please tell me you didn't have a straight face while doing so...

Re:That's what you get (1)

Alpha830RulZ (939527) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311083)

He didn't say, "with other people".

Re:That's what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29310575)

Its funny that you shoot people, hijack cars, drive over people and do all kinds of illegal things but when theres normal activities like sex that all people do, everyone goes "oh my god things like that shouldn't be allowed!" and bring in the lawsuits.

Weird world, or should I say weird country.

Indeed.

Personally I suspect the lawsuits and such are the result of a deep seeded guilt because they personally only exist due to sex having happened, and simply can't stand that fact.

As they are too cowardly to impose their values on themselves retroactively (IE by killing themselves off, and/or to stop breeding), they have to try forcing it on everyone else instead.

Re:That's what you get (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29315483)

As they are too cowardly to impose their values on themselves retroactively (IE by killing themselves off, and/or to stop breeding), they have to try forcing it on everyone else instead.

Perhaps that's really the subconscious motivation here; proto-brain says "ensure that noone else procreates and at the same time control an army of brainwashed killing machines. There can be only one!"

Re:That's what you get (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29315033)

Its funny that you shoot people, hijack cars, drive over people and do all kinds of illegal things but when theres normal activities like sex that all people do, everyone goes "oh my god things like that shouldn't be allowed!" and bring in the lawsuits.

You can do those things in real life without a $20M fine - one more reason why ppl suck.

Re:That's what you get (2, Insightful)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308627)

I'm pretty sure Take Two is doing just fine, even considering this. Also, nothing says "edgy" like "we got sued for something that wasn't even part of our game, because we're just that badass."

Seriously, I'm sure the execs are laughing all the way to the bank. And the shareholders, well WTF do you expect if you invest in a company that makes games where you can get your money back after fornicating with a professional via vehicular homicide?

Re:That's what you get (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309959)

Where does that $20 million come from anyway? Isn't this just the shareholders paying the money to themselves?

I wouldn't be surprised if the whole 'hot coffee' thing actually increased profits for the shareholders. In fact I'd be surprised if it wasn't!

Shareholders Suing Company (3, Interesting)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308617)

Isn't that basically suing yourself. How can anyone but the lawyers gain anything?

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308677)

Isn't that basically suing yourself. How can anyone but the lawyers gain anything?

Pretty much.

Its the corporate equivalent of a "swear jar". When you do let one slip out in front of the kids you put in $20M and it eventually pays for you to go on vacation someplace tropical.

The more you swear the more baddass you appear and the more you are penalized.
The more you are penalized the more you are punished and the more responsible for your actions you appear.
The more you are punished, the sooner you can go on vacation.

Its really a win-win situation.

Shareholders suing their corporation over hot coffee has the same effect.
They:
a) get to have sex scandals (baddass & fun)
b) get to appear to be making right (responsible & disciplined)
c) get to go on vacation as a result (wooo hoo!)

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (1)

mrcaseyj (902945) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308707)

Isn't that basically suing yourself. How can anyone but the lawyers gain anything?

I was wondering that myself. The only thing I can think is that maybe the suit was to get money out of the insurance company. I still don't know why anyone would insure against something like that. The suit would have made more sense to me if it had been to recover money from the personal funds of the former CEO.

Easy insurance fraud? (1)

vxvxvxvx (745287) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308787)

That being the case, it seems an easy strategy for corporations to make money for their investors would be to intentionally mismanage the company. So that the shareholders can sue the company they own and the insurance pays out.

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (1)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308765)

At least no matter what happens you win ... until you realize you lost more than you won.

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (1)

Ost99 (101831) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308823)

They get to pay dividends and call it an expense? Sounds like a smart tax move.

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (3, Interesting)

Rufus211 (221883) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308833)

I expect that in this case it's those who were shareholders in 2006 suing the company, who are likely no longer shareholders. In that case it's fairly reasonable. Say someone bought stock in 2005 and then sold it in 2006 when shit hit the fan for a substantial loss. That person can now recoup some of the their losses.

Also Take Two had some sort of crazy umbrella insurance (how do you get "our directors are incompetent" insurance?) so the insurance company is ponying up $15M of the $20M.

I wonder if I could manage to pull this off at a personal level. Get an umbrella insurance policy. Crash my car into a tree. Sue myself(defendant) for the pain and suffering caused due to the negligence of myself(plaintiff). If I(plaintiff) win, I(defendant) get the insurance company to cover 3/4ths of the settlement cost.

Re:Shareholders Suing Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29308837)

I was wondering exactly the same thing.
Some discussion of the topic revealed the only logical solution:

Pure greed. People that don't care about the company and are only interested in getting some quick money out of their investment.

America's Decline. (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308685)

How is this even possible? No matter how badly Take-Two screwed up, the fact is, the game had to be hacked to get it to work! Regardless, who cares? Why are Americans so hung up on these type of issues, such as wardrobe malfunctions, gay marriage, steroids in baseball? In the meantime, bankers have effectively stolen trillions of dollars directly out of the pockets of every American. Less and less people are able to afford health care. Thousands of Americans are needlessly dying in Iraq. Middle class jobs are being decimated. The list is long... America is screwed.

Re:America's Decline. (1, Troll)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308725)

Well you see, in the US the basic rule seems to be Gordon Gekko's slogan "Greed is good", anything goes as long as you're being greedy. This explains why dishonest corporate executives and the like get off easy. As for why sex is considered so much more horrible than murder and torture, well I just don't know...

/Mikael

Re:America's Decline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309037)

I do.

Because they're not getting any!

Re:America's Decline. (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309091)

It might be religion based. When you read the Bible, people usually get punished for fucking but rewarded for killing.

Re:America's Decline. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309625)

Troll..

Re:America's Decline. (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310337)

There are counterexamples, but they run contrary to the message the church is trying to pull out of the book and push on people, e.g. the story of Lot and his daughters.

You can't bury the truth, it's in the bible anyway (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312495)

Lot and his daughters took shelter in a cave. Believing they were the last of their people, his daughters got him drunk and had sex with him in the hopes of being impregnated, for which they are praised. They don't cover this material in church real often, for a variety of obvious reasons.

Before Christianity, sex was a form of communion with the divine. Christianity made it a low thing, to be done only in the service of The Lord. The extent to which this is true varies between sects, but reaches something of a peak in Catholicism.

Another thing common before Christianity was incest. It was especially used as a means of keeping control of property in a family, or keeping control of a royal line. Obviously there are numerous problems with the practice, and so it was probably a darn good thing that The Church came with an incest taboo — another reason you're not going to hear this story in church, at least not without a whole lot of spin from how it is presented in the text.

Troll? Fail.

Re:America's Decline. (1)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311397)

This is most certainly religion based. Everyone should bear in mind that North America was originally colonized by people kicked out of Britain for being too uptight.

Re:America's Decline. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311827)

This is most certainly religion based. Everyone should bear in mind that North America was originally colonized by people kicked out of Britain for being too uptight.

The religious exiles left voluntarily.

But at least a third of the colonists were "transported" as prisoners - settlement on the Australian plan, if you like.

The plantation south with its Cavalier roots was notorious for its sexually predatory males.

The diarist Mary Chesnut would later write that Harriet Beecher Stowe had missed her most telling point by casting Simon Legree as a bachelor.

Re:America's Decline. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#29314197)

That's the equivalent of just reading the fellowship of the ring and declaring that it teaches joining forces with evil people is the only way to survive.

Re:America's Decline. (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310225)

in the US the basic rule seems to be Gordon Gekko's slogan "Greed is good", anything goes as long as you're being greedy.

While in the rest of the world people get by with love and sharing? Greed is not a US problem. In fact, as badly as corporations do here they tend to be a lot worse elsewhere. Look at the China milk scandal.

Re:America's Decline. (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310797)

"We're not horrible, the Chinese are worse! See?", great argument there.

As a European I can confidently say that one of the worst influences the US has had on Europe in terms of culture is the spread of the "greed is good", "cash is king" and generally egocentric and egoistic ideals. That's not to say that we were all nice and friendly to each other, but the US influence can definitely be seen when comparing my home country today and thirty years ago.

/Mikael

Re:America's Decline. (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311457)

That's not the argument, just a counterexample to the idiotic notion that the US is the modern inventor of greed. It's the way people from other countries smugly feel free to overlook their own faults. What country are you in anyway?

Re:America's Decline. (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312261)

I wouldn't call the US "the modern inventor of greed" but I would say that the US is the number one source of the "greed is good" mentality in the western world since at least the end of WW2.

/Mikael

Re:America's Decline. (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#29313029)

As a European I can confidently say that one of the worst influences the US has had on Europe in terms of culture is the spread of the "greed is good", "cash is king" and generally egocentric and egoistic ideals. That's not to say that we were all nice and friendly to each other, but the US influence can definitely be seen when comparing my home country today and thirty years ago.

The basis for US financial policy was European principles. Specifically, Hamiltonian economics emulated the British system since at the time they were the most economically successful empire.
If you look further than thirty years ago you'd see European countries that had the same focus on greed. Most societies switch back and forth between periods of individual entrepreneurship followed by periods of socially focused reformation.

Re:America's Decline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29308827)

Why are Americans so hung up on these type of issues, such as wardrobe malfunctions, gay marriage, steroids in baseball?

Because everybody but the people has a vested interest to divert attention to these stupid topics; away from the real problems whose solving would cost a lot of money and would cause lobby resistance. Yay capitalism I guess.

Re:America's Decline. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309047)

People worry about rules when they don't realize there is no one at the top making the rules, they are only an illusion made by our own conciseness.

Because of that, people focus on rule breaking and not reality. They do not wish to know because it scares them, so they focus on the unimportant issues and solve them, thereby soothing their guilt for ignoring reality.

Re:America's Decline. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309935)

Oh please. Trust me, the watercooler and dinner table talk revolves around health care and the financial system. No one has even heard of this Hot Coffee thing except here on Slashdot.

Re:America's Decline. (2, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310573)

No matter how badly Take-Two screwed up, the fact is, the game had to be hacked to get it to work!

Exactly the point though; how incompetent do you have to be to get the company in this much trouble over something as stupid as that?

Proof how screwed up society is (5, Insightful)

piltdownman84 (853358) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308749)

I still can't believe Rockstar had a mandatory recall on a game where you play a criminal, and the games primary objectives including assisinations, pimping, thieving and selling dugs because a third party patch enabled clothed sex scenes. Its almost so daft that I can't believe it. All this uproar over something that everyone does, in a game that glorifies acts thats are illegal almost everywhere and seen as unacceptable by almost everyone on this planet.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308971)

All this uproar over something that everyone does.

Dude, this is Slashdot !

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (2)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308989)

There should be a reality show on these people who are up in arms about this. They are probably the biggest morons on the planet.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309095)

So it ain't just me, it really is a bit weird?

Seriously, shouldn't it be the other way 'round? I mean, I got a bullet to my thigh and I also had a blowjob. I hope I needn't stress which experience I'd rather have repeated.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309869)

If anything it is Take Two who should receive money for the media panic that damaged their image.

It's the message! (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310365)

The idea of recalling the game is to give a message to kids:

Do not dare to play a video game where you simulate making love with a woman, GO OUT AND DO IT!!.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310805)

a third party patch

Hot Coffee was easy to access in every version of the game. It was not a third party mod or a patch in any ordinary meaning of the word.

Rockstar has a reputation for pushing the limits of public tolerance for content in a M rated game.

Hot Coffee suggested a means by which AO content could be slipped past editorial review and unlocked later -- with a hint and a wink from the developers:

A method that removed the game's censoring code of the M rated PSP and PS2 version thus restoring parts of the AO state was released by a group of PSP crackers. ESRB commented on this crack stating that it was not Rockstar's fault that this occurred and stuck with the M rating. Later, it was discovered the same method also works on the Wii version of the game.
In September 2007, an uncensored PAL PS2 copy of the game was leaked onto the internet by an employee of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, who was later fired.
Manhunt 2 [wikipedia.org]

That can't be allowed to happen.

It is too big a political risk for the console manufacturers. Too big a risk for the online distributors like Valve. Retailers like WalMart. Too big a risk for the financial stake-holders - the bankers, the shareholders.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (2, Informative)

mqduck (232646) | more than 5 years ago | (#29312721)

I still can't believe Rockstar had a mandatory recall on a game where you play a criminal, and the games primary objectives including assisinations, pimping, thieving and selling dugs

For the record, the game includes no pimping or drugs selling. In fact, at one point you kill a drug dealer whose dope is fucking up addicted members of your gang. I recall one mission in GTA3 where you have to rush to pick up prostitutes and deliver them to a policeman's ball, but I don't think there was anything like that in GTA:SA.

Not that I'm saying that invalidates your point or anything.

Re:Proof how screwed up society is (2, Funny)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 5 years ago | (#29313099)

I still can't believe Rockstar had a mandatory recall...

And if it were on a Kindle, it would've been deleted! I'm sure that functionality will be built into our next generation of consoles, "I'm sorry, you can't play that game because it's been recalled. Please see your retailer for a refund."

Only in the US (0, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308851)

Only in america there can be an uproar about sexual content when most games in existence is about killing people. Wtf is wrong with you people? Its ok to kill and mame people without any reason but its not ok when two consenting adults have sex?

Something is fundamentally and utterly broken in the US. The same people who shouts for unborn childrens rights to life cry in pain when someone wants to supply them with medicare once they are born.

Stupid fucks.

Re:Only in the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29308895)

No man, they just do statistics differently, you know, because they're bigger.

Re:Only in the US (1)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308907)

we are cool with sex, as long as the lights are off.
in gta3, for example, when you hired a hooker you just saw the car rocking; in our sitcoms it's fine to imply the act, just as long as we don't have to look at it. if it was any other way I'd run for the hills...have you seen what our population looks like?

Re:Only in the US (1)

hkmwbz (531650) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309417)

if it was any other way I'd run for the hills...have you seen what our population looks like?

Most people on TV are at least moderately attractive.

Re:Only in the US (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309055)

If think the US is the only place that just shows ignornace on the topic.
For example during the big "clothing malfunction" there was a big scandal in parts of Europe because a TV channel broadcast a breast cancer surgury and showed part of the breast during hours where that is not authorized.

Re:Only in the US (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309113)

Only in America? I'm in Europe and the same inane fucks are running this country it seems, at least sometimes. We're not at the same fucked up level yet, but we're catching up.

I don't know about your late night TV programs. I can tell you about ours. It's no problem to show a movie where people get mutilated, maimed and killed, where you see how bullets rip through bodies in slow motion, so you can enjoy the spray of blood, guts and brains (depending on the site of impact). Yet any sex scene will certainly not show anything but a moving male body from the chest upwards.

Reversed, that would mean that you get to see internal shots from the guy shooting his cum into his partner in slow-mo so you can see the glans twitch and his pisshole quiver and enjoy the moment as much as he does, while shootouts are done with pointed fingers and people running around shouting "pew pew" and "no, you didn't hit me".

Re:Only in the US (3, Interesting)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309217)

Where in Europe are you? I'm currently stationed in England, and your "reversed" example is exactly something I saw one night on Sky TV around 10pm. It was a documentary about sex, including a scene where a couple are using multiple cameras... including one showing him pulsating inside her during orgasm.

To top it off, there's a few movies I've seen on Sky One or Bravo that have the violent scenes removed from a movie --- even if it's integral to the plot.

Re:Only in the US (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29315857)

Only in america there can be an uproar about sexual content when most games in existence is about killing people. Wtf is wrong with you people? Its ok to kill and mame people without any reason but its not ok when two consenting adults have sex?

Something is fundamentally and utterly broken in the US. The same people who shouts for unborn childrens rights to life cry in pain when someone wants to supply them with medicare once they are born.

Stupid fucks.

Stupid fucks who moderate +1 troll when they read an inconvenient truth :D

Fundamentalists (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29308853)

This is what you get in any fundamentalist country.

Re:Fundamentalists (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309459)

This is also how the mentalists get their funds.

Re:Fundamentalists (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311593)

This is what you get in any fundamentalist country.

That Rockstar was headed for a crack-up was perfectly clear to anyone outside the hard-core gaming community.

Hot Coffee was no more an aberration than the later dust-ups over Bully and Manhunt 2.

Hot Coffee is button mashing arcade sex play for adolescents. Not far removed from Custer's Revenge. [wikipedia.org] [1982]

The fundamentalist could argue that* the geek hasn't the least idea of how to introduce mature sexual themes and content into PC and console gaming. That he can't think beyond rape and prostitution.

*- apart from the singular success of The Sims

How does this work? (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#29308855)

I mean, in what sense aren't the shareholders suing themselves, thereby achieving little more than moving a portion of the money into some lawyers pockets?

Re:How does this work? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309927)

It moves money from current shareholders to people who were shareholders at the time, most likely.

Well since 3/4 was covered by insurance it moves money from future shareholders to current and prior shareholders.

Kopi Luwak (2, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29309099)

So, does this make it the most expensive coffee in the world?

Re:Kopi Luwak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29309307)

No, Starbucks still holds that title.

our society, go figure (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29310463)

You can show a man plunge a knife into a woman on television but god help you if you want to show him using a penis instead.

Our society is a contradiction wrapped inside a hangup buried beneath a shitpile of hypocrisy. It's weird how we can have sex turned up to 11 to sell us shit on the tee-vee but actually showing it in a healthy manner is still verboten. I think it's the repression pushing down on society as a whole that has the prurient parts squeezing out the sides in such a disturbing manner. People get all horny and frustrated because pop culture is steeped in sex but trying to find a simple goddamn human connection in meatspace is an exercise in frustration. I suppose it's good for the economy. Angry and frustrated people usually go and buy something to make themselves feel better.

Islamic societies are also known for their contradictions. It's still considered awesome for the man to get his wick dipped but any woman who does the same is a slut who should be put to death. Homosexuality is a crime worthy of death but the old ruling powers in the Middle East had their tradition of the catamite and there's a folk hero in Persian folklore I believe known for for always having his jug of wine and his boy close at hand.

Re:our society, go figure (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#29314975)

Yeah, society is so schizophrenic it's as if it were made up by a lot of different people.

I'm not sure why people keep being surprised by inconsistencies. It's not like we have a single ruler who creates our laws and dictates; in this case especially they came about as a compromise.

Specifically there are people who WANT violence on TV to be banned along with sex, and there are people who WANT anything to be allowed. Have you really never seen any outrage over violence in video games? My mom, as one example, writes letters to TV stations protesting violence and sexuality. She doesn't watch any movie rated higher than PG-13, and avoids violence altogether.

What we have as a result is some kind of compromise, where the PRO people have gotten their way as far as violence goes, and the CON people have gotten their way as far as sexuality goes.

Our political system isn't designed to encourage consistency, it's designed to encourage compromise. It keeps people from killing each other in real life, that way.

Re:our society, go figure (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 5 years ago | (#29315957)

My mom, as one example, writes letters to TV stations protesting violence and sexuality. She doesn't watch any movie rated higher than PG-13, and avoids violence altogether.

Jesus? is that you?

Marketing (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#29311089)

They should just pay the $20 million out of their marketing budget. This episode has gained them at least that much in publicity.

The Big Difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29311723)

A normal person upon seeing violence doesn't want to participate in violence. But, after seeing an extended scene of people having sex...

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