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GTA Sex Game Leads to ESRB Fracas

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the additional-content-land dept.


At first, it was nothing more than a rumour. A "sex mini-game" in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, left in the code for the PC version and unlocked by inquisitive players. Then, as more and more information became available it seemed as though the sex game might be real. This revelation has lead to California Speaker pro-tem Yee blasting the ESRB for their apparent slip-up in examining all the content in the game. The ESRB has responded by pledging a "thorough and objective investigation" of the claims to get to the bottom of the situation. Commentary is available from Joystiq, GamesAreFun, and Buttonmashing.

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"pro temp", not "pro tem" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016323)

It's Latin. Wikipedia it if you'd like.

Re:"pro temp", not "pro tem" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016351)

Sorry pal, but you're wrong. Wikipedia it yourself.

Re:"pro temp", not "pro tem" (1, Informative)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016362)

You mean like this [] ?

"Pro tempore or pro tem is a latin phrase which best translates to "for the time being" in English."

Re:"pro temp", not "pro tem" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016383)

Sorry about that. I'll go into Wikipedia and correct that. It should be "pro temp."

Re:"pro temp", not "pro tem" (0, Offtopic)

typobox43 (677545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016442)

It should? I've never seen that usage in this case. Just look at the Google results for "president pro tem" and "president pro temp" - 96,800 for the former, and only 674 for the latter. "pro tem" is simply an abbreviation of "pro tempore", nothing more.

Re:"pro temp", not "pro tem" (1)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016364)

Ahh, take your thorazine. And by the way, it's almost time for Wapner.

Better Quesiton (4, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016324)

Did the ESRB rate the mini-games that came with MS office apps, namely the flight sim with Excel and the DOOM clone with Word?

Re:Better Quesiton (3, Interesting)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016342)

doom clone with word? someone fill me in, i have 40 minutes to kill at work on a windows/office pc. =D

that was only in office '97 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016444)

Unless you work as time travelling salesman, you're outta luck.

In case you do though, put me down for 1000 shares worth of enron short...

Re:that was only in office '97 (1)

satoshi1 (794000) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016464)

I have several copies of Office '97 laying around my house. Infact, before I found out about OpenOffice, it was the only office program I used. There is no reason to upgrade to Office XP if you have '97.

Re:Better Quesiton (1, Redundant)

Alex P Keaton in da (882660) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016389)

Any screenshots?
All this will do is fan the flames of the "video games turn kids into depraved sex clowns" crowd.
At some point though, this could be criminal- If this has been sold to under 18s in the US, it is a crime in many states to give under 18s adult materials...
"get to the bottom of the situation"
This is a situation I would like to keep abreast of, and stay on top of
Sounds like this game is getting a rise out of some people.
Does the game come with a "joystick"?

Insightful? (3, Informative)

glrotate (300695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016481)

The ESRB rates what's submitted to them. Excel wasn't submitted hence no rating.

The issue with GTA:SA is that it was submitted and given an inappropriate rating. It recieved a MA, Mature Audience, and, __based on the ESRB's own published criteria__ ,it should have gotten an AO, Adults Only.

Mod parent up (or not), GP down (0, Offtopic)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016529)

I have writing "Mod parent up" posts, but I think this time it's semi-necessary. The mods who gave that rating to the grand parent post are quite wrong here.

As the parent said: The minigames included in Word and Excel have nothing to do with the ESRB, because Word and Excel (seeing as they're not games) were never submitted for a rating.

huh ? (0)

maharg (182366) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016331)

you mean, it's not a game - it's real ?? bring on the viagra !!

If the feature was hidden/accidental... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016332)

how culpable could the ESRB be?


Re:If the feature was hidden/accidental... (2, Informative)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016454)

The game is rated "M". That ass clown, Yee makes it sound as if the game was rated "E".

Think of the children!

He's a twit.

Re:If the feature was hidden/accidental... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016499)

I used MSPaint to draw some boobs, why doesn't somebody do something about this indecency!

Re:If the feature was hidden/accidental... (4, Interesting)

toad3k (882007) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016550)

The ESRB is a response to kneejerk politicians. Furthermore, the formation of the ESRB was like an admission of guilt. It is an officially accountable target for any critic of videogames. It will never matter what they do.

I just got the game for the pc, and every time I play it I have to wonder how many things I would have enjoyed were taken out because of this promise of doom is held over the head of any company that tries to create an AO rated game.

I'm tired of it, I'm an adult and I want to play adult games. End of story.

You can't mean.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016333)

What? Software validation that MISSED SOMETHING?!?

This is bull (5, Insightful)

SteveXE (641833) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016334)

How can the ESRB or even Rockstar be blamed for this? They removed the content from the game itself, its not their fault some gamers found a way to put it back in. Its funny how these people jump on anyone at anytime for no reason at all. The game is rated mature, and unless I live in some Bizzaro World im pretty sure just about every 17 year old has either had sex or seen porn.

Re:This is bull (3, Informative)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016409)

Games with such sexual content are supposed to get an AO rating as far as I remember, not a mere M.

Re:This is bull (4, Insightful)

MooCows (718367) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016443)

> Games with such sexual content are supposed to get an AO rating as far as I remember, not a mere M.

Because sex is, obviously, so much more damaging to the mind of a 17 year old than killing people.

I wonder if and when this will change in the mindset of people.
What's causing this 'fear of sex' anyways?

Re:This is bull (5, Insightful)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016482)

Welcome to America where (in the media, at least) you can kill whoever you like in as messy a fashion as you like as long as you don't show any genitals or say anything offensive while doing it.

Re:This is bull (3, Insightful)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016542)

I'm certainly not going to argue that violence is ok and sex is not, however sex does carry with it certain responsibilities. The fear in parents is that their children will be attracted to unsafe and irresponsible sex. Also that sex won't be associated with love but rather just used in a physical manner.
Unprotected sex can lead to disease including AIDS which will change your life forever and kill you. Unprotected sex can also lead to unwanted pregnancy which in a lot of ways is worse than disease as it impacts an entirely new life. Abortion has a dramatic physchological impact and can't be considered an "easy" solution to pregnancy.
Now I'm all for more sex and less violence and I don't consider the naked human body something sinful. The fact is though, that depicting sex should also educate about the possible dangers. Maybe virtual sex needs virtual condoms. After all your GTA character gets fat if he eats too much junk food and doesn't exercise. Maybe he should come down with an STD if he fucks every skank in the neighborhood. Or maybe he can be have his cash taken away to support the kid he fathered.

Re:This is bull (1)

krakelohm (830589) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016455)

Right, but as stated before it was disabled/taken out of the game. Could have been for the specific reasoning of not receiving an AO rating. Fact stands that without changing the game around you cannot get to the objectionable content.
Now lets all relax and go shoot some people.

Re:This is bull (2, Interesting)

crimoid (27373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016547)

"was disabled/taken out of the game"

Those are very different actions. Turning something off is one thing - removing it entirely is another.

I don't care about this issue at all but if ratings are to be taken literally then Rockstar should have completely removed the content (not disabled it) if they didn't want an AO rating.

Re:This is bull (5, Funny)

jamsessionjay (802511) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016426)

unless I live in some Bizzaro World im pretty sure just about every 17 year old has either had sex
You must be new here, may I greet you to slashdot; advertisements for nerds, stuff that won't get you laid.

Re:This is bull (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016473)

>>>>unless I live in some Bizzaro World im pretty sure just about every 17 year old has either had sex

>>You must be new here, may I greet you to slashdot; advertisements for nerds, stuff that won't get you laid.

You must be retarded, may I greet you to an english language primer so to much help read all of sentence..."OR SEEN PORN"

Dammit man, if you're going to rehash a stale joke for the umpteenth time your Asperger bin baby, at least freaking do it when it *applies*!

fr0st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016338)

fr0stage pistage

sex??? on slashdot?? (1)

joke_dst (832055) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016339)

"sex game might be real" Anyone think this is going to get slashdotted fast?

Re:sex??? on slashdot?? (1)

maharg (182366) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016380)

OK OK everyone STOP downloading NOW !!

oh man (3, Funny)

BilldaCat (19181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016340)

think of the children!

Re:oh man (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016359)

Are you asking for a pedophile minigame in GTA:SA as well?

Re:oh man (1)

asadodetira (664509) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016404)

I agree. It sets a bad example of mixing business with pleasure.

Re:oh man (2, Funny)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016524)

...while running them over in a stolen ambulance?

Sounds.. (1)

kidtux1 (896975) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016341)

Sounds like they could have left it there on purpose, either because they didn't want to put the effort in to take it out, or they were hoping people would discover it and they would get a lot of free press over it.

Uhh.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016343)

GTA: San Andreas is rated ESRB M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs).

So what's the problem again?

Re:Uhh.. (4, Informative)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016381)

Idiotic people whining about a non-issue?

Political pandering and spotlight stealing (4, Insightful)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016505)

Exactly. This is like getting all high and mighty because an NC-17 movie has unadvertised sex in it that was left on a master replication print that differed from a screener print. There are no stronger rating in games or movies, so what exactly is the ESRB expected to do? Apologize saying, "Oh, we're sorry. That should have been Stronger Sexual Content"?

The game is not directed at kids and should not be purchased by kids. It says so right on the damned box!

Adding a topless woman in a frame of The Rescuers (Disney) ... okay, I could understand why certain people were upset by that incident. But in this case it's nothing more than the Indecency Policeman getting on his moral high horse in order to make it seem as though he's oh-so-very-worried about the delicate values of the people that he so caringly represents. {/SARCASM}

Wait a minute ... Yee's a D-California??? And he's worried about indecency? Wow! Who would have thought! (Yes, humorless mods, that's a joke.)

Once again, a politician is out to make a huge fuss to prove to his constituency that he's worthy of re-election. "Molehill, I'd like you to meet your replacement, Mountain. Mountain is going to be my new Public Relations chief and head of my re-election campaign."

Larry (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016349)

I hear that there's also a code you can enter into Leisure Suit Larry that unlocks a secret driving game.

See the video here... (4, Informative)

Guano_Jim (157555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016350)

Video of the sex game, apparently. []

Really. No Kidding.

Re:See the video here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016411)

anyone have a torrent available for this? Link is mega-slashdotted.

You Jackass. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016466)

That link was only buried under three different links from the original article, so there was a chance that those of us who actuallly RTFA would get a chance to see it before the Teeming Adolescent Masses got their spooge-stained little paws on it. Now there's no hope.

Fuck you, turdflower.

Does anyone have a torrent or a mirror? (1)

Mr.Radar (764753) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016480)

I'm getting less than 1 kBps from that link, and the other one (linked in another post further down) simply stopped working altogether.

Thank god it wasnt rated AO (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016352)

Well, we all know what wouldve been tje outcome if it was rated AO, dont we? (franchise erosion and death, etc.) so thank god it wasnt :)

This makes it worse for everyone. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016353)

There's a lot of anti-computer-game sentiment in the world today, and the argument "we're adults, we can choose what to play" carries a lot more weight when games have ratings, so it's obvious to those who are choosing a game for a kid what's going to be in it.

So when game authors turn around and put stuff in a game, hidden, that go far beyond what the game rating indicates is in there, it does nothing to help our cause. It makes the game ratings unreliable, which means people who want to trust ratings (parents, say) suddenly have no indicator that they can trust, and their only fallback is "all games suck".

Re:This makes it worse for everyone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016399)

cut... paste...

GTA: San Andreas is rated ESRB M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs).

Again what is the problem?

Go look at the video of the scene that's posted above. It's not graphic by any means.

Easter egg! (5, Interesting)

egoriot (853407) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016354)

If the game had to be modified to unlock this, how is this different from nudie mods? Do vulgar variable names left in debugging information also constitute offensive material?

Either way, one hell of an Easter egg!

GTA, no longer appealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016356)

Honestly i've never seen the appeal in the GTA series. Never mind the parents blaming this for school shootings and violent kids. The first one was fun because it was simple. Now that it's gone 3d and the story is trotting further and further into the territory of craptastic american "gangsta" popular culture, the fun just isn't there.

If you ask me the ESRP should rate it "B for brainless".

my $0.02

Re:GTA, no longer appealing (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016509)

If you ask me the ESRP should rate it "B for brainless".

Better yet, they could rate it 'R' for "Retarded".

Free Advertising for GTA (2, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016517)

If indeed GTA is no longer appealing, then all of the fuss over stuff that the children could not possibly get to without a lot of help is just a lot of free advertising for Rockstar Games. Now there'll be a whole bunch of horny teens hacking the game for the sex games over the weekend!

scapegoat (4, Insightful)

gclef (96311) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016363)

Honestly, I don't see how the ESRB could have known this stuff was there, without hacking every part of every game file. To get this stuff you have to manually change a couple game files. If it's something you have to consciously hack, and can't even get to in the course of (even wacky) gameplay, then it's not really part of the game.

Yes, the designers shouldn't have shipped the game with that stuff anyway, but that's not ESRB's fault, that's the coder's. Using this to scapegoat the ESRB is stupid.

Re:scapegoat (5, Insightful)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016516)

Thing is, I'm not even sure you can blame the coder. Lots of games have levels or characters or what-not that are "cut" partway through the design process. These parts are "left in" because removing them introduces more QA problems than simply cutting off all access.

Then we go even beyond that. Many of those "cut" parts are sometimes accessible through codes or bugs. GTA3, for example, had a ghost town that, IIRC, could be reached if the player input a low-gravity code and flew there using the plane. Occasioanlly, you find 3rd person adventure games where the player can fall between the seams of a level to access something intended to be cut.

Problem is, this is not the case for San Andreas. These mini-games were cut, likely because Rockstar realized the outcry that might occur when the soccer moms of the world heard about it. Again, probably for QA/testing reasons, the games weren't removed entirely, but simply had all access cut.

Getting to these areas requires modifying system files; we aren't talking about a bug or a secret code, we're talking about a mod here. The uproar is as preposterous as blaming Eidos/Core for the old "Nude Raider" patches or complaining that a spreadsheet program doesn't add correctly after a library has been edited. Don't blame the programmers. Don't blame the ESRB.

On second thought, just wait a week, and the hurricane or shark attacks will have pushed this "issue" entirely out of the media.

TR (1)

Knights who say 'INT (708612) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016365)

How is this different from the whole "Nude Lara Croft" oldjimmery from the halcyon days of Tomb Raider?

The video, apparently (1)

six6 (765050) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016367)

Here is a link to the video the gta modders created as proof: []

But it's already slow, so good luck.

pr0n vid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016368)

The videos broken :(
"PHP has encountered an Access Violation at 01BC3A4D"

i guess thats what you get for posting pr0n vids on slashdot. ;)

This is absurd. (1)

The Warlock (701535) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016370)

They disabled the code, and then modders put it back in. What's next, Valve being responsible for every Half-Life mod?

Not sure what the big deal is (5, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016372)

While I think it was probably bad judgement for the creators of the game to put this in the game, it's not like this is really part of the game anyways, kids aren't going to come across the in normal play or anything. I mean, surely any person who would go through the trouble it takes to get to this easter egg would be able to find far more graphic things on the web.

Re:Not sure what the big deal is (4, Insightful)

gremlins (588904) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016457)

Kids aren't going to come across it because good parents would not let their young children play GTA. It all comes down to in the end that these idiots don't seem to understand that the games cost about $50 each. Kids can't afford this unless parents are giving their kids $50 dollars and paying no attation to what they spend it on. Mabey a teenager with a job could afford it but then again who cares about protecting them from this game.

I don't get it (1)

dagny_dev_ (771050) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016387)

What's the problem? GTA SA is rated M. According to the ESRB, a game rated M for Mature can contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016434)

because it should have been rated Adults Only?

Re:I don't get it (1)

cloudofstrife (887438) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016496)

I don't think that the "sexual content" that was referred to in the ESRB rating included a sex minigame. That stuff is usually saved for pron games, which would recieve an AO rating.

I'm outraged! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016388)

It's the responsibility of the ESRB to individually reverse engineer every game they review to make sure there's no naughty bits left in it. Some heads should roll over this.

Double Standard (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016400)

The game is already rated M because of its violence, but sex in said game has the California legislature up in arms? Of all the "bad things" in the game it's the sex that's supposed to have pushed up to Ao?

Re:Double Standard (5, Insightful)

Siener (139990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016463)

Beating up hookers: OK
Having sex with them: BAD

Re:Double Standard (4, Insightful)

Catiline (186878) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016489)

Darn tooting right, it's a double standard. "Ao" means "Sex Game", e.g. Leisure Suit Larry or those wacky Japanese "dating sims". No amount of violence will put a game there... but a single tit (or any other form of nudity) will force the game there.

Remember, this is America, land of the Free -- free to show and sell violence, to all, but not sex. (Remember Janet's Superbowl wardrobe malfunction? Lead to a $550K fine [] , one of the largest ever.)

Re:Double Standard (1)

spauldo (118058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016518)

That's the U.S. for you. You can have all kinds of violence and drug use and whatnot, but sex is a big no-no.

Personally, I'd find it funny if I didn't live in the U.S. The people in government were there for the '60's and '70's during the sexual revolution. Maybe the ones in politics are the ones that didn't get laid?

Not The ESRB Fault... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016405)

The game developer/publisher is required to send in a video tape with questionable gameplay and a list of game cheats to access hidden areas. The ERSB is supposed to look at much of the game as possible before they set the rating. If stuff got left behind in the game that someone could unlock that would undermine the rating, it's not the ERSB fault. The developer/publisher should get reamed the next time that submit somthing to the ERSB.

The politicians should do something useful like hunting down real terrorists instead of getting their panties because they don't know the cheat code to the game.

Stupid (5, Insightful)

Evro (18923) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016418)

Nobody young enough to be traumatized by a "sex game" should be playing any of the GTA games at all to begin with. Once again, blame parents.

Re:Stupid (2, Funny)

Zangief (461457) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016543)


What do you propose, to ban parents?!


Ridiculous! (5, Funny)

Quick Sick Nick (822060) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016419)

As a parent, this concerns me.

I don't care if my child carjacks a senior.

I don't care if he runs over innocent bystanders.

I don't care if he joins the mafia.

I don't care if he kills police oficers.

I don't care if he picks up prostitutes then kills them to get their money.

I don't care if he takes a golf club and starts clubbing to death pedestrians.

But he may never, over my dead body, have adult on adult, consensual sex!

Re:Ridiculous! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016512)

wow, that sounds like fun. Maybe I'll go try this game out.

Re:Ridiculous! (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016523)

I wonder if this is such a big deal over in Europe where the attitudes towards sexual content are much more relaxed.

I do recall hearing that when GTA 3 was released, the German version had certain "violent" features removed (I think it was the ability to kick or ground stomp NPCs that had been nocked down).

Europe and America seem to be a lot different when it comes to violent/sexual content in games. The point you make in your post really does seem to exemplify the American view on the subject though. Violence is okay. Show someone getting their head cut off in a live execution at 8 in the morning on Saturdays. Show just one nipple though and it's the end of the world.

Only for 18 year olds! (5, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016420)

Clearly this game was misrated! It's rated "M" implying that it's suitable for no one under 17 when obviously it should get the highest rating of "AO" to reflect that no one under 18 should play it.


new rating (1)

Capt. Caneyebus (883802) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016422)

So the ESRB was supposed to make a new game category? And how is this different from trying to get the hookers in your car? That is somewhat of a sex game. This should be no surprise.

Good grief.. nothing to see here, move along. (2, Insightful)

smeenz (652345) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016449)

This is so ridiculous.

Clearly they wrote the code and then decided to play it safe and comment out the line that calls it before submitting the game for rating, replication, and distribution.

So someone comes along and adds the call to that disabled code back in and it's rockstar's fault.. how ?

How is this different from the nude models in Sims 2, or the console command to remove the pixelization when the sims are showering in that same game ? Surely EA Games aren't responsible for that ?

So how do you unlock it? (5, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016450)

If you have to actually mod the game to "unlock" this then I don't see why this is the ESRB's business. The game Rockstar shipped deserved the rating it received. The game with the porn in it is a result of modification by the end user and therefore a different game from the ESRB's perspective. You could easily mod quake 3 so that, I don't know, all the textures are hardcore pornography, but that doesn't earn quake 3 an "adult" rating.

But, of course-- and this incident just goes to show this-- the ESRB isn't actually about allowing gamers to be informed about their purchases, or about allowing parents to responsibly monitor and regulate the video game usage of their children. Those things are just halfhearted side effects. The ESRB is about feeding and indulging hysteria and media hype concerning video games. With this goal in mind, of course, the ability to mod a game to unlock or insert porn becomes very much the ESRB's business.

Another, somewhat related story... (5, Interesting)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016451)

The current attacks on the gaming rating system is having its desired effect, censorship. Not yet of the big titles, Rockstar will still fight for its number one selling franchise. But smaller games? Forget it. Unless it is considered a hot property starring $.50, you can bet it will be pulled!

Because of people like Leland Yee, the American version of Sonic Gems will be significantly different than the Japanese version:

Sonic Gems Collection US = no Streets of Rage []

According to GameSpot, who spoke to Sega regarding this topic, the Streets of Rage games will definitely not be in the US version of Sonic Gems Collection. Ready for the reason? Chances are it's going to piss you off.

It's because Sega would have had to change the game's ESRB rating from an "E" to a "T" to accommodate the inclusion of the somewhat violent titles, and Sega opted to go for the "E" rating instead.

So, Leland Yee can sit back and laugh, haw haw.

I know my girlfriend's 10 year old daughter wouldn't be very interested in Streets of Rage, and I seriously don't think it is going to "affect" her if it were in a game. (Oh look, the little cartoon people are beating each other up, heaven forfend!) This particular case affects mostly people like me, older gamers who really want to play old Genesis games that we may have missed the first time around (I never got Streets of Rage III or Bonanza Brothers.) More broadly, it will effect games that aren't guaranteed sellers and cause the whole market to become more homogenized (while still being just as offensive to those of you who hate the ultra-violent games that are a license to print money.)

So what was the ESRB rating? (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016452)

The game allows you to kill'd think that having sex with them would rate lower on the ESRB scale and automatically be covered. Having to specify everything for ESRB seems pretty stupid.

Unless of course, you kill them first then have sex with them. That might need a new rating.

Um, sex. Yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016453)

Isn't this game pretty hyper-violent anyway? Isn't it M already? Doesn't that already mean its not meant for kids?

So what about whether its a mod or hack, its just sex. I don't see how this would significantly change the subject or the rating of the game. I mean, given the choice of exposing my kid to sex or violence, I would much rather the sex.

I don't understand this country sometimes....

I wonder about the shrinks (1)

newrisejohn (517586) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016456)

It must be odd talking to a GTA-playing patient that's feeling unsatisfied sexually.

"Well, I thought her excitement level was up, so I really started mashing her buttons, but all that did was piss her off? I had to up-and-down on joystick 1 by myself!"

Strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13016461)

Almost all the objectives are illegal and probably immoral in the GTA family of games (running random people over, or beating them up, shooting, stealing, running from the police, etc.).

Yet, the loudest complaints are over a removed objective that is actually perfectly legal in real life?

Astounding...simply astouding...

-Lets get realisitc (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016474)

Ok i love the GTA games (well i enjoyed 1 and 2 but 3 onwards were amazing) , but lets get serious.
you can slaughter inocent civilians , slaughter multiple law enforcers and militarys personel .
You can blow up countless cars ,place car bombs , pick up hookers(and not see anything) and start random fights.
So why oh why does someone get so upety now that there is a small poisiblity that some hackers can acces posible code that allows you to see some sex.
Seriously , Game sex is far less offensive than game violence(like in real life) and game violence is just fun(so long as you can seperate reality and fiction)

Parenting... (1)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016477)

Yee's final comment is strident: "Clearly the ESRB has a conflict of interest in rating these games, plain and simple, parents cannot trust the ESRB to rate games appropriately or the industry to look out for our children's best interests."

Gee, I've got an idea, maybe parents should look out for their children's best interests!

Seriously, though, what has this society come to?

Playing with yourself (1)

timeToy (643583) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016486)

USA is very interesting; it's okay to have a game where the goal is to become a "better" gangster, but as soon as you go below the belt every youth advocate start to cry. I rather have my kids playing with their wiener than playing with a gun. At least if it shoots itself by accident the only risk a stain, and a smile.

You know..... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016493)

You know, if it turns out that this "sex game" is real, it just might be possible that "GTA" is not suitable for young children after all. This really changes things.

More of America being retarded: (0, Redundant)

failure-man (870605) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016497)

Woo! Shooting things! Reckless driving! Killing bystanders! Killing cops!


Where do we get so many morons around here anyway? Have they been putting a moron virus in lunch meats for the past few generations or something?

I can see this in the legislature now (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016511)

Speaker Pro Tem Lee: "We gotta protect the children! Think of the children! What about the children!" "Harumph! Harumph! Harumph!".
Legislature: "Harumph! Harumph! Harumph!".
Lee: (pointing) "Hey! I didn't get a 'Harumph' outa that guy"
Hedy Lamar ("that's Hedley"): "Come on, give the Speaker Pro Tem a Harumph".
Guy: (meekly) "Harumph!"
Speaker Pro Tem Lee: (pointing again) "You watch your ass!"

There's a programmer at Rockstar... (1)

filterchild (834960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016515)

who spat coffee all over his monitor when he read this.

So if a Parent buys GTA: SA (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016522)

which is rated Mature, not for teens

then why are they complaining if it's Mature, not for teens.

Time to get out the cluesticks, we're in short supply here in Soviet Amerika.

An interesting problem. (1)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016532)

Full disclosure would have eliminated all sales. No disclosure (which is wha they opted for) leaves them vulnerable to legal action and other major penalties.

Part of the problem is opting to write these sorts of mini-games, when you know damn well you can't openly include them. Fine, produce them as "AO" extensions to the game, seperately packaged. They might even have made more money that way, as they could then charge extra for the mini-games that were too OTT to include as standard.

Another part of the problem is relying on third-party teams (who, in turn, rely on the company programmers) to tell them what is OK and for whom.

Probably the best way to have game ratings is to measure the quantity of something versus the maturity level needed to deal with it. Space Invaders has lots of violence, but doesn't require any maturity to handle that.

It would also allow for smarter choices. Two sixteen year olds can have very different maturity levels, so judging them as if they were identical is flawed from the start.

However, in order for this - or any other ratings system - to work, the company has to be honest as to what is there, easter eggs, disabled code, and all. In the end, I'm not completely convinced this game harms children, but I DO believe that the implied lack of trust and lack of honesty MAY VERY WELL harm children. In this case, I think there's been a lack of honesty all round.

Isn't that about the most socially redeeming part? (1)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016536)

I have not seen the SA version. But, in the first GTA, couldn't you have sex with a hooker and then kill her to get your money back? How can there be hidden content that is any worse than the blatant content? A hard core porn video could only elevate the morality of this thing!

In fact, I demand less violence and more porn on television!

what's in the game and what's in the mod (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016537)

What's the difference between:

Do step 1
Do step 2

Modded game:
Do step 1
Call mod_code
Do step 2
function mod_code: // do naughty things


Do step 1
If false call dead_code //assume unoptomized compile
Do step 2
function dead_code: // do naughty things

Modded game:
Do step 1
If true call dead_code
Do step 2
function dead_code: // do naughty things

The end result in both cases is the same:
The unmodded game does not do naughty things, the modded one does. The only real difference is in the 2nd case the unmodded game is bigger, and both the modded and unmodded games are infinitesimally slower due to the "if" statement.

If the publishers had properly used dead-code-eliminating compilers, certain types of left-over code hacks, like the one above, won't happen.

Games need "Director's Cut" upgrades (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016538)

In the movie world, there's the theatrical release, rated by the MPAA, and then, often, there's the unrated "Director's cut", with extra sex, violence, or long boring scenes, depending on what was cut in the first pass. Games may go that way. Would probably increase sales, too.

Rating system (4, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13016546)

"M" is no one under 17
"AO" is no under 18

So to clarify, running over people, shooting people, killing police officers, stealing cars, etc. are all okay if you're 17. Consensual sex, on the other hand, you have to be 18 for.
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