Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

House Calls for Investigation Into Rockstar Games

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the hot-coffee-of-the-undead dept.

Censorship 215

Spad writes "The BBC is reporting that the U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted for an FTC investigation into Rockstar Games following the GTA:SA 'Sex scandal'. Their basic premise is that Rockstar intentionally deceived the ESRB in order to 'peddle sexually explicit material to our youth'." Gamespot has coverage as well. From the BBC article: "The release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was widely anticipated, but an adults-only rating would have severely limited its sales in retail outlets...It appears that the publisher has blatantly circumvented the rules in order to peddle sexually explicit material to our youth, and they should be held accountable. A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

cancel ×

215 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Better Things To Do... (5, Insightful)

Rolan (20257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166213)

The FTC has better things to do than become parents to all the nation's kids. This is just another election ploy by the house to get votes from the "conservative" and "religious" demographics.

Re:Better Things To Do... (4, Funny)

sgant (178166) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166307)

God, I only WISH the people from Rockstar get up there in front of the House and basically say "Screw you...we'll make anything we want and you idiots won't do anything about it...it's a fricken videogame people...now get back to work and stop wasting everyone's money with this crap. No, we don't apologize for anything and in fact the next Grand Theft Auto will feature 90% sex!" Then get up and walk out.

Re:Better Things To Do... (5, Interesting)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166728)

Not only that, but throw this [yale.edu] into their face.

If virtual child pornography, released under the guise that it is real is constitutionally protected - then you can most definitely show poorly rendered sex in a fictional setting.

Also, the ESRB is a voluntary board, there is no regulation stating that a game has to be rated in order to be sold to the public. Any attempt to deceive the ESRB should be frowned upon by the Video Game development community, but nothing illegal was done. You can release a movie as NR without a problem, you can also release a game without a rating. This is not a place for the FTC to get involved.

The thing to do would to eloquently write your congressman\congresswoman and your state reps and tell them what a crock of shit this is. Let them know that there are more important things to be making a spectacle of in the public eye, and that if these subjects are not addressed, we will use our combined intelligence and knowledge to prevent their re-election.

Re:Better Things To Do... (2, Informative)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167324)

I only WISH the people from Rockstar get up there in front of the House and basically say "Screw you...we'll make anything we want and you idiots won't do anything about it...

Funny, this is almost what William Gaines tried to do (abeit more modestly) when he defended E.C. Publications' "horror" comic books that came under attack after Dr. Wertham published a book lambasting "seduction" [wikipedia.org] in the media. The PR backlash from the public from Gaines' defense in Congress eventually set the comics industry back several decades, at least that's how Scott McCloud [amazon.com] tells the tale...

Re:Better Things To Do... (4, Insightful)

NetPoser (266960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166311)

Seems to me a huge liberal, Hilary Clinton, got this ball rolling in NY state.

Re:Better Things To Do... (5, Interesting)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166506)

She's probably after the same voting bloc, though. If you accept the theory that she'll be running for president in 2008, she'll need to start moving closer to the middle. Jumping on the videogame bashing bandwagon is a good start.

Re:Better Things To Do... (5, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166523)

Hilary Clinton is a liberal in the same sense that scientology is a religion

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166627)

She is, however, a liberal in the sense that other liberals will vote for her.

Unfortunately, that is all that will matter in the end.

Re:Better Things To Do... (2, Insightful)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167065)

She is, however, a liberal in the sense that other liberals will vote for her.

No, Democrats will vote for her. Real liberals will laugh at her and vote Green, knowing that she'll win anyway.

Hillary, Joe Lieberman, Tipper Gore, etc. are some of the most socially conservative politicians in the United States. Just because Rush calls them "libs" doesn't make it so.

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167280)

Sadly, most Democrats I know call themselves liberal. All the people who want the living wage, free healthcare, no war in Iraq are planning to vote for Hillary, and all of them call themselves liberal.

So it is not just Rush that calls them "libs"; they call themselves "libs". However, that still does not make them so, I guess.

Re:Better Things To Do... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13166944)

Don't try to dump Hillary Roddam-Roddam on us conservatives, she does not believe in anything we do. We don't want her.

As a conservative, I think trying to regulate this while thing is wrong. Let the parents do it, you cannot legislate morality.

As far as this whole thing being Republican / Democrat thing, I don't buy it. This is simply political maneuvering to get votes. Both parties are equally scummy here. It's a stab at getting concerned parents to pay attention to their inane flailing about.

Had those parents bothered to research what their children were playing in the first place, this would not have been an issue.

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

Reignking (832642) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166530)

Well, according to her, "It Take a Village"...

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

vinohradska (713189) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166717)

It Take a Village to Belong to All Your Base

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

vinohradska (713189) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166615)

She must have spent too much time hanging out with Tipper Gore [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

Rolan (20257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166644)

Seems to me a huge liberal, Hilary Clinton, got this ball rolling in NY state. Which has nothing to do with what I said. You think that a "huge liberal" doesn't want votes?

Re:Better Things To Do... (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166827)

Seems to me a huge liberal, Hilary Clinton, got this ball rolling in NY state.

Except that Hillary Clinton is a Senator, and this was a vote in the House of Representatives.

In fact, this resolution was introduced by a Republican congressman from Indiana. Here he is. [wndu.com]

Hillary Clinton is just fishing for votes; this guy actually believes it's worth wasting real congressional workday hours on.

Re:Better Things To Do... (3, Insightful)

Captain_Frisk (248297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166900)

Its not a big secret that Kerry lost an election that many feel seemed to be unloseable.

W's secret? A bunch of bible thumpers who vote for whoever Jesus tells them to.

The democrats are just trying to grab an easy piece of the "right wing nutjob" pie. Hoping that if all candidates have the same view on morality, then theres actually a decision to make.

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

Cerberus7 (66071) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167290)

Right-wing nutjobs is right, but I don't think Jesus told anybody to vote for W. Speaking as a Christian, I think it's pretty easy to see W for who he is. Unfortunately, the right-wing-nutjob-sect hear all the talk about W's "faith-based initiatives" or whatever BS, and automatically go for him. They don't actually think about it like they're supposed to, they just blindly follow the person that says "God" the most.

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

th3space (531154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167141)

Seems to me a huge liberal, Hilary Clinton, got this ball rolling in NY state.

Now let's be fair...Hilary isn't anywhere near as big as was Monica. Oh...erm...you weren't talking about her physical size, were you?

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

NetPoser (266960) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167230)

Hilary, if you can't stop your own husband for splooging on an intern what makes you think you can stop video games from doing the same?

Re:Better Things To Do... (1)

th3space (531154) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167402)

I bow to you, sir. Your joke was far superior to mine...granted, I did provide the set up.

All of 'em (1)

GuitarNeophyte (636993) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166329)

Man, they've all been like that. It's an entire series of games all about doing illegal stuff, and shooting cops, "making use of" prostitutes, etc.

It's been there since the first one, but nobody even lifted a finger -- government wise -- until now. It's been like three or four years.

Wow.

Luke
----
Tired of answering tons of basic computer questions for friends and family? Send them to ChristianNerds.com [christiannerds.com] instead!

Naked Sims! OH NOES! (4, Insightful)

jon787 (512497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166226)

I said it before and I'll say it again, to be fair they should prosecute Maxis too! [google.com]

Re:Naked Sims! OH NOES! (4, Insightful)

SpaFF (18764) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166347)

Well if they really want to be fair, they should persecute Matel too. How dare they ship a product (Barbie and Ken Dolls) where "hackers" can easily modify the product to display nudity (remove the doll's clothes) and put the characters in compromising positions!

Re:Naked Sims! OH NOES! (1)

sjf83 (635204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166576)

The point is that Rockstar included the "sex" material in the origanal game. Neither maxis or matel did, their games were modified to include it.

Re:Naked Sims! OH NOES! (1)

Taimoor (891521) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166907)

Wrong. This was also only accessible through a third-party patch.

~Tai

Re:Naked Sims! OH NOES! (1)

sjf83 (635204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167073)

yes but the actual content was all ready included in the game, this wasn't the case with the other two companies

what a bunch of BS (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166230)

Let the witch hunt begin!

It's official (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13166231)

This is now a witch hunt.

I'll be first (5, Funny)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166234)

Shooting hookers
Shooting cops
Running over pedestrians
Stealing cars
Throwing grenades
Stealing tanks and smushing old ladies
Joyriding
Speeding
Killing hundreds, literally

All ok.

But how dare they show some cartoon boobie!

Re:I'll be first (3, Insightful)

kinkos (789876) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166361)

The parents comment seems to be the general consensus (at least in my area). But why does the FTC really need to investigate Rockstar? I'll bet $10 that the FTC spends thousands of dollars on an investigation, and their report ends up stating that hackers bypassed Rockstars reasonable protection against viewing said explicit material. Case closed, Rockstar never intentionally mislead anyone to get the M rating.

Re:I'll be first (2, Funny)

kk49 (829669) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166473)

Hey! Next time put up a spoiler warning.

Re:I'll be first (1)

sneakers563 (759525) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166567)

All ok.

Come on, all the GTA games (and particularly GTA III) have been subjected to intense criticism over the level of violence. I'm sure the same congressmen pushing for an investigation (which is asinie, btw) would decry the level of violence as well.

The real question is what was Rockstar doing wasting their time making a lame minigame depicting simulated sex between fully clothed people? I would've expected more from them, frankly.

THERE WAS NO BOOBIE! (4, Insightful)

mindaktiviti (630001) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167080)

And I'm not yelling at the parent because he probably knows, but I just want to get the point across loud and clear: THERE WAS NO BOOBIE ACTION!

Fully clothe is what you got with that modification.

Now, with a naked skin mod, only then do you get to see something, and those are community created, Rockstar did not create naked skins. So these fucking politicians are just using this as an excuse for something, and this entire fiasco has been completely over-blown.

That premise is pretty messed up :) (1)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166242)

I guess they had to have SOMETHING for the press, though.

There are a number of easier ways to get porn - most people wouldn't consider a video game quality porn, anyway.

Re:That premise is pretty messed up :) (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166334)

most people wouldn't consider a video game quality porn, anyway.

Right, it's just a novelty. (look for the hot coffee videos on eMule, they're funny but a one-trick pony) The politicians have to make a stink about EVIL SEX as a smoke screen to what's really important (deficit, unemployment, etc). I'm pretty liberal but Hillary Clinton is a useless cunt not worthy of cleaning my toilet.

Re:That premise is pretty messed up :) (2, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166749)

Here's a thought: Give Hillary a Dell PC, a copy of GTA:SA, and an internet connection. See if she can get the boobies scene. No "lifelines" allowed.

Why don't you... (5, Insightful)

HaloZero (610207) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166244)

Go, and play the game. Find the hot-coffee mod for yourself. Look at it. Then be ashamed, while games like Playboy: The Mansion, and XXX Volleyball are still on store shelves (rated M for Mature).

Be very fucking ashamed at yourselves.

That's right... (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166253)


...justify your comfy jobs by going after a video game maker. Ignore the fact that the evil sex bits needed some pretty fancy dancing to have them show up.

Won't somebody think of the children?!

Adults only rating (3, Insightful)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166260)

the adults only rating should be used more often...

its not used because it would mean that the 15 year old with his b-day $$ cant go but the latest gore spiller. if the rating was used more we might actually see parents take a larger intrest in what their kids are playing when the parent themselves has to buy the game vs the teenage kid.

though it will still do nothing for the idiots that just buy what ever game their kid is begging for and let them play it regardless.

Re:Adults only rating (2, Insightful)

GeneralHorel (851957) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166924)

though it will still do nothing for the idiots that just buy what ever game their kid is begging for and let them play it regardless.

This is exactly the problem with parents these days, not all mind you, just the ones who let thier 12-15 year olds play GTA or such and then get up-in-arms about the game when a mod gets released that shows bad cartoon sex with fully dressed adults. These parents need to get a god damn clue.

This has gotten out of hand (4, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166284)

A game that depicts and rewards as much violence as the GTA series has, has missions where killing cops and civillians gains you status and money, and is generally about the rise to power of a crime lord, and they're worried about a sex scene that porn collectors wouldn't waste the time to download. Geez, priorities are out of whack.

A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit. So pick a relatively small company to go after, since the bigger ones are so much harder. You think Rockstar is the only or even one of the worst companies making money from deceit? Think again

Our Great Leaders (2, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166300)

Here's a stupendous quote from the Honorable (guffaw!) Fred Upton, representative from Michigan:

"It appears that the publisher has blatantly circumvented the rules in order to peddle sexually explicit material to our youth, and they should be held accountable. A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

Never mind that this title wasn't supposed to be sold to youths (17+), or that it already boasts loads of sexual and violent content.

That said, the facts don't even matter here. Rockstar had a software quality SNAFU that is providing politicians a soapbox opportunity. Betcha those easter eggs will get fewer and farther between, eh?

Re:Our Great Leaders (1, Offtopic)

chriso11 (254041) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166419)

Actually, my thought on that sentence - "A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit.", is that it is actually OK to profit from deceit if you are an Oil company or Wall Street.

OK (1)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166313)

I want to be there when they "review" the evidence. Wonder if it will be on C-Span.

Re:OK (2, Informative)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166647)

I doubt it. Would you want to stand up in front of a room full of people + a television audience and explain, after showing the intensely explicit imagery in Hot Coffee, why there's even a problem?

Personally, I'd love it if they did. I'd love to watch them carjack some poor old lady's car, run over the hookers crossing the street and smashing into a delivery truck, and getting the cops chasing them. They'd run over cops at roadblocks and spray Uzis out the driver windows at rival gangs, so they can get to the house to show off the Hot Coffee polygonal sex.

Double standard (5, Insightful)

kawika (87069) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166321)

"A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

A government or political party, on the other hand...

Re:Double standard (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166355)

"A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

A government or political party, on the other hand...

Pahahahaha. That's the funniest thing I've read all day.

Re:Double standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13167009)

Thanks for mentioning this.. first thing I thought of was "Haliburton"... :) Feels like I'm in a bad comedy when you hear idiots like that and open their mouths. Honestly, how do these people get elected???

Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13166325)

Anyone remember that scandal about Karl Rove [google.com] ? Leaking the name of a CIA agent?

Doesn't the House have slightly more important things to be doing than starting an investigation against a video game?

Someone in the White House may have placed individuals who gave intelligence at risk, breaking the law in the process. So Congress responsds by... INVESTIGATING TITTIES IN A VIDEO GAME!

Yes, I know, not directly. It still seems like they're looking for something - anything - to replace Karl Rove with in the news.

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (2, Insightful)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166395)

EXACTLY!
rising gas prices? increased terror attacks? the Karl Rove debacle? a controversial supreme court justice? (well, to be fair, there's never been a non-controversial one) no look! a videogame! quick everyone, look over here, no time to let any thoughts about those other issues sink in!

this administration makes me sick

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166706)

You forgot the most important thing:

What about the children?

Re:(OT) (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166727)

this administration

Heh, sometimes I wonder if the whole Clinton-Lewinsky debacle wasn't a similar attempt to divert the public's attention to all the bombing we were doing in Iraq at the time.

I haven't been a member of the voting public for long, but every administration I've been through has made me sick in the same ways as the current one. It's just that this one seems to do it the more frequently, sometimes by an order of magnitude or two.

Re:(OT) (2, Interesting)

nb caffeine (448698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167224)

did you ever see the movie "wag the dog". It parallels what happened during clintons days, and has some echos of the current administration. Id like the movie even more than i already do, if it didnt seem so real...

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166903)

this administration makes me sick

You're joking right? I haven't been able to find any presidential comment on all this video game hoopla. In Congress, it was not just Republicans making a stink about this "sex scandal." The vote was 355-21. In fact, I think Senator Clinton (D-NY) has been one of the most vocal politicians in all of this. It looks to me like the House was just playing catch-up with this absurd FTC request.

One last thing, gas prices [chartoftheday.com] aren't that bad. Of course they're rising; demand is increasing, and supply is decreasing. According to any economics theory, that's a recipe for price increases. If you're going to complain about the Bush administration, stick with some of your other arguments.

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (1)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167160)

perhaps i shouldn't have said "administration" then, what i really meant to say was:

"this GOVERNMENT makes me sick"

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (1)

Darth_Burrito (227272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166897)

Doesn't the House have slightly more important things to be doing than ... INVESTIGATING TITTIES IN A VIDEO GAME

The question isn't whether or not the house has more important things to do, the question is, given their track record on things like titties in video games, do you WANT them to focus on anything more important.

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (1, Flamebait)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167013)

Anyone remember that scandal about Karl Rove [google.com]? Leaking the name of a CIA agent? In the interest of accuracy, he didn't leak her name, only her relationship to Wilson. Also, her status as a CIA agent was not exactly secret.

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (2, Funny)

wibs (696528) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167091)

Wow, did someone just defend Karl Rove? For some reason I just got all shivery.

Re:Don't they have slightly more important stuff? (2, Funny)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167311)

Well, you know how it is...a lawyer can defend anyone. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law and the facts are both against you...change the subject.

Do we really need an investigation? (4, Insightful)

MattW (97290) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166343)

There's not really a mystery here. Rockstar put in a sex minigame. A hacker unlocked it. It was not accessible without a patch or hack, which probably violates the EULA.

Also, what is the big deal here? The game was already rated 'M for Mature'; that's 17+, according to the ESRB. In a majority of states, you can already play the sex mini-game legally in real life. Is there some reason sex should be legal at 16 [ageofconsent.com] , but a sex-themed video game should be illegal until you're 18?

Re:Do we really need an investigation? (1)

shane_rimmer (622400) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166619)

Exactly. Sexually explicit scenes or scenes with over the top violence are often filmed for movies, but those scenes are often cut when it comes time to get the rating the studio would like.

In this case, it seems some content was deemed inappropriate for the rating they wanted with the game, so it was disabled. I work as a programmer, so I know how tempting it is to just disable those parts rather than to completely delete them.

Re:Do we really need an investigation? (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167025)

Well, if your under 18 you can only do it with ur eyes closed or in the perfect dark. Your allowed to do it, but not see it.

Values (1)

Penguin Programmer (241752) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166354)

God forbid that kids see a bit of sex intermixed with their violence! It saddens me that a game centered around killing people, stealing cars, picking up prostitues, buying and selling drugs and various other criminal activities draws relatively little outcry from parents and even the staunchest conservatives, but that as soon as said game is discovered to contain some mildly-explicit sex scenes everyone goes crazy. Kids whose parents are naive enough to allow their children to play such a violent game are probably looking at internet porn already anyway, so it's nothing they haven't seen before.

True, Rockstar did keep the sex scenes a secret and deceived the ratings board. For this they should maybe be fined (or whatever the normal course of action for that type of thing is). However, the outcry that these sex scenes have caused is ridiculous and there are much better things that congress could spend its money inquiring about.

Anyone who honestly believes that the violent nature of GTA is fine for kids but that the sex isn't needs to very promptly re-examine his or her values.

Re:Values (1)

normal_guy (676813) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166531)

It's not true that they kept the scenes a secret. They are totally unavailable except in the PC version, and then only if they download a patch to modify the code. And we all know that you can't find any other racy material on the internet.

Re:Values (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13166999)

God forbid that kids see a bit of sex intermixed with their violence! It saddens me that a game centered around killing people, stealing cars, picking up prostitues, buying and selling drugs and various other criminal activities draws relatively little outcry from parents and even the staunchest conservatives, but that as soon as said game is discovered to contain some mildly-explicit sex scenes everyone goes crazy.

I'm confused. If the game involves picking up prostitutes, isn't sex already involved? If you don't pay them to have sex, they're not prostitutes... they're just scantily clad women at worst... Do they introduce themselves as "Sally the Prostitute" or something?!?

And I heard from other posts that the people weren't even naked; so how is that a depiction of sex, aside from implied sex? And if it's only implied, then how is it unsuitable for anyone?

I mean, a baby is evidence of implied sex as well... but those don't come with an R rating. I guess I'm just very, very confused.

Is everything to do with sex this puritanical in the USA? I heard about this huge scandle where someone showed a nipple on TV, and the person got sued and the network got charged really big fines, but I wasn't sure if it was real or some kind of joke my friends were playing on me... is the US really that wierd? Everyone has nipples. I thought my friends were just kidding, but now I'm not sure.

GTA is 10 years behind the times (3, Funny)

Crimsane (815761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166359)

Who remembers the old Rings of Power [gamespot.com] cheat that showed you the boobies on startup.

For the good of /. and the public in general, I won't admit how much those boobies meant to me when I was 10, but I hope todays kids, all grown up, will think back and fondly remember the illicit gaming provided boobies, like I do rings of power.

If anything, I say rockstar deserves a medal!

Re:GTA is 10 years behind the times (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167310)

Who remembers the old Rings of Power cheat that showed you the boobies on startup.

What, no screenshots?

Slashdot (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166376)

Slashdot plays into the "bread and circuses" mentality that has gripped our nation for the past couple of decades. This is a real non-event designed to buy political karma for a select few, and drum up business for the folks on the other side of the argument.

While our nation continues to decline in its engineering education, falling behind "second world" nations, we focus on the nerd version of "Entertainment Weekly". Fortune had a wonderful article talking about this, and what the U.S. must do if it wants to stay #1... their focus was on engineering (imagine that... business folks recognizing the need for engineers).

Will we see this type of article on Slashdot? No. But will we see more articles like this one? Yup. Will we see stories on what breakfast cereal Google endorses? Probably.

Mod down accordingly.
Don't get me wrong, we need articles of all types to make the "Slashdot salad" complete. But it seems this site ignores articles that really make you think, and go for the gratuitous knee-jerk articles instead.

Re:Slashdot (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166783)

Anyone else feel that the slashdot salad/omlette is just a weak excuse/justification to handpick stories which generate knee-jerk reactions and thus creating more ad revenue?

Hey! Look! There is Microsoft leaving Google off the map!

From a Conversation with my Wife (3, Insightful)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166385)

GTA:SA is rated either M or AO, meaning 17+ in the USA.

If anyone UNDER 17 is playing a copy obtained by an underage person, the system failed.

If anyone UNDER 17 is playing a copy obtained by a "legal" of-age person, then that person is presumably guilty of contributing to delinquency or somesuch (IANAL).

As far as I know, Hot Coffee is only accessible through an extra, non-in-game process in any version. Source mod, cheat code, etc. Therefore, anyone accessing Hot Coffee is doing so in circumvention of the standard game code.

Now, after ALL THAT, here's what I want to know...why isn't Hot Coffee (and M-rated gaming in general) treated like drinking? If I drink too muck and then "manslaughter" someone, do I get to finger Corona? No!

In addition to GTA, I'm currently enjoying BloodRayne 2. I'm really enjoying the feeding fatalities. But if I go and slice up some poor schmoe, am I going to sue Majesco or Terminal Reality? No!

What happened to adults taking personal responsibility for their own actions? I should be smart enough and responsible enough to know when I'm taking *any* vice too far. Games, sex, drugs, speeding, etc.

GTRacer
- Pleased that Rayne is more or less realistically proportioned, unlike Lara

Re:From a Conversation with my Wife (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167370)

One pretty important fact your argument seems to have missed- ESRB ratings are not "laws" in that their recommendations are not enforced by any government agency and that a child who the recommendations say should not play the game is not guilty of anything and providing them to children is no more a crime than giving them R-rated movies. They are supposed to be enforced by parents aware of their childrens' purchases. The system fails when parents don't bother to acquire this awareness or try to prevent their children from playing games they don't feel are suitable for them.

Open Letter to Rockstar Games North (5, Insightful)

xythis (882089) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166429)



I'm writing because Rockstar Games North is at the center of the future. The Hot Coffee Mod has propelled you to the front lines of the culture wars. For many hundreds of years, crafty and selfish politicians have used the empty and meaningless phrase "family values" to enrage an otherwise apathetic public and solidify their power.

The most recent self-aggrandizing political power-monger to attempt a power grab by denigrating the invented enemies of children and the family is Hillary Clinton. How hypocritical for a woman whose own family life is a public embarrassment to now attack a supposed enemy of the family. But of course it's no coincidence - it is precisely because her own family life is a joke that she must become a defender of the family. For what better way to advance her political career?

You have a choice. Rockstar Games North has created the most aesthetically important piece of art since Andy Warhol was alive. Never in the history of the narrative form has a piece encouraged with such audacity the audience's identification with an anti-social character. And yet, it's a hit. Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular video game series of all time. The question people should be asking is why do so many people dream of being an outlaw in their personal life rather than what effect this piece of art is having on our children.

Then again, the outlaw has been a staple of the narrative form ever since the inception of the story. Men have always thrilled to tales of the criminal, the social deviant, and the outlaw. Obviously, part of the attacks on Grand Theft Auto are spurred by an anti-technological bias. It's likely that many who criticize have never even played a video game. It's even more likely that those who criticize have never played through a single game of Grand Theft Auto.

Many criticisms are based on single, isolated elements of the game, and yet where's the criticism of the game as a whole? Criticizing GTA for a single element is like criticizing Huckleberry Finn or The Catcher in the Rye for a single word.

The suggestion that Grand Theft Auto could somehow harm children is laughable. How is it possible for a video game to nullify the effects of poverty, racial discrimination, lack of opportunity, and - most importantly - the natural slights children experience as a result of interacting with other children? It's not possible. And for someone to suggest that a video game has a greater influence than any of these effects, combined or individually, on the personality of a growing child, is ridiculous. Your company is being attacked and demonized by individuals and organizations concerned only with increasing their own power. Clinton's and other groups' intentions are naked, obvious, and reprehensible.

How many of us experienced violent content in art while growing up? How many of us experienced sexual content while growing up? Almost all of us. The Bible itself is full of violence and sex. Yet most of us are law-abiding citizens. In fact, I believe if the GTA audience were researched, we'd find that they are less likely to commit a crime than the general population. How likely is someone to be a criminal when they have the tenacity to make it through a 40+ hour narrative? How likely are they to be a criminal if imaginary anti-social acts satisfy them?

You need to break yourselves off from Take Two and fight the good fight. You're established now. GTA will always sell. You can make other games that push the boundaries of the art form. And, if you follow this road, you'll have no competition. Almost all other companies will be cowed and scared.

Good luck. I hope you decide to fight.

This makes sense... (1)

Evil Trigun (845041) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166442)

Might I ask why they arent up in arms about God of War? It has explicit content as a minigame at the end of the first level. No patch is needed, no codes, just beat the first level on any difficulty. Also shouldnt the FTC have better things to do than go after one company that isnt necessarily that big when compared to HBO. HBO has porn on at 9pm at my house and anyone on the monthly "preview" can see it.

someone should... (1)

PhilippeT (697931) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166445)

Someone should remind them that it's their future constituents their pissing off... game made for those above 17... I'm not a US citizen, thank god, but what's that 3-4 years before they vote? O wait most US citizens don't have a memory that long let alone their kids. Move along.

Profit from deceit? (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166471)

US politicians saying that "a company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit"?

What next? Investigations into where all the money actually went in Iraq? Go do a search for: budget audit iraq.

"CPA staff identified at one ministry that although 8,206 guards were on the payroll, only 602 guards could be validated," the audit report states. "Consequently, there was no assurance funds were not provided for ghost employees."

If all the US people are bothered about is "sex scenes" in computer games, they really have skewed priorities.

Please stop drinking the kool-aid.

Hmm, maybe it's all the thimerosal in the vaccines - so lots of people nowadays have damaged brains and so can't really think straight?

Get your attributions right, dammit (1)

david.given (6740) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166490)

The quoted text in TFA wasn't from the BBC. It was Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan, who was being quoted by the BBC. There is a difference, you know.

/me wanders off, muttering darkly about journalistic standards. Meh. Who am I kidding? This is Slashdot.

We need an EFF for stupidity (1)

craters (720373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166501)

What we need is an action center for congressional stupidity. That way when our 'representatives' in the House and Senate decide to waste time with idiocy like this, we can let them have it with a deluge of email and faxes - all professionally written. Include highly rated comments like some that have made here and maybe we'll start to see some common sense return to D.C.

I'd do it myself, but I'm too busy trying to find porn hacks in Half-Life 2.

First Amendment Congress (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13166525)

Congress has no power to regulate videogames

WTF? (1)

FullCircle (643323) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166528)

The mod is less explicit than some TV commercials!

Anyone playing this game is killing in the most hard-core sense of the word, selling drugs, beating up whores, yada, yada, yada....

Man these people need to get a grip.

Kill, murder, steal & destroy (2, Insightful)

gullevek (174152) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166534)

Yes, thats fine. Lets see.

GTA 1: Run over people, kill them with guns, run big tanks into police building to kill cops. Kick people out of their cars, or shoot them, to steal their car. Violence: very high, Sex: none -> okay

GTA 2: same with little bit better graphics. Violence: Very high, Sex: none -> okay

GTA now: semi-realistic 3D graphics. Kill, shoot, rob, destroy, explode, etc. Violence: Very hight, Sex: one dry hump -> CATSROPHY.

In my opinion. American FCC makes itself a world wide joke. Seriously. Nobody here outside of America takes them serious and the bad thing is, nobody takes the rest of America serious either anymore thanks to those FCC & religious idiots. Great work, how some stupid sex-hating maniacs can do damage. Actually this is just something, where I can make fun of my American co-workers at office.

I think they need to get laid. NOW. Right now ... Seriously ... they would work then on world peace ... or fighting hunger, poverty ... or ice cream that melts in the mouth and not in the hand.

Re:Kill, murder, steal & destroy (1)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166858)

You are confusing FTC and FCC. FCC has no jursidiction in this case. FTC has minimal, and can only go after things like "truth in advertisement" violation in this case.

I think they need to get laid. NOW. Right now ... Seriously ... they would work then on world peace ... or fighting hunger, poverty ... or ice cream that melts in the mouth and not in the hand.
I sure hope that FCC is not going to work on this. They will not solve those things, and they have plenty of other work on their hands, like equipment certification.

Can't believe they said that (3, Informative)

Percent Man (756972) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166632)

"A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

The US Government said that? With a straight face?

Unnecessary Investigation (4, Interesting)

Tyrsenus (858934) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166767)

Those who have opposed the GTA series for its violence are now simply using "hot coffee" to promote their agenda.

There are multitudes of people who wanted GTA banned or censored, but could not before because it was under the shield of the "17+" rating.

Now that it has been found that some sexual, "18+" content has been found in a normally inaccessable part of the game, those people can (perhaps rightfully) claim that this content is illegal due to the fact that sexual content was sold to minors.

What needs to be stated by the ESRB is what exactly is meant by a game rating. Do ratings reflect what is shown in normal parts of game play, or does it include easter eggs as well? What about content that is put in the final version but is only accessable by using mods, such as hot coffee?

Most kids that would actually be "corrupted" by the kind of content in hot coffee are too young and not smart enough to hack into a computer game to find it. Putting inaccessable adult content in a game for minors is like giving a kid a safe with a porno mag inside and no combination.

I don't think this needs a federal investigation, as this path may lead to censorship. The ESRB even said that this mess is over.

How utterly hypocritical (4, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166799)


A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

Because Congress has the monopoly on profiting from deceit.

Rogue Programmers! (1)

Sigmalmtd (887400) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166803)

I don't mean to stick up for Rockstar, but I have a feeling that some programmers may have snuck the content in without management's approval or knowledge. Of course that doesn't say much for their Quality Control department...

What Rockstar really needs to do is just come out and say that they have found the people who put the content in, and that they have been sacked. They won't be completely off the hook, but at least it will show that they are doing something about it. Hiding behind the problem, like they are doing now, will only make matters worse for them in the end.

Deceit (2, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166812)

> "A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit."

What about politicians?

what exactly needs to be "investigated" here? (1)

Khyron (8855) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166830)

This sounds like a complete waste of tax money, yours and mine, to make someone look like they're "doing something" about this "problem" when in fact there's no real problem here at all.

Who did it? Rockstar developers, duh. Has anyone denied this? Is there any mystery? The game did not "conatin" these scenes, so who cares?

If anything I'm surprised nobody is going after whoever figured it out for "circumvention" of something, since that seems to be all the rage.

What's to be done? Nothing. Rockstar is already reprinting the game without the content in it. Nobody even had to tell them to, they just are.

WHO CARES? THIS IS NOT NEWS.

However fools everywhere are making it news, especially on Capitol Hill. You know all they're succeeding at?

TURNING THIS ALL INTO A HUGE TAXPAYER FUNDED ROCKSTAR COMMERCIAL.

Please, stop. Just STFU and sit down, everyone. Go do something else with my money, like defend freedom or something.

Lol, they'll want Laura Croft in a burka next !! (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#13166835)

They came for the palmists,
but I wasn't a palmist
so I did nothing.
They came for the bungee jumpers,
but I wasn't a bungee jumper
so I did nothing.
They came for the players' agents,
but I wasn't a players' agent
so I did nothing.
They came for the Charles Manson fans,
but I wasn't a Charles Manson fan,
so i did nothing.
They came for the refloxoligists,
but I wasn't a refloxoligist
so I did nothing.
They came for the camp TV chefs,
but I wasn't a camp TV chef
so I did nothing
They came for the Romos,
I laughed.
They came for the martial arts enthusiasts,
but I wasn't a martial arts enthusiast
so I did nothing.
They came for Eammon Holmes
and I think I'm right in saying I applauded.
They came for the Danni Behr
I said she's over there
behind the wardrobe.
Turn a Blind Eye
Sometimes it's best to turn a Blind Eye.
-- Half Man Half Biscuit

Excellent. (1)

Strell (877448) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167067)

With the rate and time it takes Congress to complete investigations, we'll be up to the PS5 with GTA62: HO KILLAZ.

I know your problem... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13167103)

Some of you americans need to get laid.

End of story.

"Peddle?" (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167105)

Usually when I peddle something, I try to get it to other people. As opposed to, say, taking steps to prevent people from getting it. I shouldn't own any illegal firearms, but if somebody breaks into my home and steals them from me, does that make me an illegal weapons dealer because I should have put stronger locks on my doors? Rockstar at least tried to BS their way out of this. The House is blatantly lying.

For Pete and everyone else's sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13167113)

Its sooo disturbing when a mob of people who have no idea of what they are dealing with have they're arms up in the air over nonsense. How can you possibly rate a game adults only for content that is virtuall inaccesable on a console unless you use a cheating device and and then acquire from the internet codes to unlock the content and then see that its not really the smut that they think that it is. It really seems like a bunch of guys screwing around and using thier free time to make a private game to pass around the office, I mean when you don't win the game it says "Failure to satisfy a woman is a CRIME!" and the protagonist is fully clothed at the time, so my question is what is this about digital breasts? Come on anyone who goes through this much trouble and has a computer has seen more than digital nipples and isin't going to be scarred for life! I fail to see why with so many other prevalent issues like the slave factories in Saipan that are directly linked people in power and instead of dealing with that they are having a heart attack about something as graphic as polygons dry humping with digital breasts shown. With the enormous resources that minors have to the internet this is a drop in the grand canyon, but the funny thing is that if the parents wanted to teach the kids a lesson then they should teach them not to be cheaters and not buy them the cheating device and the M rated game that gives them the access to this content, but then after all that would involve taking responsibility for shoddy parenting.

how do we email our reps? (2, Insightful)

leland242 (736905) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167125)

So, I hope this has upset you as much as it upsets me. Reading that sniveling worm of a politician's thoughts on GTA and how they are trying to peddle smut to the kiddies makes me want to vomit. And I don't even like GTA!

Does anyone have a good site that we could use to write people involved in this "investigation"? Perhaps someone could draft a nice form letter we could all use?

GRAND THEFT ELECTIONS: Ohio Edition (0, Flamebait)

bmasel (129946) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167137)

You drive around removing voting booths from black precincts....

Won't see the Congress investigating that game.

Can anyone remember (1)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167163)

When the original GTA came out, back in Britain it almost got banned (from what i remembered) and the threat of that made it sell like shit off a shovel.

Rockstar are riding the new wave. Rockstar North havnt overly reacted as

A) They want to make it look like the game could be banned, more sales now, at the Premium Price.

B) they are Scottish and don't give a shit about what some american's think about their game.

Throw the book at them! (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167348)

And by "them" I mean the idiot politicians. And by "book" I mean "a shelf full of steamy romance novels bought by a 10 year old at the local used book shop, goodwill, salvation army, etc."

On the other hand, I'm looking at this and going, "female Zardoz"? "The gun is good the boobie is evil"?

new meme? (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167377)

yes but will the hot coffee mod cause cancer in peaceful iraqi rioters?

a la this [slashdot.org]

Strange... (1)

ajservo (708572) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167392)

If they've been peddling GTA to minors, why do stores and the ESRB even have the M rating?

Why not classify it as E and leave it at that?

The platform R* needs to take is to point out that the content that's quite accessible in the game (ie the game itself) is FAR more graphic, realistic, intense and pornographic than a clothes on scene that makes Cinemax look like Larry Flynt.

Remember, pornography doesn't have to mean sexual.
And if this means that I buy my next copy of GTA from a adult bookstore or online, then so be it. I'm an adult, and I've got enough common sense to not let a kid of mine play GTA anyway.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?