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Take-Two Loses Another Round in Court

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the messy-day-for-coffee dept.

88

IntelliAdmin writes "A federal judge refused a request from Take-Two Interactive Software to immediately dismiss some claims in a lawsuit accusing it of selling Grand Theft Auto videogames containing sexually explicit images under the wrong content label." From the article: "Take-Two and its subsidiary, Rockstar Games, had argued in the motion to dismiss parts of the lawsuit that the plaintiffs could only file claims in the states where they resided, not in all 50 states. But U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram denied Take-Two's motion and said she would reconsider if class-action status were granted in the case."

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Dear Government, (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612356)

If seeing polyboobies is REALLY a significant problem for our children I think we screwed up long before then.

Sincerely,
Crying For Society....

Re:Dear Government, (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612462)

Are you kidding!?

Look what happened when one breast was shown at the Super-Bowl.

I think the U.S. is slightly behind the times when it comes to these things.

Re:Dear Government, (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612884)

SLIGHTLY?!

Dear PolyBoobs, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16612652)

"If seeing polyboobies is REALLY a significant problem for our children I think we screwed up long before then."

Obviously Tomb Raider didn't get you all hot and bothered?

Re:Dear PolyBoobs, (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612772)

I wouldn't say I didn't enjoy it, but I didn't really get excited to see it. For one, the games sucked ass bad. And frankly there is way more better porn on the net than some lame video game.

Tom

Re:Dear Government, (3, Insightful)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613554)

If seeing polyboobies is REALLY a significant problem for our children...

Polyboobies were never really the issue. It has always been about political opportunism and legal extortion (otherwise know as frivolous lawsuits). Look at anyone who stands to benefit from this lawsuit and one sees this is the case.

There are reasons to be distressed about this issue, but the issue of concern is a justice system that is driven by, or at least manipulated by, ambition and avarice. The issues surrounding this game are only excuses.

I am not really disagreeing with you, I just think the problem is much deeper than simple sexual provincialism. Regrettably, I don't have a solution.

Re:Dear Government, (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614586)

I am not really disagreeing with you, I just think the problem is much deeper than simple sexual provincialism. Regrettably, I don't have a solution.

I do but unfortunately my solution, "Kill everyone but me", has it's own problems, not the least of which is getting everyone to agree on who the "but me" part refers to.

Re:Dear Government, (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619658)

The person with the biggest stick?

Of course, everyone would just start bragging about how big their stick is.

Re:Dear Government, (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614620)

Maybe coming up with some ideas that would help change the way law-suits are handled. Maybe there should be a way to change the law, so that if a group of people are offended they can't simply sue. Or, at least have some sort of definite kine in the sand. Say things like suing the kkk over hate speech is ok. But suing them for selling a game isn't. The problem is that most people seem to forget that you can shut-off a gamer if you think that it might be offensive. All these lawsuits do is make even more people aware of the issue. More people are likely to try out the hot-coffee mod, if that is what the want.

Its like smiling Jack shining his big torch on all these evil games. I'm sure that take-two loves this, as long as they come out on top.

Sexually explicit? (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612414)

Since when is what amounts to frottage in any way sexually explicit? There's nary a dong or a hamburger shot to be seen!

Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but ... (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612484)

Take Two should just plead guilty and stop paying lawers to defend them. They are wasting a ton of money when they know damn well that they did put the content in there. Of course the ESRB is to blaim as well because they could have done a better job in the first place.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (2, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612874)

Except they removed access to the content. Granted, they should've removed it completely, but there was no way to access it without modifying the game.

I don't know what the ESRB was supposed to do. They could've played the entire game, found all the hidden packages, completed every mission, achieved 100% completion of the game, and they'd still not have found the inaccessible digital boobs.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613222)

It wasn't an easter egg, it was disabled content. An easter egg is intended to be accessible from within the game, but just not in an obvious way. Disabled content is not intended to be accessible through any in-game means, but of course it is possible to change the game code to allow access. It's the difference between finding an egg hidden behind the couch, and finding an egg in a dumpster. The one behind the couche was put there on purpose. Nobody expected you to go rifling through the dumpster looking for eggs.

How could the ESRB have done a better job? There was no way to get at this content by playing the game. The only way to get at it is to get a mod for the game that unlocks it. Does the ESRB rate games based on every mod that exists, or may possibly exist in the future? Did they rate UT2004 only after it had been out for two years, and they had downloaded every mod for the game?

Maybe the ESRB has problems and needs to do a better job. Hot Coffee is a terrible example to try to prove it. The only thing Hot Coffee shows is that 1) a lot of people don't understand the difference between having something built into the game, and downloading a mod for a game and 2) maybe moddable games should carry an ESRB warning similar to the ones for online games, something like "Game experience may change if you deliberately go out on the internet, download a mod, and install it."

Or maybe something like: "ESRB warning: To the best of our knowledge, this game contains no boobies. If you don't want to see any boobies, then don't install any modifications that purport to show you boobies."

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613524)

Uhm, the Mod did not add the content like the mod you refer to in UT2004. Besides San Andreas could have been rated AO just on the basis that it has extended periods of violence which I might add are illegal kind of violence like shooting all the hookers in town or killing cops. This is different from a combat game where you choose a side to fight on.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613688)

Uhm, the Mod did not add the content like the mod you refer to in UT2004.

So what? In both cases you cannot see the content without a mod, and after applying a mod you can. The only difference is the size of the mod you have to apply, but the concept -- modifying the game -- is the same. The ESRB should not -- in fact cannot -- be responsible for modifications made to a game by users after it has been purchased.

Besides San Andreas could have been rated AO just on the basis that it has extended periods of violence which I might add are illegal kind of violence like shooting all the hookers in town or killing cops. This is different from a combat game where you choose a side to fight on.

A combat game like... CS? I'm pretty sure the Terrorist side's actions wouldn't be considered legal. Street Fighter? Street fighting is illegal, don't you know. I don't see why choosing a side makes a difference.

Well it doesn't make a difference, anyway, because your views on violence in GTA are not the issue. The discussion is about nudity that did not exist in the game Rockstar released and the ESRB rated. Then some idiot modifies the game to show nudity, and suddenly everyone thinks the rating should have been different because Rockstar should have realized that somebody might make a modification that shows nudity. Which is ridiculous.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613732)

I think a certain Beach Volleyball game was modded to show nudity but nobody asked for that to be re-rated because it required re-skining the models which is adding content to the game. In the end, it does matter if the content was in the game even if it was not immediately accesable.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613842)

In the end, it does matter if the content was in the game even if it was not immediately accesable.

It only matters to people who don't understand the simple concept that applying a third-party mod to a game may change the content of that game.

The content was not in the game. There was no possible way for you to encounter that content in the game. You could only do so by changing the game.

If you didn't want to see bare breasts, and you never installed the Hot Coffee mod, you would never see any breasts, and the ESRB rating would be completely correct and you would be happy.

But apparently there are people out there who don't want to see bare breasts, then go download a mod that says it will show them breasts, apply it to the game, see breasts, and are offended.

Those people are insane.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613950)

Those people are insane.
If people actually did that then I would agree with you that they were insane.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614270)

If people actually did that then I would agree with you that they were insane.

Well if nobody who doesn't want to see boobies applied the Hot Coffee mod to the game, and thus none of them saw boobies in the game, what exactly is everyone complaining about? Since they didn't modify the game, the ESRB rating (which applies only to the unmodified game for what I pray to God are obvious reasons) was 100% accurate.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16619678)

Might I add that the "locked" content used the regular, clothed models from the rest of the game. There was no locked out nudity. You could, however, add a nude patch created by a 3rd party modder - but only in the PC version. Even with the Hot Coffee mod, the content original to the game was no different from something you might see in an R rated movie. The equivalent of the R rating for video games is M, the original rating the game was given.

The problem here is that most people hear there was sexual content in the game and assume it was sexually explicit and pornographic, when it wasn't.

Re:Granted the whole thing was an easter egg but . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16613586)

That may be so, but one of the reasons that obscenity law has been considered constitutional is that despite being a federal law, it would use local standards of obscenity.

By allowing the plaintiff to proceed in states where they are not local, the judge is unwittingly(?) breaking this tenet of obscenity law and possibly setting it on a path straight towards its destruction.

For the love! (5, Insightful)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612522)

Stop confusing the issue!!

The problem is NOT that Rockstar included sexually explicit content in their game. The problem is that they released it under a rating that did not include knowledge of the sexually explicit material. Saying something like: "if children seeing polyboobies is a problem then blah blah blah" is a completely misleading statement.

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with children seeing boobies. It's the fact that Rockstar didn't DECLARE there were boobies to the ESRB. If a parent doesn't care about their child seeing digital boobs, then let the parent make an informed decision about the product up front. But stop saying that there's a problem with society because children seeing digital boobs is causing such a commotion. It's not.

Re:For the love! (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612706)

And my point is who gives a flying fuck?

This should be a NON-ISSUE because quite frankly, boobies GIVE LIFE to small children, they're a symbol of fertility in breeding age women, nothing more. I think teenagers can sort out what boobies are [even if they don't know how to manipulate them hehehehe] for.

This whole debate is nothing more than a class of inbred christ-fearing rightwing zealots imposing their illogical non-biological will on others.

I say let the titties flow!

Tom

Re:For the love! (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613976)

This should be a NON-ISSUE because quite frankly, boobies GIVE LIFE to small children, they're a symbol of fertility in breeding age women, nothing more. I think teenagers can sort out what boobies are [even if they don't know how to manipulate them hehehehe] for.


I agree in the sense that my values are similar to yours. I disagree that you or I should enforce our sensitibilities on other people. If a parent doesn't want his/her kid seeing said polyboobies, who am I to tell that person they are wrong? Who am I to tell you what your kids can or cannot see? In this case, it's simply a matter of making the information available on the box. (as opposed to being about whether or not an 18 year old can buy the game.) The games should be advertised properly.

Re:For the love! (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614388)

Chances are if your kid can't handle polyboobies, they can't handle a game in which you steal cars, drive recklessly and MURDER HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE!

I'm all for having a choice whether your kids play/see/listen with media. What I hate is how they then enforce their values on others. Your kid may not handle polyboobies, but mine sure as heck will.

Tom

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614506)

"Chances are if your kid can't handle polyboobies, they can't handle a game in which you steal cars, drive recklessly and MURDER HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE!"

Considering that teen pregnancy is far more likely than a murderous rampage, then no, the chances aren't that similar.

"What I hate is how they then enforce their values on others."

By notifying you of what's in the game? Oh those value imposing bastards.

Re:For the love! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615146)

By notifying you of what's in the game? Oh those value imposing bastards.

The sex scene exposed by Hot Coffee was not in the game, and hence there was no need to notify you of it.

The only notification that Rockstar/ESRB may be remiss in omitting is a warning that the ratings only apply to the un-modded game, and that if you apply a mod you may see things you don't want. I can't think of any way of wording this that doesn't sound snarky and condescending, because it's so bloody obvious. It'd be like having to say that a toaster's specified amperage draw no longer applies if you drop the toaster in a bathtub.

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615552)

"The sex scene exposed by Hot Coffee was not in the game, and hence there was no need to notify you of it."

The content was on the disc. The 'mod' simply unlocked it. I'm not saying I agree that they should have changed the rating, but I can certainly understand why it was contraversial and why Take Two drew fire over it.

"I can't think of any way of wording this that doesn't sound snarky and condescending, because it's so bloody obvious."

I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree that it's so 'bloody obvious'. The hack to unlock it was basically just a bit change, and the 'naughty' bits were made by Rockstar. It was remarkably stupid of them to leave it in. Regardless of what you believe about what the rating should have been, nobody that knew about that content of the game had any right to act surprised at the result.

Re:For the love! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616156)

The content was on the disc. The 'mod' simply unlocked it.

On the disc, but not in the game. The mod, as the word implies, changed the behavior of the game. Without that mod, you would never see the content on the disc because it was not part of the game.

Yes, the mod simply unlocked it, but it doesn't matter how simple it was, it was a mod that made the content available. No mod, no content.

I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree that it's so 'bloody obvious'.

You don't think it's bloody obvious that a third-party modification to a game could modify what kinds of content you see in that game? In this specific case, it's certainly not like the Hot Coffee mod was coy about what kind of content it was unlocking for you.

I find it unfathomable that anyone who would be offended by the mod would download it and apply it unwittingly, and if they didn't apply the mod then they would never see the offensive content, and thus have nothing to complain about because the ESRB rating is 100% accurate. But complain they do.

The hack to unlock it was basically just a bit change, and the 'naughty' bits were made by Rockstar. It was remarkably stupid of them to leave it in.

In hindsight, maybe, but when designing the game they left it on the disc most likely as a testing issue (it can be hard to remove part of a game and guarantee you aren't breaking any other part), and since they disabled the content and never intended anyone to see it, they thus had no reason to think it would be a problem. Sure, they underestimated the power of whiny moralizers who don't understand computers. I guess it will depend on how this all shakes out as to whether Rockstar will "learn their lesson" and do a better job of removing disabled content.

As far as it being "just a bit change", a single bit can change everything. What would be the practical difference between the existing Hot Coffee mod, and a mod which itself contained nude models/skins? The answer is the file size of the patch. Nothing else would change. It would be exactly how it is now: No patch, no nudity. Patch, nudity. It doesn't matter if it takes changing one bit or ten billion bits to get that effect, the fact is you had to change the game to get the effect.

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616372)

"In hindsight, maybe, but when designing the game they left it on the disc most likely as a testing issue..."

Um, no, it was stupid hindsight or not. By then, Rockstar had already dealt with two previous GTA games.

"As far as it being "just a bit change", a single bit can change everything. What would be the practical difference between the existing Hot Coffee mod, and a mod which itself contained nude models/skins? The answer is the file size of the patch."

It means the traditionally non-mod'able version on the PS2 and XBOX could see the content. It wasn't just the PC version that was affected. I doubt this whole thing would have blown up otherwise.

Re:For the love! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616746)

Um, no, it was stupid hindsight or not. By then, Rockstar had already dealt with two previous GTA games.

I'm not understanding why that's significant. Are you certain that GTA3/Vice City didn't contain disabled content that would go against the ESRB rating if it were enabled?

It means the traditionally non-mod'able version on the PS2 and XBOX could see the content. It wasn't just the PC version that was affected. I doubt this whole thing would have blown up otherwise.

Of course they're modable, or you wouldn't have been able to modify the bits necessary to enable the content. The modding capabilities are reduced, but obviously existant.

I've been modding games for a long time. Back when I started, "modding" was altering troop parameters in Warcraft, or using DeHacked to change Doom's logic around (without actually being able to introduce new logic). For example, I made a mod for Doom that made the normal pistol grunts fire Cyberdemon rockets, just by tweaking one entry in an animation table. That's a mod. I also had a mod that turned the flying skulls into cute little robots that exploded like barrels, with new graphics and everything. Also a mod, same as the first. I was changing the behavior or appearance of the game, thus modding.

That's what modding has always meant for more than ten years. It is only now and only in the context of the Hot Coffee mod that people are starting to say "Is it really a mod if it doesn't add any new content, it just changes the way the game behaves?" The answer is an unequivocal yes.

Saying that San Andreas should be rated based on what this mod did is silly. It would be as silly as saying that the original Doom contained rocket-shooting grunts, just because my mod didn't require any new content in order for it to work.

Anyway, I do think I agree that this wouldn't have been a huge PR issue if it had only affected the PC version.

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617952)

"I'm not understanding why that's significant. Are you certain that GTA3/Vice City didn't contain disabled content that would go against the ESRB rating if it were enabled?"

Okay, let's clarify something here: I'm not saying the rating should have been changed in the first place. Honestly, I'm still on the fence about that. The key ingredients for me here are: 1. The content was on the disc. 2. It was easy to find and enable the content. 3. That franchise was under close scrutiny in the first place. Remove ANY of those points and I'd just shut right up. Does that clarify my views a bit?

"Of course they're modable, or you wouldn't have been able to modify the bits necessary to enable the content. The modding capabilities are reduced, but obviously existant."

There's a big difference between flipping a bit here and there and actually adding the new content to the game. Show me somebody who's made their own level for any of the GTA games for the XBOX and PS2 and I'll be happy to reconsider my view. (I mean this. I'm not challenging you because I think it doesn't exist. With the XBOX's hard drive, maybe it's been done and I'm just unaware of it.)

"Saying that San Andreas should be rated based on what this mod did is silly."

In a generic set of circumstances I'd totally agree with you. I couldn't believe it when they went after the Sims because of a totally independent mod.

Re:For the love! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618318)

Does that clarify my views a bit?

Sure, I get what you're saying now. I don't see why it's important that it was easy to find; if it was somehow obfuscated, that would be okay then? The whole point was that it was extra material left around because other parts of the game may have still depended on parts of it.

Still you're right that they are under scrutiny and should have known better... maybe, like I said I'm still not sure Rockstar thinks this is a bad thing, and if so why would they go out of their way to prevent it in the future?. It will be bad for all of us if it results in government regulation of games, but right now Rockstar is getting free publicity up the wazoo. Hell, I don't think a tenth as many people would have heard of 2 Live Crew if Jack Thompson hadn't done his best to keep them in the news with obscenity lawsuits.

There's a big difference between flipping a bit here and there and actually adding the new content to the game.

No, there isn't. "Flipping a bit here and there" of game logic can have a huge effect, and thus actually create new content (like rocket-spewing grunts), things you could never do just by adding artwork. There is a technical limitation of the game consoles that it is easier to mess with game logic via the Game Shark than to introduce new models or levels, but you're still changing the game and making things that weren't in the game before.

There've probably been GTA maps for the Xbox, but probably not the PS2, so I'll give you that. So what? Just because the technical means to mod the PS2 version are more limited doesn't mean it is any less of a mod. And it doesn't mean you can't produce pornographic content where non existed before.

For example in Oblivion modders stuck a male skin on a female model to get a topless woman. A bit here or there, and you have nudity. The content is on the disk, it was easy to find (easier than Hot Coffee, since male skin was a visible part of the game already) and easy to enable. The only thing missing is the close scrutiny. So let's say that they now come under scrutiny -- what should they do? Rate the game AO because you could alter the game to see naked boobs?

In a generic set of circumstances I'd totally agree with you. I couldn't believe it when they went after the Sims because of a totally independent mod.

I'm saying in these circumstances. The material was not in the game, and it is the game that gets rated. The ESRB should not have to punch in every Game Shark code possible.

Re:For the love! (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615148)

Unless you're arguing that the Hot Coffee mod actually influences kids to go out and get teen-pregnant, I fail to see the relevance of your argument.

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615404)

"Unless you're arguing that the Hot Coffee mod actually influences kids to go out and get teen-pregnant, I fail to see the relevance of your argument."

Nope. I'm saying teen-pregnancy has contributed to sex in video games being more contraversial than violence in video games. I'm talking about why parents would be concerned, not the actual effect.

Re:For the love! (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614504)

I disagree that you or I should enforce our sensitibilities on other people.

The only ones doing that are Jack Thompson types.

Who am I to tell you what your kids can or cannot see?

See above.

In this case, it's simply a matter of making the information available on the box.

They did. Warns of violence and sexual content.

The games should be advertised properly.

Tbey did, see above.

Re:For the love! (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615144)

"The only ones doing that are Jack Thompson types."

Each parent has their own idea of what is and isn't appropriate for their kids. Sadly, I know people who won't let their kids read Harry Potter. I don't agree with that, but it's their kids and their perogative. As long as the game in question is properly labeled, they cannot blame the game publishers if they purchase something questionable. That's pretty much what's preventing some games from being flat out banned. It puts the responsibility of parenting on the parents instead of the publishers.

"They did. Warns of violence and sexual content."

Nah, it didn't use the proper warning, at least not with regards to the Hot Coffee 'scandal'. What annoys me about the whole thing was that somebody would have to go well out of their way to actually access the '18+' content. It shouldn't have been that big of contraversy. Oh well. Technically the content was still there on the disc, therefore it was inconsistent with the ESRB. I'm not happy with Take-Two getting busted for this, but I do agree that the ESRB needs to be fairly reliable. If game companies start playing games with the ratings system (i.e. by intentionally hiding content from the ratings board), we're likely to see stronger attempts to get some games banned.

Re:For the love! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615800)

The game is marked with a label reading, among others, "Strong sexual content". Now I don't know about you but I'd expect that to include that half-implemented sex scene Hot Coffee makes accessable.

Never mind the game NEVER displays that scene unless it's operated out of spec (compromising the game's save data) so those parents could just sit back knowing that their kid won't ever see that scene.

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615954)

> The game is marked with a label reading, among others, "Strong sexual content". Now I don't know about you but I'd expect that to include that half-implemented sex scene Hot Coffee makes accessable.

Nitpick: 'Strong sexual content' is how they describe stuff we see on broadcast tv. The Hot Coffee stuff is a bit more graphic, if laughably un-erotic.

> Never mind the game NEVER displays that scene unless it's operated out of spec (compromising the game's save data) so those parents could just sit back knowing that their kid won't ever see that scene.

Not that I completely disagree with you, but if the content wasn't supposed to be inaccessible, it shouldn't have been on the disk in the first place. TT is paying for Rockstar's incompetence. It has been firmly established over the last few decades that parents groups are overly sensitive to this sort of crap. It ranks right up there with Michael Jackson asking a child to sleep in his bed. No matter his intentions...

Re:For the love! (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16624600)

There's always inaccessable content on a game disk, stuff that was cut out of time or budget constraints, stuff that was removed because it didn't fit or simply got excluded from a later design document, etc. Those parent groups can die in a fire for all I care and I think it was completely wrong for the ESRB to react to that. If the government tries to legislate stuff there shove that "goddamn piece of paper" into their face.

Re:For the love! (2, Interesting)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612716)

But the REAL question here is, is Rockstar/Take Two and/or the ESRB, responsible for mis-labeling a game based on hidden content that's legally inaccessible?

The only way to access the sex scenes is to hack the game - and that's illegal thanks to the DMCA.

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16612834)

The problem is that the game, as released, HAD NO BOOBIES.

You had to modify it to see them.

You could have *drawn* boobies in MS Paint with less effort.

Re:For the love! (5, Insightful)

spyrral (162842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612934)

That's hardly a fact. That content was not accessible in the game Rockstar released. It wasn't even reachable via cheat codes or easter eggs. It was only through cheat devices like Game Shark or mods in the PC version that you could see it. It was removed the gameplay, but due to technical issues involved with the QA process the files or content was left in.

That distinction will be hard to explain to the laypeople that will make up the jury in the case, but someone who's posting on "News for Nerds" should be able to grasp it.

Re:For the love! (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613756)

It's not hard to explain to laypeople. If I go to a beach and cut a hole in my bathing suit where my crotch is, is it the bathing suit manufacturer's problem? No, because I shouldn't have altered what they had given me and expected that nobody would be offended. Same thing. TakeTwo released a game which had parts inaccessible to the public without modification. Bathing suit manufacturer released a bathing suit, when worn correctly, has parts hidden inside it that are inaccessible to the public without modification.

Re:For the love! (1)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614316)

But your bathing suit did not come with anything that could offend, however inaccessible. This game did. Your explanation requires the application of 3rd party content (your crotch) before any offence is had, a bathing suit with a hole in it does not in itself offend, only when it is worn.

This leads to an interesting dilemma of how much 3rd party content is required for it to be a 'mod' ? Oblivion hackers applied a male skin to a female mesh to create boobies, does this count?

Re:For the love! (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614522)

But your bathing suit did not come with anything that could offend, however inaccessible. This game did. Your explanation requires the application of 3rd party content (your crotch) before any offence is had, a bathing suit with a hole in it does not in itself offend, only when it is worn.

And a modded GTA game does not in itself offend, only when it is played. Maybe a bathing suit isn't the best analogy, but it's suitable because the principle is the same: You have to take a deliberate action to change the product in order to get the offensive result.


This leads to an interesting dilemma of how much 3rd party content is required for it to be a 'mod' ? Oblivion hackers applied a male skin to a female mesh to create boobies, does this count?


The answers are "any", and "yes".

Remember, "mod" is short for "modification", and back when game modding was in it's infancy something like swapping skins was absolutely considered a mod. Or even before skins -- I modded Doom to make the pistol grunts fire Cyberdemon rockets. I didn't add any new content, all I did was change a single entry in an animation table, but guess what that's a mod. If it changes the presentation of the game in any way, then it's a mod. If the mod changes the presentation such that it offends you, then don't freaking install the mod. The ESRB cannot be responsible for what a mod does.

Re:For the love! - better analogy (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615710)

If you bought a swim suit with a crotch-shaped hole on the back side of the material, but the front of the suit is completely solid, and then you went and cut out the front material to the shape of the existing hole, well then you'd have a proper analogy to what Rockstar did.

The hole was there all along, but it was patched so no one would see it under normal conditions. By modifying the suit/game, you exposed a "hidden detail" of the original item but it can hardly be said that the manufacturer intended to expose the hole. For all we know, it was a band-aid fix to remove "inappropriate" material in a fast and effective way that required less re-testing than removing the code completely. With deadlines and time crunches of the corporate world and to a greater extent the video gaming industry, I would not be surprised at all if that was the rationale behind leaving the content in, but making it otherwise inaccessible.

Re:For the love! (2, Interesting)

Palshife (60519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614792)

Hypothetical.

I make furniture, but as a joke, I paint erotic pictures on the wood under the upholstery. Now, as long as people use it as furniture and don't take apart the product, no harm done.

Am I selling porn?

Re:For the love! (2, Insightful)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620282)

I believe that according to Fair Use rights in the USA, the entity that purchased your piece of furniture has the right to use it in any way they see fit, including dismantling it. You have no say in usage. If the erotic depictions fall under the accepted definition of pornography, then yeah, you might be selling porn. (Although intent might play a role.)

The difference may be in the fact that when you buy Software (according to the EULA), you are purchasing a license to use the software, and are granted certain rights to the Software. If the EULAs are to be believed (and enforceable), your rights still apply, but not directly to the Software. The Software has now become a separate entity from the transaction. You may do whatever you like with your usage, but from the definitions, it means either using the software according to how the manufacturer decides, or not using it at all. We don't get to deconstruct and re-define what "usage" means, because if we do, we are (in theory) restricted from usage of the Software at all, since we in no way have purchased it.

Video games have no standard "click OK to agree" EULA, though I imagine it is implied. The consoles themselves contain software which the manufacturers may try to argue falls under the same sort of thing when people try to mod them. So in the case of GTA:San Andreas, if Take-Two has only sold the usage of the product, the application of a mod goes beyond the scope of their intended usage. But seeing as EULAs are in a grey area, they probably won't want to use it as a defense. But if the person that bought it was just exercising Fair Use rights, then Take-Two may very well be at fault.

Comparing physical and intangible objects is pretty silly anyway. We could try to reverse the argument to a Chair. A person could only sit in the Chair upright, with both feet flat on the floor, could not in any way modify the Chair, does not actually own the chair, and especially could not have two or more people in the chair at one time. The person would have the ability to easily make one copy of the Chair, but only to put in the basement for storage, and may not be used. It becomes absurd.

No doubt I've got a bunch of holes in my crazy logic, but maybe copyright law is crazy.

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16614810)

It's easy to explain to 'laypeople'.

1. Most DVDs have interview sections, which may contain content that doesn't conform to the film's rating. The DVD is sold with a PG rating, but may have R rated commentary.

This still isn't a complete analogy so...

2. When you use a DVD player, they can force you to watch through certain parts such as denying the user from fast-forwarding. Also, any content on the DVD is accessible from the menu. If they don't list something in that menu, you can't access it. Basically, they control what you can do with your DVD. If you can't access it through these normal means, then you shouldn't expect them to endorse it.

3. GTA:SA was sold as a DVD. They made the Hot-Coffee material inaccessible. Until someone eventually managed to undo that.

The game was sold and advertised in the way it was designed to be played. You had to break their access protection (however trivial is really was) to access the naughty stuff. And the strangest part: in these days of the DMCA and DRM, why is Take-Two on trial?

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16612972)

Failure to declare said boobies is only an issue if 'children seeing boobies is a problem', you boob!

If a parent doesn't care about their child seeing digital boobs, then let the parent make an informed decision about the product up front.


This game was originally rated 'M' (e.g. 17+) and the 'boobies' are only accessible if the software is modified (e.g. not in its original form). How, exactly, were the parents uninformed?

I think the only solution is to put this on every game: "Warning: The use of third party add-ons may change the content rating of this game." Saves Rockstar liability and shuts up the hystericals.

Re:For the love! (1)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612990)

It's the fact that Rockstar didn't DECLARE there were boobies to the ESRB.

Despite the fact that third party hacks had to be applied to the game to access said boobage...

It is not uncommon practice for developers to leave unused code/content in their software. You can find examples of this everywhere if you take a hex editor to just about any program and read the developer comments. This is stuff intentionally made to never be seen by the end user in the final product, and are merely in there for evaluation/debugging purposes.

This kind of ruling is not only going to create new forms of expenses game developers will have to deal with, to try locating and plugging up any and all potential holes that a third party could use to access "features" not intented for public use, but will also eventually introduce unecessary expenses and effort on the part of the civilian-owned ESRB to pound on every inch of every title it reviews for potential exploit points in the software where such third party modifications might be made. (Not to mention exploring the hypothetical implications of how a third party *might* use these exploitable areas before they can render a rating.)

Basically, this means two things, should a lawsuit like this be successful:

1. Third party mods will no longer be encouraged by developers, thus decreasing the long term value of their games to the end user.
2. The ESRB will become so costly to operate at the civilian level, that it will eventually end up becoming a government-controlled entity. (This could have all sorts of nasty implications we can't even yet begin to imagine, especially under the current administration.)

Re:For the love! (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613228)

I think the main problem is that people like Jack Thompson can manipulate this any way they see fit. I was originally posting under an idea that I was the prosecution. It is much easier for the prosecutor to weave any web he wants with the story, because technically, the content was available on the disc. Regardless that it was attainable by illegal and/or inordinately unusual means, the content was still accessible which is the whole problem.

Now, I honestly think that "families against bad videogames" type groups are just using this to aid their own ends and don't really care too much about this particular incident. Also, you can't really compare unused code/content to this code/content. This is by far not unfinished code; from what I understand, it's a fully functional minigame that quite possible could have made it into the final game, but was probably unlinked at a date close enough to release to make it a pain (read: it had been printed already).

Re:For the love! (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618188)

Two things: You can compare this to the revival of Aeris in FF7. It was fully complete, and available in the Japanese version, but was broken in the US version for time reasons on localization. Other games have fully complete features in them that are unlinked for various reasons, including Mario Kart DS which has completed tracks that are only lacking textures on the cart.

Second thing: The content was not actually accessible. It existed, but that is not the same thing as accessible. A really good lawyer, who understood what was going one, would point out that the content, while there, was not accessible. It was made accessible not by Take-Two, not by Rockstar, not even by the ESRB, but by a totally uninvolved 3rd party. Assuming such modification is illegal according to the DMCA (I'm not entirely certain of that), said really good lawyer would emphasize that 1) Everyone who actually saw the hot coffee content had to illegally alter their game to do so and therefore Take-Two could prosecute them all for crimianl charges and 2) the content was made accessible by an unrelated 3rd party, and that unrelated third party should be the actual focus of the lawsuit, since it is only through the actions of that 3rd party that the content was ever accessible. Had a 3rd party not attempted to modify the code, everyone could have played the game 100% through and never seen anything.

Re:For the love! (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613234)

So, the "Strong Sexual Content" warning on the back doesn't cover it?

Maybe it wasn't specifically disclosed to ESRB, but that descriptor alone sure seems enough.

They didn't .... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613398)

release a video game with sexually explicit content. They released a video game that can be patched to include sexually explicit content.
Big difference. The ESRB rating on the games is accurate for the game as shipped. There is nothing more explicit than gaining health for having hookers crawl into your car. Hot Coffee is a MOD - ie, you have to modify the game to see it. This whole suit is about people being up in arms about the game being changed after the sale. I never saw the issue.
  1. You buy the game
  2. you install the game
  3. you patch the game with a non-take-two patch
  4. you get to see pixle boobies.
    1. If you skip step 3, you get a game that meets the ESRB rating the game was given initially. I really don't see how Take-Two can be held responsible for the actions of their customers. If I sell something that's UL/CSA rated, and you do a Tim Allen on it - I'm not responsible when it burns your house down. Same principles apply.

Re:They didn't .... (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613468)

You can't really call the hot coffee content a MOD per se. Users did not add the boobies, all the user added was the ability to access the boobies. In court, no one cares that you couldn't access that content on a vanilla version, but what the court will care about is the fact that Rockstar was the creator of the hot coffee content. Period.

Re:They didn't .... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615002)

That's like saying "you cut out the x rated portions of your movie to get an R rating, but we don't care - if the consumers get the cuttings off the floor & tape them back in, they can see them."
I'm sorry, I would walk into court with a sealed copy of the game, a PC & hand them to the plantif's attourney & say, "OK, show me this content we misrepresented. Oh, you can't do it, then how did we misrepresent what we sold? The game, as sold, was valid for it's initial rating."

Oh yeah, that clears it up. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613526)

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with children seeing boobies. It's the fact that Rockstar didn't DECLARE there were boobies to the ESRB.

There were no boobies to declare.

There were no boobies until you applied a modification to the game downloaded off the internet.

At the point at which you are applying a modification to the game, does it matter if the mod is just unlocking previously innaccessible content on the disk, or if the mod contained the boobies itself? You're modifying the game from its original, boobless, presentation.

If there was an "Iced Tea" mod that put beastiality into the game, would it be Rockstar's fault for not notifying the ESRB that their game might, at some point in the future, depending on what internet modders do, contain beastiality?

The ESRB rating of the game GTA was 100% accurate, and was sufficient for any parent to make a fully informed decision. If that parent or their child then goes and modifies the game such that it shows boobs, that is their fault, not Rockstar's or the ESRB.

Re:Oh yeah, that clears it up. (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613778)

There were no boobies until you applied a modification to the game downloaded off the internet.

If a tree falls in the woods when no one is around, does it make a sound?

If that parent or their child then goes and modifies the game such that it shows boobs, that is their fault, not Rockstar's or the ESRB.

So you're telling me that if your Sister is in a locked room that you can't get to, but she's having sex with your Father, if you break into the room, it's YOUR FAULT for seeing it?

Re:Oh yeah, that clears it up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16614022)

So you're telling me that if your Sister is in a locked room that you can't get to, but she's having sex with your Father, if you break into the room, it's YOUR FAULT for seeing it?

Well, given what a fucking idiot you are, your mom probably IS you sister.

Re:Oh yeah, that clears it up. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614214)

If a tree falls in the woods when no one is around, does it make a sound?

But someone is around -- you, the person who chopped the tree down. The tree was not going to fall until you came up to it with an axe, chopped it down, cried "Timber!", and then got upset that the tree fell and made a loud noise. Getting all existential about it after the fact -- "Sure I cut the tree down, but it already had the potential to fall and I just unlocked it!" -- doesn't change anything.

So you're telling me that if your Sister is in a locked room that you can't get to, but she's having sex with your Father, if you break into the room, it's YOUR FAULT for seeing it?

If the only reason she's having sex with your father is because you locked them in the room and refused to let them out until they screw, then yes that's YOUR FAULT. You took conscious action to deliberately bring about the result, and there is no possible way you can say that isn't your fault.

Your analogy only makes the faintest of sense if you're implying that people are accidentally applying the Hot Coffee mod and thus just sort of stumbling into this content. I find it hard to believe that somebody could be that stupid and successfully apply the patch. I can fathom no way in which the ESRB or Rockstar should or could be held accountable for that kind of stupidity.

Re:Oh yeah, that clears it up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16614690)

"So you're telling me that if your Sister is in a locked room that you can't get to, but she's having sex with your Father, if you break into the room, it's YOUR FAULT for seeing it?"

If there was a sign on the door that advertised (correctly) the contents of the room and you had to go out of your way to obtain a key to the room it would certainly be your fault that you saw the contents of the locked room. Whether or not it was your fault that the room contained what it did is entirely unrelated.

Re:Oh yeah, that clears it up. (1)

cptgrudge (177113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620380)

If there was an "Iced Tea" mod that put beastiality into the game, would it be Rockstar's fault for not notifying the ESRB that their game might, at some point in the future, depending on what internet modders do, contain beastiality?

"This game may be altered by mods. It is therefore an existential paradox, in that it may possibly contain our entire existence, perceived reality, and infinite time, and/or possibly consisting of an utter nothingness devoid of matter, energy, and measurement."

That should cover it, right?

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16614578)

if you take any data and manipulate it the right way you can make it display boobies...

Re:For the love! (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615076)

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with children seeing boobies. It's the fact that Rockstar didn't DECLARE there were boobies to the ESRB.

Scarlett Johannson has boobies, under her clothes. It's a biological fact.

But you don't see anyone going around complaining that all the movies she is in should be rated R or above due to the presence of boobies. They're not accessible in the content as released, thus they are not relevant, and the studio doesn't need to mention her boobies specifically when they submit a film to the MPAA ratings board.

Boobs should be irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616558)

If a parent is ok with the gun play, shootings, crime and other content, why would a pair of boobs make any difference?

Re:For the love! (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618248)

You do realize that when making a model, if you want really good cloth physics, it is easier to create a nude model, and then skin the clothing over the existing nude model. Most MMOs do this, so that it is easier to change the clothing on the model for new armor and equipment. That means that, even though you may never see a nude model in the game, they are all nude under their armor, and if you were to pull the base model from the game engine with the right program, you would be able to see that. You will never see this nude (and usually nippleless) model during gameplay, but that does not mean it's not there, in the code. Is your thrust that everyone who uses the most efficient modelling techniques must get an A/O rating because there are nude models in the game that no one will ever see?

Re:For the love! (1)

qeveren (318805) | more than 7 years ago | (#16618892)

They did no such thing. They released the game with that content disabled. As in, completely inaccessible to the player unless the player went out of their way to actually modify the code of the game itself. Rockstar didn't need to declare it because it wasn't part of the game.

This is exactly identical to suing a game company because one of the comments in the code contains the word 'fuck' and they didn't declare this to the ESRB.

Re:For the love! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16619768)

You do realize that there were no boobies in the locked content [wikipedia.org] , right?

I swear, nudity in Hot Coffee is becoming the new "I invented the Internet."

Re:For the love! (1)

greggman (102198) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620582)

the box says right on it "explict sexual content" as well as "M - Mature: 17 and older"

It is not and never has been mislabeled or misrepresented.

Still don't get this... (3, Insightful)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16612554)

So, they're still being sued...over questionable content...that you can't access...unless you violate the DMCA...?

Why hasn't Rockstar/Take Two launched counter-suits against people who have used the Hot Coffee hack and are outraged by it?

Two words (2, Interesting)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613300)

Free Press.
Gotta love the free advertising and scandals..It's like jack Thompson. It's not a big deal, but they fight it out to get the name out there without paying ungodly advertising costs.

Re:Two words (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613898)

Have you SEEN legal bills lately? I'm betting a good ad campign would be cheaper...

Because they have no grounds (1)

mindwar23 (964732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614794)

Modifying a program for your personal use probably would not constitute a violation of DMCA. If one modified the game with the intention of making unauthorized copies, that may be a violation. But the modification that displays the undisclosed content didn't do that. Modifying the game may violate the EULA but not the DMCA.

Re:Because they have no grounds (1)

amuro98 (461673) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617122)

I wish it was that way, but no.

The DMCA outlaws any and all types of modification - regardless of the purpose or audience - that requires reverse engineering, decompilation or other forms of hacking.

Heck, just dumping a save file into a binary editor is a violation of the DMCA.

(enforcement is another matter...)

For the curious... (2, Interesting)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613754)

who haven't seen some of the content yet, here's a Google Images search for a handful of hi-rez pics. [google.com]

Not as tame as the Sims/Sim2 w/o the pixel blur, but it is a bit more graphic than Janet's nipple. Though I recall seeing about as much skin as a kid when my mom's soaps were on the tube.

Funny how our standards (as a society) change over time. Anyone remember the full-frontal nudity of a baby Clark Kent in the theater release of Superman in the 70's (PG)? Or how about those obviously gratitous bare breasts briefly flashed in the foreground on the panic scene in Airplane (also PG).

Damned puritan nation...

Re:For the curious... (2, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613932)

One little problem with your Superman / Airplane! argument:

Both of those were PG before PG-13 [wikipedia.org] was created as a rating (1984).

So, it's possible that had such a rating existed back then, they might've been rated PG-13 and not PG.

Have social standards changed? Probably. (although, both would likely score below 'R' and above 'G', so it's hard to tell in this particular case if they'd be rated PG or PG-13).

Re:For the curious... (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614302)

I'm well aware of when PG-13 came to be. My (somewhat tangential) point was that those of us young moviegoers before the PG-13 era turned out just fine. These days we're a society that thinks lite-porn glossy mags like Maxim are okay for kids to thumb through at the grocery store, tons of violence in TV and PG-13 movies are cool, but whoa! stop the presses! if a nipple is shown.

There was more real nudity in PG movies in the 70s/80s than there is in today's PG-13 movies. Hell, even in today's (American) R-rated movies, nudity and sex seem pretty rare (at least to me). Compare Porky's to the American Pie franchise.

Maybe my memory is off, but the ratings of today make less sense as compared to 20 years ago.

Re:For the curious... (1)

smbarbour (893880) | more than 7 years ago | (#16617720)

Ahhh, but Spaceballs, which was rated PG in 1987, has an insane amount of profanity that would get an "R" rating today.

your car (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#16613776)

your car comes out of the box ready to go 115+ mph (more if you've got a sportier car or less if you've got a Geo), but the governor limits this (in america at least) to ~115mph. Does this mean that automotive manufacturers are selling illegal racing machines because someone can flip a bit somewhere (or cut a wire, whatever)? I think that Take Two is not necessarily responsible for someone unlocking content they decided to hide at the last minute.

Good news, everybody! (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16614966)

Hey, this is great news! I was trolling on the net the other day, and I found a mod that turns my original "Doom" into a nudefest... hundreds of young, naked women, some of whom may be underage! So this whole case is going to be a great precendent.

So, who wants to get in on the "ID" lawsuit with me? I mean, I got the game, then downloaded something that made the game do a naughty, within the game mechanics. That's close enough.

But you added content (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16616766)

Your Doom mod means nothing because you added the nudity.

This case is a real head-scratcher because Rockstar included the nudity - BUT they did not include any way to view it with the game that shipped! It's basically almost as if you had sold a movie on a DVD with a hidden pornographic JPG that only a computer could access by browsing files. In that case, should the movie have an X rating even though a DVD player would never show it?

It seems like Rockstar should win this one but it is more complex than a simple case of someone slapping nudity in to a game after the fact.

One could even wonder based on this if the inclusion of skin textures in the game could not be construed in the same way this has been, since that skin pattern can be extended all over or in place of clothes.

Re:But you added content (1)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 7 years ago | (#16619280)

And the Hot Coffee mod added code that allowed access to the content. Personally, I could find a similarity between using existing code to access added content, and using added code to access existing content.

Did parents even read the game box? (1)

cuantar (897695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16615050)

This whole issue is simply ridiculous. The game was rated Mature (17+) with a list of reasons included on the box, and parents/politicians/blood-sucking lawyers are complaining that their (less-than-17 year-old) children who play it are seeing polyboobies? Wouldn't 'mature' seem to indicate, well, a certain level of maturity, such that children who are allowed to play the game by their parents are probably capable of handling polyboobies without spontaneously combusting? And if the parents aren't aware of what kind of games their kids are playing because of negligence on their part, how is it Rockstar's fault?

America needs to grow the fuck up.

Re:Did parents even read the game box? (1)

Johnny Adnams (1010507) | more than 7 years ago | (#16620714)

Exactly - we've got an adult rated game in which the character is an criminal who can kill innocent people with a flame-thrower, beat police to death with baseball bats, get "serviced" by hookers and then kill them and take the money back, etc, etc...

But, allow a little simulated nudity and sex and there is an outcry. The hypocrisy is ludicrous. No 10-year-old should be playing this game. That's why it is rated 17+ in the US, 18 certificated in the UK. But if parents allow their child to play this game then, given the rest of the game, I can't see that some content you can only gain access to via a mod is the problem.

Teach the parents some common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16615842)

Someone create a collection of mods for common software that replaces icons with boobs. Put some Windows themes in where all the icons are explicit. Do it with AIM, IE, Word, Excel. Do it with whatever the modern day Math Blaster/Number Cruncher/Carmen Sandiego/Oregon Trail edutainment games are. Make sure you get NetNanny type applications, Anti-Virus stuff. The AOL client. Get default bloatware that comes on pre-built PCs from the major manufacturers. It shouldn't be too hard...lots of problems allow for skinning, and others just require editing of the right archive file (AIM used to, and I would assume it still does).

Show that the procedure to implement any of these would be the same as to activate the Hot Coffee Mod: download a file, execute the file, possibly specify the target to be modified, and then run the target application. At what point will people learn?

Yes, leaving the content in the game was a bad move. Did Take-Two and the ESRB not act appropriately, or even over-the-top? The original game was re-rated higher. It was recalled, apologized for, and a new version without that data was released. What are they supposed to do, exactly? Apparently, this requires that they send a check everyone who bought the game for their _children_. I'm sorry, but the game is largely based around murder, prostitution, and other crimes. If it's ok for your child to interactively engage in these crimes in a video game, it's ok for them to see boobs. Any other response shows that the initial purchase decision was not correct, and that the parents are failing to take responsibility for that initial purchase decision error.

Additionally, if your child knows about the Hot Coffee Mod and knows enough to implement the mod, then they already have ready access to porn. Even if your child's _friend_ brought the save file to your child, that friend could just as easily have brought porn.

I could possibly see issues if Take-Two hadn't shown considerable effort to remedy the situation.

It reminds me of, a few years back, when a cable provider accidentally switched feeds and replaced something like 10-20 minutes of Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel with the Playboy/Spice channel. Was the provider sued?

Guess what: your cable line is sending your house pornography 24/7, and all your child needs to see it is a descrambler. And that adult material is sent to you _intentionally_. Sue them first, and if you can get that to fly, try Take-Two.

really a pointless thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16616088)

I am ticked off at the court system for allowing this case to move like this, the fact is that the hot coffee mod was in the game true, however there was already a strong sexual content label placed on the game which meant that it had strong SEXUAL content, so basically the people want a game rating that will specify exactly which sexual positions people will be in so that they can judge whether its ok. Regardless of the fact that the code was already in there, I understand that video games require more indepth attention than TV or movies, but when an adult buys a game for their son and did not check the REVIEWS, SCREENSHOTS, READING THE LABELS, SPEAKING ABOUT IT WITH OTHER ADULTS, then I feel that the adult has no right nor say to bitch or complain about the content because THEY WERE INFORMED BUT THE ADULT DID NOT LOOK FOR THE INFORMATION BUT IT WAS THERE. Judges need to start looking at these cases as whether or not the parent did their jobs, also, A MOVIE HAS STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT WHICH MEANS IT HAS SEX, BUT THATS ENOUGH TO KEEP PEOPLE AWAY.
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