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Hackers Uncensor Manhunt 2

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-have-a-feeling-the-esrb-may-have-something-to-say-here dept.

Censorship 125

Less than 24 hours after the release of Manhunt 2, you can already play the full and uncensored version thanks to some enterprising hackers. The news for Rockstar is just ... bad: "The game has been censored in the US in order for it to receive an M rating - and therefore a release - rather than the original AO rating it was given by the ESRB. The illegal exploit of the original PSP code indicates that the scenes that were cut in order to secure an M rating were not removed from the full game, rather disabled, much like the Hot Coffee mini-games in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." This is also exactly what prompted the re-rating of Oblivion and Halo 2 for the PC. We should expect to see an ESRB response to this very soon, then.

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When will they ever learn (5, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196731)

You wait until AFTER the game has been out a week or two before posting the AO-hack.

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196791)

The news for Rockstar is just ... great. More publicity!

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197971)

So is this hackable manhunt release going to increase in value? Had I known marvel vs capcom2 would be like $70 now, I would have bought 20 copies.

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198283)

With very easy to find hacks, Tomb Raider can be topless.. Why didn't they rerate that game AO? I would have been happy to see that entire franchise go DOA. Like Halo2. Like Oblivion. Like GTA:SA...

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198289)

Grab it now, because they're going to patch this one up VERY quickly, likely in the form of a mandatory PSP upgrade.

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198989)

Mandatory PSP upgrade? Tell me that was a poor attempt at sarcasm, please! For starters I wonder how a 3rd party software company would get Sony to do that - even if it were possible. Who runs Sony firmware anyway?

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202203)

Remember the Grand Theft Auto version that allows people to run unauthorized games? They got rid of that, and subsequent firmware updates disabled said ability. I can see the same thing happening.

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200719)

I have a copy of MvC2 for the DreamCast... what I am missing here?

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196793)

I wish I didn't know that the illegal hack is going to fuck Rockstar again...

Re:When will they ever learn (1)

Zutroi_Zatatakowsky (513851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198817)

Fix your goddamn sig, it's "Jon Stewart" not "John Stewart".

sig fixed (0, Offtopic)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199593)

Better now? BTW, thanks.

Pre-game hacks (-1, Redundant)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196799)

Next, hackers will have to post the AO hack before the game is even released.

grunka-lunka-dunkity-deedee,
make sure the AO files aren't on the censored CD!

Rockstar, you fscking idiots (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196827)

Didn't you people learn *anything* from the Hot Coffee debacle? Heck, the Hot Coffee components of San Andreas weren't even *well publicized* and people s till managed to dig it up. What did you THINK was going to happen? You've already got congress breathing down the necks of the entire industry and STILL you think layering gruesome, brutal scenes that would have resulted in a higher rating over a simple... screen flash?

I realize this shouldn't be as big of an issue, society and violence, blah blah, but the truth remains that the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1, Insightful)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197025)

Didn't you people learn *anything* from the Hot Coffee debacle?
Oh hell yes they did. They basically were able to release an AO game with a M rating. So they got the game out the door on most systems AND did not have to actually cut anything out because they knew the hacking community would find it. I bet the everyone but the legal department is laughing their ass off over at Rockstar right now.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203297)

I doubt that'll work, the ESRB won't like it (i.e. fine Rockstar), the console manufacturers might get them for breach of contract and retailers won't want it anymore after it gets uprated. Never mind they'll have to issue a recall because the game carries the ESRB mark with a rating that does not fit which is a trademark violation or something.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (-1, Troll)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197123)

I agree with you. They should have known better after Hot Coffee. I defended them in the past..no more. With this and the Simpsons thing, Rockstar is moving to my "don't buy from" list.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (5, Interesting)

jeks (68) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197239)

Can we be so sure this is really an accident. They have been down this road before and must have learned the implications of it. Rockstar has some of the most brilliant people working for them. Are they really run by a bunch of idiots? I find that hard to believe.

Nothing pisses me off more than conspiracy theorists, but here goes. Is it just me, or could this have been done on purpose? Maybe simply to maintain their "we don't give a f*ck" public image in anticipation for greater platform releases.

Do ratings really affect end sales results? Most kids are determined enough to get their hands on what they want anyway, ratings or not, even if they have to go behind someone's back (naturally their parents). I sure know I was, even though there were no consoles back then, there were video tapes of magical events (rated and censored dare I say, here in Sweden) where real fighters squared off. I think the winner more often than not was named Bruce Lee.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (3, Interesting)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197459)

Oh, I have no doubt Rockstar will benefit from this. Manhunt sales will jump, and achieve sales far better than it deserves (almost all reviews have universally judged it mediocre at best). It's the blatant disregard for the rest of the industry that pisses me off. This is the type of irresponsible "me" thinking that will get this industry censored by the guys on the hill. The *rest* of us are fine releasing M games, and AO games, and T games, and E games, why does Rockstar deliberately have to generate the media frenzy and even FURTHER undermine the authority of the ESRB?

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (2)

dintech (998802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198117)

Nasty as it is, Rockstar is a business with with its own interests. It only really cares about #1.

Re:Taliban dupes, you fscking idiots (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199041)

You don't know what you are talking about. Night Trap [wikipedia.org] proves beyond all doubt that certain members of congress are card carrying members of the Taliban who wish to censor everything. You ever played Night Trap? If you didn't change anything except making the girls a few years younger, it probably would've been aired on Nickelodeon's "Are you afraid of the dark" series. The "violence" and "sex" in that video game are G-rated at most.

The attacks on video game "violence" and such have nothing to do with any actual content. It doesn't matter if you have a slasher game spraying ketchup all over the camera or teletubbies smashing into each other, those people will try to censor it.

My conclusion, from actual experience with this type of people, is that they want to elimate everything which doesn't conform to their sect's beliefs. Never mind if someone did anything like this to them, they'd be screaming bloody murder.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Bud Dickman (1131973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200391)

"The *rest* of us are fine releasing M games, and AO games, and T games, and E games"
How do you propose that "we" are fine releasing AO games when the console manufacturers have stated time and time again that they will not license AO games to be released for their systems?

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

cliffski (65094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198067)

"Rockstar has some of the most brilliant people working for them. Are they really run by a bunch of idiots? I find that hard to believe."

having dealt with their parent company on several occasions, I would postulate you put way too much faith in their abilities.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199787)

Maybe it's time for game manufacturers to stop being bullied by the Wal-Marts and Best Buys. If you're gonna create a game for adults, then goddamit, make a game for adults. Are you really telling me that somebody who has the wherewithal to set up a system capable of running one of these new games can't figure out how to order a copy online instead of driving their 1978 Toyota pickup down to the Wal-Mart so they can pick up a game along with their cheap-ass child-labor made Nike knockoffs?

Maybe the popularity of games that are violent or show skin is some indication that the world has not yet become the vanilla family-values prison that the hypocritical Ted Haggard meth-sniffing male prostitute-using wide-stance (not Gay!) members of the holier-than-thou Religious Reich would like to create.

Hell, I'm a tax-paying, hard working, family-loving, good husband and father. But you know what? I like a little indecency now and then, and I'm pretty sure that a lot of other people do too, and it doesn't make them bad people, nor has it destroyed our society.

If a company like Rockstar decided that they weren't going to let a bunch of twisted-sister organization with "family" in their name decide their approach to creating content, they deserve what they get. Somebody's going to figure out that you don't have to play that game to be successful and they'll get my business.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197419)

I think Rockstar though nobody would think they'd be stupid enough to risk another Hot Coffee so nobody would even bother looking for it.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197643)

You have to understand that it's near impossible to redo half of a game after it's gone gold. Unless you want to push the release back another half year.

So the choice was, either to do a half assed attempt to shove it out the door or back to the drawing board. Question for 200: Which route will the average game company take? Take into consideration that it's November and the XMas sales are at stake.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197729)

A week at most, and this is from someone who's had experience developing games (albeit indie, but the same rules apply). Rockstar covered up the brutal parts with screen overlays, which was well enough, all they had to do was change the animation to something more benign during this "invisible" period. Heck, it's something so simple it could've been done in Maya, 3dsmax, or whichever tool they were using for animation. NO CODE CHANGES REQUIRED. You can do all of this in a day (a couple hours with multiple people), and have it QA'ed and ready to go days after that.

Nonsense, no-op out the naughty bits (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198573)

They took the time to make sure the naughty parts didn't get displayed without a hack.

How hard is it to either completely yank the naughty bits or replace them with functionally-identical bits that are just outlines or other innocuous, not-fun-to-play, shapes? After all, unless someone writes a hack they will never show up on screen, right?

Re:Nonsense, no-op out the naughty bits (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200765)

Why should they have to do this to appease anyone to begin with?

Them with the gold makes the rules (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201411)

If you don't care about selling in stores like Wal-Mart that won't carry AO games, then you don't have to appease anyone.

If you do, you do.

Re:Them with the gold makes the rules (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201515)

Part of the problem; they shouldn't have to appease walmart to be able to sell their product. Walmart should look to see if it will sell or not, not object on vague notions of morality.

It's all about the Benjamins (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201935)

Wal-Mart, like most companies, makes bottom-line decisions.

If they sold AO games, they would gain revenue from sales, but they would lose in the costs of lost goodwill, lost customers with kids-in-tow who don't want to shop with their kids in a building that sells AO games, lost customers who don't want to do business with stores that sell AO games at all, and the costs associated with responding to calls for boycotts from certain vocal organizations.

Even ignoring the latter, the first three costs are not insignificant.

Oh, I'm not even considering the costs of labor when a noticeable portion of your labor force chooses not to apply for a job with a company that sells AO games, the costs of not being able to higher minors when state and local lawmakers step in and prohibit AO-vendors from having minor employees ring up the merchandise, or the costs of making sure minors do not buy the merchandise.

These costs, as well as those at the top of the list, affect many other products, such as tobacco, alcohol, and even M-rated games. However, for those other categories the market has spoken and for the most part stores like the Wal-Mart Supercenters carry them where allowed by law.

Re:It's all about the Benjamins (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202405)

Not sure I buy it. Video stores have no problems renting adult movies, nor finding employees. Condoms are sold right in the isle in grocery stores. Walmart already carries R rated movies. Book stores also carry explicit adult content, in magazine and book form. FYE carries NC-17 movies as well as other ratings; NC-17 can show full nudity and soft porn IIRC.

Yet there's no outrage or boycott being called. Honestly, I think that if retailers simply ignored these vocal groups, they'd find that their bottom line is just fine.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (2, Informative)

XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197823)

From what I can tell the "hack" in this case requires a homebrew PSP (legality questioned), and ISO of the games (legality questioned) and the modification of a few configuration files (not something normally possible on a console) ... Hidden content is all over the place, in DVDs, games, business applications, etc. If it takes extraordinary means to get to it, something that technically shouldn't be possible if the device it's played on is used properly, how is that the fault of the developer?

Sure, they left the content in. But realize that what they did to the scenes was "fuzz" them over with odd camera angles and filters. You need the scenes there in order to filter them..

Hot coffee was a little different. That wasn't part of the game at all, or at least, not something they released, per se. Perhaps it was something planned that they decided not to release after all. Either way, it's not something that was intended to be available.

Let's not blow all of this out of proportion.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198675)

Sure, they left the content in. But realize that what they did to the scenes was "fuzz" them over with odd camera angles and filters. You need the scenes there in order to filter them..
If this game gets re-rated because the content was only blurred and the objectionable content was still on the disk, this would give Jack Thompson the reload of ammo he needs to go after The Sims and its pixelated nudity.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199369)

And getting a view of the non-pixelated nudity in The Sims was so easy anyone could do it. It's really surprising nothing ever came of that.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200813)

And getting a view of the non-pixelated nudity in The Sims was so easy anyone could do it. It's really surprising nothing ever came of that.
Sim Coffee? Hot Sim Coffee? Simulated Hot Coffee?

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202289)

1.) Create game simulating life
2.) Have characters drink Hot Coffee
3.) ??????
4.) Profit!

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (0)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198023)

It's the politicians and the idiots who vote for them when they behave this way who aren't doing anyone any favors. Censorship of this sort is completely childish. It's time to grow up, bitches!

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198667)

"I realize this shouldn't be as big of an issue, society and violence, blah blah, but the truth remains that the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours."

Rockstar was faced with an injustice in the first place. Cry me a fucking river.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199667)

Rockstar was faced with an injustice in the first place. Cry me a fucking river.

Elaborate please?

Rockstar is just in the exact same position as every company that makes movies, video games, or CDs. (For some reason, books don't have a rating system-- American Psycho should be an AO.) Maybe you consider that an "injustice", but there's nothing unique about this case, is there?

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199961)

"Maybe you consider that an "injustice", but there's nothing unique about this case, is there?"

Their game cannot be sold because it was given a worse rating than, say, the Saw movies. (And those are only rated-R.)

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201005)

Possibly, but that's just an indicator that the MPAA is doing a crappy job of rating movies and the ESRB is doing a better job of rating games, isn't it? The fact that a movie like Saw, or my personal favorite example Scary Movie (which had a scene where a guy is killed by being stabbed in the head by a dildo) is getting an R rating is an entirely different issue.

Or my less offensive example, how the movie Whale Rider (an great and inspirational film that all kids/teens should see) was rated PG-13 because in one scene there is an object that may or may not be a pipe, which may or may not have been used to smoke marijuana out-of-focus in the background. (Seriously! That's the "drug reference" mentioned by the MPAA.) PG-13 puts the movie out of the age range of it's core audience, assuming parents followed the ratings to-the-letter. It's ridiculous.

But anyway, yes. I personally believe:
1) The ESRB is doing a pretty good job. They have a couple black marks (rating Halo 2 too high IMO; rating Oblivion initially too low), but in general they've been doing a much better job than the MPAA for movies.
2) The ESRB is, by far, the lesser of two evils. If the ESRB ceases to exist, or if they fail to do maintain confidence among customers, the alternative (and only alternative) is *government control* of games. That's a far worse result than Rockstar losing a few sales due to hard-to-find AO titles, and I hope that Rockstar recognizes that.

Hell, if Hillary gets elected, we'll be in a full-on fight to keep the government out of games regardless of how well the ESRB's doing.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201617)

"Possibly, but that's just an indicator that the MPAA is doing a crappy job of rating movies and the ESRB is doing a better job of rating games, isn't it? "

Nope. It may be an indicator that the ESRB is being overzealous against Manhunt 2. Alternatively, it could be an indicator that they're judging the games based on human intuition as opposed to actual measurable aspects of the game. It doesn't really matter either way, but I suppose it's a fun academic exercise.

"2) The ESRB is, by far, the lesser of two evils. If the ESRB ceases to exist, or if they fail to do maintain confidence among customers, the alternative (and only alternative) is *government control* of games. That's a far worse result than Rockstar losing a few sales due to hard-to-find AO titles, and I hope that Rockstar recognizes that."

No matter what statistics you throw at it, the ESRB still has to do their job right. Rockstar's doing exactly what they should be doing. They're not 'fscking idiots' like a previous poster was saying for fighting this battle. This is not Hot Coffee. This is millions of dollars in game development rejected for questionable reasons, not sexual content playfully hidden in a game. Likening the two demonstrates a lack of understanding of the topic.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21201733)

No, I have an understanding and it's this:

The ESRB is a lot better than the alternative, and I'm pissed that Rockstar is cutting off their nose to spite their face. It's in Rockstar's best interest to support the ESRB, because I can guarantee that if the government takes over, you're not going to see anything even close to the level of Manhunt on shelves.

I know that the Slashdot way of thinking is "we hate all censorship" but in this case you need to set that aside for the greater good.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203353)

"It's in Rockstar's best interest to support the ESRB, because I can guarantee that if the government takes over, you're not going to see anything even close to the level of Manhunt on shelves.."

That's already happening, that's why they're drawing the line.

"I know that the Slashdot way of thinking is "we hate all censorship" but in this case you need to set that aside for the greater good."

Your assumption doesn't accurately reflect my sentiment. I find your call for voluntary censorship amusing, though. In any event, I do not agree with your assessment. If the ESRB is going to bend to the whims of a few noisy people, we're not actually any better off.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202443)

Whoa there. SCOTUS will still uphold the first amendment. The problem here isn't government control, it is corporate control. The console makers won't license any games, and the stores won't carry them unless they receive less than an AO rating.

If the government did decide to take over ratings (once again, a move wrought with negative 1st amendment issues) they couldn't outright ban anything without a very fundamental shift in constitutional law. What would happen is the stores and console manufacturers would apply the government rating to censor themselves. To me, that's not very different than what we have now.

Remember, you don't have to submit a game to the ESRB for a rating or a movie to the MPAA. You just have a hard time selling it if you don't.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203643)

Yeah, but, again, how is that any different than any other content industry? (Sans books for some reason.)

You have to submit your movie to the MPAA, if you get an NC-17 rating it's basically commercially dead and you either stick to your guns and have a very limited release, or you re-edit the film to hit an R rating. Right? If you don't get it rated at all, well, then no theater is going to carry it and you're in the same boat.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

Doc Lazarus (1081525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200799)

Rockstar was faced with an injustice because politicians are trying to use it as a gold standard for how 'bad' games are today. Nobody accusing Rockstar of 'corrupting youth' even believes that nonsense. Rockstar wants to make a game for adults to play that deals with adult themes. Various overbearing parents simply don't want to tell their children no, or want to explain why this game should not be played by them. Politicos want to make some big yet pointless issue to grandstand on. Nowhere in this spectrum is the voice of people who actually buy the games for themselves and enjoy them being heard. In fact, my right to play the type of games I want to play is being suppressed because of the potential harm that might befall some kid...who shouldn't be watching this game due to the rating and shouldn't have the money to play such a game. The problem here is that Rockstar isn't even given a choice here. The AO Rating is a semi-legal way to stop retailers from carrying the game. They are being blackmailed into making a game that fits people who would not play it in the first place. This is wrong. And bringing children that should not even be playing the game into it is a cheap appeal to emotion. Using this system, Rockstar has no real way to win here, which is what various people with an axe to grind want, simply because a game they will never play upsets their ideas of reality. How that is considering right is far, far beyond any logic I have encountered.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198897)

There are almost NO details in the article. For all we know, the "mod" takes data from the leaked PS2 version and imports it into the PSP version. In fact, were I Rockstar, this is what I would say in my own defense. (Remember, they tried to "lie" by obfuscation the first time.)

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199843)

Perhaps I should have linked something in my post. For information's sake, the mod is as follows (as near as I can tell without actually playing the game):

- Rockstar had very graphic/brutal animation sequences in the game, which got it the AO rating.
- To get around this they inserted graphic overlays to "white out" the screen as the worst of it was happening (which as another poster brought up, is probably psychologically scarier)
- For some reason the config for this feature was left in an INI file on the game disc. Deleting a few lines will remove the overlays altogether.

So... The content was definitely there. This is even easier that Hot Coffee, which involved altering the game script to access otherwise sealed off functions. This is a simple SWITCH.

Re:Rockstar, you fscking idiots (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200013)

the industry remains under tight scrutiny, and Rockstar isn't doing anybody any favours.

The adult content remains embedded in the game. The hack appears "out of thin air" on the day after its release. To the surprise of no one.

Jack Thompson couldn't script this better if he wrote the scenario himself.

I'd like to see the expression on the face of the Walmart exec who has to pull the plug on another Rockstar game.

In the opening days of the Christmas shopping season, no less.

Stupid (5, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196845)

The re-rating of Oblivion was insanely stupid. Ooh, you can mod it to include some nudity. Okay.. you can MOD a ton of games to include whatever you want! That doesn't change the fact that unless you go in changing things as (or via) a third party, the game remains the same as when it was originally rated by the ESRB.

In all of these cases, the rating should not change. A third party mod can add content, unlock content that otherwise cannot be accessed, etc. I don't see any logical, practical reason why in one case the rating shouldn't change and in another it should. Really, in all cases it shouldn't.

Re:Stupid (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197003)

What we need is for hackers to spend some time modding the Veggie Tales games, or Bible Adventure...

Re:Stupid (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197673)

I think you can use a Wolf3D level editor to mod the full DOS version of Super 3D Noah's Ark...

*runs*

-uso.

Re:Stupid (1)

justinlindh (1016121) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200615)

If I had mod points, I would have boosted this comment.

Just a single instance of a mod to a wholesome children's game to introduce violence and/or nudity would halt any further re-ratings of games. Imagine the censors:

Censor A: Ahhhh, cute, Christian vegetables!
Censor B: Wait, wait... is that a screen shot on the internet of exposed melons on that cucumber that's being raped by that carrot?
Censor A: But, but... it's a Christian game! It wasn't that way when it was released! We can't possibly re-rate this as M or AO because of some idiotic pervert on the internet!

I guarantee you that this is how it would happen. From that point forwards, any modification made to a game could refer to the Veggie Tales precedent that was already set: external modifications cannot force a ratings change.

Maybe they should just slap a generic warning a la every other online game. You've seen it, the one that mentions that the rating may not apply to online game experience. Why can't the same text just be appended to all games, with "warning may not apply to modified game content"?

Re:Stupid (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203431)

Quick, someone mod some titties into the Oregon Trail!

Re:Stupid (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203047)

Excellent idea. If there were a Bible game true to the book, I'm sure it would be rated at least M. Think about it; fratricide, genocide, rape, murder, torture, suicide, arson, fornication, animal sacrifice, etc. are all in there, especially in the Old Testament. In fact, sometimes it's the protagonist perpetrating the acts.

Re:Stupid (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21197087)

That doesn't change the fact that unless you go in changing things...

Ratings aren't for "you", they're for parents. From the parents' point of view, it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.

Re:Stupid (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198905)

Ratings aren't for "you", they're for parents. From the parents' point of view, it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.
Why, because everyone who raises children is an irresponsible retard who doesn't know the difference between using something out-of-the-box and using it with after-market mods? Besides the fact that ratings are for people in general, not just parents, what does it matter if something is "trivially" locked as opposed to "non-trivially"? And who decides the triviality? The ESRB?

Clueless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21199115)

it's a moot point whether content is shipped unlocked or trivially locked.
In that case, this image [google.com] is "trivially locked" porn.

Shameful porn peddling by Google sneaking that logo past the rating boards, when all it takes is a kid with MS Paint to unlock the porn imagery.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21199561)

If Little Johnny has a modded psp, an M-rated game, and frequents the type of sites where this patch is published without his parents' knowledge, the difference between an M and AO rating is probably moot too.

Re:Stupid (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#21202547)

One time I was playing Mario 3, and just for kicks I taped a giant picture of a phallus to the TV screen. I was scared for life, and really feel that the Bureau for Consumer Protection should do something about this avenue for potential gross abuse.

Re:Stupid (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197089)

This brings up a point and gives me a great idea. Why don't we get people to make nude patches for Barbie Pony Princess (fake game, but you know what I mean...some E game targeted at kids)? Then get the media to cover it and make them reclassify Barbie as Mature :)

Re:Stupid (-1, Troll)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197131)

If the nude textures were already on the disc, and all that took to unlock it was EDITING A TEXT FILE (INI in this case), sure, Barbie can expect to be horrifyingly owned by the press and subsequently pulled.

Sadly, due to the atmosphere around gaming these days, I think more developers will choose to encrypt their game content, so they have at least some legal leg to stand on if something like this happens to them. While I would like to be quick to blame Congress for this sad situation, I believe the modders have to share some blame for being so fscking stupid, and refusing to self-regulate.

Re:Stupid (5, Funny)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197597)

If the nude textures were already on the disc,

Of course they already exist on the disc... Mattel just hid them under the ordinary textures using one-time pad encryption.

We just need to find the decryption key that restores them to their original AO-rated glory.

Mod parent insightful+funny (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198891)

I can't mod this thread.

Re:Stupid (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198525)

Why don't we get people to make nude patches for Barbie Pony Princess (fake game, but you know what I mean...some E game targeted at kids)?
There is "Barbie Horse Adventures", now with two games in the franchise: Wild Horse Rescue and Mystery Ride. They were rated E. (X-Play rated the first one as a "game you should never play".)

Question is, should the nude mod for Barbie still make her "smooth around the bend", making her just as age-appropriate as the dolls, or make her anatomically correct?

Re:Stupid (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197433)

This is for the chilllldruuuun. Logic doesn't enter into it.

Re:Stupid (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197473)

I played Drawn To Life (http://www.thq.com/games/gameinfo.php?id=1283) with a naked main character. Not to mention the kind of depraved stuff I drew as "clouds". ESRB should rate Drawn to Life AO.

Re:Stupid (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197555)

I think it's a gray area when the content is actually there but locked. Sure, adding content (a la Oblivion mods) shouldn't change the rating, but if there's a cutscene included with the game that's "disabled" then it's still technically part of the content included in the purchase of the game.

Honestly, game companies (especially Rockstar!) ought to know better by now. It shouldn't be that hard to replace a video or audio file with a stub, or null out some game-rendered cutscene script, even at the last minute if it comes to that.

Re:Stupid (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198179)

Ehh, it could be a PITA.

If the game has already gone gold, they would be looking at a huge loss to re-package a new CD. Especially if the game is designed to call home so that the disabling could be enacted after the purchase with out any significant overhead.

Even if the game hasn't gone gold, if they still intend to ship both an AO and M rated version, having all the data on 1 image, and just flipping an enabled switch is likely cheaper for production costs.

But yeah, you would think that these guys, having a game they know is controversial would take the time to re-burn the master image with out the objectionable scenes and wait for final rating before going gold if at all possible.

-Rick

Re:Stupid (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197697)

Erh... one question, because I'm not familiar with Oblivion, was the nudity part of the game and was "dressed", or was it a complete third party implementation?

I see this as a big difference. When it's part of the game, just hidden to get an agreeable rating, the game company does have some liability. If it's completely third party then yes, I agree, 100% pure bullshit to rerate.

Re:Stupid (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198453)

Partial nudity (not well done) was already there because the clothing was basically laid over it. But without making a mod, getting at that nudity was not possible.

Still, I don't really see how a company should have a game rating change by having locked content that cannot be accessed without a 3rd party effort. It's not "part of the game" from a practical standpoint. And ratings are *supposed* to be about practicality. (Granted they aren't; they're inconsistent and nonsensical BS, but that's not the point here, heh.)

In Oblivion's case, Bethesda could have separately released their own full-blown nude mod (just like horse armor or whatever) for free download on their site, and that still shouldn't change the rating of the game you bought. I feel that the only thing that should affect the rating is the content that is available to you if you play the game "normally" (no extra downloads, no hacks, etc.). And it's not a question of "accessibility" as much as it is one of rating *the game you are playing out of the box.* (And I say this because technically if say there's a "play as Ayane nude mode" in Ninja Gaiden if you beat it on Master Ninja that's part of the game to begin with, even though it's nearly inaccessible to anyone due to the Master Ninja difficulty, it requires no 3rd party apps to unlock.) It shouldn't matter what a game can potentially become if you screw around with it enough using separate apps.

Liability as far as publicity goes for creating the content in the first place, sure. And Rockstar in this instance has already gotten plenty of bad publicity for it. Locking the content rendering it inaccessible (unless hacked) is to me the same thing as not including it (since a hack can *add* content just the same if people are willing to put in the effort to do it).

Not really the issue (1)

beldraen (94534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198413)

The point is not that a piece of software can be mod'ed. The problem with the game is that the content is included but disabled. While in some ways I think it's stupid to make a distinction, I also think it's stupid that the company is being so lazy as to not product a finished product solely in the form expected.

Think of it this way: Child porn is legal in some parts of the world. A magazine is printed that contains it and some company decides that people in the US might want to read everything save the "naughty parts." So, they fold the pages over and use some sticky glue to keep it shut. It does take a little effort to get steamer out to undo the glue, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Do you not think people won't freak out over the magazine? After all, the "bad parts" have been made "unavailable."

I'm not saying the the ESRB is doing things correctly nor am I thinking that Congress is either. But, there is some modicum of truth to rating content that is there even if "unaccessible." If they hadn't included anything but what was necessary for the game, there would be no issue.

Re:Not really the issue (3, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198561)

Your analogy to the magazine is way off, though. Folding over pages doesn't make them unavailable, heh, even if they're glued shut. Besides, the point isn't about accessibility per se (a high difficulty mode-related unlock can be just as inaccessible as outright disabling content from an effort-related standpoint), as much as it is a question of *what exactly is being rated.* Is it the game you will be playing? or is it the game you could potentially be playing if you use 3rd party apps to mess with the content in some fashion?

I'm not defending Rockstar's decision necessarily, but I'm certainly not criticizing it and I am definitely criticizing the ESRB's usual reaction to these situations.

Re:Stupid (1)

KevMar (471257) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198681)

Where do you draw the line?

some people would argue that it shipped on the disc, they should be responcible for it. How do you counter that? If they didnt want it to show, they should have removed it.

I write code. I undersand how it works. There are many times where I will comment out something and never use it. Or just disable functionality instead of removing it. But alot of people have no clue.

Its just another technilogical issue that someone with no understanding about will try to relate it to something unrelated and regulate it bassed on that. The things administraion are known for.

Re:Stupid (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199077)

Hm... but that's not the point! Changing a game rating from "M" to "AO" or from "T" to "M" isn't the equivalent of "placing responsibility" on Rockstar for the content. Rockstar could have released a separate free download that adds crazy levels of gore, explicit sex, and whatever else they feel like and though they would be 100% responsible for it, it wouldn't change the fact that the content of the game that you will be subject to if you play it out-of-the-box is (supposedly) appropriate for some particular age group.

Ratings should be there to tell people what they can expect from a game they buy if they do not "change" it from the way it was to begin with. You ask a very valid question: where do I draw the line? Well, I would say that if content is available as part of the original gameplay, then it should factor into the rating. If it is only available if you add stuff that isn't part of the original game, then it shouldn't factor in because then you get into too many gray areas since there's no limit to what can be "added" and it's really impractical to weigh what was added against what was there but "unavailable." Suppose Rockstar left 50% of the code needed for the AO content and the hack added the other 50%. Or what if it were 75%/25%? Is the content on the disk already?

Re:Stupid (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21203179)

Sorta. But if you make a game-model of a human, then clothe him/her and ship the game so that this (clothed) state is the only way to see him/her, are you liable for the fact that he/she is "really" naked underneath the clothing ?

It's not as if Natalie Portman ain't /really/ naked under those clothes in Star-Wars...

If you walk over to some girl (let's say she consents) and take her clothes off, can you then sue her for having exposed herself to you ? Is that any different if you're deliberatedly disrobing a video-game female ?

It's silly.

Re:Stupid (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199853)

I think Oblivion should have been rated Mature from the start. The naked skin excuse was pretty weak, but re-rating the game to be more accurate I don't see as a big deal... except that it's a pain for retailers who have to stick stickers on all the boxes.

If Halo 2 gets a Mature for fantasy combat against aliens, then Oblivion with realistic combat against other humans definitely deserves Mature.

Re:Stupid (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200695)

Well that's a whole different argument altogether. The ESRB has no hope of being consistent across different games with their ratings so there's probably not sense in saying "if Halo has alien combat and is M then Oblivion should be M as well," even though from a practical standpoint that makes sense.

Really, I disagree with the notion of Halo being M. It's definitely a teen title and doesn't have anything that you don't see on T-rated TV shows (actually it's quite a bit milder in many ways). Oblivion can be rated M if only because it takes a rather mature mind to make the most of the title, but then the rating reflects the intended audience more than the "appropriate age group" as far as the ESRB is concerned. So... meh I hate ratings anyway.

Illegal? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21196905)

How exactly is the hack illegal? Shouldn't you be able to look at all the data on the disk you bought?

Re:Illegal? (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21196999)

Are you still living in 1997? Clearly you don't own anything anymore, you merely have some permission to use the publisher's sacred content in the one way they deem fit. Your concept of owning stuff you paid for is laughable.

You would think, but no. (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197049)

Chances are, the disc uses some sort of copy protection. Chances are, this circumvents it. At least, that's how I'd play it if I was there lawyer.

Thank you, DMCA, for making it illegal to crack copy protection, no matter what the intent.

Re:Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21202735)

How exactly is the hack illegal? Shouldn't you be able to look at all the data on the disk you bought?

You should be able to, but you can't, at least not legally. There's a U.S. law called the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, or DMCA, that you should check out. It applies to you, even if you don't live in the U.S. It's one of the unfortunate symptoms of unchecked capitalism.

Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21197001)

Guess I'll run out and grab a copy tonight before they re-rate it AO and get it pulled from shelves. I don't even like Manhunt, but it's the only way right now, other than letter-writing, to show support for more heavily-adult titles.

Re:Crap (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197841)

But it's boring! Who cares if it's 'heavily adult'? Okay maybe this version is better than the original (which I bought because of all the fuss, then found it to be very BORING! and repetetive..), but due to the tricks they're employing again to make people buy it, I doubt it.

I'll still be getting GTA IV though, no matter what other crap happens between now and then, unless for some reason they make it X-Box 360 only, the day I buy a Microsoft console is the day that Steve Ballmer starts caring about people rather than money..

Re:Crap (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21199941)

the day I buy a Microsoft console is the day that Steve Ballmer starts caring about people rather than money..

I take it you don't own any game consoles, then?

And you built your computer from parts that you fabricated yourself using copper you mined and silicon you fired?

And you sew your own clothes and grow your own food?

Or, perhaps, every company except Microsoft is exempt from that "cares about people rather than money" condition you've set for doing business?

ESRB Warning (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197011)

Game play experience may change once game is online. I always laughed seeing that in games like Animal Crossing. But, MODs could be seen under that blanket warning. Once a game is live and online there's always going to be some odd way to view it... Ever been T-Bagged in a Halo match or downloaded a new item skin for Elder Scrolls?

fcuk me (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197231)

Game play experience may change once game is online. I always laughed seeing that in games like Animal Crossing.
That's because you eventually find players like Chester@Picken(2620-8829-0820) who have gone to Able Sisters and designed the equivalent of a French Connection logo T-shirt. Other players have even taught [metro.co.uk] their spoon-speaking [tvtropes.org] neighbors to swear.

The weird thing (4, Interesting)

naam00 (1145163) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197105)

...well to me at least, is that the edited scenes (yes with overstated screenjarring during the more brutal moments) are actually more disturbing to watch (in a good way) than watching the same things happening in clearly visible low-poly animation. The power of suggestion at play.

Weird in the sense that the people with their underwear in a knot over this manhunt business are still going to cry out over these less disturbing and plainly silly rendering resources being on disk, and the fact that hackers have removed the elements that make the scene more chilling.

But I guess they will want to blow off no matter what the game actually looks like.

http://gamevideos.com/video/id/15918 [gamevideos.com]

Re:The weird thing (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197627)

No kidding -- watching that video, it actually doesn't look like they're obscuring much at all. This is CLEARLY an AO title, and I really wish that they'd take the fight to get the console makers to allow AO titles rather than further muddle the M rating. I mean shit, The Longest Journey has an M rating, and it's a game I'd let any kid play, since the worst thing in it is the occasional language.

The power of suspense (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197779)

Old movies play on that too, and were more successful than those gore movies of today. Psycho still gives me more thrills than any bloodfest that drips red goo on the floor unter my TV.

The human mind comes up with more horrible ideas than the most graphic display could show. For reference, play Call of Cthulhu with my GM. I can stomach any horror movie, but when he starts describing what's going on and his cat jumps onto your lap, you piss your pants.

The illegal exploit? (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197497)

Seriously, TFA refers to it as an illegal exploit.

No no. It's merely against the license agreement, and is at the most unlawful.

Why is this bad for Rockstar? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21197583)

The message is clear: "BUY NOW! SUPPLIES ARE RUNNING OUT (or forced to run out soon)!"

If anything, this will push the sales for as long as it's possible. And, well, I'd buy it now for one reason: Soon you can sell them for rather good money on EBay.

huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21198269)

It's really not THAT bad. I mean, the sword through the skull is kind of gross, but I don't see anything that would freak me out too much. Odd, considering I'm extremely squeamish. Look at UT3 for god's sake - that has so much blood in it, I thought I would drown.

Hey watchdogs! (3, Funny)

entmike (469980) | more than 6 years ago | (#21198585)

You may want to contact Adobe! There is a feature in their "Photoshop" program that will allow you to create naked celebrities! This product is available for Our Children to purchase with no age restrictions.

Re:Hey watchdogs! (1)

nefiga (1048570) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199375)

You better watch what you say. Soon kids under the age of 18 won't be able to purchase pen and paper for fear that they could draw giant penises during a boring math class. I know I did.

This may be a stupid question, but... (3, Interesting)

Deceptin00b (1182903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21199999)

There are movies that have more than one DVD for them: the official one rated by the MPAA and the unrated version that has everything. Why not make games that way? The ESRB rated version, then an unrated version for those of us that have pubic hair?

Re:This may be a stupid question, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21201087)

Game console manufacturers won't let them. Just like they won't allow AO.

Ha ha ha - hackers, my butt (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21200739)

Dev team, that was, i assure you. Textbook gig - just obscure/hide the objected content, so that some enterprising 'hackers' can uncensor them. which hackers ? ones using absurdly l337 nicknames, for sure. but what are their real names ? you guessed right.
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