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[P]
War on Modders: Everyone gone nuts?

By megid in Op-Ed
Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 04:37:21 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The previously M-rated game "Grand Theft Auto" has hidden sexual content which was disabled in the shipped version. A modder (in this case: "person who modifies or extends a game through software hacking") enabled this feature.

A so-called "sex scandal" evolved from this, with the game being X-rated and Take Two (distributor of GTA) and some political entities calling for strictly forbidding modding.

My question to you: Have they all gone nuts?


First, a disclaimer: All I know is condensed in a single article on Wired.

And now, the beef.

Modding is the process of modifying something (in this case: a piece of software) you own. Normally, there is no legal problem with that: You paid it, you own it, you can do whatever you please.

In this case, what happened was:

  1. Some GTA programmer wrote sexual content into the game for the heck of it.
  2. He/she was probably aware that it would not be in compliance with the project plan and quickly set a flag disabling it.
  3. The modder hacked the re-engineered GTA code for the heck of it.
  4. The modder enjoyed a game with more content than described on the game package.
  5. The modder distributed an executable binary on the internet, which enables the feature in the game.
  6. An adult person found it on the internet, loaded it and enjoyed a game with more content than described on the game package.
  7. An US-american person of less than 18 years ("teen") found it on the internet, loaded it and enjoyed a game with more content than described on the game package.
  8. The parents saw this and found it disagreeable.
  9. The parents contacted political entities for help in forbidding it.
  10. Political chaos ensued.
So, the big question is: At which point do you think is the process to be considered illegal?

Well, since this is an Op-Ed, I'd wager that it is the point where the modder decides to distribute a binary which enables sexual content in an M-rated game. Let me quickly note that I do not think distribution of mods is a problem; instead, distribution of mods for adults should obey the same conditions as distribution of any adult content on the internet (i.e. age verification, and so on).

Other opinions include:

  • The modders are at guilt: They ignored the shrink-wrap license forbidding mods, and had the chuzpe to even distribute their illegal acts over the internet.
  • Rockstar Games (or, in last instance, Take Two): They should never have allowed a game with sexual content out of their door, even if it was hidden; they have a problem with their programmers.
  • The end user: A parent must control what their kids are playing; it is not the fault of some modder what a teen is seeing and what not.
Unfortunately, in our DMCA times, it seems that the current political direction is outlawing modding in general, instead of simply outlawing the distribution of indecent tools (aka the binary). Had the game been protected by a "technical protection", tinkering with it (a necessary prerequisite for hacking the game) had already been illegal under DMCA.

I, for one, think that's nuts.

But I could be wrong, and after all, what do we have the wonderful discussion section below for? Discuss, please.

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Poll
Who is the culprit?
o The programmer 20%
o The distributor 5%
o The modder 2%
o The teen 4%
o The parents 66%

Votes: 68
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o single article on Wired
o Also by megid


Display: Sort:
War on Modders: Everyone gone nuts? | 100 comments (90 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
How about all three? (2.83 / 12) (#1)
by Kasreyn on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 05:28:53 AM EST

Though they work on different levels. The modders violated the licensing agreement, which is a pretty cut and dried breach of a (stupid) law. Rockstar didn't adequately check the final code before going gold, which is a quality control failure. And parents have no interest in taking responsibility for what their children do, which is a moral lapse.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
stop taking things so seriously my friend (1.20 / 5) (#5)
by Black Bobby on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 11:38:21 AM EST

i like yuo and all but this artikyl is a troll, nothing more nothing less

[ Parent ]
I can't fault the modders here. (none / 1) (#58)
by parliboy on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 06:10:06 PM EST

From an GameSpot interview with the development staff:

GS: Are there any other technical issues that mod groups should be aware of going into San Andreas? The file structure of the PS2 version of San Andreas is almost exactly the same as the earlier GTA games. Will this be the same in the PC version?

JW: Yes, the file structure in the PC version is almost identical to the PS2 version. There are a handle of changes in places, but they are basically the same.

Kind of hard to say you don't want your game being modded when you're talking about what modders should be aware of when working on your game.

----------
Eat at the Dissonance Diner.
[ Parent ]

Modders did nothing illegal (none / 0) (#97)
by Dievs on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:23:06 AM EST

  There is no law that prohibits editing the game files.
  They have made no agreement with Rockstar (or anyone else) not to modify the game.
 

[ Parent ]
Leave. Please. (1.83 / 6) (#2)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 06:52:16 AM EST

Topical Notes:

"When do you think does the process become illegal? Well, since this is an Op-Ed, I'd wager that it is the point where the modder decides to distribute a binary which enables sexual content in an M-rated game."

Are you absolutely out of your mind? When you purchase the game, this feature is NOT AVAILABLE AT ALL. You have to go out of your way, indeed VERY FAR OUT OF YOUR WAY, to achieve access to this feature, and it involves subverting the came from a third party. Or, as the case stands, downloading a binary that does just that. Accountability? There's no place for it. As far as I'm concerned you, along with every other moron ruining this country (Including the ESRB and every employee of Gamestop and Target) should be shot in the face repeatedly, but only after you have detergent coarsing through your veins.

Editorial notes:

"Modding is the process of modifying something (in this case: a piece of software) that you paid for."
You mean I can't mod something I didn't pay for?

"In this case, what happend was:"
Typo.

"When do you think does the process become illegal?"
Sounds better: "When do you think the process should be considered illegal?"

"Unfortunately, in our DCMA times,"
Yes, damn that DCMA.

"I, for one, think that's nuts."
I think you're nuts.

"But I could be wrong"
You are.

video games have nothing to do with violence (1.66 / 3) (#9)
by hildi on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 12:46:33 PM EST

which is why, of course, you threatened to sadistically murder someone simply because they dont agree with you, or are trying to feed their kids by working at any place that will give them a job (target, etc).

but im sure that has nothing to do with the video games you play.

[ Parent ]

You're hilariously off the mark (none / 1) (#15)
by dbickett on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 08:16:21 PM EST

I don't play video games. You lose. Nice try though.

[ Parent ]
let's see ... (2.87 / 8) (#3)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 10:39:29 AM EST

we have two wars we're involved in, terrorists bombing london, various domestic problems and a government that's slowly going broke ... and senator clinton is raising hell over a video game

oh, yeah, that's exactly the kind of person we need running for president in '08


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.

sadly this kind of moralizing-as-distraction (3.00 / 4) (#4)
by 1318 on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 11:17:45 AM EST

has been done by the republicans for the last 30 years - "family values" "gay marriage" "unborn children" ring any bells? Meanwhile the Repubs have been giving it to us savage with the monster strap on while middle America weeps over false morality dilemmas.

If the female Clinton is as savvy as the male one she'll coopt republican territory on her way to "centrist" victory.

Poverty and ignorance, harnassed by religious fringes, allows for political manipulation by those who would perpetuate... poverty and ignorance for their own profit.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

modding already is illegal RTFEULA (2.75 / 8) (#8)
by hildi on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 12:40:23 PM EST

you dont 'own software' that you buy. not most of it. almost all of it is 'licensed' to you and by using it you agree to the licensing terms. its almost like a contract. and most software licensing terms say 'dont reverse engineer'.

the modder clearly did that and thus broke contract.

-----------------------------------------

the ESRB is worried about this not for random reasons, but because their brand is getting fucked up. if your job is to give parents a dependable rating on game content, but the game has other content, then you arent doing your job.

this could be basically a disgreement between the ESBR and game makers, where to get an ESRB rating the game maker has to agree to some contract where they dont have 'hidden content' in their game. and then if some programmer does something, that programmer will get fired or demoted or punished by the game maker.

------------

enough legal bullshit

------------

i still cant figure out why the sex scene is bad, but its perfectly OK to wandering around murdering whores and taking their money.

the sex scene is empty and silly, feminists probably have a problem with it because its not teaching guys about the clittoris or pleasing a woman properly, shes just kind of a fuck puppet moaning like a porn star faking an orgasm.

but id wager most kids have done the same thing with their barbie dolls at some point. i dont know about you but when we were about 12 we used to joke about making these kinds of video games, the 'energy' bar just about made me laugh till i cried.

again, this is all questionable and not good for kids to see this kind of thing as a model of behavior between genders.

however, i am baffled at why it is ok to make games where genocide, murder, warfare, robbery, etc, are seen as perfectly OK.

i can only assume that the power elites are more afraid of sex than of violence. and thus i can only conclude that sex is more powerful han violence, or if not sex, themes of romantic and sexual relationships between people.

the prick is mightier than the sword, is what im saying.

Licensing Legalities (none / 0) (#81)
by wnight on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 05:51:57 AM EST

Actually, you do own the software you buy. Nobody would say you don't own your car simply because the government passes laws against you driving it into people. Likewise, you certainly own a book even if there are laws to prevent your duplication of the book. You can modify your car, your book (rip out pages, black-out offensive bits, etc), and your software. You can even sell this modified product, as long as you don't misrepresent it to the buyer.

The DMCA, which won't hold up once anyone with money gets hit with it, makes some actions illegal, specifically related to breaking protection mechanisms that prevent unauthorized duplication. That's it.

The license? Irrelevant. For *any* contract to be valid both parties must be able to see it before agreeing to it.

I couldn't sell you a car, then claim you agreed to the terms of a contract you later found in the glove box. Similarly, I can't sell you software and claim you agreed to the terms of a contract you didn't see before the sale. Anything not disclosed pre-sale is irrelevant.

Some states have another unsupportable law, the UCITA, which does make post-sale contracts valid, but like the DMCA, it flies in the face of all legal precedent and is enjoying limited success simply because companies like Adobe and Microsoft are using it to target individuals who can't afford to fight. Nothing new there - corrupt and illegal actions are the norm for them.

[ Parent ]

I for one didn't even realize (1.75 / 4) (#11)
by AlwaysAnonymized on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 02:44:53 PM EST

hot coffee wasn't "hot" coffee but more "hot coffee."

Right now I am beating it to Denise. Yes. YES. YES.

Am I the only person who thinks (2.84 / 13) (#16)
by livus on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 08:50:49 PM EST

that selling a game with inaccessible porn in it to those for whom such porn is illegal, is a bit like selling a sofa with illegal drugs stashed in it.

Getting all antsy about modders is like getting annoyed at someone who slashes open their sofa to get at the cocaine your company has so weirdly endowed it with.

To my knowledge there has never been a precedent in terms of my example the Sofa Of Dreams, but on the other hand there have been examples of soft plush toys sold to small children that were stuffed with dangerous industrial waste. In that case as I recall the company's protest that the children were not supposed to "open" the toys was not seen as a viable excuse.

The only reason I can think of for going after modders is because it dovetails with a whole lot of other "piracy funds terrorism" nonsense.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

Analogies are dangerous. (2.66 / 3) (#19)
by vhold on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 10:47:07 AM EST

It's kind of hard to accidentally 'open' GTA:SA to get at the porn.  It requires a pretty deliberate act intended to very specifically access it.

To me it's kind of like pulling microwave ovens off the market because some kid disabled the safety and cooked his head in it.  He most likely knew what he was doing.

Well, ok, that's another bad analogy.

[ Parent ]

in my analogy they open it on purpose (none / 1) (#31)
by livus on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 05:51:27 PM EST

I'm not saying they didn't, just that if porn wasnt in there they couldn't get it. Inoperable porn is hardly a necessary component of the game. Whereas presumably a microwave needs to have, well, microwaves.

I agree though, analogies are not all that.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

What illegal porn? nt (none / 1) (#28)
by spasticfraggle on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 04:41:27 PM EST



--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
where do you live? (none / 0) (#32)
by livus on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 05:52:29 PM EST

I said porn which is illegal for children. Is this not the case where you live?

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
My personal location is of no importance to you (none / 1) (#42)
by spasticfraggle on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 03:16:46 AM EST

Having seen the screenshots I have a hard time classifying the sex game in gta as porn. But if it is, is that kind of porn illegal to distribute to 17 year olds in the US?

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
Sheesh, it's not like I was gonna visit. (none / 0) (#43)
by livus on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 03:50:15 AM EST

What you or I might think is irrelevent, the point  is that it is seen as something that attracts an adults only classification in their country.

The industry group revoked the game's M rating, which labeled it appropriate for players 17 or older, and re-filed it under AO for "adults only" -- raising the minimum age to 18, the year at which a delicate teen becomes less susceptible to the harmful influence of computer-generated cartoon sex.


---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

I could be wrong, but... (none / 0) (#44)
by spasticfraggle on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 04:46:38 AM EST

I thought the ESRB was a voluntary industry organisation, and its rating were recommendations only - they didn't carry legal weight. So in theory they could give "Barbies Boring Bland House" an AO rating, but it wouldn't make it illegal to sell it to children. That's why I didn't think there was anything illegal about the "porn", but as you say, my opinion is irrelevant ^_^

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
Retailers (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by hardburn on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 10:48:45 PM EST

Yes, games are no more required to go through the ratings process at the ESRB than movies are required to go through the MPAA. In both those cases, the government basically told the respective industries "regulate yourself, or else we will".

However, in each case, the wide distribution network for each product won't carry the item if it's not rated (theaters won't take unrated movies/Wal-mart won't take unrated games). So there is a large finacial incentive to go through the ratings process, which is likely more effective than any law.


----
while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


[ Parent ]
There's no porn absolutely (none / 0) (#96)
by Dievs on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:18:58 AM EST

  What porn?  The 'hack' enables the sex minigame - which shows fully clothed humping - the kind that's a part of most of MTV's prime-time song video's.

That's not classified as porn anywhere (well, it might be illegal in some places because the woman, while clothed, is not wearing a burqua)

[ Parent ]

To be cliche (none / 1) (#76)
by pyro9 on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 01:26:53 PM EST

Kids do the darndest things! It's not that surprising with a plush toy thet eventually the child will come into contact with it's stuffing.

In this case, since the game is rated for over 17, children shouldn't even come into contact with it's unmodded form according to the rating. I would be surprised if any 17 year olds see anything by modding the game that they haven't already seen through fake IDs, guessing the password on the cable box, or similar.

The real lesson for parents who are upset is simple. M means M!

While they have some point that the content was hidden, so they didn't get what they expected, but that is a much lesser complaint. Form all of the political garbage and headlines (but I repeat myself) you'd think they found a full length copy of "Caligula" inside the "barney's fun day" game.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I agree (none / 0) (#79)
by livus on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 11:12:21 PM EST

I think it's a storm in a teacup, if we're going to use cliches.

I was just interested in the principle rather than the specifics. I can't for the life of me see why consensual sex is so much worse than murdering hookers.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

broadcast TV with encrypted porn channels (none / 0) (#92)
by jwexqm on Sun Jul 31, 2005 at 08:37:20 AM EST

cable/satellite/terrestrial broadcasters stream encrypted porn 24/7 but we don't see it unless we get a key. Coffee also requires a key.

[ Parent ]
I must confess (2.00 / 2) (#17)
by Kurosawa Nagaya on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 07:50:13 AM EST

I don't care at all.

Also, I have a question which might actually provoke an opinion from me, depending on the answer of course.

Did Rockstar/the publisher have knowledge of this content prior to the release?

The reason for this is simple: we're all full of shit ~ circletimessquare

Have to hack? (2.42 / 7) (#18)
by Thrasymachus on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 09:57:15 AM EST

You can get to the sex game with a Gameshark. A lot of kids own one of the those. My little brother does. He's no 'hacker.' It's content that should never have shipped on the disk. I don't have a lot of sympathy for Rockstar.

It's almost certain that they knew about the mini-game. Nothing like that should get through decent quality control. And GTA has decent quality control. I think that they thought it would increase sales when people heard about the secret mini-sex game locked into their game. Well, that backfired.

It annoys me to mostly agree. (none / 1) (#20)
by vhold on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 11:10:17 AM EST

That's pretty much where I stand.  When I found out it could be accessed on the PS2 version, I knew it was going to hit the fan pretty hard.  

Had this all gone down only on the PC version, I doubt anybody would even care.  Now it looks like they may have paved the way to making unauthorized modding a funtime way to receive legal notices.  

Very not cool.

[ Parent ]

Your little brother who is at least 17 years old? (1.50 / 2) (#27)
by spasticfraggle on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 03:47:04 PM EST



--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
He got a Gameshark at 13. His best friend owns GTA (none / 0) (#29)
by Thrasymachus on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 05:14:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
So his best friend is 17? ewwww.... j/k ^_^ (none / 1) (#45)
by spasticfraggle on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 04:54:07 AM EST

But seriously, I fail to see how it's a problem, if only people of a "suitable age" have the game (be that 17, or more likely 15), then Gameshark or no gameshark, it hardly matters. Unless there's porn in the shark too - sharkporn I bet ^_^

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
What the hell? (3.00 / 5) (#57)
by awgsilyari on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 06:00:40 PM EST

You can get to the sex game with a Gameshark. A lot of kids own one of the those. My little brother does. He's no 'hacker.' It's content that should never have shipped on the disk.

Yeah. Your little brother should stick to the more wholesome activities in the game: raping prostitutes, shooting cops, dealing drugs, and running over grandmothers.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

-1 Nobody cares (1.00 / 5) (#21)
by tweetsybefore on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 12:24:15 PM EST

Posting this story would only make this a more public issue. Its better if nobody knows about it then laws are less likely to be made.

I'm racist and I hate niggers.
Umm... (none / 1) (#23)
by Armada on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 01:19:15 PM EST

Most libertarians think it should be legal to spray a clip full of bullets into a kindergaten, as long as you miss everyone.

Source?

Firing a gun, at children or adults, knowing full well that you could hit someone, is murderous intent. Doesn't matter if you hit someone or not, it's still illegal, and a threat to their life. You might want to work on a more engaging comment for your sig in order to get more responses when you're trolling for comments.

[ Parent ]

You responded (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by JahToasted on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 08:58:36 PM EST

nt
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 0) (#85)
by Armada on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 01:47:31 PM EST

And from the looks of it, I seem to be the only one. Good luck with it, anyway.

[ Parent ]
Yah... I took the bait... (none / 0) (#93)
by ckaminski on Mon Aug 01, 2005 at 12:20:26 PM EST

I took the bait a few weeks back.  

Fact is, I don't know a single Libertarian or NRA member who thinks like this.  

Moron or simple troll, you decide.

[ Parent ]

Fuck the ESRB, CLinton, and Take2 (2.75 / 8) (#22)
by coder66 on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 12:47:49 PM EST

America, land of the free, finding something else to control as usual.

1. The game was rated M, 17+ it should never have been sold to children anyway. Parents who have allowed their children to have it and complain shoud be beaten thoroughly
2. The rating was changed to AO, 18+, but what a difference a year makes. AO means no store will carry the game, because obviously games are for children(even though research consistently shows most gamers are 18-35). Even Leisure Suit Larry had to get an M rating to make their cash in the stores.
3. Rating games based on mods now? Yeah if that holds up then everyone needs to be prepared to buy any Elder Scrolls, FPS, RTS, or other highly moddable game online as they will certainly be rated AO.
4. Clinton, having solved every other problem, decides to take on modded adult content in a game full of normal adult content.
5. Fuck you especialy Take2. Blaming the modders? You are as bad as the ESRB blaming the devs instead of the lazy fucking-incompetent parents.

That's a good thing (none / 0) (#95)
by Dievs on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:08:38 AM EST

If GTA and other popular games which have sexual mods get rated AO, then "AO means no store will carry the game" will disappear overnight.

GTA makes money to the shopkeepers. They will rather start carrying AO games than lose that money.

[ Parent ]

Modifying software can be illegal (none / 0) (#24)
by feline on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 02:30:50 PM EST

Modding is the process of modifying something (in this case: a piece of software) you own. Normally, there is no legal problem with that: You paid it, you own it, you can do whatever you please.

Some EULAs specify that you may not modify the software.

Also you don't own it, you license it... (none / 0) (#39)
by vhold on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 01:02:13 AM EST

You may own the media it's on, and have the right to use it according to the EULA, but you don't own the intellectual property anymore then you own a movie you just saw in a theatre.

[ Parent ]
Not this again... (none / 1) (#46)
by squigly on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 05:51:23 AM EST

You also own a copy.

Whether you have the right to make a copy from that ont your hard disk without agreeing to licencing terms is a little less certain though.

[ Parent ]

if I buy a movie (none / 0) (#49)
by Altus on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 02:12:18 PM EST


on a VHS tape and then I take that movie and edit it so that the scenes run in a different order and some scenes are removed I am perfectly within my right.

now... if I try to sell this new "movie" I would probably not be within my right... but what I choose to do with the contents privately (outside of a public exhibition of the movie) should be legitimate

I see no reason why game mods should be any different... although I could see how one could write an EULA that says that if you install a mod you void any warrantee on the software, I doubt you could make private alteration of the source material illegal.

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

bullshit (none / 0) (#59)
by QuantumG on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 06:55:45 PM EST

if, to make this new film, you need to make a copy of the film, you are not permitted by copyright law to do so. It's really simple, copyright law assigns to the copyright holder the right to copy and restricts it for everyone else. Now maybe you might find some fair use argument for making a copy of the movie in this process but it would have more to do with the purpose for doing this editing than the actual act.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Don't you have private copy rights in the US? (none / 0) (#67)
by bml on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:15:50 AM EST

Just curious.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
I'm in Australia (none / 0) (#87)
by QuantumG on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 06:46:39 PM EST

We don't have any fair use rights at all.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Huh? (none / 0) (#100)
by frippin on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 05:01:24 AM EST

You imply that "fair use" wouldn't cover editting the tape for your own reasons. Not a lawyer, but I think it that would be covered under fair use.

Secondly, and this is what is more applicable in the case, what you would be distributing is not the copy of the edited video itself, but directions on how to modify the video.

FWIW - Some Christian companies have been snipping dirty bits out of mainstream movies for family values wackos. They got shut down for being in violation of copyright law.

[ Parent ]

EULA's mean nothing (none / 0) (#94)
by Dievs on Tue Aug 02, 2005 at 09:05:38 AM EST

Regarding to what's written in EULA's, we have a saying in my country that's hard to translate, but I'll try - "There's 'F*ck' painted in big letters on the shed, but what's inside? Only firewood...."

In most jurisdictions, the terms of EULA's mean absolutely nothing. From what I understand, even in the USA, with DMCA'like laws, only in a dozen of all the states such terms have any legal force.

In most of the world, reverse-engineering is explicitly legal unless they have an NDA signed by you agreeing that you will not do it.

[ Parent ]

Oh dear (2.00 / 2) (#33)
by D Jade on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 07:44:46 PM EST

Hmmm... So they'll make modding illegal. Well, I guess the war on piracy has been working. I mean now, instead of all of the shit copies of movies I used to get, I now only get the top notch jobs. This is obviously because the war on piracy is being won and all of the people producing shit copies (novices) have been arrested.

I am so afraid, I'll have to reformat my computer to get rid of all the game mods or else, they'll launch a jihad on me too.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive

Very different things.. (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by vhold on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 12:59:09 AM EST

Unauthorized modders have thus far almost always operated in the light of day, which allows them to get more support and build larger creative communities.  It's an ongoing process that relies on open distribution to get input from many people.

Piracy just requires one good copy to come out of anywhere and it practically multiplies itself without any additional creative input.

If unauthorized modding has to go into the dark, it's going to have a big chilling effect.

[ Parent ]

So glad I don't live in America (none / 1) (#60)
by D Jade on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 07:42:10 PM EST

Where they actually use more manpower to prosecute gamers and nerds than they do to go after the guys with big guns and drugs and all of the other really bad criminals out there... But then, the drug trade doesn't take away from some company's bottom line, so it's okay...

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
My view (2.90 / 11) (#34)
by mtrisk on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 08:22:18 PM EST

What the ESRB said before the HotCoffee "scandal":

The rating, M means that the game is recommended for those over 17. This game contains large amounts of violence, language, blood, and sexual content. But we're not going to stop you (the parent) from buying it, because we believe the decisions should, ultimately be up to you; however, we have made this recommendation in order to help you be more informed about what kinds of games your kids play. If you're over 17, have fun. Enjoi.

I mean, that's the rational, Zen Master thing to say, right? But then we find out that indeed, there's more sex to GTA than before! Instead of watching a prostitute bump up and down with the player in a parked car in a back alley somewhere, you'll get to have sex with your girlfriends in fully rendered pixelated graphics! Oh, the horror! I mean, full textures and everything!

But wait a minute. Does this mean that the original statement above should be changed? Is the HotCoffee content somehow different than what one would expect upon buying this M rated game? No. The content is consistent with the game's theme and audience.

I could see making a big deal if there was sex in an E-rated game; in that case, the content is inconsistent with the label given, and the ESRB rating becomes worthless. But that's not what happened.

HOWEVER, that still misses the entire point: us Americans are sexual freaks. There's some sort of mass hysteria going on that has turned sex into a horrible, terrible, evil, supremely negative concept. I mean, what the hell? A child's first experience through the outside world is through the vagina (C-sections notwithstanding). A child's second experience outside the world is sucking on a breast, which the child will continue to do for the next 4-12 months or so.

From what I see, however, if the sexually repressed population got their way, mother's would have to breastfeed through a tube, so as not to expose the child to such uncouth body parts. What the hell? Are these people really so ashamed of the human body? Do they not realize that by attempting to demonize anything remotely related to sexuality, they create a sexually unhealthy society? Do they not realize that virtually every single teen over the age of 12 has already entered the sexual world, by virtue of the fact that this age is when humans start sexually maturing? Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us? Did ancient societies have a better grasp on the sexual development of a human being?

If you're ashamed of the human body, why are you human?

______
"If you don't like our country, why don't you get out?"
"What, and become a victim of your foreign policy?"

Sexual repression (2.50 / 6) (#36)
by cdguru on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 10:08:15 PM EST

I would say what people are striving for is a somewhat lost goal - the idea that children are non-sexual and the "childlike" state should be preserved as long as possible.

Countering this, you have people that think 9-year-old-girls are just the greatest sexual partners ever. Some little girls come though this with a barely a scratch, others are traumatized for life. Contrast this with places like Japan where they sell "virtual daughter" computer games where simulated sex is item 1. Contrast this with Mexico where little boys are traded, bought and sold.

Yes, US citizens are aware of things happening in the rest of the world. Somehow, a lot of them are feeling pretty protective towards children. This is often interpreted as being hostile towards sexuality in general. The people I've found most hostile towards sexuality in general were those who got to be sex partners for someone older at a very young age.

[ Parent ]

From what I know... (none / 0) (#90)
by mtrisk on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 02:12:02 AM EST

Japan's rate of sexual crimes is lower than that of the U.S. - and they have legal animated child pornography.

______
"If you don't like our country, why don't you get out?"
"What, and become a victim of your foreign policy?"
[ Parent ]
Sexual repression and sexual abuse. (none / 0) (#66)
by Chakotay on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:55:28 AM EST

Don't you find it interesting, in a morbid kind of way, that it is in those societies where there is the most sexual repression, that there is also the most sexual abuse?

Don't you find it interesting, in a similarly morbid way, that in the one western country where sex is most demonised, and children are most virulently protected from the evil that sex is supposed to be, there is the highest percentage of teen pregnancies?

When will those people understand that sex is part of life, like eating, drinking, breathing, pissing and shitting? Ooooo, I said a four letter word! Shame shame shame on me!

Oh, grow up people. :/

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

A voice of reason? Who let you in here? (none / 0) (#73)
by theboz on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:11:20 PM EST

You pretty much summed up what I was thinking as well. I'd like to add though, that when I was growing up and if I wanted a video game, 1) I'd have to get the money from my parents and explain to them what it was for (at which point they might ask other parents if they knew what it was), and 2) once I had it, it's highly likely that my parents would watch me play it for some period of time either for curiosity or to see if it was too bad. My mother threw away my C=64 strip poker disk that a friend gave me, for example.

I don't know why parents don't do their jobs, but I think modern American parents have created a pretty strong case for birth control and abortion. Most people that have kids probably shouldn't, especially if they don't care about their kids enough to pay attention to what they are doing. The social retards they create are the ones who end up being murderers, child molesters, and terrorists. Not because of video games, music, or movies, but rather because the parents have failed to do their job of raising a kid.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

Us Freaks (none / 1) (#78)
by Western Infidels on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 04:36:58 PM EST

...us Americans are sexual freaks. There's some sort of mass hysteria going on that has turned sex into a horrible, terrible, evil, supremely negative concept.

I think Americans have a real problem frankly discussing sex with their children, and I think that's a major factor in our seemingly-contradictory attitudes about sex.

American pop culture is choked with sex.  An awful lot of it is pre-marital, adulterous, kinky, or even criminal.  Consider the hit status of TV like Married With Children, Desperate Housewives, Sex And The City, The Sopranos, Law And Order: SVU, and CSI.  Consider the uncontroversial suburban-mallscape presence of Fredrick's Of Hollywood, Victoria's Secret, and Spencer Gifts.  Check out the cover blurbs ("HAVE BETTER ORGASMS - STARTING TONIGHT!") on Mommy-magazines like Cosmopolitan and Redbook - at the grocery store, of all places.

But most of the sex that blares at us from all directions is strangely invisible.  It is implied in dialogue about "last night."  It is implied by kissing / waking-up bedroom segues.  Horrific sex crimes are described by jaded detectives in dispassionate, bored-sounding tones on CSI, but not shown in any detail.  The cover of Redbook promises easy how-to-do-it sex tips in the same breezy, perky style it promises to help choose a hairstyle.

That is, it's all carefully described in a sort of grown-up code - in a way that children won't understand and/or won't find interesting, and thus won't ask embarrassing questions about.

That's where the line is, in American culture.  Material that's likely to get kids asking questions (like a glimpse of exotically-bejeweled boob during the Super Bowl halftime show) is considered outrageous.  Material that the kiddies won't pay any attention to (like song lyrics about stripping naked in preparation for sex - sung at the same Super Bowl halftime show) is acceptable.  Maybe only just barely acceptable, but no letter-writing campaign to the FCC will ensue.


[ Parent ]

Without modding, there would be no Counter Strike (2.66 / 3) (#37)
by taste on Sun Jul 24, 2005 at 11:18:20 PM EST

which.. some might consider to be a good thing actually.

Mark Morford (3.00 / 10) (#40)
by mikepence on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 01:50:39 AM EST

As usual, Morford's take is worth a read.

Yes! (3.00 / 3) (#41)
by icenine on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 02:01:58 AM EST

And the title is perfectly pertinent, and hilarious at the same time.


[ Parent ]
modding in general or legality thereof? (none / 0) (#47)
by dimaq on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 10:22:20 AM EST

so what are you so concerned about? the incident? modding in general? or some weird legal standpoint applicable in one country hardly enforceable anyway and having little to do with this particular case? (after all the rating comittee doesn't care for cdma or what was it)

It's a much deeper problem (2.62 / 8) (#48)
by Herring on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 10:46:25 AM EST

For instance, I recentl discovered that although in the normally broadcast episodes of Baywatch, the actresses are covered by bathing costumes, a simple modification will remove then and underneath they are naked. Yes, some quick searching on the internet will reveal many such modified pictures of Baywatch actresses.

Surely, in light of this, the networks should re-consider their policy of broadcasting this filth.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you

actually its the programmer (2.66 / 3) (#50)
by m a r c on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 02:23:08 PM EST

Having the content already in the game and then using the excuse that it was not they who unlocked it is a weak excuse. Let me answer your question with another question: at what point do you believe that the restriction of the content can be best controlled?

It seems to me to be a lot simpler to include all content in the game as it ships rather than avoid this landmine of who is responsible for any unsavory content.
I got a dog and named him "Stay". Now, I go "Come here, Stay!". After a while, the dog went insane and wouldn't move at all.

Do you make games? (none / 1) (#51)
by Lacero on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 02:27:30 PM EST

I do. It isn't.

[ Parent ]
You mean to say (none / 0) (#55)
by kero on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 04:36:10 PM EST

That the people who CREATE the content are not the ones to actually CONTROL the content? Sounds like those over paid game programmers could use a few more code reviews and few less fancy chairs and free sodas. Who else is responsible for what get's released by a company than the company that releases it? Are they not responsible for the actions of their employees? Particularly when that action is part of their core competency?

[ Parent ]
From an ex-game programmer... (3.00 / 3) (#56)
by elgardo on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 05:39:16 PM EST

Game content is, as I remember it, quite a political thing, with those in charge of it changing their minds all the time. The best a coder can do is add flags to enable and disable whatever features the men upstairs must want or don't want at any given time.

Then again, this should better be done with #ifdefs rather than software programmable flags.

[ Parent ]

Chances are... (none / 0) (#70)
by squigly on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 09:17:26 AM EST

This is data.   Not code. The only actual code would be level scripting.  

If I'm told to remove a feature, I will comment a function call out of the code, and the linker will remove it.  If a level designer is asked to remove somethig, he'll just remove the trigger.  Except we don't have automatic optimisation for level design, so it will still be there.


[ Parent ]

Exactly (none / 0) (#80)
by Lacero on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 04:08:00 AM EST

When I'm asked to remove a feature I'm usually paranoid enough to think they'll ask for it to be enabled again in five minutes. Just changing a flag somewhere is the safest way to turn things off.

[ Parent ]
But... (none / 0) (#82)
by elgardo on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 07:13:55 AM EST

...just because there once was a request for it, does not justify it still being there in the final release, if it has been decided that it should not be in the final release. Hence a #ifdef is your friend.

That being said, I am also fully aware that some code is still kept. Although I do not recall the code at this moment, The Crow was released in Germany with white blood particles in stead of red, so that it could be called "sweat" instead of "blood" and thus avoid German X-rating. There's a code you can enter to turn these particles red again.

I don't know how far up that decision was made - to keep that code. Did Acclaim (the client who ordered the game to be made) approve it? The games desginers in Acclaim? The games designers in Graymatter Inc? Or the programming team manager?

Now, the thing is - the client (Acclaim) asked that the game be fitted for that market. I can't imagine that they asked for this option to be added, which would, if you knew the code, turn the game X-rated. Sure, some hidden codes are great to sell to magazines a month or two after the game hits the market, but should these codes give you content that actually conflicts with the rating?

In the current case, it is claimed that the scene in question can not be reached without modding. The question is, however, if it can't be reached without modding - why include the code/data in the final release? Disc fill?


[ Parent ]

Dunno (none / 0) (#98)
by Lacero on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 07:34:32 PM EST

I don't know their situation, but if you're weeks from master and someone ask you to remove something like this you have to make the smallest change possible. The smaller the change the less chance of it introducing bugs, or showing up old bugs that seemed to go away when the code size changed. It's not pretty but when it's stable you have to try and keep it that way. I don't know or care whether they left it in on purpose, this kind of thing could easily happen for honest reasons and I want to help people understand what those reasons are. Then everyone can discuss the reasons for it being left in there, and not just the fact it was.

[ Parent ]
Lets try that again (none / 0) (#99)
by Lacero on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 07:36:53 PM EST

I don't know their situation, but if you're weeks from master and someone ask you to remove something like this you have to make the smallest change possible.

The smaller the change the less chance of it introducing bugs, or showing up old bugs that seemed to go away when the code size changed.
It's not pretty but when it's stable you have to try and keep it that way.

I don't know or care whether they left it in on purpose, this kind of thing could easily happen for honest reasons and I want to help people understand what those reasons are. Then everyone can discuss the reasons for it being left in there, and not just the fact it was.

[ Parent ]

Particularly since (3.00 / 3) (#52)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 02:33:02 PM EST

there's a decades old tradition of putting easter eggs into games for people to find.

With websites and magazine articles dedicated to helping people find this hidden features it's incredibly lame to claim they never expected anyone to find it.

How many trolls could a true troll troll if a true troll could troll trolls?
[ Parent ]

I tried to download the Hot Coffee mod (3.00 / 15) (#54)
by cburke on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 04:23:49 PM EST

but all my searches kept coming up with porn sites.    I spent quite a while trying to find what is apparently the only method by which adolescents can see explicit sex acts -- an internet modification for GTA -- and was thwarted at every turn by pop-ups of graphic sex and other distractions.

My conclusion is that parents have nothing to worry about.  Their children will never see the Hot Coffee mod because it is cleverly hidden in a vast sea of porn called "The Internet".  And thank goodness!  Who knows what damage could be done to children if all that porn wasn't there and they could easily find this "Hot Coffee".  Everyone knows how dementing video games are; I shudder to think of the sexual Columbine that would result.

The sex scenes were designed to be found (2.25 / 4) (#61)
by smallstepforman on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 08:07:25 PM EST

Lets face it, any news (even scandolous) is good news. The amount of people who got the PC version of GTA:SA is probably greater now (after the mod was made public) than what it would have been if there were no mod. Think about it from a marketing point of view - Rockstar does not have to spend money on advertising, since the News agencies are doing it for them. Everyone is eager and curious to see the pixelated forbidden sex scenes. Buyers of the original PS2 version of GTA:SA are inclined to also buy the PC version. It all adds up to increased sales with hardly any additional marketing costs. And this is a *good* thing from a business point of view.

As a person in the game industry, I'm aware that it takes a team of people to create every element of the game. You need illustrators for the textures, animators for the models, software engineers for the scripting code and engine, game testers to verify the code, game designers to come up with all content, sound engineers to create the sound, etc. What I'm saying is that Rockstar knew well in advance what they were creating. So did the marketing department / management. They wanted these scenes to be in the game. Even the producers knew, since they financed it. When submitting it to the publishers (and Sony), they disabled the content with a simple CENSOR bit, and released a mod to flip the bit 3 days after the PC game hit the streets. They will as a consequence get millions in sales. They will pretend publicly that they are *suprised*, but in the confines of Rockstar studios, they are laughing hysterically and enjoying every minute of it.

And I salute them for that. They deserve all the benefits of this strategy, since they've got the balls to do it. Well done.

> Disclaimer: I had no intention of purchasing the game prior to the mod, but last Sunday I bought it.

Agreed (none / 1) (#65)
by saikoboy on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:42:57 AM EST

I've worked in a game dev team. Rest assured, you simply cant put in a feature like that without letting in on the entire production team, bosses, codemonkeys and artists inclusive. This has been a fairly old tactic, cant remember the specific games, but its a common tactic to leak some mod after the game's been out for a while to spike interest+press in the game to boost its sales. I think the only reason this got blown up this big is coz its a *very* well known game, and its always been about more or less causing mayhem with utter disregard.

[ Parent ]
No such thing as bad publicity [nt] (none / 0) (#68)
by alby on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 07:24:13 AM EST


--
Alby
[ Parent ]

-1 FP emmigrate (1.50 / 2) (#63)
by jamesotron on Mon Jul 25, 2005 at 11:23:23 PM EST

seriously. think about it.
I like to make things out of bits
This is really very simple (none / 1) (#64)
by rs170a on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 02:20:53 AM EST

It's irresponsible for Rockstar to release a game with potentially unlockable content incompatible with the game's rating. Something at the developer or the distributor broke down here. Did they really think that nobody among their millions of PC users would figure this out? Did the front office know this was buried in the game? The answer is "of course not" unless the plan was to nefariously generate additional interest in the game through bad publicity once the initial wave of sales had reached its crest. I'll guess that this was NOT the plan. My belief is that some young and playful programmers didn't realize how big a pond they were swimming in. They have cost their business interests a re-release.

[ Parent ]
It's interesting (2.66 / 6) (#69)
by CaptainZapp on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 08:28:13 AM EST

That the US rating organization for videogames (to the best of my knowledge this is an entity set up by the game producers, comparable to ratings from the MPAA) immediately bumped the rating to "restricted", while their German counterparts didn't see any reason to raise their rating from 16 to 18; sex or not.

While kids in the US can watch people splatter each other with all kinds of barbaric weaponry in games and movies a naked breast is a horrorshocker, which will provoke sexual depravity in poor, young, unsuspecting kids and it will turn them into drug-addicts. This must be avoided at all cost!

Who am I to say? But in my book a society which accepts that young people are allowed to see people killing -, but not loving each other has its priorities rather screwed.

No Shit ! (none / 0) (#91)
by Joey Shabadu on Fri Jul 29, 2005 at 05:14:55 AM EST

Agreed.  Remember these Christian barbarian nutjobs who have their infinite wars w/ Muslim barbarians over tribal god images (and the same god, book religion barbarians) are the same people who are over 50 but are so immature they needed to cover the naked breast of justice, it's too much for their puny minds to handle.  If you look at their twisted little minds by studying their bloody history and their mistranslated christian/roman/greek/jew/sumerian myths (the bible) , there is a clear hatred of sex and freedom and a definite preference of suppression, control using violence as a means.  Their symbol, a device of execution, is a warning to others, "follow, or this will happen to you". As these people believe strongly in their misinterpreted end-times mythology they call Armageddon, they will in fact , conciously or subconciously, see to making that end-times destruction of all life on this planet a reality. A man who is convinced he is going to die tommorow will somehow find a way to make it happen.

[ Parent ]
The Wrong Contraversy (3.00 / 2) (#71)
by EXTomar on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:36:57 AM EST

Forget the moders who figured this out. There does appear to be two contraversies here:

  • Why did Rockstar believe this was a feature worth working on for a game released in North America?
  • What is going on with the ESRB?

My experience in game development is that games like GTA:SA are heavily scripted and tightly controled. This means that you preplan the daylights out of every scene and every interaction.

If Rockstar production staff follow this style, this means that some of the management signed off on implementation of the features that went into the "mini-game" where at some later date it was pulled. This thing looks a little too complex for two interns and a monkey to slip in on a weekend so who okayed the manhours to work on it? What were these people thinking?!?

I'm all for First Amendment protection and this isn't about that. Rockstar shouldn't be penalized at all by legal action for adding this to their game. What they should be penalized for is a severe lack of buisness acument. This game was made specifically for release in North America where they knew the climate would never stand for a release of h-game style play. Who ever signed off on work for this feature clearly wasn't thinking about selling a game or their company. The management at Rockstar should consider if they wish to have such people working for them.

The other thing that this has brought to light is how the ESRB functions. I don't have a high opinion of any age based rating system (I would rather see a content system but that is another thread). Besides the dubious definitions sperating M and AO, how did SA managed to gain an M? There is a strong argument that SA should have been AO anyway without the "extra content". What does it matter? Have game makers become like movie makers in bending their rating system like a marketing tool?

I still say there is a need for some type of ratings system. One doesn't any indication what the content of the game, whether or not it contains offensive material, without playing it first is somewhat of an unacceptable system. What this even shows is that ESRB is a little to beholdened to their parents, the game makers. I would like to see in the future that this board not only strike out on their own but do away with the clunky system they've created.



Monkeys (none / 0) (#75)
by actmodern on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:40:20 PM EST

Seriously I've seen the mini-game and it isn't anything spectacular. It could have easily been done by any one of their programmers and an animator to help him put the polygons in the right place.

--
LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]
yeap (none / 0) (#84)
by epicedium1 on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 12:58:28 PM EST

I happen to work @ a large edinburgh based games company (...), and completely agree with the previous comment. R*North are all for people being able to work under their own initiative and not have to go through layers of beaurocracy to get anything done (unlike several other companies I could mention). Too many assumptions are being made by people who don't really have a clue...

[ Parent ]
I don't understand (2.83 / 6) (#72)
by Cro Magnon on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 10:56:27 AM EST

I'm not a gamer, but I understand Grand Theft Auto has an enormous amount of violence, including a lot of cop killing. If that game is half as bad as I've heard, illicit sex is the least of it's problems! Personally, if I had kids, I wouldn't let them anywhere NEAR this game, with or without the sex! And I'm not normally squeamish about violence, but it sounds like this game crosses the line!
Information wants to be beer.
The Name Of The Game (2.83 / 6) (#74)
by Western Infidels on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 12:12:54 PM EST

It all comes down to embarrassment.

No matter how many cops some snot-nosed 11-year old runs down in GTA, he won't ask Mommy or Daddy any embarrassing questions about it.

If the same 11 year old is in charge of even 15 seconds of down-and-dirty doggy-style humping, though, he's going to have a ton of questions that Mommy and Daddy just don't want to answer.

So whatever made Junior ask those questions is obviously an outrage, as far as most Americans are concerned.

[ Parent ]

Write in poll option (2.33 / 3) (#77)
by Razitshakra on Tue Jul 26, 2005 at 03:23:49 PM EST

Hillary Clinton is the culprit.

--
Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
- The Northern Territories
The funny bit (none / 0) (#83)
by it certainly is on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 07:20:49 AM EST

The part that outrages me is why Wal*Mart and GameStop would have a policy of not selling "AO" rated games. In fact, the same policy throughout the USA of cinemas not showing "R" rated films just baffles me. Why?

Does Wal*Mart refuse to stock beer, wine and spirits?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.

How about ESRB? (none / 1) (#86)
by IAmNos on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 03:16:33 PM EST

So I had a look at ESRB's site. GTA: San Adreas was previously (I believe) rated M. By ESRB standards, that means that they suggest this content it fine for anyone 17 years or older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.. From what I've heard, the "Hot Coffee" scene show no nudity. It does show a brief scene of "humping" but clothes are on. To me, this fits within sexual content. Of course, up here in Canada, I've seen worse things on TV during prime time, though we do tend to be a little more liberal with sex and language on TV then our neighbours to the south.

Now, they've bumped up the rating to AO. Which is okay for people 18 and over. I guess in those 12 months we're able to prepare ourselves to see what wouldn't even be considered soft porn. ESRB describes AO as ...may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity. So, a game centering on criminal activites that involve assinations, killing police, mugging people, hookers, etc. with lots of violence, a complete disregard for what most of us consider moral behvior, is much worse for our kids when it involves dry humping.

As other posters have mentioned, this is probably a marketing ploy by Rockstar. If this investigation happens, and they manage to prove that management knew about it, slap a fine on them and move on. Lets face it, if your kids are up watching any kind of cable TV when you're not around, they've seen worse than this. If they surf the net when you're not around, they've seen worse than this. Accoring to various sources, most kids are losing their virginty by 16. So, if you're worried that this game was rated 17+, realize that your child has probably done more sexually than this game shows, well before they're at an age where the ESRB thinks they're mature enough to see it.


http://thekerrs.ca
[ Parent ]
3 Cheers to Rockstar for crossing the Porn barrier (none / 0) (#88)
by nlscb on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:30:52 PM EST

Well done.

Oh come on ... everyone knew this day was going to come.

While I know other video games have porn, this does seem to still qualify as a watershed event. Porn as an interactive experience is now part of the national conscience.

Maybe we can finally get rid of all of this family values crap. Adults shouldn't have to make sacrifices for other's people hell-spawn offspring. With a little luck, all of America will soon be unsafe for the innocence childhood. Maybe that will finally get people to stop breading so I don't have to pay for these public "schools". You could shut them all down and America's collective IQ would instantly spike by 10 points.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange

EAGames, you're next. (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by Fredrick Doulton on Thu Jul 28, 2005 at 02:30:26 AM EST

Anyone else here remember The Sims(1 and 2) nude patch which removes the blur around your Sim when he/she gets naked? The naked model was built into the game and hidden behind the blur. This is not so much different from including a sex scene into GTA and then hiding it from players.

Oh, who am I kidding.. No one is going to give a rat's ass about a digital doll house when a game about murdering cops and beating up hookers sounds so much more sensationalistic on your political platform.

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"

War on Modders: Everyone gone nuts? | 100 comments (90 topical, 10 editorial, 0 hidden)
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