Thursday, July 21, 2005

Grand Theft Bullshit

See, it's things like these that anger me to no end. A couple of weeks ago, Senator Hillary Clinton decided that she wanted initiate a censorship crusade and brew up a political firestorm over the game, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." Of course, this wasn't the first time the Grand Theft Auto video game series, one of the most popular gaming franchises in the US, was grabbing headlines for its mature-themed content. However, what makes this instance different from the last ones is that now, the game is being blasted for having an extremely-hidden "mini-game" in which players take their main character into his girlfriend's bedroom, and have to time specific button presses in order to "please" her. It's basically virtual sex, but with clothes on, and gyrating hips.

In other words, it's a couple of notches down from the ridiculous music videos we see on TV all the time.

This mini-game, which was scrapped from the final version of the game, was never really meant to be seen by anyone in the first place, but game hackers found the hidden coding within the game's programming, and compiled a "hack" known as the "Hot Coffee" mod, that uncovers the buried content. Now, the hack can so far only be applied to the PC version of the game, but the coding does exist on the X-Box and Playstation 2 versions, too. One can most definitely be sure that someone will come up with an applicable hack for those systems, too, but it would probably take more than 4 hours for the average player to uncover a mini-game that lasts for 2 minutes, tops. (If you're really good...I think what's more alarming is that getting to the 2-minute mark is actually considered "good" in the game... yikes...) That's too much work, if you ask me, for something as insignificant as that.

Yes, Carl, give it to her hard with your pants on.

So yeah, back to the firestorm. Because of this hidden coding, Clinton has called for the game to be marketed as "Adult-Only" instead of the game's current "Mature" rating (which empowers retailers to deny sales to anyone under the age of 17). Apparently, as Clinton says, things like these games are right up there with drugs and alcohol in terms of harming our children...


Unfortunately, the hag won her political battle, and now the game has to be marketed as "Adults-Only", effectively taking the game out of many retailers. This really won't affect the sales of the game too much, since it's already sold 6 million copies, so all this is coming practically on the tail-end of the game's popularity. However, it certainly is all about the "principle" of the thing, and quite frankly, Clinton doesn't have her "principles" in order.

I'm going to have to analyze this topic in a subsequent entry, because, right now, it's going to take way too much time for me to delve into it at the moment. But let's just say it this way... there's a lot more out there that we should be worried about "harming our children" then a "Mature" rated (read: Not meant for children in the first place) game featuring a hidden-mini game of simulated sexual activity with two clothed virtual characters.

Am I the only one that feels this way? Send me your comments and let me know what you think about this controversy. And then check back to see my fully articulated response to this entire brouhaha.

Here's a New York Times article that summarizes the debate. Video Game Known for Violence Lands in Trouble Over Sex.

EDIT: It didn't take long for hackers to apply some of their own code to make the virtual women naked in this mini-game. Here's a link to the modified "Hot Coffee" hack, so you can get the idea of what the mini-game is like...

Hot Coffee video. Quicktime required


Blogger Robert said...

I agree. Parents should have a little more involvement than just setting junior up before the playstation babysitter. As you observed, if he or she is too young and impressionable to see simulated sex, he or she is too young to play that game to begin with. Doesn't it already have a mature rating?

Personally, I think Hillary is just polishing up her Presidential image to appear more moderate to right-leaning swing votes.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Freebird said...

Yeah, what he said. :-) That a familial topic of discussion. If you don't want your kid playing a certain game, you don't buy it and you don't allow him to buy it either. It's as simple as that! All Hilary's doing is drawing attention to this game.

6:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker