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Author Topic: Damn You Rockstar Games....  (Read 3660 times)
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Semaj
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« on: July 20, 2005, 06:50:55 PM »

As if it wasnt bad enough....

Apparently the Hot coffe mod rumor is true

Meh, I needed another thing to defend on video games, really...
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2005, 07:00:42 PM »

Who cares? It was a stupid easter egg left in a game that is rated not for children under 17. Is the content really that corruptive or bad for the people who SHOULD BE PLAYING THE GAME? And if not, why the eff should the developer care. The rating system and the stores that sell are meant to protect against that. They make their games, stupid ass unncessary easter eggs and all, and let someone else figure out the rest. I find this entire thing extraordinarily tiring.
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2005, 07:13:06 PM »

It is extrordinarily tiring and silly for grandstanding politicians to ramble on and on about the need "to protect the children" all the while the parents do a piss poor job of parenting, Rockstar proves themselves yet again to be the 800-lb asshole of the industry, and gamers once again have to step up to the plate and defend our pastime one more time.

I grow weary of the bullshittery. The facts are these:

1) Rockstar disabled a mini-game that was most of the way complete because it would be censored anyway. Considering the size of GTA: SA I'd imagine it would be difficult to just highlight the Hot Coffee code and hit delete. Doesn't work that way. smile So they disable it and move on.

2) You have to go out of your way and spend a few hours focusing on just that in order to even activate the mini-game itself, which requires cheat codes off the internet, purchased cheat code devices, and a shit ton of patience. Anyone who has actually worked out all of the girl friends knows this to be true.

3) Rockstar, when confronted by the fact they left an incomplete AO-rated mini-game in GTA: SA, ignore it then blame leet haxxors for their haxxoring skillz and refuse to accept culpability.

4) News outlets like CBS jump on the "me too" bandwagon and instead of researching their story, rush to press in order to shock/scare the general public about the evils of a video game that was seriously overrated to begin with.

5) The ESRB comes under heavy fire for its ratings system as being "not good enough." So, those 5-year-old children whose parents took them into Sin City and kept them in there despite the extreme gore/nudity/bad language are innocent just because they wanted to see the movie?

6) Gamers the world over sigh as they are exhausted from all the hoopla and unnecessary controversy, and decide to read a book instead.
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2005, 07:16:48 PM »

The main legal concern is that when a game is rated Mature, an accompanying brief description of content is given along with it (Violence, language, nudity, etc.).  A lot of parents seem to care less if their kids see certain things like violence etc., and in theory should be using the ratings guide to figure out what exactly is 'Mature' about a game.

So if a game went through the ESRB and got a M-17 tag for Violence + Language (which GTA:SA did) but no mention of sex, then not only is it false advertising to the ESRB who reviewed it but to parents who are buying it (and I guarentee mostly frivolous lawsuits will be forthcoming from said parents).

Either way, it was a pretty stupid thing for Rockstar to leave in there from a liability standpoint...
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2005, 08:00:57 PM »

Come on Rockstar - just admit it. You screwed up on this one. BADLY.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2005, 08:57:06 PM »

Eh, this 'Hot Coffee' stuff hasn't changed my opinion of Rockstar one way or another.  They're talented game designers.  That's where my judgement of them begins and ends.

Let's be honest.  This outrage isn't about Rockstar or their bits and bytes of code.  It's outrage over an up and coming generation who isn't afraid to spit in the eye of Puritanical morality.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2005, 09:01:03 PM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Eh, this 'Hot Coffee' stuff hasn't changed my opinion of Rockstar one way or another.  They're talented game designers.  That's where my judgement of them begins and ends.

Let's be honest.  This outrage isn't about Rockstar or their bits and bytes of code.  It's outrage over an up and coming generation who isn't afraid to spit in the eye of Puritanical morality.


Ah yes - that old "puritanical" chestnut.  Really - try to come up with a more compelling argument - one that hasn't been rehashed a million times over, mmmkay?  It makes you look neither insighftul nor intelligent.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2005, 09:05:09 PM »

It's less about people of Puritanical "values" than it is about "People in Power" versus "People in the Know." The topics may change, but the fight's been on-going for a few thousand years now. slywink
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2005, 09:40:04 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
So if a game went through the ESRB and got a M-17 tag for Violence + Language (which GTA:SA did) but no mention of sex, then not only is it false advertising to the ESRB who reviewed it but to parents who are buying it (and I guarentee mostly frivolous lawsuits will be forthcoming from said parents).

actually, the ESRB warning on my PC copy of GTA:SA is rated 'M' for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, and Use of Drugs."  i think that pretty much covers everything included in the game when played as Rockstar intended...
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 09:45:54 PM »

Maybe all these politicians missed the big "M" rating on the front of the packaging.  :roll:   Idiots and hypocrites.

Why come down so hard on Rockstar when God of War had a similar "mini-game" that needed no unlocking?   I haven't heard anything about people being incensed about that scene.  I feel sorry for Rockstar since the politicians need a goat for their agendas and it looks like they drew the short straw.
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2005, 09:54:13 PM »

I don't feel sorry for Rockstar at all.  They're the kid in class who wants the wrong kind of attention.  I think they've accepted the position they've been assigned, and have decided to see how far they can run with it.

Now, whether or not that's a good thing, I don't know.  I think that at this point in the development of the medium, it's probably not what the industry needs, because it just pisses on the fire.  In another 20 years, when games are accepted as a medium on par with films and comics, then bring on the boobies!
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2005, 10:17:31 PM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
Eh, this 'Hot Coffee' stuff hasn't changed my opinion of Rockstar one way or another.  They're talented game designers.  That's where my judgement of them begins and ends.

Let's be honest.  This outrage isn't about Rockstar or their bits and bytes of code.  It's outrage over an up and coming generation who isn't afraid to spit in the eye of Puritanical morality.


Ah yes - that old "puritanical" chestnut.  Really - try to come up with a more compelling argument - one that hasn't been rehashed a million times over, mmmkay?  It makes you look neither insighftul nor intelligent.
I think there's plenty of evidence supporting it, most notably being the US clinging fast to its religious nature while all other post-industrial nations are letting it go.

But I do apologize if I stepped on any toes, either by not frothing at the mouth over pathetic, polygon sex code dredged up completely voluntarily with hex editors, or by using the Big Nasty P-word.

I apologize if I throw this matter in the 'not a big deal' pile, ESPECIALLY since the content is NOT unlockable via any LEGITIMATE means.

On that note, anyone wanna bet that if Rockstar loses money due to this, they'll sue Gameshark or whatever the company is for damages?  I mean, are those Gameshark cheating things really legal to use?  Don't most EULAs have clauses about reverse-engineering or 'exploring' the software's code (without express permission from the publisher/developer)?

And I'm not sure what I did to get your panties all in a bunch, Laner.
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2005, 10:43:33 PM »

The ESRB just slapped GTA:SA with the "AO" sticker, meaning the game will no longer be sold at big timers like Wal-Mart.

Take-Two has apparently stopped production of GTA:SA and will work on a new version with the offending code removed.  Apparently they are taking this seriously as they just lowered their guidance as a result and the stock is being hammered.

GameSpot article.
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2005, 10:50:24 PM »

Quote from: "Chaz"
I don't feel sorry for Rockstar at all.  They're the kid in class who wants the wrong kind of attention.  I think they've accepted the position they've been assigned, and have decided to see how far they can run with it.


'accepted', my ass smile - rockstar, imo, has always been about one thing - creating controversy, & generating sales based on that controversy. far, far better promoters than actual game designers...

that said, our (u.s.) culture's ability to be scandalized so much more easily by sexual content than by violent content continues to be, for the rest of the world, maybe the single most telling insight into where we as a people are really coming from...


in the name of janet jackson's nipple...
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2005, 12:05:36 AM »

Quote from: "semiconscious"
that said, our (u.s.) culture's ability to be scandalized so much more easily by sexual content than by violent content continues to be, for the rest of the world, maybe the single most telling insight into where we as a people are really coming from...

That's dangerous thinkin', son.  Downright unAmerican.  [/laner]
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2005, 02:57:49 AM »

Target and Best Buy have also removed the game.  Story is a local one (since they are both based here) and you can read it at this link.

I also have a little side comment on my blog about it.
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2005, 03:57:35 AM »

Quote from: "-Lord Ebonstone-"
On that note, anyone wanna bet that if Rockstar loses money due to this, they'll sue Gameshark or whatever the company is for damages?  I mean, are those Gameshark cheating things really legal to use?  Don't most EULAs have clauses about reverse-engineering or 'exploring' the software's code (without express permission from the publisher/developer)?


Yup:

Quote
Vance did concur with Rockstar's assertion that the sex minigames were "programmed by Rockstar to be inaccessible to the player and they have stated that it was never intended to be made accessible. The material can only be accessed by downloading a software patch, created by an independent third party without Rockstar's permission, which is now freely available on the Internet and through console accessories." A Rockstar spokesperson said the company was considering legal action against Action Replay, GameShark, and other makers of console cheat devices that allow access to the sex minigames.
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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2005, 04:02:38 AM »

1) you do NOT make a optional sidegame like this and not expect some issues about it.

I guess I could argue how stupid everyone is.  The sidegame requires a lot fo effort, the code was M, which seems to me to be like being rated R for a movie...  Clearly politicians need to be heard and whats better than this.  Rockstar has gotten a lot of press which I am sure they wanted, and in all truth gamers get to answer the age old question: Why do you play games like that?

GTA: San Andres is a great game imho, in terms of it's one of the few games I've willing played through from beginning to end.  I enjoyed most of the games I played in it, and have nothing but nice things to say about most aspects of the game.  But when I posted this, I could see the public stupidity that would occur and hwo somehow this will be a rallying cry for parent groups and uber conservatives the world over.

I have a problem with Rockstar vehmently denying, then passing the buck instead of taking full responcibility asap and fixing it.  

Somehow I feel as if I get to listen to people screaming like it's Janet Jackson exposed on TV.  And Video games will get to weather yet another storm...

idjits
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2005, 05:31:25 AM »

GameStop pulled it off the shelves today as well.

I actually think Rockstar benefits in the short term, if only because all the "offending" copies will be destroyed, including used ones and the big used companies (GameStop, EB, GameCrazy, GameRush, etc.) won't accept the "offensive" version in trade, meaning Rockstar just cleared the market and created demand that only their new version will fill for a time.

That being said, I'll admit I'm undecided on this whole thing.  On the one hand, the ESRB rating is based on content that Rockstar did not make them aware of; on the other hand that content is not that easy to get at; and on the third (?) hand Sony's in-house God of War is only marginally cleaner.
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2005, 07:02:15 AM »

GTA: SA is not that great of a game.  Thats right, it just isnt.  I already played it when it was GTA 3 and GTA:VC.  The graphics are sub-par for this generation, the gameplay is old and tired, unless you like driving from point A to point B and back to point A with a million cops chasing you..... fun.  Oh, I forgot to mention how cool the cut-scenes are Nigga motha-fucker fo'sho bitch... yup, I could write for GTA:SA.  And before you call me a hater, I liked GTA 3 and Vice City, but the whole formula feels old now and just isnt fun anymore.  Even worse, the clones of this game are unbearable.  Rant over, Im out.
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2005, 11:13:25 AM »

On the plus side... All our copies just became collectors editions! biggrin
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2005, 12:39:39 PM »

Well I could care less for their GTA games than I do for a dog's fart, but I could not live without my Max Payne 2 with the Cinema mod.  Never ever gets old.  Bring on 3.
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2005, 01:18:11 PM »

Quote from: "mikeg"
Well I could care less for their GTA games than I do for a dog's fart, but I could not live without my Max Payne 2 with the Cinema mod.  Never ever gets old.  Bring on 3.


Amen to that. The brilliance of that mod can never be understated. smile
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2005, 03:27:34 PM »

If I were Rockstar, I'd get to work on a 'real' AO version of GTA:SA.  Sex is unlocked, fully nude, lots of wet sound effects, maybe some spooge particle effects.  Force feedback too.  There's a fully rotatable camera.  CJ has a new stat: 'Mojo,' or something.  The more Mojo you have, the more positions you can attempt.  Your Stamina stat determines how long you can keep at it, with more exotic positions being more draining on Stamina.  

You can get Mojo from having sex or from visiting the new adult toystores and buying books, videos, or toys.  Some clothing types raise your Mojo stat temporarily for a given girlfriend -- one might like you well-dressed, the other might like you in gang regalia.  There are even methods of increasing the length of your schlong, though they vary wildly in terms of effectiveness and are often very expensive.

But it's not all about CJ:  You can buy lingerie for your favorite lady and have her model it before dropping it.  If you really love the girl but wish she was bigger up top, you could offer to pay for breast implants -- but be careful, unless you're very close with her, she'll be pissed at the suggestion!

And it's not all about sex either:  Dismemberment is fully enabled on all bodies, both living and dead.  Play the new 'Chop the Cop' minigame which awards points for how many limbs you can hack off of a horde of unarmed (rimshot) policemen!  Children have been added to the game world too, and while it's fun to Uzi the annoying pigtailed brat next door, any crime against a child courts quadruple of the normal police attention!  Still, don't let a little heat stop you from eviscerating the rugrat who loses his ball across your fence.
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« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2005, 03:28:47 PM »

And all kidding aside, here's fantastic quote from the GTA Garage website, one of the major suppliers of the Hot Coffee mod (which has since been taken down):

Quote
Just in case you really really need to see naked polygon people for some strange reason, and are upset that Patrick deleted this, go [here] or [here] (this one even comes with penises and vaginas!) to download a mod which removes the default censorship blur over mature scenes in The Sims2 by EA Games. A game which is rated Teen, mind you, yet no one seems to care that it can be uncensored to reveal content which was already there in the retail version. Or, for that matter, just google almost any PC game's name +"nude patch" to find user created adult content which is now, apparently, the responsibilty of the publishers.


AO for Sims 2!  Our country's moral fiber depends on it!

THINK OF THE CHILDREN
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« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2005, 04:12:48 PM »

I found a nice little rant about this from another game developer that makes for a nice read about why this was a pretty big screwup:
-------------------------------------------------------------------



I've been reading a lot of forum posts talking about the Hot Coffee mod, and gamers have been speculating that Rockstar is "loving every minute of this" free publicity they are getting. It may be easy to jump to the conclusion that all this attention will translate into more sales for Rockstar (in the "any publicity is good publicity" mode of thought) but it's not as simple as that. This could have far-reaching consequences for the game industry as a whole, and a lot of my colleagues I've been talking to are pissed at Rockstar for this. Here's why:

The ESRB is responsible for assigning accurate ratings for every video game that is published, based on what they consider acceptable standards for content across multiple demographics. Therefore, publishers and developers must communicate and make available to the ratings board every byte of content in their games. Smart publishers know that they need to be upfront with the ESRB about possibly objectionable content, rather than leave their testers to stumble upon it. For example, the portrayal of blood, gore, and physical violence is a very important factor in determining whether or not a game should get a "T" or an "M" rating. The standards are detailed, and very sensitive, and have to take into account myriad factors regarding the portrayal in order to arrive at an acceptable rating. Publishers pushing for a "T" rating (the most popular rating for games, even violent ones, since "M" rated games sometimes are hard to get into more conservative-minded retailers, such as Walmart) may have to scale back portrayals of violence in order to avoid the "M." (The "AO" rating isn't even an option - it's considered on par with the NC-17 rating in the film industry - i.e. box office death.) A few examples of the kinds of things we have to manage: the amount of blood, how it sprays or flows, how long corpses last on screen, whether blood sprays on walls or pools on the floor, whether blood sprays look "cartoony" or "realistic," whether headshots are more gory than body shots. There are dozens more factors to consider. Just like Quentin Tarantino had to make some his goriest scenes in Kill Bill black and white in order to get an R rating, game developers and publishers must also, at times, tone down the blood, remove gibs, or otherwise change their content to get a "T" or "M" rating.

When publishers submit a game for ESRB review, they either have to take video footage of every level, environment, and menu of the game and submit that with a build, or give them cheat codes and access to all levels. They must also tell them about easter eggs, hidden content, unlockable content, etc. The ESRB must know, and should know everything.

Either Rockstar made the content that first emerged from the "Hot Coffee" mod available to the ESRB, and the ESRB chose to render an "M" rating with it, or Rockstar kept the content a secret from the ESRB. Maybe Rockstar kept the content a secret from Take Two's internal QA or publishing apparatus as well. (I'm not familiar with their corporate procedures.) I have a strong suspicion that, had the ESRB known about unlockable content that featured graphic simulated sex acts, they would have asked Rockstar to modify it. I know of games where the developer hid easter egg content from their publisher before. I also know of at least one situation where the developer accidentally left unused assets in the final build - assets that were objectionable - and the publisher had to scramble to remove them in order to go gold.

Regardless of where the fault lies, and although this may translate into a temporary blip in sales for GTA:SA as gamers scramble to snatch up the few remaining copies of the uncensored game, make no mistake - this is a massive PR blunder on the part of Rockstar and it could have far-reaching implications for freedom of expression in future games. At best, it will allow the morality police to feel confident in what they misguidedly believe already - that games are depraved. At worst, it will invite an unprecedented level of government scrutiny on our industry, and that's what's most worrisome.

Rockstar's primary blunder was in their initial statement regarding the Hot Coffee "mod." They made it sound like the modder violated the EULA and used all sorts of hackerish skullduggery in order to inject the game with this content. When we learned that the content was unlockable in the PS2 version, though, Rockstar was caught red-handed. The sex scenes weren't reverse-engineered, fan-created content, as Rockstar seemed to want us to believe...they were hidden, unlockable content that someone, somewhere at Rockstar took the time to create. The fact that it lay hidden is why this is such a colossal mess.

The game industry must hold itself to a higher standard for self-regulation than the music or movie industries. Why? Because movies are immutable, static content, and the venues by which consumers access this content (theaters, DVDs) do not allow for modification. However, computer games are dynamic content, and can be modified at any time, either through official means (patches, map packs) or unofficial means (mods). Though this is only true for PC games at the moment (i.e. console games are unmoddable like movies), it will become true for the next generation of consoles, which will have more established online support and near ubiquitous hard drive support, which will give publishers and developers the possibility of adding or modifying content through patches, add-ons, etc. (Yes, all you smug console jockeys who snort at the PC gamers and their patch woes...you will soon know their pain, too. I do not foresee publishers allowing console-based mods with the next generation of hardware, but it could happen down the road, as set-top consoles become more and more like PCs.)

It is the responsibility of game publishers and developers to insure that the content they deliver - even hidden, unlockable, officially downloadable, or unused/innactive content - undergoes the full scrutiny of the ESRB. I firmly believe the ESRB is a diligent, professional organization committed to the best interests of both the industry that creates games, and the public that consumes them. They will no doubt take the most heat from this debacle, but part of their job is to run the gauntlet on behalf of publishers and developers everywhere who entrust them with the task of rating our games. If the ESRB's ratings system holds no meaning for people, then it must be revised, so that our customers can have faith in us again (even if the mounting evidence that parents either don't know about game ratings or deliberately ignore them is true).

America has weathered the constant presence of reactionary moralists pervading government and society over the course of its history, and there is no evidence to suggest that these kind of people are going to go away. We must not, as an industry, be so cavalier with our ratings system as Rockstar appears to have been with GTA:SA, because it will only give the moralists the fuel their histrionic fires of outrage demand. They would like nothing better than to clamp down on our expression, if not shut us down entirely. (I'm thinking of US Senator Joe Lieberman, California State Assemblyman Leland Yee, and, most recently, US Senator Hillary Freakin' Clinton). There will always be people who don't want to see sex or violence in ANY media, regardless of its rating, intended audience, or distribution medium. If we as an industry have our ducks in a row, maintain our own vigilance against depravity and comply with the ESRB's rules, we can calmly point to our own checks and balances and ask the moralists to calm down (they won't but that's neither here nor there). But when the system breaks down, there is little we can do as an industry to counter their attacks. Because, at some level, whether it was at Rockstar, Take Two, the ESRB, or all three organizations, it appears that the system may have broken down.

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« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2005, 05:06:31 PM »

Eh.  System may have broken down?  That could be because the system is, you know, broken.

'M' is 17+.  

'AO' is 18+.

Are you seriously going to tell me with a straight face that the 365.25 days between a person's 17 year old birthday are so chock-full of meaning and experience that, upon his/her next birthday, they'll be ready for all that is AO, assuming they weren't before?

Are you seriously going to tell me that AO is a real rating?  Come on.  It's the kiss of death.  Just like NC-17, it's the rating that isn't a rating.  It's not saying "this content is suitable for individuals who are assumed to be mature enough to watch what they want, when they want to," it's saying, "this content is HENIOUS and CORRUPTING, and only individuals who we don't want to push around (because we might lose their vote) are strong enough to resist this UTTER FILTH."

What needs to happen?

'M' and 'AO' need to be merged, simple as that.  It needs to be the 18+ category, with all the rights 18+ content is allowed to be full of.

Screw this 17+ shit.  There is no difference from 17 to 18.

Get rid of the innocuous 'M' and the Scarlet Letters of 'AO.'  Keep E, and T.  We understand those.  Add 18+.
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« Reply #27 on: July 21, 2005, 06:35:38 PM »

I think you've completely missed the entire point.  The problem with what Rockstar did (and therefore consequences that it will inevitably have for the game industry) is that they basically misrepresented what content is present in the game.  Unlike movies, games are much harder to rate as the ratings board doesn't have time to review all of the code/artwork/etc. going into a game - the developers are responsible for being upfront about the content going into a game, and the ratings board more or less has to trust them that they are being honest.

Imagine the uproar is a movie like, say, Rambo 3 was rated R for scenes of violence by the MPAA, only the producers then snuck a porno into it before it hit the theaters.

Nobody's arguing that somehow seeing these low poly boobies are going to corrupt the nation's youth; the arugment is that as a parent we need accurate info as to what's in games to make that decision as to whether or not we want to allow our kids to see them.  I'm guessing that most of the people making the "OMG the ratings suck a little polygon porn/violence doesn't corrupt anyone" are probably under the age of 20, and even more likely not parents...
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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2005, 06:44:23 PM »

I wouldn't say that you are acting very Mature LE.  You sound like some 14-year-old kid on Xbox Live.
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2005, 08:26:25 PM »

Quote from: "Dimmona"
I think you've completely missed the entire point.  The problem with what Rockstar did (and therefore consequences that it will inevitably have for the game industry) is that they basically misrepresented what content is present in the game.

Yes, I understand that.  That point didn't elude me.  Nor is it really worth discussing, that's just fact.

What I'm saying is, why not just abolish M and AO (since the age difference is miniscule at best) and make all M/AO games 18+, with retailers requiring ID to purchase them (like cigarettes, porn, etc).  As long as the box content isn't offensive, what's the big deal with having them on shelves?

And I'm not saying this as LAWL HOLY SHITE ERSB R MORAN, I'm saying this as, the system has failed, now's as good a time as ever to overhaul it.

Quote

Imagine the uproar is a movie like, say, Rambo 3 was rated R for scenes of violence by the MPAA, only the producers then snuck a porno into it before it hit the theaters.


I see the analogy, but it's a poor one at best.  It'd be more like if after the Rambo 3 footage, and after the reel's stop frame, there was a few blurry frames of the beginning of a porno strapped on the end.  People sitting in the audience would never notice it, even if they sat to the end of the credits -- the movie just ends, the lights come on, thanks for paying, see you again soon.  It's only when they rush upstairs into the film booth, do some fancy footwork with the projector and film, and get 30 seconds of blurry foreplay porno to show up.

Normal viewers not specifically seeking out the porn won't ever see it.  

And that creates a hugeass gray area of legality and morality (which despite comments to the contrary, is a huge issue here, thanks to lawmakers getting involved).

Now, we can talk in circles all day about whether Rockstar *knew* the content was on the disc prior to ESRB submission.  These games are huge in terms of code -- they could have added it, commented it out/put it on hold, and forgotten about it.  They could have disabled it, (which is an assload easier than deleting all references to it in the code), assuming ESRB only wanted to hear about the content that, you know, people were going to see.  Hell, maybe the PR folks that went to ESRB just weren't told that such a disabled code was in there.  Or maybe they said, "It's disabled, what's it matter?"  Or maybe they really did want to hide it and let it loose on the public.  Though that's just outright stupid, and would require bad decision making on every level of the company.

And Graham, I'm not out to offend anyone with what I'm saying, or pass judgement on anyone.  Nor am I attempting to be 'immature.'  I know it's a big deal to know what your kids are getting into, and yeah, Rockstar and the ESRB dropped the ball on that.  All I was referring to was the phenomenon of the miniscule mathematic difference between M and AO, (a paltry year), but the enormous social difference (in that one is acceptable to the extent that buy them for their 10 year old kids, while the other is stigmatised so badly that adults wonder what horror is in the game that it got an AO rating).
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2005, 09:11:32 PM »

I keep hearing this "parents need to know what's in the game so they can make a decision" crap.

If they aren't paying attention to the rating now, how is a federal game rating agency supposed to make them do it? How is us going insane over it going to do it?  How is a new rating going to do it, other than no store carrying the game because it is rated "Evil"?

Are any parents out there buying GTA games for their kids?  If so, do they really know what the game is about, and what goes on in the game? If so, do  you think they really care if Johnny sees polygonal dry humping after he finds game hacks to activate the stuff that isn't at all "optional" (the ONLY way to activate it is to use hacking programs, either for the PC or the PS2)?

I mean, are two characters dry humping somehow worse than the outside view of the house with sounds of polygons dry humping each other? Or worse than the hookers noises in the bouncing cars? Or worse than all the killing and cursing?

If parents really paid attention to what was in the game, you know, the way it comes from the store (prior to hacking the program), I doubt they would buy it for their kids.
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« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2005, 04:20:22 AM »

I just checked my email and I go this little gem from Gamefly:

Quote
Dear XXXX,

Due to the ESRB's new AO (Adults Only) rating for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, GameFly has decided to temporarily suspend rental and purchase of the current version. You may leave the game in Your GameQ, but we will skip over it when checking to see what to send you next.

We are currently working with GTA's publisher to get access to an M-rated version that cannot be modified. We will pass on additional information as it becomes available. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you.

GameFly Support
[email protected]

GameFly – Ready to Play™




Knee Jerk reactions for sure.  Nevermind the fact that I am a 35 yr old gamer...sigh
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« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2005, 04:53:46 AM »

I doubt whatever the motives of rockstar were, they didn't expect this issue to blow over and play out the way it is now.

sure, they either wanted to include simulated sex in the game as a feature, but for whatever reason, decided against it.  knowing the content though, they should have had removed it completely, instead of having someone discover it.

I think though, if another less well known game was found to have an unfinished hidden sex game in it, we wouldn't be hearing as big of a fuss about this.

so, in the end, blame the politicians for trying to make this their personal crusade in order to win over votes  :lol:

bring up the clip of Rev Lovejoy's wife shouting "Would someone think of the children!!!!"
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« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2005, 05:20:38 AM »

I'm sure tha hacks that make the Postal games will have something similar in their next title.  The same company that was actually clamoring to be included on Lieberman's list of bad games years ago...
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« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2005, 06:19:28 AM »

I dont know...

We are clearly in that moment in time when all morality groups will pounce because rather than live thier lives they feel the need to run mine.

AO is a lot like NC-17, it means mommies wont buy the game for thier kid for christmas killing a decent chunk of the sales.  "walmart" might not carry it and thus they would lose a decent chunk of sales.  The tag clearly has caused a lot fo large places to take the games off thier shelfs.

Now the question remains...   If this was some pissant no one bought it game about more or less nothing, like o say Sims 2... and they had a mini game that showed nakked bits... would there be this occuring when it was found out?  I think not.

I think this is a politician/conservative/etc. dream event.  A game a lot of people have bought and played, a very violent game that they can say all sorts of things about.  About how this is steering our children away from family values and brainwashing them all into being killers. This is something you can build an election around, people can and will get voted into office over issues like this.  

Bleh, maybe we'll get lucky and they will change the rating system to something better, maybe something more useful.  Maybe they will accept parents shouldnt just buy games but read up on them first. Maybe they will spend more time defining what games boundries are for each rating system and not make this a witchunt.   Yet somehow I know that wont happen.  What will happen is Video Games will get another black eye.  Tey will try to stop violence in video games, they will try to stop anything that doesnt resemble a nintendo game sans Rewsident Evil/Soul Calibur.  

it pisses me off so much it hurts.
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2005, 05:08:12 AM »

I work in a game store and I have to say that while I'm all for free speech, there is a serious issue here with GTA:SA having this stuff in it.  The fact is that what the "hot chocolate" mini-game contains is "AO" worthy per the definition of that rating.  While it is also a fact that Rockstar did not ship the game with the content easily available, it is now easily available.  You would not believe the number of calls we are getting from clearly underaged kids looking for the cheat devices (like Action Replay) that enable access to the content.  In that sense Rockstar deserves severe criticism for leaving that stuff in there, especially when they should have easily known the PC crowd would go digging in that version once it was released.

Regardless of what parents should or should not be doing, the whole point of the rating system is to accurately reflect what the game is so those who choose to use it can make informed decisions.  Whether we all agree on it or not, many parents make a distinction between gory violence and sexual innuendo verus interactive sexual content. By leaving the sex mini-game in GTA:SA, and by making it so easy to access (10 lines of hex editing via an easily obtainable cheat device for PS2 or XBox), Rockstar has seriously compromised the viability of the voluntary rating system by making it look like a joke; making if much more likely we will now see government imposed regulations.  This behavior by Rockstar is totally irresponsible in our current political environment.
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« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2005, 01:12:10 PM »

Quote from: "Semaj"
Somehow I feel as if I get to listen to people screaming like it's Janet Jackson exposed on TV.  And Video games will get to weather yet another storm...

idjits


Now just imagine if it was a black guy who exposed a white womans breast on stage... slywink

This is almost as bad as SimCopter ... the disgruntled employee who put a cheat code in to turn all the male models into nekkid men.

I mean, that stuff was just funny. This is just the Leisure Suit Larry we'd all WANT to play. slywink
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« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2005, 01:36:00 PM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"
In that sense Rockstar deserves severe criticism for leaving that stuff in there, especially when they should have easily known the PC crowd would go digging in that version once it was released.


Oh, if you play the game backwards, it tells you to worship the d3vil and take your parents lives in sacrifice to the allmighty Ho-Ho.

Seriously, when games are cut and crunched in such a short period, often the content that's cut isn't deleted, its just unlinked. Given the game development cycle and the difficulties with SO MUCH CODE (come on, 10 lines seems "easy" but they weren't hiding this code, they just removed any reference to it within MILLIONS of lines of code) to REM out the additional content is not only acceptable, it's commonplace. Look at all the missing dialogue in KOTOR2 (found by PC gamers looking for a "REAL" ending). If they had a line of text "Jedi, I'll sh*t in your mouth, and make you kiss your mother while I sodomize your dad with a lightsaber" you don't think it would make headlines? It would, given the fact that this game is a star wars brand. We'd have "Knights of the Old Snuff Film" references in the media so fast it would make your head spin.

GTA is a target. It always has been with copkilling, gratuitous language and crass senseless violence.
Overheard at the Ratings meeting slywink
"Mature, definately. I mean, sure, the camera angle doesn't show anything, but clearly those characters are engaged in oral sex".
"What about the dead bodies littering the streets?"
"Hrrrmm, yeah, you guys might wanna tone down the blood spray a bit, a 12ft geyser of blood seems to slow down game performance"

Show some body parts and how they're INTENDED TO WORK and people get stupid.  "OMG, was that a NIPPLE?? I've never seen one before!!"


I don't often agree with -LE-, however this puritan bullshit has got to stop.
Sex is sex is sex. It hasn't changed in thousands of years. There's only so many variants. Some are dangerous, but no more than an abusive relationship (abusive friendships count too). Why does sex not become a natural element within entertainment, rather than a way to walk "closer to the line of decency"? What's decent about carbombs or random beatdowns? Why are movies "steamy" because of a 1-2 minute sex scene in a 120+min movie? (Color of Red, for example). Shit, if my OWN sex scenes lasted that short I'd be embarassed. That's not to say the movies should be exending them out to "to the hilt" hardcore porn, but if the sex fits, and it's done tastefully or within the artistic cadence of the movie, it shouldn't be deemed any worse than a severed head scene.

I don't expect to see Papa Smurf banging Smurfette here, I'm talking about storyline progression. It's time for (most of) the adults in north america to grow up. Seeing tits on primetime TV shouldn't be the most offensive thing ever.

Sex ain't the devil; it's how we all got here. Death is the other inevitable, however doesn't have to be the product of violence.
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« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2005, 02:14:44 PM »

was at the best buy on the weekend, and actually noticed a sales rep explaining to a parent what the ratings on the box meant.  i think she wanted to pick up battlefield 2 for her well under 13 yr old kids.  she decided not to.

if it makes some parents become aware of the content in games and be just a little bit more involved with their kids and their videogames, then i guess there's some good to be had out of all of this
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