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Offlinedrtyfrnk
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Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now?
    #4432658 - 07/21/05 11:43 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/fun.games/07/20/video.game.sex.ap/index.html

Sex scenes force re-rating of best-selling game
Company admits explicit sex built into game disc


Wednesday, July 20, 2005; Posted: 7:47 p.m. EDT (23:47 GMT)

"Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" contains explicit sexual content that players can unlock.

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The video game industry on Wednesday changed to adults-only the rating of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," a best-selling title in which explicit sexual content can be unlocked with an Internet download.

The decision followed intense pressure from politicians and media watch groups.

Grand Theft Auto's producer, Rockstar Games, said it was now working on a new version of the game that would satisfy the original "M" for mature rating. It said it would provide new labels to any retailer willing to continue selling the version currently on store shelves.

Rockstar's parent, Take Two Interactive, also admitted for the first time Wednesday that the sex scenes had been built into the retail game -- not just the PC version but also those written for Xbox and PlayStation2 consoles.

Company officials had previously suggested that a modification created by outsiders added the scenes to the game, last year's best seller in consoles.

"There is sex content in the disc," Take-Two spokesman Jim Ankner told The Associated Press. "The editing and finalization of any game is a complicated task and it's not uncommon for unused and unfinished content to remain on the disc."

Rating change will hurt company
The sex scenes, inserted in a game whose main character seeks bloody vengeance on gang-filled streets while pickup scantily clad women, had prompted outrage from parent's groups and politicians including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-New York.

In a statement, the president of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) said the sex scenes were programmed by Rockstar "to be inaccessible to the player."

But ESRB chief Patricia Vance also acknowledged that the "credibility and utility" of the industry-run board's initial "M" rating had been "seriously undermined."

Many retailers sell "M" rated games, which "may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older," according to the rating board, but won't sell "AO"-labeled games at all.

Take-Two also said Wednesday that it expects to suffer financially. It lowered its expectations for its current quarter and fiscal year to set aside funds for returns of the games, and figured that net sales could decrease by more than $50 million during the quarter ending July 31.

Shares of Take-Two rose 12 cents to close at $27.07 on the Nasdaq, but later dropped $3.07, or 11.3 percent, in after-hours activity.

The ratings change was vindication for Patrick Wildenbourg, the Dutch programmer who developed and freely distributed the modification that unlocked the controversial content in the game's PC version.

Such "mods" are wildly popular in the hardcore gaming community and -- authorized or not -- exploit the medium's interactive nature to extend the playing life of many popular titles.

Group calls for recall, refunds
Take-Two president Paul Eibeler stressed in a statement that only an unauthorized "mod" makes the sex scenes available, and said "the decision to re-rate a game based on an unauthorized third party modification presents a new challenge for parents, the interactive entertainment industry and anyone who distributes or consumes digital content."

That prompted an angry reaction from David Walsh, founder of the National Institute on the Media and the Family, a Minneapolis-based group that monitors the industry.

Walsh criticized Rockstar for what he called a "carefully worded statement" that leaves the impression that "modders" are responsible for the content. "They did not take responsibility for the fact that this code was created within their company and placed on disks and shipped to responsible retailers."

The Parents Television Council, another group that monitors sex and violence in the media, said it was pleased with the rating switch but called on Rockstar to voluntarily recall the game and offer refunds to anyone who purchased it.

"I tip my cap to that first step of showing responsibility," said Tim Winter, the council's executive director. "Phase two needs to be absolutely getting to the bottom of this coding issue. How did it get into that game? How did it get past the ratings board?"

The ESRB was formed 11 years ago amid congressional pressure to crack down on violent video games. The board now issues ratings for more than 1,000 game titles each year.

Game makers must submit a lengthy form describing the most extreme content, and turn over visual samples and scripted dialogue as each game nears the final stages of development.

It's a sad day in video game history...


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Invisibletak
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4432994 - 07/21/05 12:58 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Its funny.

I do not want me kids to know what reproduction is while they are killing civilians with rocket launchers and getting into gang fights!


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InvisibleautomanM
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: tak]
    #4433046 - 07/21/05 01:16 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

tak, stfu, man...shhhhhhhhhhhhh.... someone underage might be on this drug board. god forbid they hear about what they were designed to do.


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No, no, you're not thinking, you're just being logical. ~ Niels Bohr


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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: automan]
    #4433836 - 07/21/05 04:31 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

that's fuckin retarded. It's covered up and can't be seen unless you unlock it. I'm tired of all these douche bags tryin to raise their kids to be adult children.


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"You might not be aware of this, but there are a lot of dickheads on the Internet." - D. Wong


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InvisibleCowgold
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: Cowgold]
    #4433917 - 07/21/05 04:48 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

i just thought of this and...
I'm gonna go buy a new copy and collect that bitch.

it'll be worth mucho dinero soon. I'll try to get it signed while i'm at it too.


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"You might not be aware of this, but there are a lot of dickheads on the Internet." - D. Wong


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Offlinepshawny
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: Cowgold]
    #4435884 - 07/22/05 12:15 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Yeah, it is pretty stupid. The "M" rating makes it for 17 and older and I'm willing to bet that most 17 year olds have seen or done far worse. It's more free advertising for Rockstar though


Edited by pshawny (07/22/05 12:27 AM)


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: tak]
    #4436419 - 07/22/05 02:46 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

It is the parent's responsability what their kids do, not society's.


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: tak]
    #4436588 - 07/22/05 03:28 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

I do not want me kids to know what reproduction is while they are killing civilians with rocket launchers and getting into gang fights!




:grin: :thumbup:


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"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflinePlok
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4436635 - 07/22/05 03:41 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

This pisses me off quite a bit. There's a lot more at play here than what it appears on the surface. This is a political move to further censorship of media. Lest we think only conservatives push censorship, Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton were behind this one, and Lieberman has been pushing to censor the videogame industry for a decade now.

The sex scene was completely inaccessible without a downloaded mod. This is akin to someone dubbing porn over a Bambi movie, and Disney having to change the rating to NC-17. How much sense that does that make?

Furthermore, as if this wasn't absurd enough in it's own right, people having sex is a bigger deal than slaughtering thousands of people? One sex scene warrants an adults only rating while indiscriminate killing does not? What the fuck?

People need to take their heads out of their asses. Oops, I said a dirty word.


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Just say NO to the War on Drugs.


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Offlinedrtyfrnk
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: Plok]
    #4437735 - 07/22/05 01:14 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Plok said:
The sex scene was completely inaccessible without a downloaded mod. This is akin to someone dubbing porn over a Bambi movie, and Disney having to change the rating to NC-17. How much sense that does that make?




It makes perfect sense. It's not at all like the bambi dubbing porn example you were talking about. It wasn't a "downloadable mod" it was preprogrammed into the game but not accessible. So it was left over from when the game was created, but had no way of getting to it unless you have a gameshark kind of thing or on the PC, download the patch that makes it available. It was built into the game.

But I totally agree with you that it's bullshit.


--------------------
It's Krang, Bitch!  :krang:


Edited by drtyfrnk (07/22/05 01:16 PM)


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OfflinePlok
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: drtyfrnk]
    #4437784 - 07/22/05 01:29 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

If the content was inaccessible without a modification, then it is irrelevant that the content was built into the game. It wasn't accessible without the user modifying their game, hence the Bambi analogy. It doesn't matter that it was "built in," since it was not accessible without a mod.


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Offlinemagicbastard
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: Plok]
    #4442088 - 07/23/05 11:21 AM (11 years, 4 months ago)

has anyone used this mod?


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Offlinebrowndustin
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Re: Grand Theft Auto marked as AO now? [Re: Plok]
    #4444183 - 07/23/05 08:44 PM (11 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Plok said:
If the content was inaccessible without a modification, then it is irrelevant that the content was built into the game. It wasn't accessible without the user modifying their game, hence the Bambi analogy. It doesn't matter that it was "built in," since it was not accessible without a mod.




You don't get it.

The reason why they're choked is because this content's in the game. If I programmed a game like minesweeper (which I used to do for gameboy) and put fuckloads of kiddy porn on it, but the content wasn't accessible then I could still getting in trouble for putting kiddy porn on it.

ERSB has to screen the games for their content, then apply a rating. They must go through EVERYTHING in the game. I think it's bullshit as well because you have to use a mod or cheat device to access the content, but they have a point. I'm still very far from agreeing with the verdict, but the content's there. You could simply hex edit the game and make the content unlockable by using keypresses if you wanted to. Bullshit verdict, but the point is that the developers left the content in.

It's kind of like in the sonic games that have debug mode still accessable. Developers use the debug modes in games then they just make it so you can't access them in the games. But if you hack the game, you can still access it. The "pornographic" content was left in this game. I haven't seen it, nor do I play the game much, but chances are that they could have just wiped the porn scene right out of the game. It's nothing like a debug mode in the sense that it's part of the games core, or that it'd be detrimental to remove it.

I think that some naughty coders just left that easter egg in. They do it all the time.


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