Posted by : Jameson Durall Friday, July 22, 2005

If you've not read my previous post, please do so before this one :)

Love it, or hate it... the Grand Theft Auto series is one of the best selling video games of all time.

The game is generally brutal, and allows the player to do pretty much anything they want. Stealing cars, Running over people with those cars, then stopping next to a prostitute and beating them with a bat... you get the idea.

Now they've decided to cross another line. It was discovered this week that the Playstation 2 version of this game has a hidden mode called "Hot Coffee". In a nutshell, the player has to use cheat codes to unlock this mode of the game, which allows them to have sex with their girlfriend.

This game mode was shipped in the release version of the game, but was "commented out" which means that all the info is there,but its just not activated. So, all it took...was someone figuring out how to unlock that information. This is very important to understand. They LEFT the info in the GAME!

The ESRB, which is the ratings system for video games, had originally rated this game as Mature. Meaning you have to be 17 to even purchase it, Equivalent to an R Rated movie. Once this mini game was confirmed to be unlockable in the final release of the game, they revoked their rating of the game and gave it an AO rating...basically meaning Xrated.

I TOTALLY support this decision. Stores have been ordered to pull the game from their shelves, and the company is making a version of the game minus this part to re-release at the before Mature Rating.

While I do support the decision that the ESRB made...it's already opened a can of worms. Now people are going after the Sims 2 PC game that came out last September.

Sims 2 is what I like to call a sandbox. It allows the player to create what ever kind of experience they want. There are lots of characters, and you help them decide how to get the things they want. So, if someone is hungry...you can either tell them to go to the fridge, or you can make them stay hungry and play video games.

The complaint currently is that the Sims has nudity, including all the bells and whistles. Well, the truth is that the sims does not have any nudity. Every sim that becomes naked, has a "blur effect" that hides any nudity. It's kinda funny actually. The complaint is that someone figured out how to remove the blur, and that there was nudity underneath. Guess what! they're lying. Underneath a naked sim is a barbie doll plastic body.

Now, here's where its important to realize the difference between games that have content...and those that have their content changed. Grand Theft Auto: SA left something in that was able to be unlocked. What has happened with sims 2, is that someone has created a naked image and placed it on top of the character models. If someone downloads this change, and adds it to their PC, they will also see naked sims.

This was not released by the company, nor is it in any way endorsed. The developer also cannot be held responsible for what a consumer does with thier product after the fact if they are going to alter it in these kinds of ways.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain what is happening with this topic incase you hear about it on the news and wonder what's going on.

Questions? Comments?

-Jameson

3 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that it is sad that this is even an ISSUE with video games today - thus the reason I probably don't play any of these... they aren't even fun anymore, in my opinion.

    I mean really - what ever happened to good ol' Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Pac-Man?? HA -

    Jamey

  2. kim says:

    I posted something on my blog about this in which I painted a picture of a continuum, from "creating a tool to paint on a blank canvas" (e.g. Photoshop could be used to create all kinds of X-rated content, but you'd have to have some talent & time), to "we shipped everything in the game intentionally and made it totally easy for the user to see it". Sims is closer (but not all the way) to the former; San Andreas is closer (but not all the way) to the latter.

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