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Old 07-10-2005, 06:13 AM   #1
Sykus
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GTA:SA investigated for possible retroactive Adults Only rating

The ESRB is investigating the PC mod for San Andreas called "Hot Coffee." Apparently it allows the player to "simulate sex acts". According to the article at cnn.com, there is a possibility, depending on the results of their investigation, that the game could be bumped retroactively from a Mature rating to an Adults Only.

Quote:
The Entertainment Software Rating Board "has opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 'Hot Coffee' modification for (the game) ... to determine if there has been a violation of ESRB Rules and Regulations requiring full disclosure of pertinent content," ratings group President Patricia Vance said in a statement.

According to enthusiast sites, loading the Hot Coffee modification on a personal computer unlocks minigames that enable users to make game characters perform sexually explicit acts.
The content wasn't included in the game - it was part of a mod. How can they change the rating based on mod content?
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:41 AM   #2
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No, the content is in the game, the mod just unlocks it.

The disclosure process requires the game maker to describe anything in the game content that would effect the rating. If rockstar didn't mention this hidden mini-game, then rockstar messed up.

They should've really removed it before release, instead of just disabling it.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:45 AM   #3
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Eh, I already got my copy.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:59 AM   #4
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As Que said, if the content was already in the game and the mod just unlocked it, then Rockstar should have either removed it or informed the ESRB about it. On the other side, if they find that the mod adds it into the game (which is Rockstar's claim) then the rating will stay the same.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:19 AM   #5
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IMHO, even if the content is there but completely disabled in that you actually need to modify the game's source material to unlock it, that's no reason to affect the games rating.

I mean, if I took a Mario game, found an animation of him thrusting, then put another model of Princess Peach bent over and well, you can figure it out, wouldn't that be the same situation? Should this theoretical modded Mario title invoke it having an AO rating? Pfft, no. That's flat-out stupid. And even if Nintendo had a sequence like that in the game originally, but disabled it so that I'd have to hack the games code to make it work, again, that's not something that the consumer is going to see. The game is being MODIFIED to make it adult.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:23 AM   #6
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If the content is in there but, locked away so NORMAL people never see it, I don't see the problem. I've looked into this a bit, according to the mod author there's a "censor" bit, that controls gameflow. If it's turned off, the explicit scenes become part of the normal gameflow, with it turned off (default) that doesn't happen.

His mod tweaks some files to turn off the censor bit.

I have no problem with this hidden content. I like that Rockstar is pushing the envelope. Me, I'd have no problem with hard core content in M rated games. I just wouldn't let my kids play it. I consider this a localization issue. In the US, you pull out the sex, in Japan and Europe, you turn it back on.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:26 AM   #7
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It requires something that would require significant effort to find in order to make it work... Surely anyone that bothered would find easier forms of adult media anyway?

Yeah, they would, so the people up in arms about this should sit down and look at the floor.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:32 AM   #8
Kelegacy
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M means 17+. AO means 18+, right? WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL? If you own San Andreas or are old enough to buy it, you'd better be able to see a boobie or coitus without going into a mental asylum. If you are 17 and your parents still have to buy or screen your games, you need to run away.

Seriously, the rating on the package says that you need to be 17 to play buy. Why do these groups/politicians/asshats seem to think that San Andreas is meant for children or is going to taint their minds. According to the ratings, they shouldnt even own the game. It's like 12 year olds watching Saw or Se7en. Videogames are a thoroughfare for shitting on, apparently. Martyred because of immense ignorance.

It's been said before by other people, but it DOES make sense. Here in the states, sex or the act of making love is taboo and should be adult oriented, but you can play games and watch movies where a man's life is slowly drained out of him by torture or a succession of headblows by a pipe. Boobies bad, decapitation good.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:35 AM   #9
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Ha ha! I'm gonna go splice in scenes of me jerking off on a hog in Gone with the wind and Casablanca. They'll have no choice, they'll have to change the rating.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterKwan
I have no problem with this hidden content. I like that Rockstar is pushing the envelope. Me, I'd have no problem with hard core content in M rated games. I just wouldn't let my kids play it.
Well, if it's M, they shouldnt be playing it anyway. Technically, that is. According to censors and bigwigs and ministers.

I'd like to see hardcore content (hardcore not meaning porn) in my Mature gaming too, without it being labeled AO. R rated movies are for 17 and up, M rated movies are for 17 and up. I dont really need hardcore anal sex or other forms of sex that is depicted vividly on my screen, but whatever an R-rated movie can get away with, a videogame should be able to, too.

Remember Mafia's sex scene? That was the first time I'd seen anything like that in a game. Very tastefully done, as well.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:38 AM   #11
MasterKwan
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Yes, boobies bad, torture good. Just watch "24" to see how true that is.

You know, from what I've seen, it's really no more explicit than sex scenes in Sin City or other R rated movies. It's not tripple X "Debbie does Dallas" kinds of scenes.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:47 AM   #12
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Actually, it'd sort of be awesome if GTA got an AO rating. Walmart won't carry AO games. Shit, Walmart doesn't like to carry M rated games. But Walmart WILL carry GTA, because it sells like crazy.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelegacy
M means 17+. AO means 18+, right? WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
M means a minor cannot but it, but they can play it with parental consent. AO means it is illegal for a minor to play it at all, the same way a minor can get permission to see an R rated film but not NC-17 or X rated movies. Also, major U.S. retalers will not carry AO games, which is why an AO game has never been commercially released in the states.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Finger
M means a minor cannot but it, but they can play it with parental consent. AO means it is illegal for a minor to play it at all, the same way a minor can get permission to see an R rated film but not NC-17 or X rated movies. Also, major U.S. retalers will not carry AO games, which is why an AO game has never been commercially released in the states.
True. I dont think it should be illegal to play or watch anything, but it also depends on a parent's degree of censoring. I was allowed to play and watch mostly whatever I wanted, usually due to the fact that my parents were around all the time. Latchkey parents are the ones that should worrry. My parents always let me watch the R rated films and even took me to a few. They knew I could comprehend the realities involved and wouldnt be so impressioned that I'd kill someone and eat their brains. Parenting isnt about censoring; it's about guiding, describing, and discussing--essentially, teaching. I'm 24 and they still attend all my summer softball games and other functions where I'm involved. If that's not being an actively involved parent in your child's life, I dont know what is.

Censoring is inherently bad, I think. But as a parent, what you deem fit for your child is your perogative. What you let them watch/not watch and do/not do may define who they will become someday. Shelter them too much and they might be living with you untli you are 40, or remain celibate except for that farm goat on Highway 17 on a lonely night.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:32 AM   #15
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I don't the AO rating, or any of the other ratings, carries any legal standing. AO rated games can be sold to anyone. The ESRB frowns upon it and retailers tend to follow the rating, but there are no legal consequences.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:34 AM   #16
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It's not illegal for them to play it, just to buy it. Minors are not legally banned from seeing NC-17 movies, just from purchasing them or seeing them in a theatre.
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Old 07-10-2005, 08:45 AM   #17
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Why on earth would Rockstar even bother putting this in the game to be unlocked?
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:10 AM   #18
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We don't have censorship in America, we're a free country!

That's why Rockstar gets sued everytime they release a game, and movies like Kill Bill have scenes removed and turned black and white.
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:33 AM   #19
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Okay, supposing this AO rating somehow gets added to GTA:SA (I don't believe it will...but just suppose it did) would this change the rating for the PC version of the game or for all versions? I guess this comes down to asking: is it possible to modify the PS2 or X-box versions of GTA:SA to show the naughty bits that are revealed in the PC-mod? My guess is that such a modification would require altering the console hardware, thereby opening the door for the "but they're not really running it on a PS2 or Xbox since they altered the hardware" arguement.

When it comes to ratings sony, microsoft and nintendo have historically shunned AO. I assume they do this by insisting their developers scale-back the "mature" content in their games until the ESRB deems the title can be rated M instead of AO...but I don't claim to know the full mechanics of this process. Regardless of the methods, it's clear that the giants of the industry don't want to court the Adults Only rating.

If the gubbment forced the ESRB to rate all versions of GTA:SA as AO, how do you think the console manufacturers would react?
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:50 AM   #20
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This seems really stupid to me. If they change the rating to AO, Rockstar will be forced to slap an AO rating on all future copies of the game.
If they get this mandate, they can simply remove the unlockable content since it was never part of the game anyway. Then it would be back to M. What a waste of time.
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