today is kind of an odd day. as usual, i was eating a bowl of grapenuts (death to safeway crunchy nuggets!) and reading the news when i came across one of today's top headlines at cnn.com--which is shitty, but you don't need a subscription like the NYtimes--and nearly emptied the contents of my mouth onto the computer screen when i read it.

apparently, the city of LA is suing rockstar games and take II interactive for explicit sexual content in GTA: San Andreas. hmmmm... as part of the lawsuit, the game's rating has been changed to the game-world's version of NC-17 because of the lewd content.


nobody thinks shooting a crack dealer in the face with a tec-9 is a little more extreme than consensual sex? no? just me?

setting fire to the police is fine, but sex is bad for the kids?

somebody please, please explain this to me.


reckless said...

as always, CNN is under-researched and over-reported.

the hidden sex game is actually somewhat difficult to access. it's also only in certain copies of the PC version of the game, which, compared to the xbox and ps2 versions of the game, sold very few copies.

the suit will probably be dismissed, since the allegation of misleading claims is a little specious--how can the rating claim be false when the maker of the game never intended for the sex game to be viewed or played?

also, game ratings, like movie ratings, aren't a product of the law--they're voluntary marketing programs administrated by industry groups.

in the end, the reason this is coming up now is very simple--the city attorney of LA, rocky delgadillo (great name) is running for attorney general of california and the primary is in five months. gotta get that name out there somehow.

R said...

voluntary marketing programs, yes, but as soon as your game gets the ‘adults only’ label slapped on the box and wal-mart, target, and best buy don’t sell it anymore and the kids just download the game instead and you lose a shit-ton of money… not a very good marketing plan?

and what of the overwhelming lobby in California to prevent the sale of violent video games to children? shouldn’t rocky work the violence angle instead of the sex angle (work the body, stick and move)? and if the primary is in five months, why hasn’t he jumped on the anti-violence bandwagon sooner (press ‘Enter’ to steal bandwagon)? Because, surely my dear friends, if there’s anything Angeleans will tolerate above anything and everything under the sun, it’s sex. They will defend sex until they die (even if they die of sex).

your response, while thrilling in its demonstration of just how much bullshit one must endure/assimilate in law school, still doesn’t answer my question of why it’s ok to shoot a prostitute in the chest but not ok to have sex with her (before or after the shooting).

or, for that matter, if it was never meant to be viewed or played, why was the sex game-written into the software in the first place? ahhhh, liturgy...

it really is a wicked awesome game, though, isn’t it?

reckless said...

he can't work the violence angle and file a lawsuit. there'd be nothing on which to state a claim.

the rating is based on certain criteria that are presumably well-known by game makers. the only issue in the suit is that rockstar sold the game as an "M" title instead of an "AO" title--because the ratings board didn't know about the sex game lurking deep within. had they known, says the city, they would have given the game an AO. fraud! deception! etc!

but the point is that the ratings board didn't know. while the code may exist in the game, it's not accessible without at least some amount of hackery. i imagine that like me, you've played this game for hours upon hours--have you ever encountered this scandalous content? i certainly haven't. but then again, i haven't taken the specific and finicky steps necessary to unlock it.

the standard for the law is whether the ordinary and reasonable consumer would find this content. the actions of an enterprising young gamer with a hex editor and some free time don't extinguish rockstar's defense--that they sold a game that was rated for the content accessible at the time of purchase. sex, violence, whatever. they knew the rules of the ratings board and they wanted that M rating to get into wal-mart, so they took the sex out.

no lawsuit, no publicity. it's really that simple.

ps. the sex/violence double standard is old news, dude. the real noise today was in the ninth circuit, where it was ruled that american citizens need to show their papers to fly.

R said...

and what percentage of your audience did you expect to not sleep through your comments?

please everyone, i beg you, let's find reckless a hobby. preferably something that doesn't make you feel like you've been medicated.

reckless said...

and how is medication not a hobby?

J said...

i think you two should just make out and get it over with ;)

Anonymous said...

when i'm driving through a ghetto i like to say, "it's like grand theft auto san andreas in this piece."


J said...

dude! what the heck is that? no one's ever made ME a tasty little peice of flash like that! lucky!

J said...

i just decided i could make that in a snap. why didn't i think of that sooner?