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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This is Getting Ridiculous!

GTAOkay. I'll start by saying that I've been trying not to post anything about Grand Theft Auto. Since I posted the previous post, I've resisted and controlled my frustration for almost a week. But the situation is getting ridiculous!

For starters, I would like to point your attention to three letters that I absolutely agree with. Here's one:
Dear Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Yee, and Mr. Thompson

In recent statements by the ESRB, they have accused the mod community of undermining their ratings by putting sexually explicit material into PC games, namely San Andreas, which was already rated "M". However, if you look into a game by the name of "Singles - Flirt up your Life", it becomes quite clear they are doing a good job of that all by themselves. This "M" rated game features full frontal nudity (and not androgynous "barbies" like The Sims) and characters engaging in interactive sexual scenes. Screenshots of this game can be seen over at IGN: http://media.pc.ign.com/media/667/667197/imgs_1.html

And for that matter, what of the game "Playboy: The Mansion", which is based on the skin magazine, and is also rated "M"?!

Seeing as these game contains *far* more graphic depictions of sex than anything found in San Andreas, including the scenes involving nudity which we modded into the game (by default, "Hot Coffee" did contain fully clothed actors...), how exactly have we undermined their rating? If anything, what was left on the disc by Rockstar and modded into the game by us doesn't even come close to what the ESRB itself considers "M" material, let alone rising to their very own standards of "AO". To blame the mod community for this is not only hypocritical, but quite deceptive as well. Not to mention the fact that they've essentially had one title banned for containing "pornography", while they let more explicit games get by them.

For the record, we feel that "M" is an appropriate rating for these games, as their contents are no worse than R-rated films which have long been considered "okay" for ages 17 and up. However, we do agree with you all that that the ESRB is a big joke. Especially now that they're attacking their own customers for content which they obviously don't seem to have a problem with. Why should we the consumers be persecuted for adding something to a game which the ESRB has already demonstrated as perfectly acceptable for titles in the "M" range? San Andreas originally carried a warning for "strong sexual content", and judging by their previous ratings, we would insist that we released the "Hot Coffee" mod well within the ESRB's (apparently broken) guidelines.

Best Regards,
the administration of gtagarage.com

I completely agree with everything in this letter. Why the heck are they targeting GTA when there are far more "dangerous" games out there that have gotten M. Also, an excellent letter can be here. That one is loaded with sarcasm. Funny!

But what pissed me off enough to write this was the story of a grandmother who is suing Rockstar for sneaking sex scenes to her 14-year-old grandson. I don't know what the heck she was thinking when she bought an M rated game for a 14-year old, but apparently it was perfectly acceptable. However, since the ESRB changed it to AO, it is now immoral to give it to a 14-year-old. Apparently, "no parent would knowingly buy an adult-only video game for their children."

What the heck? If you're willing to buy an M-rated game about pimping, murdering, drug-dealing and gang wars, I'm sure that you have just blatantly impressed upon your child that you don't care what they play. What the heck is a crappy, poorly-textured, (and very difficult to unlock) sex scene going to do? What parental mindset says, "Well, its okay that they are learning to kill cops, but a split second of crappy sex is going to scar them forever!" Sheesh!

And the government has decided that debating the future of our country is too dull. The House of Congress has ordered a federal investigation into the game! What the heck! Pick on Playboy: the Mansion! GTA has nothing on that!

People should stop trying to control what parents can buy for their children. Let the parents decide! If you want to focus on children, focus on their crappy, dull history classes (brought to you by Lies My Teacher Told Me)! Stop twisting the truth to our youth and telling them that everything is going to be alright! Choose textbooks based on how well it invokes critical thinking, not on politics or what overtly conservative parent will say. The same goes for GTA - let the parents decide if it is appropriate for their child.

This country is based on capitalism! Our government loves laissez-faire! They'll let the oil industry do whatever it wants, but the gaming industry? Of course not, it might damage children into becoming violent. Meanwhile, the government's own Bureau of Statistics says that crime rates for children have dropped excessively since video games really picked up. What? Stop being so hypocritical!! And STAY OUT OF THE GAMING INDUSTRY!!

Whew.... that was a nice rant.

Letters #1 and #2
Again, letter #3
Grandma Sues Rockstar
posted by Tyrantmizar at 8:43 PM | TrackBack |


What amazes me is the complainers this time are DEMOCRATS. Isn't bible-belt censorship the job of the Republicans? And by the way, this article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050727/RATING27/TPEntertainment/TopStories has an awesome quote:

"This is my opinion only," she says, "but here in Canada we are a little bit more lax on the sexual aspect of [entertainment products] and we're harder on violence. In the States, I think it's the direct opposite. If you show the least little bit of nudity in the States, the Bible Belt down in mid-America just has an absolute fit. Well, for heaven's sakes, we all have breasts, we all have sex, but we're not all violent up here."

Lol! Great! :)

Those crazy bible-belters.

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