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Offline Gaming Steve

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Episode 17 Posted
« on: July 11, 2005, 08:00:33 am »
As many of you out there are probably aware the gaming community has been under attack yet again, only this time the stakes have been significantly raised. A few weeks ago it was discovered that there may or may not have been hidden sex scenes and mini-games in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This discovery had brought the politicians and watchdog groups out in droves and has caused a serious investigation by the ESRB ratings board.

Because of the serious impact this could have across the entire industry I thought we should investigate this issue more closely and discuss the larger issues at stake. In this special edition of Gaming Steve I speak with Dennis McCauley from GamePolitics.com who was instrumental in breaking this story and has written extensively about this topic. In this episode of Gaming Steve Dennis and I speak about:

  • Dennis McCauley's web site GamePolitics.com and why he started this very interesting web site.
  • The "Hot Coffee" mod in general.
  • What is the status of the ESRB investigation into this matter.
  • What was the response from Rockstar and Take Two Interactive.
  • How this content may affect the entire gaming industry, even if it wasn't part of the original game.
  • How the ESRB rating differ from the MPAA movie ratings.
  • Here come the politicians ... and will they ever stop lambasting GTA and violent video games?

Get the podcast from this page (40 minutes): Gaming Steve Episode 17.

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« Last Edit: July 11, 2005, 08:33:18 am by Gaming Steve »


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Offline Secret|Service

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2005, 11:15:28 am »
Listening right now.
 ;D
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Offline Tarious

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2005, 11:35:10 am »
It'll prob take me an hour or 2 to download.I'll download it later when i'm not on my mmorpg.

Neways all i got to say right now is that Politics and Watchdogs take stuff a little to far sometimes. I don't know where they get a link that video games lead to violence.

The only valid thing I've seen so far this past week is GTA: San Andreas M rating and it having Adult matieral.

Offline Oviraptor

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2005, 12:00:22 pm »
I like having the interview seperate from the rest of the stuff in the podcast. You should do all interview-like things that way.

Carding is something that should be made law for game purchases. Cashiers that work at places where games are sold should inquire if why/who a person is buying a game. If an adult that is obviously old enough to buy the game is an M rated game cashiers should ask whether the purchase is for themselves or a gift. If it is a gift, they should ask how old the recipient is and warn them about the game if it is for someone underage.

Offline Cool AN

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2005, 12:01:33 pm »
Two in less then a week? GREAT

Downloading right now.

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Offline Secret|Service

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2005, 12:03:29 pm »
Ok, this is what I think about the issue:

No.1 Parents are ultimatly responsible for what gets to their childern and what happens to them. It's not how popular culture (games/movies....) is violent and stuff.
No.2 The gaming industry needs to get more mature.
No.3 Politicians are over exacurrating.

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Offline CustodianV131

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2005, 07:26:38 am »
To me it seems like Rockstar/Take2 should have told the ESRB what was in the game. As I understand it, a company tells what their game is, show pictures of their worst scenes (even if they’re hidden/Easter eggs or what so on) and then gets a rating? Right? So with those scenes they should have gotten an Adults Only rating but got an Mature rating.

If so, isn’t this the same thing as when a film company puts in a scene that would bump it to the next age rating, after they had it rated? Say the Lord of the Rings did something like that… everybody would be on their tail and rightly so if you ask me!

If it is like this, I see it as a heavy violation and makes the ESRB worthless as a way to see what content a game has. (If the ESRB knew of this its even worse)

If Rockstar/Take2 did it like this I say give them a fine so heavy that it takes away every bit of profit they make of the extra publicity and then some!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2005, 07:34:15 am by CustodianV131 »
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Offline LadyM

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2005, 03:09:20 pm »
Just finished listening to the podcast. Great interview on a hot topic. It will be interesting to see how it all sorts out.

Offline Credendo

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2005, 08:42:47 am »
Steve I'm sorry to say but Dennis McCauley is a moron. Ignore the content of the "hot coffee" mod and look at it for what it is, a mod that uses unused code in rockstars game, now being used by a no name representative to gain a political name for himself. To punish rockstar for this will tell every other gaming company that they had better lock their code against any modders because the politicians are never going to be able to understand the difference between a mod and the actual game. He brings up the columbine mod. Would you really want Id or the Half-Life team to lock their code so we cant make mods? When I saw his website I had hope that we would have a source for political news, and someone that news outlets could call upon for a more enlightened political view of the about video games. Guess I was wrong
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Offline Golgrig

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2005, 08:53:34 am »
To punish rockstar for this will tell every other gaming company that they had better lock their code against any modders because the politicians are never going to be able to understand the difference between a mod and the actual game

where did you get an idea like that?

atleast he is not Jerry Falwell  ;D

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2005, 12:05:54 pm »
Great show, and i dont think esrb should be poked at. Its not their fault.What might have happened is that rockstar snuck it in without showing it to esrb...
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Offline Credendo

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2005, 05:56:45 pm »
Think about all the warnings on a blowdrier about not putting it in a tub of water. Why do they waste money to put that warning on a drier? because people will find a way to sue. Now what happens if a game developer makes a game rated E, and someone creates a mod that allows you to kill rape etc. Before when something like this was released politicians would rant about violence in video games, introduce some political dead shot  law that would get shot down in the courts later to appear "conciencious" and gain 5 percentage points. However the ESRB should know better than to even give this argument weight since it is not accessable in the game. By possibly retoactively rating the game Ao they kill the games profits entirely since it's near impossable to find Ao games. What big company would risk MILLIONS of dollars in lost revenue because some idiot hacker found a way to get in and change the code to make a shocker mod when they can say that the person violated the EULA.

Human idiocy can NEVER be overestimated
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Offline syphonbyte

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Re: Episode 17 Posted
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2005, 03:45:30 pm »
Producing a mod with your own content and simply unlocking content already included with the game are two very different things. That's why this is getting much more attention than, say, a Lara Croft nude skin. I think that Rockstar made a mistake leaving that content on the CD, it was a stupid thing to do, but users who unlock that content are violating the EULA and Rockstar can't be blamed for that. If I modify a table saw to get rid of the guard, and then cut my arm off with it accidentally, I can't sue the company because I messed with the saw. Now, if the guard failed on its own and I cut my arm off, I could sue. That's a distinction that I'm sure Rockstar is going to make if they have to go to court for any reason.