Rocky Vs. GTA: It's Not About The Sex

Remember the GTA scandal a month ago when we discovered that gamemakers had hidden an extra sexual level of play in the game that could only be accessed by a code spreading from player to player via buzz? Does anybody else feel frustrated that the company got away with only a re-rating of the game and perhaps ended up making even more money off the hullaballoo? It looks like Rocky Delgadillo does. The Los Angeles City Attorney and his office sued Rockstar Games and its parent company, Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., for "making misleading statements in marketing the game and engaging in unfair competition."

Interestingly, an editorial on the mygamer.com site responded with a roll of the eyes to Delgadillo's lawsuit:
Proving once again that Sex = very, very bad and Murder/Death/Kill = not so much... Just when you thought the smoke and fumes from the “Hot Coffee” mod were finally subsiding, there’s more bad news looming on the horizon for the game industry.
The guy has a point; our society does seem to tolerate an intense amount of violence and murder without much fuss when it comes to the ratings system. The UK Guardian echoes this "oh-no-here-go-those-prudes-again" response with the headline "Video Game Maker Sued Over Sex Scenes." Wired Magazine's article is titled: "Crime is OK, but Sex isn't." In fact, most of the coverage in the press would make a reader believe that Delgadillo is taking issue with the sexual content on the game.

But they're wrong — the crime here is deception, not sex. Games were sold under false pretenses ... a lawsuit would also be appropriate if a company hid an extra-violent level to earn a "T" rating instead of an "M" rating. As Delgadillo put it, "Businesses have an obligation to truthfully disclose the content of their products — whether in the food we eat or the entertainment we consume."Go Rocky! (Imagine the theme song from the movie playing here ...) It's worth starting a conversation with our teens: "Do you think Rockstar Games did anything wrong? If so, what?"

2 comments:

onscreen said...

Deception? I'm sorry, but what? GTA:SA sex scenes were hidden in the code, a cheaper way to hide content that the game makers decided was too risky - a complete re-write of the code would be too expensive.

So along comes a hacker (isn't hacking illegal?) who hacks away and finds the hidden code, decides to make a name for himslef by releaseing a patch that will release the hidden content.

The media take hold of the story, and instantly everyone knows about the hidden sex scene that NO ONE was supposed to find.

But no, it's deception. Nothing to do with the illegal activity of hacking, or the lack of responsiblity in the media, no, lets take the easy route, as always, and blame the game.

Mitali Perkins said...

So the expense was the issue? Are we all supposed to shut up and hope that nobody discovers our mistakes if they are too expensive to fix? Or do we HAVE THE GUTS to BEAR THE COST and FIX THEM? Besides, I can bet that Rockstar knew that the hacker capability out there is awesome.