Another Take-Two Game Gets Re-rated, For Another Third-Party Mod

from the keep-that-skin-to-yourself dept

You might remember the uproar after the rating Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas got raised from "M" to "AO", meaning it could only be purchased by those 18 and older, after a third-party modification unlocked some sex scenes in the game. The game's publisher, Take-Two Interactive, found itself on the receiving end of some lawsuits for failing to disclose the content was inside the game, even though it was inaccessible without the mod. Now, the ESRB, which rates video games, has re-rated another game from a Take-Two subsidiary, boosting the rating of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from "Teen" to "Mature". The ESRB says that not only did the game's developer under-represent the degree of violence in the game, but also failed to disclose the inclusion of a topless woman in the game, even though, again, it was inaccessible without a third-party mod. Bethesda Softworks, the developer, disputes both claims, saying it adequately described the violence (for which the game's package carries a warning), and that the topless woman wasn't actually included in the game -- someone created a modification that hacks its art archive and creates the image. This is getting slightly ridiculous. Would the ESRB rate Windows Paint "M" because somebody might draw some boobs with it? What about text editors -- somebody could create some wicked ASCII boobs images. The point here is that developers can't have complete control over what people do with their software. If, as the developer alleges, the topless woman wasn't included, but placed there by a third party, what's it got to do with them, and why should they get punished?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    STJ, May 4th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    Um, I can change my background on Windows to a naked woman.. doesn't that mean it should be rated AO?

     

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  2.  
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    Hairball, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:01pm

    Deja Vu

    I was like. man! i just read about ESRB re-rating a game. And they did it again 2 days later? then i realized i read this article on /. 2 days ago :(

     

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  3.  
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    ganush, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:02pm

    The real issue...

    Why is violence OK but sex isn't? Wouldn't you rather have people having sex than shooting each other?

     

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  4.  
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    Thomas, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:09pm

    The ESRB was created to rid the entertainment industry of issues with extreme conservatives complaining that the industry's products were evil. Now those people work for that board. Joy.

     

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  5.  
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    JerseyRich, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:10pm

    "Why is violence OK but sex isn't? Wouldn't you rather have people having sex than shooting each other?"


    As long as one of them is me, yes.

     

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  6.  
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    Demortes, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:11pm

    Re: The real issue...

    Not really. I'd rather have less stupid people than more.. and on top of which, sex can be torture, where as a shot to the head is not. AIDS anyone?

     

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  7.  
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    Mike (profile), May 4th, 2006 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Deja Vu

    I was like. man! i just read about ESRB re-rating a game. And they did it again 2 days later? then i realized i read this article on /. 2 days ago

    The original re-rating happened a few days ago, but the explanation from the company is what came out today. The details that this was entirely a 3rd party mod is what made it interesting.

     

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  8.  
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    Moogle, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:20pm

    Picked nits

    Clothesless females in the game have a bra that covers areas that some armor types leave bare. Thus, the bra-less model is used for all body armor that covers the appropriate parts to avoid the exposed bra straps

    So the content in question *is* in the game. In Bethesda's defense, it's being used inappropriately and was never intended to be a 'naked female', unlike hot coffee, which was intentionally a sex minigame that was taken out (from gameplay, not data files).

    Unfortunately for Bethesda, the never-to-be-seen nipples are kinda embarassing and so are removed by the first patch. Not really useful unless someone made a wet t-shirt mod (*rolls eyes*). Would that be considered porn as well?

     

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  9.  
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    Josh, May 4th, 2006 @ 2:53pm

    Re: The real issue...

    Not if you're Republican!

     

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  10.  
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    wiplost, May 4th, 2006 @ 4:07pm

    those bad online servers

     

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  11.  
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    wiplost, May 4th, 2006 @ 4:13pm

    That's nonsence. Somebody else added in the naked person when they were bored. The company never sold the game that way. Somebody added it in. Like those servers that put stuff onto your computer. The game maker never wanted it to be like that.
    Thats like raising the rating on somthing bacause somebody swears on that server. It says on the box,"Gameplay experience may change online."
    Curse you conservatives. Doesn't Hillary Clinton have somthing better to do.

     

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  12.  
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    anonimiti (--), May 4th, 2006 @ 4:19pm

    the second game was hacked, they should not get sued, but the GTA thing was just ASKING FOR IT. it's kinda hard to hide sex scenes in games and expect to not get sued. comon now! that company puts the "oron" and the "m" in moron

     

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  13.  
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    Dan, May 4th, 2006 @ 4:21pm

    Um...

    The textures were there already. All that the mod does is removes the bra that wasn't removable before. Besides which, to actually see the boobies you have to kill the NPC and steal her clothes/armor. Frankly, I don't see looking at the boobies of a dead computer generated fantasy character is being all that thrilling, but to each his own.

     

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  14.  
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    DittoBox, May 4th, 2006 @ 4:34pm

    It deserves anyway

    What utter bullshit.

    Anyone can mod any game to include nudity, Oblivion *DOES NOT INCLUDE NUDITY* from the manufacturer, but the re-rating has *nothing* to do with that.

    From one of the articles:

    "There is no nudity in Oblivion without a third party modification. In the PC version of the game only - this doesn't apply to the Xbox 360 version - some modders have used a third party tool to hack into and modify an art archive file to make it possible to create a mesh for a partially nude (topless) female that they add into the game. Bethesda didn't create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion. There is no nude female character in a section of the game that can be "unlocked." Bethesda can not control tampering with Oblivion by third parties. Bethesda is taking steps to ensure that modders can not continue to hack into Oblivion's art archives to create partially nude figures."

    It has to do with the grotesque violence and gore. Mutilated, burning corpses, rotting heads on stakes, necromancy and dismembered corpses in many dungeons.

    This game deserves an M rating for the amount of gore, this re rating though has nothing to do with the mod for it. If the ESRB seriously thinks that post-rating mods by 3rd parties should be included in a second rating of the game, then I've lost all faith in them for producing accurate ratings.

    What's the big deal, I see this kind of crap on the average crime or docter show, the worst word in oblivion that I've found is "bastard" and the most (standard no mods game) nudity is a bra and panties. The worst gore is tied up, hanging and rotting corpses and some hoaky sword play.

    There's worse on primetime network television.

     

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  15.  
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    Indolent, May 4th, 2006 @ 4:42pm

    The Sims?

    I've seen nude third party mods for nude sims having sex. Shouldn't that give it an AO rating too?

     

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  16.  
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    garfalk, May 4th, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    if it keeps on going like this

    then everything will end up AO. in halflife 2 there is a mod, third-party i might add, that strips allmost all the clothing off of the main female character. but amazingly, no one wants to go after this, or no one has noticed it. people are just going after the newest big games because they want the greater publicity. a game from 2000 or so, isn't going to register with a lot of people.
    i think they should just leave the game makers alone again
    like in the good old days of crappy graphics.

     

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  17.  
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    Aaron, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:06pm

    Nude Raider???

    Wait wait wait... Now that they raised that rating, they should go back and raise the Tomb Raider series ratings, because I sure as h3ll remember that Nude Raider patch...

    You know, we elected these people into office, and all they do is sit around and waste our tax money pissing us off...

     

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  18.  
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    Boris Jacobsen, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:07pm

    Oh My God......

    the thought of under-18-year-olds seeing NAKED BODIES is disgusting. No 17 year-old ever has had sex, or bought a pornographic magazine, or searched the web. Now VIDEO GAMES are WARPING THEIR MINDS!

     

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  19.  
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    John Bailey, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:15pm

    Re: if it keeps on going like this

    If it keeps going on like this, we will be back to only official expansion sets. No more user created modules, no third party add ons, no replayability.

    John

     

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  20.  
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    blackfalcon, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Oh My God......

    you wish, because of free web, porn can be accessed any where. evven the "safe" google can be used to find porn for pervs. i use the old fashioned mags. unless they eliminate the porn industry for good, it's going to circulate no matter what we do.

     

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  21.  
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    EviLiu, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:19pm

    Misleading article

    The topless textures are shipped with the game. Bethesda created these textures and sold them to you. These mods simply remove a bra or shirt mesh to expose the nipple textures. This has NOTHING to do with drawing breasts in MS Paint, or setting a Windows desktop image to porn. The content already existed. Hot Coffee already set this precident.

    The content is on the disc, NOT a third party mod.

     

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  22.  
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    something to think about, May 4th, 2006 @ 6:21pm

    17 yr olds could buy the game cuz if you buy a 3rd party mod u can see animated boobs (Which isnt porn)
    so the point being lets move it to age 18 cuz it's not like kids dont have there parents buy the games anyways

     

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  23.  
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    DittoBox, May 4th, 2006 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Oh My God......

    Did you actually not see his toungue lodged that firmly in his cheek?

     

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  24.  
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    SaintLiu, EvilLiu is Wrong, May 4th, 2006 @ 9:04pm

    RE: Misleading article

    According to Bethsheda, the article is not wrong, they say the mod is used to create a mesh of their archived art. Used to CREATE a mesh.

     

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  25.  
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    Louis, May 5th, 2006 @ 3:07am

    I find it disturbing that people can be so afraid of a representation of the human body (and a bad one at that, one of the biggest problems I have with TES IV is that the models are so ugly). If your kid sees a naked woman before he turns 18, I promise you, he`s not going to turn into raving sexfiend. There are a lot more damaging things out there that we should be protecting our kids against.

    Here in Germany, TES IV already has a Mature rating, but not because of the almost negligible nudity, its because ingame you can pick up a sword and impale a creature, an enemy, an ally, hell, even your horse. I can understand protecting your children against violence, but not from the female (or male) form.

    As a sidenote Daggerfall (TES II) had lots of nudity, and there was a general disappointment with Morrowind (TES III) that Bethesda had chosen to exclude nudity to target the (american) teen audience.

     

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  26.  
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    Oliver Wendell Jones, May 5th, 2006 @ 8:55am

    Re: Um...

    I remember gettting bored with Morrowind at one point and installing the nude patch for it. I went on a killing spree killing all the townsfolk and stealing all of their clothes and leaving their naked corpses behind.

    It was fun for all of about 20 minutes and then I re-installed without the patches to go back to normal.

    Overall I'd say it wasn't worth the effort.

     

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  27.  
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    John Bailey, May 10th, 2006 @ 6:32am

    Re: Re: Um...

    Ahh.. but you are not a publicity hungry twerp who is using any means to get into the spotlight they can. And yours is the experience that most, if not all people will have.

    Anybody care to bet the most vocal objections to the horrors of video games are the ones with least experience...

     

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  28.  
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    howysexy, May 13th, 2006 @ 5:31am

    sims

    i never had seen anything like this before people put things like this on xbox games whoa people having sex and put dicks into vingias groose

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2006 @ 4:43am

    Re: Oh My God......

    Oh My God you are pathetic. All 17 year old guys have seen naked bodys in movies or on the web. In allmost all action movies today you have scene's where you can see boobs. And most of the 17 year old have had sex. In some comericials you can see boobs too. AND WHY ARE NAKED BODIES DISGUSTING. MABY YOUR BODY IS DISGUSTING TO LOOK AT. AND THAT IS FOR ALL AGES. HAHAHAHA

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 18th, 2006 @ 4:43am

    Re: Oh My God......

    Oh My God you are pathetic. All 17 year old guys have seen naked bodys in movies or on the web. In allmost all action movies today you have scene's where you can see boobs. And most of the 17 year old have had sex. In some comericials you can see boobs too. AND WHY ARE NAKED BODIES DISGUSTING. MABY YOUR BODY IS DISGUSTING TO LOOK AT. AND THAT IS FOR ALL AGES. HAHAHAHA

     

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  31.  
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    nobody, Jul 7th, 2006 @ 11:47am

    The texture did NOT ship with the game.

    The texture did NOT ship with the game. I repeat, it did NOT ship with the game. The braless MODEL was shipped so that the bra would not clip with female armor and make it ugly. Some third party used a mod to remove the bra and add nude textures to it. If you just removed the bra, you'd get a featureless female chest.

     

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