You may remember the big fuss over the "Hot Coffee" mod in the video game Grand Theft Auto. This was a special modification that you could make to the game software (i.e., you couldn't just get it to work out of the box) that added a short interlude involving some cartoon-like figures in the game performing consensual sexual activities. Now, remember, that this is a game that is purposely about stealing, killing, prostitution, drugs and creating general mayhem. Yet, you add in a little bit of consensual sex that cannot be seen without modifying the software, and suddenly there's a huge uproar about how the game needs to be banned, while various people who had bought the game for their children and grandchildren (and then anyone else who lawyers could cram into a class action lawsuit) sued. Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind GTA, has apparently agreed to settle the lawsuit, which focused on the idea that the company was somehow deceptive in selling video games with sexually explicit content under the "wrong label." Of course, the label it was sold under already said that the game included: "intense violence, blood and gore, strong sexual content, strong language and use of drugs." Apparently, "strong sexual content" doesn't mean what most of us thought it did. Even the FTC found no problem with the way the game was labeled. It's hard to see what Take-Two has to apologize for (or settle), but such is life in a world where politicians who have no clue about video games want to make sure they can "protect the children." In the meantime, can someone explain how a parent who bought a game for his or her child that was labeled as including "intense violence, blood and gore, strong sexual content, strong language and use of drugs" could possibly be surprised or upset that it also included consensual sexual activity between naked cartoon-like characters?
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