by Mike Masnick

Carjacking And Killing Are Fine, But Consensual Sex In A Game? Ban It!

from the standards? dept

For the past few weeks we've been hearing all the various stories about how there's a downloadable mod for the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, that lets the player get involved in a "mini-game" involving having sex with various girlfriends. It was an amusing story about a silly modification. However, in the last few days, the story has been blown way out of proportion, to the point that the US Senate is now involved. It started with some grandstanding by a California politician who was upset that the ESRB may have rated the game incorrectly, which made the ratings group go back and take a look at it more carefully. The group eventually said their original rating of "M" for "Mature" was accurate, since that rating covered: "intense violence, blood and gore, strong sexual content, strong language and use of drugs." However, apparently that's not good enough for some other politicians who sense a "moral" issue. Senator Clinton is now calling on federal regulators to investigate the game for this modification, which Rockstar Games still claims wasn't created by themselves. Either way, take a step back and realize what's going on here. The point of the game is for the main character to be involved in all sorts of criminal activity, involving carjacking, murder and creating general mayhem. However, you add in a bit of consensual sex? Suddenly it's a federal issue! Honestly, the game has already been rated M, meaning that it's for people over the age of 17. The only higher rating would be A, which means it's only for people over the age of 18. Apparently, these politicians are worried that 17-year-olds playing a game whose entire point is criminal activity will be horribly scarred by discovering a sex scene, which sounds like it's probably the tamest part of the entire game. Aren't there more important issues for the federal government to be focused on right now? Meanwhile, Rockstar Games should send a big thank you to Senator Clinton -- who probably just guaranteed an uptick in sales of Grand Theft Auto.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Jul 14th, 2005 @ 1:50am

    Yeah but what about self mutilation

    Scientists have discovered a way to make microscopic burns inside people's fingernails, so each fingernail holds about half a floppy disk of data. The data will last 6 months, until the fingernail grows out.

    Imagine the possibilities for new kinds of burn-mark body art....


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Erin, Jul 14th, 2005 @ 6:44am

    are you high?

    i think the treatment of women in GTA was been pretty well-established as less than ideal. the female characters are prostitutes whom characters use to relieve stress, whatever the fuck that means. i understand what you're saying about sex being a lesser crime than violence but teaching 13 and 14 year old boys that its ok to use women in this way is something i can't abide, even in that context

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    wtf?, Jul 14th, 2005 @ 7:24am

    Re: are you high?

    Okay, so you CAN abide the same 13/14 year old boy being taught that it's okay to carjack, drive by, beat the crap out of people. Wait, you mean we're not teaching that because the game's ALREADY rated M, and whether it's M or AO (not A), that same 13/14 year old boy shouldn't be playing it, and isn't legally allowed to buy it. At that point , it comes down AS ALWAYS to the PARENTS. The system is working as it was created to work. (Much like underage drinking/smoking...since we know that kids will always do what they're told.) If you don't want your 13/14 yr old to play, then don't. Just don't tell everyone else that they CAN'T play if they want to.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    thatguy, Jul 14th, 2005 @ 10:15am

    Re: are you high?

    Erin if you actually played the game you'd see past the women prostitute thing and notice that a specific goal in the game is to make your girlfriend happy and spend time with her and take her out. Because she is your girlfriend and not a filthy whore. Everything in the game is the truth of the world. No matter how much you dislike it, there will always be women willing to be paid to have sex. It's all over the world and it's reality. The game isn't teaching kids (since it's rated for 17+) or anyone to treat women badly or that they're all whores. It's telling a story. It's also wrong to kill people randomly and go on high speed chases. A video game like this is no different than watching a rated R murder movie, horror movie, etc. And parents let their kids watch those too.

    Don't try to control thought. People can think for themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Tony Lawrence, Jul 15th, 2005 @ 4:18pm


    Obviously you don't want children knowing anything about sex, because that's something you hope that they will never experience.
    Violence, shooting, stealing, etc. are things that all adults personally experience every day.
    Therefor, our laws make perfect sense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 1st, 2005 @ 1:49pm

    No Subject Given

    bitch you crazy

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Knot, Apr 22nd, 2006 @ 4:28am

    Erin's Comment.

    ...Keep your day job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Ben, Jun 8th, 2006 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: are you high?

    Not illegal, if memory servs me correctly some courts struck down the whole blocking access to games based on rating.

    The people who enforce it are the store... kinda like you don't get arrested for sneaking into a R movie.... long as you have a ticket of course :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    mloody, Aug 6th, 2007 @ 2:25pm



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    sally, Jan 9th, 2008 @ 4:10pm

    ur a dumb ass get over urself if ppl like that then they like that just because u r bloging this bull shit dosent mean that they are going to stop in fact i am looking for a nude patch rite now so just get over it it will do u good

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 18th, 2008 @ 12:46pm

    not sure sally caught the sarcasm

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    DISED, Jun 25th, 2008 @ 6:23pm




    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    TEHOWNAGE, Dec 15th, 2009 @ 4:53pm


    im 13 yrs old. i play this game... i just dont go to that junk... if your saying that this is bad.. just watch your kids play.... not that hard...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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