Wednesday, July 27, 2005

San Andreas in court

Okay, it's been forever since I've had time to update, but I just had to spout about this somewhere. CNN has an article up about a granny who sued Rockstar Games about the now-controversial GTA: San Andreas because of its "Hot Coffee" content. Two things bother me about this whole thing.

First, why is this lady complaining about the content of a game that was originally rated as "Mature" (ages 17+) when she bought it for her 14-year-old grandson? That black-and-white "M" rating on the cover doesn't look much like a "T" to me and it clearly indicated the game is not recommended for someone his age. The court case may seem like a good idea to many, but the courts may have a problem with this very same age-related point. It just goes to show that parents can't just blindly buy things for their kids, but some level of involvement needs to happen. Also, what one person finds to be distasteful or objectionable, may be perfectly acceptable to another.

Secondly, this whole sexual content issue is seriously overblown (forgive the pun). I have not seen the content in question--nor do I care to--but reports indicate that the characters are still fully clothed at all times which in my opinion makes this whole mini-game just extremely suggestive. It's just like the Paris Hilton ad from Carl's Jr a few months back--America has become so paranoid after the "wardrobe malfunction" of Janet Jackson during the Superbowl last year. The code for this while mini-game was disabled so the original "M" rating should stand. Tecmo's Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball didn't get re-rated after patches were released to make the models completely naked. Even the top-selling game The Sims 2 is getting some heat for similar content. You know, it makes me wonder if things like this were intentionally left in to create product visibility in the media or maybe if a disgruntled employee sneaked these things in without the publisher's knowledge or permission?

Anyway, my opinion is that this is all overblown. We let our children watch violence on television and listen to crap like gangsta-rap, but when it comes to even the slightest suggestive or sexual things it's a problem... how two-faced is that? Granted these things aren't for young eyes, but let's at least be consistent about the inappropriateness of drugs, sex, and violence without ignoring any of them.

Update 07/28: Apparently, many others online are voicing the same opinion. And what about this guy, a blind teen who plays these "violent" fighting games pretty well, but do you see him knifing people in public?


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