ESRB changes San Andreas rating

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An Extremely Tired Moderator who pressed Edit instead of Quote said:
(Wow. It's so late and I'm so zonked out that, as I typed this in reply to Optimus Prime's post...I accidentally edited his instead of quoting it, heh. I've never had to undo a post edit like that so I don't know if it's possible to fix, hopefully one of the big mods can undo my inadvertant screwup...but just in case they can't, here's a very basic recap what he said. OptiPrime made light of the fact that none of this decision was made in a courtroom, and that the ESRB along with R* and Take Two were all compliant with the requests given to them.)
First and foremost, I apologize for edit and my crazy rant above. I got patriotic. Game Nation is my home and I'm as nationalistic as they come.

The ESRB decision will be used in every scenario in the future. it doesn't have to have been decided in a courtroom necessarily. The point is when faced with this "new content" (that isn't even in the game, just as the Sims' nudity is censored and the characters' genitals inexistent), the ESRB had to up the rating. This will become the standard par for the course whenever they find "hidden" things in games.

Game development cycles will amost certainly extend as they will have to hard code lockouts to most of their unused data. A perfect example are the Smackdown games, who often at the last minute are asked to remove wrestlers from their rosters for various reasons. Most of these models, moves, and character entrance music remain on the disk, as it is much easier for the developers to use it for next years game if the character is already in the game. In fact any web designers out there know, whenever you are building ANY digital product, you just "comment out" parts of it rather than mutilating your original work.

The ESRB practically IS the court room in this case, as it has that completely unused AO rating that chokes off distro massively. Now that they have convinced them to follow through on one game, it will be used as a precedent, both to the ESRB and in any future legal proceedings.

This is how this legal garbage works. The first decision ends up becoming the "accepted" one. There really isn't a lot of "compliance" when you have to follow the ESRB rules or there is legal right to interfere in your distribution rights. I guarantee they will use this decision to push further attempts on other games, and it will almost always be the biggest sellers.

Like an unrated, unedited movie. There is a reason why those don't get national releases.

There wasn't "compliance." The ESRB is the front line for this battle, where the two sides meet. The ESRB comes under the political and legal heat for a choice...obviously they have to bump up the rating otherwise they would have been sued straight to hell by Thompson and his regime on grounds of biased rating. The ESRB is created and agreed to unilaterally by the commercial games industry but it was designed to appease Senator Joe "King ****head" Lieberman's pre-eminent attempts at the GOVERNMENT rating the games. The industry picked up this rating system and designed it in such a way to not really directly affect itself, but rather to give parents the information they need right on the box, so that there would be no more excuses and they could continue to produce content at their leisure while allowing the public to filter it on a family-to-family level.

Of course giving King ****head what he wanted did not appease him because he has no control over it. They have been attacking the ESRB constantly since shortly after its creation, constantly citing these kinds of "misratings." They want to take it over, change the rules, and control the industry to funnel out the "bad" to their preference, making themselves look like heroes in the process. If they were to succeed, before long they

The point is, it is only "compliance" on a surface level. The ESRB did what it had to in order to avoid all out legal pandemonium; Rockstar has to listen to the ESRB, as does Take Two. It was NOT a choice. Do you think that the same people who made and published a game about a black thug going buck wild all over a city suspiciously reminiscent of mid-90s L.A. with gang bangers and rocket launchers, honestly, would agree to willingly cripple the public sales of one of the biggest selling console games in the last 5 years, if given the choice? It is a daisy chain sort of thing, the ESRB has to alter the rating or the legal bloodhounds have grounds to dislodge it as an effective rating agency (after having previously agreed to allow the games to impose its own rating system rather than a federally controlled one...thankfully the powers that be ruled the ESRB an acceptable and effective compromise...if we had the wrong reps for that decision GTA might have never even been published).

Even though this choice was not decided in a courtroom it is nonetheless a legal precedent. They can now pressure the ESRB to change the rating of any game that features even censored nudity or violence on grounds that SA's rating was changed. Now, no one will ever be able to even bother going to court because they are going to point to this landmark decision and it will unfortunately, as I said before, become the favorable course. After enough time on this, some politician will put forth a bill that hardlines it into the Constitution once and for all.

And at that point, you'll see games get denied publishing rights, mass game censorship, companies rapidly going out of business, a giant price increase, and my personal favorite...a game rack at at after hours porno stores.

They screwed themselves and now they are trying to turn a **** up into a shortcut, is all. Either way I guarandamntee he is going to try and go buck wild on at least three more major games before next month is half over. Watch. My next guess is a first person shooter, probably Halo. Either that or God of War for the nudity parts. Those are my bets as of right now. But maybe he'll surprise us and go after Pikmin. Or maybe the original Mario Bros. I can see it now: "Upon finding the Princess, both coitus and drug use are implied."

I can barely stomach talking about this without wanting to go on an anti-politician shooting spree. GTA is one thing, but when you consider the goals of the regime and the longterm implications of the industry's state...this is so wrong and so unfair it's not even funny. It's on a whole other level of Retarded American Suburban Heroics.

I really want to do something about this...I just can't stay quiet about it anymore.
 
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SaiyanPrideXIX said:
I really want to do something about this...I just can't stay quiet about it anymore.
Go out and buy the game for anybody you know under 18?

Support retailers who still have the balls to sell an AO game, and stop using ones who don't.

(All I can think of atm)
 
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Very well written posts Pride, it's nice to see something I agree with you on :)
I for one would love to do something about this too. Video games are a big part of my life, and bull**** like this make me question my choice to try and get into game development. Unfortunately, even the gaming community as a whole probably couldn't do a ****ing thing about this. The only hope I've got it that Thompson will lose all his credibility with his campaign against The Sims. It's unlikely, but from the sounds of it further investigation would prove that he's talking complete and utter ****.
 
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Jesus Christ, Pride, lol. I'm not gonna bother responding to every part of that, but just keep in mind that sex is a lot easier to limit in video games than violence. Violence has always been a part of games, people have been freaking out about it since Doom 1, and much as they try they haven't been able to do very much about limiting it. It's just an extremely common facet of gaming, always has been. The battle on that front has mostly quieted. Anyway if they did go after a violent game, expect it to be something hardcore like Manhunt.. or hell... the other GTAs. Honestly, Halo is pretty tame in comparison.

Sex on the other hand is a more recent thing in gaming. Honestly, Rockstar should've done their homework. They left a sex game in there (granted it takes some work to get to) and quite simply, more people (read: tightwads)are afraid of sex than they are of violence.

Is that a little stupid? Yeah, I think so. If I was some parent with a stick up my bum I'd be much more worried about my child becoming numb to the idea of brutally murdering people (another wonderful feature of the GTA series) than I would of my child learning about the birds and the bees, or *possibly* objectifying women or some bullcrap nuns teach you to hate porn for. Although honestly, I personally give more credit to the intelligence and ingenuity of today's children than the average politician. Most kids aren't dumb enough to murder over video games, and most kids are smart enough that they'll find porn whenever the hell they feel like it. Welcome to the age of the internet, for god's sake lol.

Then again I don't think parents should leave out Playboys and copies of Ichi the Killer all over their house or something either. It's an odd balance I guess.

Anyway the point is I think you're taking this a little too seriously... maybe a lot too seriously. They're going to have a HARD time tackling violence, if they choose to. Violence-wise and ethically speaking, the GTA series is probably one of the, if not THE most corrupt and immoral game of our time (I do love it though) and while there was *controversy,* they never got taken out for it until now. The sex game was quite simply the anvil that broke the horse's back. Think hard though, about what kind of crap they were getting away with before that. Should it disturb you that our society is so freaked out by sex and not the rampant killing of innocents? Yeah. But it's no reason to worry about "Game Nation" being attacked. Game Nation is fine unless people decide to make more games with a little budonka donk action in them.

So unless there's a secret Master Chief and Cortana nookie nookie code in the next Halo, I wouldn't count on FPS's getting taken over. Hell they haven't even moved in on DOAX: Beach Volleyball and that's practically a softcore porno.
 

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I seriously don't see why you guys are freaking out, the games getting in trouble is still their own fault, it's not that hard to tell them that there is a penis or two in the game somewhere to avoid all this.
 
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In fact, when Team Ninja took Ninja Hack (or whatever they were called) to court about the Nude Hack for DOAX and DOA2 they didn't take them to court for the nudity they put in they had to take them to court for cracking their security on the discs.
 
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Well I wouldn't wanna see kids below the age of 10 playing GTA: SA, but they just can not change the rating because of a 'moded' feature. Obviously it wasn't an accident to be made, but probably accidently incorporated, since CJ still has his pants on (yes I've seen the video). No genitals are shown (cuts kinda close on Denise's part) but really breasts.

A garuntee a child could go on the internet and find plenty of things worst than the specific scene. They just needed that one excuse to give SA a 'worthy' rating, since sex is more of a taboo than violence when it comes to what a child sees.

Now I can see them pulling this **** off on SA, completely unecessary, but I can see it. Doing it on the Sims 2 is just rediculous and whoever made that claim needs to calm his ass down. What does he want them to do with a life simulator? Make them go with clothes on? He and everybody else who agrees with him, need to know that people ARE going to rig games so they can see nudity, i.e. DoA Volleyball.

Technically, that means any and every game has to be rated high, since somebody could just edit the models so they look nude and place it on the internet.
 
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Of course there is worse on the internet, and with a few clicks, anyone with the slightest bit of computer literacy could access it. That's <i>not</i> the point. It's never <i>been</i> the point. The ESRB is supposed to give accurate ratings based on the content of games, so that shoppers, and retailers, know exactly what they're buying/selling. R* failed to disclose information about disabled code, including topless models of all the girlfriends, and a minigame where you control sexual acts to said girlfriends, to the ESRB, and now it's coming back to haunt them.
 
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It was an unecessary risk (unless it actually was an accident being kept in the final product) for R* to keep content like that, but is there a possiblity that the people who went over what content that SA contained with ESRB were unaware of the incorporated mini game? If it was intentional, than yes they got too ****y.

But are the officials who are aruging over this more focued on the lie or that it contains hiddent nudity.
 
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But are the officials who are aruging over this more focued on the lie or that it contains hiddent nudity.
Actually, the accusation stands that they 'hid' this in the game on purpose, to avoid a worse rating (stupid...Max Payne 2 has fully naked Mona Sax models and you can use them with a model swapping cheat, nobody sued them...but oh wait, there are no black guys with missile launchers in that game, and it didn't sell enough copies to put the movie industry's best releases to shame, so that's okay), and they indirectly allege that R* is responsible for the access to it being discovered.

Basically they are saying that the company did this intentionally, with the goal of peddling a pornographic product.

Still don't give a damn what the "they got what they deserved" side says, cause we shouldn't even be having this stupid conversation. NO KID SHOULD EVER BE GETTING AHOLD OF THIS GAME IN THE FIRST DAMN PLACE FOR MORE THEN FIVE MINUTES BEFORE HIS PARENTS SEE A ****ING BLACK DUDE WITH A MISSILE LAUNCHER KILLING POLICE AND TAKE IT THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE FRIGGIN EIGHT YEARS OLD.
 

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