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Penny Arcade: Video Game "Censorship"

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Bark Bark Bark Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:38 PM
Original message
Penny Arcade: Video Game "Censorship"
Here's a little "Hot Coffee" to wake up the "Clinton Baaaaaaaaaaaad" crowd, who have been spraying their underwear for the past few days about how "Hitlery" wants to "censor" their "free speech" by demanding that porn in video games not be available to children (shame on her!)...

http://www.penny-arcade.com/news.php?date=2005-07-20

Parents usually receive the brunt of the gamer assault, and their responsibility is real, but numerically they're buying the Goddamn things. This Hot Coffee "mod" - which by now people who are not gamers or politicians know about - essentially means that publishers, developers, and parents aren't at parity, because they're apparently willing to sneak this shit into games under cover of night and get rated on the marginally cleaner subset. It's not "fair play." The code is in there, and even if you have to perform some kind of obscure dance to bring it to the fore, that's an academic matter when a game - or an entire medium - becomes ordnance in the culture war.

The ESRB is suggesting that they may change the rating of the game to Adults Only, a category that by their own definition should see a great deal more use in a retail environment. This is great. Look at the descriptions for these.

MATURE: Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content, and/or strong language.

Or, as the rest of our culture calls it, "Rated R." Check out AO.

ADULTS ONLY: Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

This can't seriously be their distinction. The scenes are longer?


More; also, funny cartoons if you're into gaming.

This whole debate has been brought about by the same zits who call Tipper Gore a "Nazi" because she didn't want naked women labeled "whore" visible on album jackets and store displays.

I really wish Progs would stop doing Karl Rove's work for him...
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. The big question
is whether we wan't the federal government telling us we can't make sell or buy albums with a woman and the word whore written on it. We don't. Period.

The question of the Hot Coffee hack is not important either. Hot Coffee is a patch that makes the adult content in the game accessible...The only interesting thing about it is that it changes a single bit, rather than inserting the whole scene. But compare that to other patches, such as the one for the game "The Sims" that made them all naked/have sex whatever. This wasn't in the original game at all, it was all inserted by third party programmers with the patch. Sure, kids shouldn't have access to these PATCHES...But its not one of the major issues our country is facing right now.
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Bark Bark Bark Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. The big answer
Let me pop through your careful--yet desperate--reframing of my original statement.

The Federal government doesn't tell us we can't make, or sell, or buy albums with naked women labeled "whore" on the cover. It tells us stores can't put an album like that on public display. Can you understand the difference? (It also tells us we can't expose children to hardcore porn, sell them booze, or crack 'em in the mouth. BAD Federal government!! ...That was sarcasm.)

The real issue re "Hot Coffee" is this--and this is pointed out clearly by the guys at "Penny Arcade," in spite of the fact that they frequently bitch about censorship when it's a legit gripe--Rockstar coded a graphic sex scene into their game, then hid it to get a broader rating. And why is it there in the first place? So it can be found--and pathetic losers can buy the next turd Rockstar pinches off in the hope of seeing some MORE badly-rendered porn on their Playstations.

So nice to see Democrats ripping into Hillary in the defense of a corporation's practice of hiding porn in video games. Kudos. (That was sarcasm too.)
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. I have had a long and night of arguing this exact point
they don't get it, at least I know I am not the only industry person seeing a problem here
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Bark Bark Bark Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-05 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Some People Confuse
..."Liberal" with "Libertarian--only with no conscience whatsoever."

You're posting in the other thread I linked to this one from; you see them. The "I wanna do what I wanna do and screw the consequences" crowd. With all that "get big guvmint off my back" nonsense, you'd think they'd be happier over at FR.

Others just reflexively scream "censorship" whenever someone calls for rational control and guidelines*. It will NEVER happen, of course, that every single person will agree on what constitutes "rational" in these matters--but we live in a society, and society regulates itself...it doesn't NOT regulate itself.

Those who find that distasteful are out of luck, if they want to stay.

*The example you see here all the time is Tipper Gore. In the great "censorship" debate, she called upon the music industry for nudity to be kept out of public display, and for a ratings system and printed lyrics to be made available to parents for their benefit.

All of these things have come to pass, and yet artists are still free to do their thing, record companies can still sell it, and consumers are still free to buy it. No censorship, just reasonable control and guidelines.

And yet, she is reviled as a fascist whose hobby is censorship of free expression...which is complete and utter nonsense.
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TecnoCrat Donating Member (47 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. It just happened.
According to a post on Slashdot, and elsewhere I've seen, the ESRB just recommended that GTA:SA be pulled off the shelves for new copies, rated AO.

WalMart will probably stop selling, as is policy for them, or they change the policy to keep selling a very profitable game. Interesting now.

I agree more games should be AO, and should not be sold to kids. The arbitrary age always bugged me though.
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