Michigan Congressman Proposes “Video Game Decency Act”

 If you think that the political fallout from Hot Coffee is fading, think again.

The GTA San Andreas scandal not only continues to be a public relations thorn in the side of the video game industry – it’s also an inviting target for politicians.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) is no stranger to the Hot Coffee affair. In July, 2005, just as the publicity over the incident was peaking, Upton proposed a resolution in Congress ordering the Federal Trade Commission to look into Hot Coffee. The motion passed 355-21, leading to the FTC’s June, 2006 report on the scandal.

Upton, however, was not pleased with the FTC’s findings, saying:

"I guess I thought the FTC would have had some more teeth than they apparently have… I’m not at all happy… In essence there are no consequences. None… I would like to have thought that (Take-Two and Rockstar) would have been able to be fined for millions of dollars for the trash they put out across this country."

Upon finding out that the FTC has no such authority, Upton declared:

"I am going to be looking to write legislation giving the FTC the authority to impose civil penalties. I didn’t know that they didn’t have the authority."

Now, Upton has kept his promise, submitting H.R.6120, the Video Game Decency Act of 2006. The bill would make it illegal for a game company to fail to disclose content with the intent of gaining a less-restrictive ESRB rating.

Violations would be treated as "unfair or deceptive practices" under the rules that govern the FTC.

Fourteen colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors, including Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Joe Pitts (R-PA)

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    […] ==References== <references /> :*[http://gamepolitics.com/2006/09/29/michigan-congressman-proposes-video-game-deceny-act/ Michigan Congressman Proposes “Video Game Deceny Act”], ”Gamepolitics”, September 29]], 2006]] {{Video game controversy}} Category:United States proposed federal legislation]] Category:2006 in law]] Category:Computer and video game censorship and ratings]] Category:Computer and video game law]] {{cvg-culture-stub}} {{US-fed-statute-stub}} […]

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    Lord Phoenix ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hayabusa, you send me a copy as well:

    ZeroXPhoenix [at] gmail.com

    As for Upton, thank you for proving more than once that relatively 99% of politicians are uneducated, grand standing idiots.

    “I’m a gamer myself…I was an expert in Pong, that was a great game..bip, beep, bip bope..”

    Ah yes, Mr. Upton. Clearly you are a gamer because you played freaking PONG. >_

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    riddlinbunny says:

    hey hayabusa, send me one


    but how can politicians focus on and say that video games influence children and not strike down on movies or books- they ignore the gamers vote. the reason: there isnt one- there arent enough gamers that realize all the politics involved in gaming nowadays- gone are the days where we only needed a bag of cheetos and our 12 pack of coke and we were set for the weekend. If they did the same thing with movies, music, and books there would be a public outcry- we need to get more gamers aware of whats going on with the government and gaming today and if we dont get more involved then by the time the next gen of games come out were gonna see a completely new, and definitely not better, world of video games…especially if hillary clinton gets into office- if anyone else has any comments on this go ahead and email me.

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    […] GamePolitics (www.gamepolitics.com) has a report on Senator Upton’s (A Republican from Michigan) new bill. The Video Game Decency Act, it’s called. The act would make it legal for the FCC to fine game companies which hide content of their games in order to gain a lower ESRB rating. On the surface, this seems fine. The game companies should accept the ratings their games deserve. However, the reason this bill came about was the Hot Coffee mod for GTA: San Andreas. This mod accessed code that was in the game, but was in no way accessible through playing the game. The new bill would require ESRB to completely play through a game before giving it a rating, which means that it misses the purpose completely. There’s no way to account for every single hack, patch, custom map, and easter egg for every game out there. Take Oblivion, for example. The official gameplay alone is enough to keep a softcore gamer like me busy for at least 3 months, and maybe 2 months for a hardcore gamer. Then there are official hacks and patches for the game which would require more time to test, and unofficial patchs and hacks which would make the game virtually unreleasable due to lack of “proper” testing. I think Nightwing sums it up pretty well in a comment on that article: It wasn’t hidden material that could be accessed through gameplay. […]

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    Link89 says:

    “so, there isn’t ANY evidance to support legislation?”
    “nothing the courts haven’t shut down sir.”
    “no matter, hot coffee still works, facts are overrated.”

    omg, i hate hot coffee so much. they cant let it go.
    if he is worried about the FTC having the authority to impose fines, why not support them doing this for all media, not just videogames? couldnt you (poorly) aruge that that scene in “The rescuers” was hidden to get a lower rating? oh, but thats not a problem, its not like that was marketed for kids or anything…unlike GTA which was obviously meant to sell to a young audience despite the big Mature rating on the cover. wtf do they think mature means anyway! IT MEANS MATURE! as in MATURE CONTENT! as in don’t buy it for your 12-year-old!

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    shroomofinsanity says:

    I apologize for the double post, but I wanted to apologize for the typo when I typed Dan Olson’s name. Might not seem important to you guys, but I like to get names spelled correctly out of respect, especially one who summed up the problem at hand so well into one post.

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    shroomofinsanity says:

    Like I said in the reply to your email; you win the internet for that smackdown. And it seems that Upton’s claim to only care about mail from the 6th district is just so we won’t all attack him with our alien “logic” and “facts” that his kind fear so much. It is the crucifix to their vampiric skin.

    @Dan Olsen
    Damn. That is a large chunk of text which translates, roughly, into “politicians lose.” But seriously, I, while not employed at a game development company, have worked with programming for years and I know how much easier it is to just cut off access to a piece of the program than remove it and rewrite new code in its place. I have also had to write complex programs by very specific deadlines. Everything you say, from what I know to be true about the programming world, is correct.

    Nayaz Trimycos,

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    Dan Olson says:

    Any arguments to the effect that Hot Coffee was a feature that intentionally shipped with the game can be quickly dismissed for a couple of reasons:

    – There was no way to access it except through Gameshark codes and modifying the data directly. Without a leak from Rockstar as to a) the existence of this feature and b) the means of enabling it, the likelihood of anyone figuring out how to access it was extremely small. As it turns out that did happen, but only because they released it on PC, where assets are easier to search and modify than on consoles.

    – The feature was obviously incomplete and half-implemented. Anyone that saw the video or actually used the patches to enable hot coffee realizes that it was shoddy and can easily come to the conclusion that it wasn’t intended for public consumption.

    I work in game development, but not for Rockstar, and trust me… stuff like this happens all the time. Features are requested, prototyped, maybe even implemented… and then they’re cut. Game development is very deadline driven. If a feature is cut, it tends to be cut in the quickest way possible that keeps as much other stuff working as possible. Sometimes this means the content is forgotten about and left on the disc. Sometimes it means that gameshark or other devices could be used to reenable it. I bet 70-80% of games have half-implemented features that it’s possible to enable… obviously not all of them being this inflammatory.

    There were problems with Hot Coffee when it happened, and there are problems with it today. The first problem is ignorance. Politicians and journalists really don’t understand what happened or how it happened. Because of this we get people like Fred Upton up in arms over some percieved injustice against the nation’s children.

    The second problem is the ESRB. Due to the political pressure they were facing over Hot Coffee, they decided to re-rate it and in the process set a terrible precedent: that 3rd party modifications can affect your rating. They then re-rated Oblivion partially over the same precedent. A more correct solution would be to force the use of a disclaimer on packaging that use of cheat tools or 3rd party modifications could invalidate the rating much like the online play notice. Does this protect children? Not from parental ignorance, but hey … neither does legislation or re-rating. Does it get the political pressure off the ESRB? Nope, but hey… neither did re-rating games.

    Personally, as a game developer, I’d like to see the ESRB replaced with a different voluntary ratings board that has both a backbone and a good set of rating standards. A terrible precedent like the one the ESRB has introduced should not be allowed to stand. My greatest fear about all the stupid legislation flying around is that it will legitimatize the ESRB’s place as a rating’s body and make its removal even more difficult.

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    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I was actually going to write him, but his website says he will only respond to letters from people who reside in the 6th District of Michigan, and he probably won’t even read most of those.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been writing to all of GP’s featured individuals and I seem to get the best response from the non-politicians, although it might have something to do with the midterm elections coming up.

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    --shroomofinsanity-- says:

    Heh, could you send that exchange to shroomofinsanity[at]gmail[dot]com. It would be greatly appreciated.

    @the general arguement
    We can go for days bickering over details, or we can all get off our lazy asses and send letters to Upton about this. He may not be as far gone as our beloved Thompson. He may treat us as adults if we treat him like one.

    Unfortunately, I do not have his email, so if anyone would like to throw that out there, all the better.

    Nayaz Trimycos,

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    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Can we not use the word censocrat? Not all democrats try to censor everything and I’m almost positive I can find instances of republicans trying to censor stuff too. Not to mention I’m pretty sure there were republicans trying to censor games too (when did they turn into democrats)?

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    Faizu says:

    I had to say Hot Coffee Mod is just a software created by someone else not Rockstar. I hate those guys, why can’t they just fucking leave us alone?

    I hope one day some angry people crush their heads before they think twice in tresspassing our peace. And they will regret being NAUGGGHTTYYY…

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    Yukimura sanada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Below is a letter, written this morning, requesting action be taken by the ESA. I’d like your opinions on it before I send it.


    I”m one of the millions of people who support your group by supporting the industry. I speak in part for a large number of gamers, both nation and world wide, who have grown angry and upset by the complacent and inactive nature of the ESA and other industry trade groups, specifically in 2 areas. The media, and one Mr. John Bruce “Jack” Thompson. While the media is an obvious one, as our anger with them is well documented, our anger as it regards John Bruce is different. It is not so much him that we have grown angry with, it is that passive manner in which the ESA has dealt with him. For an example of his actions I have made a short list of the most recent, and Vexatious, actions.

    1. Slandered Dennis Mccauley of GamePolitics.com via the online game blog Joystiq, where dennis writes a weekly article about the political side of the game industry. Mr. Thompson is known and has been recorded posting defaming, insulting, and self serving press releases and comments on Joystiq.com, including direct attacks against Dennis, Gamers, The ESA, the ESRB, and Doug Lowenstein specifically, as well as Rock star and Take 2.

    2. Has run up a number of Lawsuits which I feel fall under the Vexatious litigation rules, yet the industry sits by and does nothing but let this man malign it and attack it without fail. We are fed up, and sickened, by the silent and nearly none existant action of the industry.

    This is a small sample, but for a list of things Mr. Thompson has said and done, I refer you to the following areas.




    The last is a list of a small number of Jack THompsons personal attacks on Gamers themselves rather then the industry. Belive me, the wikiquote has a horrific amount of quotes from thompson that would be actionable as of today.

    Be that as it may, we in the gaming public has the following requests.

    1. The current leadership of the ESA will, in coalition with other industry trade groups, Begins, within the NEXT 30 DAYS, to use any and all LEGAL means to accomplish 2 things. The First, is to cease the action of the mainstream media, such as Newspapers, television networks, and others, from Lying, defaming, and spreading FEAR through the general populace at the behest of self righteous watch dog groups and Hack Lawyers like Jack Thompson. The second is to use any and all legal means available to see that John Bruce “JACK” Thompson, is Disbarred before the END OF THE YEAR!. We also wish to see you use your resources, which OUR MONEY, gives you, to cease the lies and deceit of Politicans through the use you legal action, Public service annoucments aimed at turning young voters against “anti game” legislators such as Fred Morton and Joe Pitts, Charles Shummer, Sen. Brownback, Sen. Clinton, and more.

    We, the gaming community, to who you owe your jobs, have had it. If you will not take action, then we request you resign and give your positions to those who will.

    Enough is Enough, do your jobs, or find someone who will do it for you. We don’t care which. But, were so tired of it, that many of use would just as soon dispose of you and find someone else to represent the industry, cause the fact is, you seem to be doing only the minimum amount of work needed to earn your pay and let the media, politicans, and the Jack thompons of the world chip away at your armor piece by piece. Sooner of later, unless you stop the lies, the Bullshit lawsuits, and the political pandering, they will find away to take away your, and more importantly, our first amendment rights, all in the name of “The Children”.

    “The children”, the majority of which happen to be over 18 have a message for them, that we’d like you to send for us.


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    thefremen says:

    So, right now the Senate is looking to pass a bill to get rid of the 4th amendment, and these jerkwads are also looking at getting rid of the 1st and 14th. I swear man, this shit is like the Military Creation Act, before you know it they’ll be issuing order 66.

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    Yukimura sanada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Truec, The FTC only hands trade and marketing, and has 0 authority over production and distribution. they couldn’t do anything about HC regardless. Like I said, having any government group try and control private industry ends up failing.

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    Truec says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but where does this act even mention the FCC? It only makes mention of the FTC. It would be stupid, yes, but it’s not really outside of what the FTC’s sphere of influence, which, among other things, includes protecting consumers from deceptive business practices. If a company actually did withhold information with the intent of getting a lower rating, I could see the FTC being involved, as someone else said earlier, for false advertising, which they already handle.

    Upton may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but for a Michigan politican, he’s not bad.

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    Zach ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Damn, will these morons not get it through their skull that they shouldn’t be wasting time and money on thie subject? Let the parents do their job and STFU. It’s not the government’s place to legislate the media. The last thing we need is more power being given to the FCC.

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    Yukimura sanada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Arron, your missing the whole Point. no other entertainment medium is under FCC control save for broadcast media, and already there is a growing movment to have that power stripped from the FCC or to have the FCC abolished alltogether.

    To be blunt, it’s redundant to claim any form of government oversight in media is a good thing. But besides that, 1st amendment and 14 will kill this bill easily.

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    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ hayabusa

    i like your children of the corn reference. most kids I know of would actually see that they are promoting censorship and the beatdown of freespeech. I have seen soe mstudents who actually woudl want censorship, and alot of them, like our favorite censorcrat aren’t well liked and belive their views are above everyone else’s

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    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Like you, my first thought was that the kids were getting some kind of extra credit for this nonsense. It occurs to me though, that some of them may be genuinely interested in putting a lid on violent games, and just haven’t done enough research to know that the way they’re going about it isn’t viable. This is especially plausible when you consider who’s running the program. Yeah, I’m going to go read the pages out of a couple of books that support my position and call that “thorough research”. Then I’ll go recommend to my Children of the Corn that they read the same works and go talk to the governor. Awesome.


    I’m having trouble getting the e-mails to you, I think I’m mistyping your address somewhere. I’ve asked Dennis to forward them to you.

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    thefremen says:

    So if someone haxxors their hybrid car, hooks up the battery leads to their balls and ends up with home-made prairie oysters, Ford should pay for damages because they obviously made the product with the intent that someone fry their balls off?

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    Aaron Foster says:

    These debates never seem to go anywhere. It’s always the same people bickering. The facts as I see them are simple.

    As for this article, I don’t see any problem with the proposed bill. If it’s used right it would be very benefitial, although this issue wouldn’t come up very much. All the bill would amount to is that it would now actually be illegal to try and hide stuff from the ESRB, since the ESRB can’t play every single aspect of the game, the can’t look for every detail and games have to give them all the things they’ve put in as a list of sorts. This way they couldn’t hide something from them and end up with a lower rating.

    I don’t think the “Hot coffee” mod even falls into this. This wasn’t something that was neglected to be told to the ESRB. It was leftover code. If something like this happened again and the law had been passed, it would simply be a matter of a court case to determine whether the company was trying to mislead the ESRB or whether it was a glitch like in the case of “hot coffee”.

    And I do think the version of San Andreas (which I loved the game by the way) should have been changed up a level if they had found some actual porn thing in it, as with the mod becoming known it would have been easy to get and therefore, needed to be changed. I don’t know if it constituted anything though in this case as from what I’ve seen there wasn’t any actual drawn pornography, just the act of sex, which can be seen in a pg-13 movie.

    That’s the facts as I see them. It’s not nearly as complicated, in my oppinion, as everyone seems to take it.

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    Grahamr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Censorist….anti gaming illuminati…those are some good buzzwords. here’s one,and another that i invented(if we were to use a term in the vein of”pixelante” to refer to these pols)

    Censorcrat-Politicly motivated adversary of free speech,often spreading lies and misinformation to paint the paticular medium they are attacking in a bad(and thus easier to censor) light.

    Artificial Values{Of child protection,ETC)-used to propel the alarmist concerns of the above,often by tapping into the fears of the majority.(I.E Protect the children from violent games!)

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    Jordan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So they’ll try to use that bill against Bully, even though it’s not hiding anything, and for GTA: San Andreas the hot coffee was never intended to be accessed, but they’ll never listen to that.

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    PyroHazard ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Bionic woman! What a dirty, filthy tramp she has become!

    The problem with people like Upton is that they do not understand how the ESRB or the game industry for that matter, works.

    Something else I noticed: For some odd reason, there is a sudden influx of school shootings that just so happen to occur around election season. Coincedence or elaborate conspiracy by the anti-gaming illumnati to get their censorist agenda into the door?

    Where is my tinfoil hat?

  26. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    That analogy isn’t that good, a thing such as Hot coffee would not be a load bearing wall as you say, something like a physics engine or a gameplay engine owould but not hot coffe. A better analogy would be that if you removed the wall it might create some very noticeable cracks along the wall (cracks representing bugs) and you would have to fix the cracks.

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    Scoops says:

    I keep seeing people asking why Hot Coffee wasn’t just totally removed from the game, instead of just locking it off. Let me try to give an analogy (oh no… the dreaded computer analogies!)

    Let us say that you have a house (GTA: SA), and in your basement is an ugly section in one corner (Hot Coffee). Now, you have a few options. You could wall off the ugly section, or you could remove it completely. Rockstar essentially did the former. Why? What if you decided to tear out the entire section, but found that part of it was load-bearing? You’d have to go through, at a lot of extra expense and rebuild the load-bearing parts, get everything checked out, and make sure your house was still solid and stable. Now think of textures or scripted events as load-bearing elements in the game.

    So, Rockstar has the option of either walling off Hot Coffee, or tearing it out and rebuilding the game – making sure that they don’t break anything in the process.

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    Robert Zollo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I guess I thought the FTC would have had some more teeth than they apparently have… I’m not at all happy… In essence there are no consequences. None… I would like to have thought that (Take-Two and Rockstar) would have been able to be fined for millions of dollars for the trash they put out across this country.”

    A. Have you EVER heard the expression one man’s trash is another mani’s treausre? I know the saying doesn’t refer to thingslike violent games and whatnot but I thought I’d point it out. Also who the hell died and gave you permission to declare what is and is not trash? Grand Theft Auto is the top selling console game this generation, selling millions worldwide, garnering lots of awards and is thought of as a revolutionary game (and it is). Also the FTC shouldn’t fine the game just because it is violent. That would be censorship, a disgrace to our freedoms, and tyrannical. I hope that statement comes back to bite you in the ass.

    B. The hot coffee thing was the 1st of it’s crime and while it was hidden undisclosed content it was never ment to see the light of day.

    C. If that bill was passed 3 years ago, Hot coffee would not have been a violation, because Rockstar didn’t cover hot coffee in order to get a lower rating. If they did they wouldn’t have required you to go out of your way and download a mod, or get a gameshark in order to get to it.

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    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Wow. Is that a pony tail or something that is the texture for the front of her legs? I’m assuming the brown shins is the hair from the face on the back of the legs. 😉

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    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Yeah if somebody who was really familiar with the ins and outs of modding GTA was to come on and show (with detailed explanation) that the HC code/implementation was sufficiently less complete”

    How about a detailed picture?


    That’s one of the girlfriend models in a HC scene as it appears in the game. Notice the face is mapped onto the back of the legs? And the arms made out of bicycle chain textures? Things don’t get much less complete than that. ;P

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    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ hayabusa

    About what you found, I woudl bet if any student refused they woudl automatically fail the class. If I had such an assignment I’;d gladly sacrifice one class instead of do soemthign that goes agaisnt my beliefs, hell, and you can ruin the school board’s time with lawsuits for unfair treatment.

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    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Actually, this bill might just survive a court challenge and stuff. There is technically no prior restraint involved, so it’s not direct censorship. Aside from the rather nauseous, continued usurpation of state sovereignty under the guise of “interstate commerce,” this bill is almost reasonable. Almost.

    Since developers might run afoul of the bill for non-hidden content which the ESRB later changes its mind about (and claims they didn’t notice, a la Oblvion’s violence), ye olde chilling effect comes into play. Especially when you factor in politicans and a certain lawyer demanding random games which they don’t like be (re)rated AO. What happens if, say, Bully is re-rated to M or AO due to political pressure after being on sale with a T for a few weeks? Would R* technically be guilty of “deceiving” the public with a lower rating? All the ESRB really has to do is say “oops, we didn’t know how violent the game was!” and the developer is in trouble, no?

    And barfo: Nice conspiracy theory you have there, but, no. HC wasn’t a “teaser” to “create buzz.” Nor was it pulled to avoid an AO rating. Given the rest of the mature content in the game, they didn’t think anyone would give a damn about some PG-13 dryhumping. Had there been enough extra time and/or interest during development to make the sex mini-games not suck, they’d probably be openly available in the retail version with an M rating right now.

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    barfo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah if somebody who was really familiar with the ins and outs of modding GTA was to come on and show (with detailed explanation) that the HC code/implementation was sufficiently less complete than the rest of the “features” that would definitely argue very strongly against intent, I totally agree. I was always sort of just going on the reports (even from inside the gaming community) sort of paint it as s fairly ‘complete’ feature (although small in nature) – i had PS2 SA so i never bothered to actually try and play it (HC) to see for myself. Im not convinced either that they definitely left it iin with intent to decieve (or that hte cover up which definitely occured can separate between them finding out about the error after HC mod came out versus intentionally planning to have it hacked), I just think its a bit naive for people to state as plain fact that there was no intent to deceive when really thats just based upon R*’s say-so and they already demonstrated plenty of willingness ot be less then fully forthright. Or perhaps i am just overly romanticizing, because to me (because of my screwy situational ethics), if they put that info in to tweak the ESRB’s absurd definitions of Ao versus M content in a gamble that just ended up goign terribly wrong, then i actually respect them a lot more than if they are just bumbling fools who were screweing around with code and put in an alpha feature that they forgot to remove and that is what led to the s***storm.

    True. And see the gov’t could have saved an assload of money if they’d just gone and asked me for my analysis, I could have probabyl done it for 1/10th of the cost of the FTC study (special discount for my home country).

    FTC already has the power to regulate things regardless of whether or not they are transmitted (they just have to be traded, ie bought and sold). I think you are getting a bit confused between the FCC (Federal Communications Commision) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commision). There’s still a very reasonable question on whether the FTC getting all up into the face of a private ratings and standards board (tellign them how they have to do their job, etc) represents unneccessary and burdensome government intrusion on private business practice (or some similar), but thats totally separate from any issue of the fact that video games are untransmitted in public airwaves which is the reason that the FCC has no authority to, for example, fine R* for using swear words in SA.

  34. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “You can ask why they didn’t pull it entirely, and that’s a valid question.”

    One thing to remember is that unsused content existing somewhere within a game’s code is hardly a rarity. In fact, it seems to be the standard.

    Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow had some text files indicating that Hammer was at one time going to be a playable character in Julius mode.

    Knights of the Old Republic 2 had probably hours worth of recorded dialogue that was never used, not to mention tons of design notes and other files for content that was never added.

    Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has stats for characters and weapons that never make an appearance on the battlefield, and also even some artwork that never shows up, I think.

    I could go on and on. The reason why these things are usually left in is because it is quicker. Game companies are almost always on a tight scedule, so why waste time removing content that can’t be accessed anyways? Of course, through hacks such content CAN be accessed, but this usually doesn’t really matter. Perhaps R* was just stupid and didn’t think about what would happen if that scene was unlocked. Or perhaps not, I don’t really know.

  35. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I have one problem with the “R* deliberately left HC in SA so players would find it”.

    If they left in in knowing – and hoping – it would be discovered, why wasn’t it anywhere near complete? Screenshots I’ve seen of the section make it look like very early beta code, if not late alpha.

    You can ask why they didn’t pull it entirely, and that’s a valid question, but I’m not convinced that Hot Coffee was let lie in San Andreas as content designed to be accessed.

    R*’s denial that it was their could have been people trying to cover their asses – from the guy who came up with the idea, right the way up to anybody in management who might’ve seen early designs.

    R* knew shit was going to hit the fan on it, and if somebody on the team panicked and denied all knowledge, it could easily have propagated to the PR department.

  36. 0
    Majestic_12_x ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hmmm, so Upton wants to give the FTC the power to regulate content regardless of whether or not it is transmitted? Ingenious! Next, Upton will attempt to perform frontal lobotomies on everyone so it doesn’t matter if you’re happy or not! Representative Upton FTW!

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    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    That’s basically what the FTC found. That even though the intent to deceive the ESRB wasn’t there when Hot Coffee was put in, the intent to deceive was present when HC was initially found.

    I think the FTC would have been even easier on them had they fessed up the instant their internal code review found that the hackers hadn’t added anything new, just unlocked old code.

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    barfo ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @people who say that HC wasn’t intentional

    Well im going to go out on a limb here and take up the counter-argument of this point. First off tho let me say three things before everybody jumps onto me as some sort of mindless anti-game idiot: (1) I think that the whole double standard over sex versus violence in rating a game M/Ao is absurd, as well as the fact that the stigma of an Ao game not being sold at lots of retailers providing the pressure for companies to make sure their games arent rated Ao is a really screwed up system, and (2) I dont think there is anyway to prove ‘intent’ in the HC case up to the standard of here (or pretty much for any potential infraction), and so this is a meaningless and stupid law because it is a solution in search of a problem, even aside fromt he fact that it respresents ridiculous over-regulation of a private industry.

    Those things said, tho i think a very convincing circumstantial argument can be made that its far more likely that R* knew about HC content and left it in specifically for it to get unlocked than that their ‘official’ explanation is correct.

    First off, there is a substantial chilling effect on expression just from having the M/Ao system set up the way it is. Because the big box retailers dont sell Ao games (which is retarded, by the way) having an Ao game immediately means that your game is going to have a hugely lowered distribution footprint. Not important for a small niche game anyways (I honestly think that a tastefully done Ao JP-style hentai rpg game could sell well on a console like PS2 or something, IF the gameplay was better than your standard minimally interactive narrative hentai game you see for PC), but if you are talking about an AAA title with an AAA budget and AAA profit expectations its prohibitive. The ESRB has clear guidelines on what makes content M versus Ao (unlike the MPAA), and companies when they sit down to make an AAA title know in advance that they cannot put in content that would make it Ao, and if they and ESRB disagree and if ESRB is going to rate the game Ao based on some content thats in their that the company thought would be merely “M” then you can bet that content is goign to be gone and the game will be resubmitted. The ESRB process is clearly set up so that if a game initially comes in higher than the company wants it they can specifically tailor it to remove that conent so they can get the rating they want, thats simply the way business is done (and partly why that proposed law that requires the ESRB to play the finished game would totally screw up the system). People who say that it doesnt matter, that AAA “M” games are mainly played by adults anyways and those sort of gamers buy all their games at specialty stores anyways, are naive and basically don’t understand modern-day game economics.

    So heres the basic possible scenario: R* has this content that they did for HC, which adds value ot their game, but because of retarded way that sex is handled compared to violence, they cannot include it in the game (and im sure they know this in advance and remove it well before the esrb submission). However that content does add value to the game, since it creates ‘buzz’. There is absolutely no way to prove intent here but basically its record that HC unfolded pretty well for R*, (up until the point when it all went horribly wrong whent he MSM picked up on it). From historical record we know that basically the HC content sits on the PS2 disc doign nothing because people dont mod PS2 games much. 6 months later when the PC version comes out, because of HC comes out relatively quickly after the PC release, you have basically a de facto ‘enhanced version’ with more content than the PS2 version in the minds of gamers. This not only brings san andreas back into the ‘buzz’ at a point when the PC version really just is a port that is 6 months late from the orginial version and not in itself ‘buzz-worthy’ – it also means that people who already have the PS2 version (or were fans of previous GTA but for whatever reason hadnt actually gone at got SA yet) are tempted to get the PC version also, because they can mod it.

    Right up until the mostly beneficial buzz within the game community exploded into such a massive negative buzz in the MSM (fueled by a minority of vocal critics who were waiting for the first mistake fromt he game industry), R* was reaping huge benefits. Basically they got to have their game be M, while also having a bit of extra “teaser” to create buzz and sell the PC version of the game, preserving the value of that content (which although sophomoric, i think does create a bit of extra edginess) while having none of the negatives of if they had had to submit that content to ESRB anyways (or even directly associate themselves as creators of the content) and have the whole game end up Ao rated based on a throwaway gimmick thats not intrinsic to the gameplay or narrative itself. Also I think that since the rules about undisclosed inaccessible content werent on the books at ESRB, R* isnt so much cheating ESRB or its customers as figuring out how to use the gap between the capability of technology (and specificaly the fact that modders can and will unlock content acting as a third party) and the regulation of that technologies capability to exploit a loophole of the ratings rules. Since its a retarded and immoral rule anyways, more power to them, although in retrospect the ancilliary effects and how it was pounced upon by liars, cheats, and politicians (well actually thats redundant) meant that probably on the whole it did more harm than good.

    Also if you look at the official story of R* and how it changed especially as HC was breaking in the MSM, they sure act exactly like you would expect somebody who is guilty to act. They wont admit that the content is theirs until the very last moment when its essentially proven for them – and they had plenty of time in between HC coming first to light and when it was shown that HC was on PS2 disc also to self investigate and come clean – so the idea that they just still didnt realize the content was actually theirs when they initially went on record gaving the impression that it was hacker added content strains crdulity. Also if you look at their initial comments (to the effect that this is somethign that is added by a hack), this was blatant sophistry in that they made a statemetn that was techinically correct (which is that you had to add a mod to see the content) but worded in a way so that it would read as a much stronger statement to the effect that the content was added by the hackers to everybody. And then when their try and dissembling on that front fails they just fall back on the technical meaning of their initial statement and then try and deny that they even ever said the first thing (which was doubly craven). Clearly they are guilty of intentionally misleading the ESRB and the public over this stretch, though in fairness that just established that when faced with a crisis they prefer to dissemble rather than be honest, it doesnt establish anythign in terms of intent back when the PS2 discs were originally printed.

    Now of course none of this is conclusive or could ever prove that they intended to put the HC stuff on the disc as some sort of trojan horse to raise buzz when it eventually got found by PC modders (not an incredibly unlikely scenario despite what some claim), but conclusive proof is not really the point. My point is mainly that there is sufficient circumstantial reason to believe that R* would have had intent that it is rather short sighted to be saying statements like “there was no intent to decieve” as if those are plain and known facts. There is a world of difference between not being able to prove that somebody intentionally misled or cheated you to a court standard and being able to say as plain fact that that person dealt with you straight. See for example our current white house resident and his suspected lies which led us into Iraq – nobody is probably ever going to be able to prove before a congressional commision or whatever that he had intent to lie for that precise goal, but that does not imply for a second that anybody should trust him one iota.

  39. 0
    Lost Question ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yo hayabusa75 see if you can fire me over a copy at crazy_flying_monkey [at] hotmail [dot] com

    It seem’s Mr. Upton will not do any reaserch untill its to late.

    It’s sad really if you think of the money the anti-game croud tosses out on feel good (and illeagal give or take) laws

  40. 0
    Sir_bissel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There’s a reason southwest Michigan has a pretty high number of rape cases.

    Not because we’re all jerks and rape each other, but because the area is extremely conservative and religious (Throw a rock, hit a church…) and many parents decide they don’t want their kids having sex with each other…

    This just kind of shows that conservatism, really…

  41. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The latest details on today’s shooting (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15060698/ )
    include that he was expelled recently, and had joked about “hurting kids”.

    Wait…. I’m getting an image in my mind… it’s clearing… yes… it’s clearing. I can see it plain as day. Someone, yes, someone… I can see it…
    I predict… yes, I predict… someone… will… blame… wait, it’s fading… someone… will… blame… video games. Wow! I can’t believe it! What an innovative idea if someone actually decides to do that! Who would ever have guessed video games might be blamed?

    I’m such a smartarse. :)

    NW2K Software

  42. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “…Fined for millions of dollars for the trash they put out across this country.”

    That reveals all. They should be penalised for *moral* reasons, not *legal* ones. Law dun work like that, boy. You can’t fine someone for making something you don’t happen to like or agree with.

    Oh, and the Hot Coffee trash was hiding non-explicit consensual sex scenes in a game in which you can blow up police cars with stolen tanks. Perspective, people.

  43. 0

    My understanding is that Hot Coffee wasn’t inserted by rogue programmers. It was planned to be part of the game and cut at soem point in development. The code for it was left in because it would have taken extra trouble to removie it, there just wasn’t any way to access it, much like lockign somethign up rather than removing it from your house. Some hacker found his way in, though. The content itself wasn’t anything terribly explicit by M standards. The re-rating was largely a punishment for interfering with the ESRB investigation by lying.

  44. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ hayabusa75 – fire me a copy pls at c j m 1 8 2 at g mail point com

    @ Boffo97 But this whole idea of ROCKSTAR created Hot Coffee then deliberately lied about it… that’s just fantasy for Thompson and game hating politicos.

    The FTC agreed though. It said that R* used deceptive marketing practices, but didn’t comment on age ratings, because it doesn’t have the authority to. And neither does this bill. So as long as “some sexual content/nudity” is printed on the box, another Hot Coffee would be perfectly legal. The FTC can’t force an AO rating.

  45. 0
    Boffo97 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The thing I wish people would remember is that Rockstar is not one big huge entity that created Hot Coffee and universally knew of its existence.

    A few rogue programmers created it, and were sloppy in not removing it from the finished product.

    So of course when this first came out, the impulse of R* would be to say “Wait, we didn’t do that.” until the bad programmers came forward and said “Um… yeah we did. Sorry about that.”

    But this whole idea of ROCKSTAR created Hot Coffee then deliberately lied about it… that’s just fantasy for Thompson and game hating politicos.

  46. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    @ hayabusa75 – send it to my avatar name at comcast dot net.

    Decency is censorship. If you don’t like it, don’t look, listen or pay attention (as far as free speech goes). All the particulars are just semantics. Free Speech is protected for a reason – to keep one person’s opinion from stopping another’s from being said.

    Look if Fred Upton doesn’t like violent video games and the like – he should not purchase them, and tell people who feel the same to follow suit. Guess what, GTA will still sell without him. People want violent media, if there was no market, it wouldn’t sell.

  47. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    No, most school shootings don’t seem to be linked to anything in particular. Some are from abusing or broken households, some are heavily doped up on prescription drugs for depression or hyperactivity, some are loners, some are glory hounds, some are bitter at the school, some at the staff, or specific “cliques”. Some just at the world in general.

    That’s why the Secret Service came to the conclusion that there were no common factors. They were trying to create a “school shooter profile” so they could identify possible incidents before they happened. But they found that there were no common factors.

  48. 0
    Demontestament ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wonderful job on handing her ass to her. She is just another one of those idiotic bandwaggon riders who do things like this to make it look like she gives a shit. I loved how she accused you of working for the industry because you challenged her idea. Ten to One none of those kids are working with local politicians under their own accord. They are probably all in some sort of AP government class and this is a required assignment they have to do. Though I must laugh because soon her plan like all the other tax payer money wasters will go down in flames. You can’t tax video games because little timmy might play GTA and kill hookers. Mom and Dad need to get a little strict on what he plays. And there will not be a surgeon generals warning on games about violence because it has to be proven wihout a shadown of a doubt that playing the game is harmful to their lives or development.

  49. 0
    Beacon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wish more school shootings were like that. Two injuries, no deaths? (Well, the father, but that didn’t happen at school). It sounds like this was another abuse case. Haven’t at least half of these been connected to abuse? I’m pretty sure there’s been an acutal proven causal link between being abused and becoming violent. I know I read a report that said victims of child abuse were more likely as adults to either enter into a another relationship where they were abused, or else become abusive themselves.

  50. 0
    Blitz Fitness ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I wholeheartedly agree about the kids comments. I don’t know if it’s only this nation or not, but it seems as if we age and become “kids say the darndest things” kind of people rather than noticing that when they say or ask things that at first seem simple, tend to actually point out larger issues.

  51. 0
    Shih Tzu says:

    Aside from the questionable constitutionality of this bill, it’s entirely unnecessary. The ESRB already has frightening fines and punishments — aside from the threat of a $1 million fine, they can revoke a publisher’s ability to receive ratings for one year. No ratings means no sales in any major retailer means the company DIES — it’s the equivalent of a nuclear deterrent. I can testify that publishers (at least in my experience) are deathly afraid of this and take extreme pains to keep the ESRB happy.

  52. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    My guess is it was a copycat incident. Some yahoo with a grudge (considering he was apparently a former student), wanting to go out in a blaze of glory. I mean, school shootings & plots have been all over the news three times now in less than a month. (Montreal, that hostage taking, and the Colubine-type plotters that were arrested).

    What sickens me is that his picture will be all over the news, they’ll report on every detail of his life. And while most perps of this type don’t really care about fame, it shows other suicidal loners that if you’re going to go, you might as well take the people you hate with you, because dying alone makes you a loser.

    It’s the new suicide by cop. Suicide by school shootout.

  53. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Hayabusa

    I just e-mailed you back, but wow, thanks for letting me read that… The more and more I see from these ignoramouses the more I wish we could give our government a much needed enema.

  54. 0
    Beacon ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Technically, Rockstar didn’t do anything wrong. At the time, there was no restrictions in the ESRB agreement stating that the company had to show content that had been completely locked out of the game.

    Oh, and Hayabusa, can I get a copy of that, too?

  55. 0
    theroof says:

    Interestingly enough, it’s so-called conservative Republicans trying to instate a federal mandate like this – a very unconservative thing to do. But then again, these modern wanna-be conservatives have twisted the meaning of conservatism into the opposite of small government with limited control over state sovereignty and individual rights. The timing resonates perfectly with the November elections though – Republicans are just trying to win their share of value voters to try and stack the deck in their favor. Unfortunately most of these voters don’t even realize they’re being manipulated for the upcoming elections.

    So we get more family-value grandstanding from people like Brownback to gain moral ground among the bloc.

    “I stand against video games harming our children – vote for me, while my party and I mindlessly promote the continuing endangering of America by making more and more Muslims hate us instead of eliminating the small sectarian factions that actually matter. But at least your kids will be safe from Grand Theft Auto.”

  56. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Hank the Tank

    Sorry, can’t help you there. My workplace filters don’t like a web page address that ends in “.com” (unless it’s the server name), so it denies me access to GP’s wiki entry. :(

  57. 0
    philoetus says:


    As a game programmer for cell phones, I can tell you removal of assets is not always an easy task, it often involves hundreds of very small changes that can easily set back even small cellphone games back weeks, multiply that by several hundred times and you get some idea of why things that are unused get left in games. It saves a significant ammount of time and money to just hack a little patch that prevents the game from being accessable. Is it the best solution from a coding standpoint, no, but chances are you don’t want to see a game delayed for 3-6 months (and possibly cancelled) just because they had to re-write significant ammounts of code.

  58. 0
    Samson Effect ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hayabusa: Hook me up too. hockeyhairman[at]hotmail.com.

    And seriously, when are American politicians going to realize that they can’t wipe their asses with the constitution and make laws like this? They’re 0-for-8 now at least.

    And another thing, when are American politicians going to realize that children are WAY smarter than they give them credit for? Any kid with a decent rearing and a straight head on his shoulders is going to know that what you do in the games, you shouldn’t do in reality.

    At least I always did, anyway.

  59. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Thanks, it was fun. I do want to give credit where it’s due, though; Dennis and the rest of you were also in those e-mails. I drew a lot of my points from you guys.

  60. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The FTC *would* have authority to handle this, because the FCC only handles things like Broadcast Television and Radio.

    The only silly thing, is that that the FTC already has a mechanism to handle this. It’s called the false advertising regulations.

    The problem was that the FTC couldn’t prove that R* & Take Two did it intentionally.

    Same with Upton’s proposed law:

    The bill would make it illegal for a game company to fail to disclose content with the intent of gaining a less-restrictive ESRB rating.

    If they can’t prove intent, they can’t fine. Congrats Upton, you made a do-nothing law that accomplishes the same thing as already existing laws…

  61. 0
    Marshie says:

    hayabusa75: Sorry to bother you this late in the game, but would you mind sending that exchange to me as well? marshall@creative-differences.net


    @ sleepchamber: I hope not, actually. Even if it was stupid and juvenile, so was much of the other stuff in San Andreas. I mean we had a blind chinese triad running face first into walls, a complete stoner pothead, and an abundance of other immaturity in the game. It was just another piece of the puzzle which got axed for whatever reason, though I’m willing to bet it had more to do with the fact that the minigame just wasn’t all that fun and Rockstar decided that it would probably result in an AO rating (which is something NO game developer wants, not even Rockstar). The way it was disabled could have been more complete, but it wasn’t actually part of the game at the time of shipping.

  62. 0
    BustermanZero ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yeah, I don’t think this law will have any real use. I mean, even in the situation with GTA: SA, they didn’t try to get a lower rating by failing to submit info on the content, they just didn’t want to admit their programmers forgot to delete a rather detailed part of the game. Weren’t only San Andreas and Oblivion the only games to ever get rerated anyhow? And both times it was because of mods.

  63. 0
    Kharne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh for crying out loud.

    Logic check!: Why would the gaming industry go through the effort to create the ESRB *just* so that can try to subvert it? That makes no sence, none!

    Now, I admit leaving that data on disc was a mistake. But honestly, it only because accessable because some third party which R* has NO CONTROL over, went poking around where he didn’t belong, found the data, then got a crazy idea to put it to use for the hot coffee mod. It just as likely that data could of sat there unused for all eternity for what it’s worth.

    Face it, there’s no corruption conspiracy going on here, this is just the resulto f bad luck and curious mod makers.

  64. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Are idiots like this determined to make me ashamed of my own state, nay, make us ashamed of our country? Election season is close and odds are this guy will be out on his ass.

  65. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ok, just sent the messages to you guys…man, maybe I should’ve just posted it after all.

    If it didn’t go through, let me know and I’ll resend it.

  66. 0
    sleepchamber says:

    I really hope the guy who put the little bits and bobs of code into san andreas got his ass kicked and fired. that little stunt may cost gamers priceless ground on the content that will be censored from games from now on. I’m not for porn in video games, but if someone was, why should gamers be targeted when you can walk into movie stores and get porn there? (example: Suncoast, I don’t know if you guys see them anymore, they’re kind of going bankrupt, but they did sell porn.) Games are not mainly for kids, so how is legislature going to solve anything? And this jerk gave the Jack Thompsons of the world a raging hard on with his stupid childish mod. GAAAHHHH jerk.

  67. 0
    Demontestament ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    hayabusa75 I would like a copy as well please. My E-mail address is Ifrift17@aol.com

    Now onto the story at hand. Can we please stop with the “OMG! R*and T2 are evil smut peddlers! Think of the children!” This guy is just sore because he has been revealed as the big idiot he is. No matter what you guys try to pass you always jump over the 1st amendment, if you guys would sit down and talk with the video game industry instead of trying to silence it with half assed laws that never pass and the constant attempt at fear mongering to get another soccer mom vote maybe, just maybe you would realize that the video game industry is not a evil monster out to devour the souls of small children.

  68. 0
    Blitz Fitness ( User Karma: 0 ) says:




    Their real goal is to confuse us by creating this sort of legal action one week, and then the next week to have headlines on how they’re trying to make their state more attractive to the industry. However, I would say that we seem to benefit by giving you guys the industry,because as far as I know, you guys haven’t tried breaking anything like we have.


    This situation with Upton actually proves a point I tried making earlier this week where a politician was backing CAMRA and other studies and was quoted as saying something to the effect of “If the study says things are fine, I’ll be fine with it too”. My point at the time was that he already made a decision about where he stands with the issue, and that if the study goes his way he will be proud and make some claims, whereas this story itself shows what happens when the study goes the other way.

    I’m willing to bet that if we travelled back in time and asked Upton what would he do if the FTC said there was no problem that Upton would say “Then that’s what they found, I’ll live with it”; or something to that effect.

  69. 0
    Silver_Derstin ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hayabusa, I’d also like to see it.

    This has the looks of a personal vendetta, not of an actual serious inquiry into Take-Two’s actions.

  70. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hayabusa – mark me for a copy of that too, at aniki[at]anime-ni.co.uk.

    Terminator44 Says:
    Take-Two and Rockstar lost millions in the fallout of the scandal, isn’t that enough? How much punishment do they want the company to suffer?

    There’s a difference though – they want T2 to be fined, not take a loss. It’s not about penalizing T2’s profits, it’s about T2 having to pay for what they did wrong.

  71. 0
    Marshie says:

    It would appear that the USA likes to stimulate the Canadian economy by driving it’s Game Devs up here. Not a problem by me, really. I mean we have made the Mature and Adults Only ESRB ratings enforcable by law… but we also did the same with a movie ratings system. Unlike other places it doesn’t hinder release dates at all so it doesn’t really matter to us… And we give major tax breaks to developers!

  72. 0
    Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “If someone can come up with a way to use a product in a way that was not intended to be used by the maker of the product, can we really hold the maker responsible for how the product is used?”

    Sadly, far too many product liability cases are about misuse of products.

  73. 0
    Siftr says:

    All I can say is that American Politicians are funny. they think that they are the most important people in the world and that the children are so fragile that if you even refuse them once they will be scarred for life.

  74. 0
    Terminator44 says:

    “In essence there are no consequences. None… I would like to have thought that (Take-Two and Rockstar) would have been able to be fined for millions of dollars for the trash they put out across this country.”

    Take-Two and Rockstar lost millions in the fallout of the scandal, isn’t that enough? How much punishment do they want the company to suffer? Do this guy really think Hot Coffee was some apocolyptic event that nearly destroyed the purity of America’s youth? It was just clothed dry humping, for goodness sake!

  75. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The only trash sent out across the country is this tired rhetoric. That, and pictures of that hairpiece.

    OT, I got Julie Benay (Vermont Asst. Principal) pretty riled at me when I punked her idea to tax M and AO rated games. If anyone wants to see the exchange, let me know and I’ll forward it to you. It’s kind of long and I don’t want to post it here.

  76. 0
    Yukimura sanada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Upton is still smarting over the humiliaton he suffered on the Daily show, so he’s probably trying to vent that anger at the industry since he saw that Joe pitts didn’t have any success against the show itself.

    Regardless, this is an AUTO fail.

    1. Fcc only has authroity through public means of communication, of which, games are not, they are sold on the market, not broadcast through the air waves.

    2. 1st amendment. You’d fiqure they’d get this one by now.

    3. 14th amendment, once again, singling out games.

    End game MR. upton, your not smart enough to use a toaster, let alone be an authority on games.

  77. 0
    PHOENIXZERO ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Nightwing, how dare you let the facts get in the way of pandering! I’m glad this Upton idiot isn’t my representitive. Isn’t he the same guy who talked about how he played a little pong in his day, followed by a series of beeps and boops? >_

  78. 0
    nightwng2000 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It wasn’t hidden material that could be accessed through gameplay.

    It was unused code that, by design, was supposed to be not part of the game.

    Access to the code was NOT made by official patches or upgrades by the company.

    Access to the code was NOT made by official unlockable codes provided within the official software.

    Access was provided by non publisher, non developer, non official means.

    Access was provided by non company personnel and therefore was a modification of said product that was NOT official intended.

    I can think of a number of products whose use could be modified or interpreted to allow the product to be used in a manner that the creating company did not intend for the product.

    If said products can be modified or interpreted to be used by some individuals in a manner which -I- feel is “indecent”, can I then demand the company who created the product be fined, at the least, because it’s product COULD be used by other individuals for purposes other than what the company claims the product was intended?

    If someone can come up with a way to use a product in a way that was not intended to be used by the maker of the product, can we really hold the maker responsible for how the product is used?

    NW2K Software

  79. 0
    aniki21 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I didn’t know that they didn’t have the authority.

    Not the first time that an attempt at making videogames a scapegoat has been held back by a lack of research, and probably not the last.

    Now, Upton has kept his promise, submitting H.R.6120, the Video Game Decency Act of 2006. The bill would make it illegal for a game company to fail to disclose content with the intent of gaining a less-restrictive ESRB rating.

    Forgive me for arguing semantics here, but making something illegal based on intent? I don’t think Rockstar failed to disclose Hot Coffee because they wanted a lower rating – that implies that the minigame was supposed to be part of the final retail copy of San Andreas, but Rockstar didn’t mention it in the hopes they’d get away with it.

    As I understand it, the reason they didn’t disclose Hot Coffee was because it wasn’t part of the game that a player was supposed to be able to see. Yes, it was a little sloppy of them to leave the code there, but you can hardly argue that they left it there knowing that somebody would be able to unlock it, in order to bypass the ESRB.

    Besides, it’s going to be next to impossible to prove intent in court.

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