Common Sense Media Criticizes Full Frontal Nudity in GTA IV Expansion

The mainstream is beginning to react to the news that GTA IV add-on The Lost and Damned features a moment of full frontal male nudity.

Watchdog group Common Sense Media has now weighed in on the controversy:

It is even more controversial than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity. The game lets you lead a life of crime as part of a motorcycle gang with plenty of gang violence… relentless foul language, drugs and alcohol, and sexual references…

Families can talk about why Rockstar likes to push the envelope and garner controversy over its games? Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story? Do they correlate media outrage with extraordinary game sales? Do players expect Rockstar to stir up controversy with each of its titles, including the Manhunt and Bully series?…

 

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56 comments

  1. 0
    BrandonL337 says:

    Oh, he’s a dick I get it now

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  2. 0
    State says:

    I’ve seen plenty of R rated films with plenty of shots of penises in them. You can argue that there wasn’t any need for penis shots in those films but why should people shy away from showing what 50% of the population have? I doubt that you would have the same problem with the shot of a vagina in a game.

    The whole R, NC-17, M, AO thing is ridiculous, because all of those ratings say that someone has to be over 17 (or in AO’s case 18), so what difference does it make?

    It’s strange that a lot of gamers have suddenly started to complain about a penis shot in GTA and calling for Rockstar to get "smacked" (odd word to use in these circumstances). No one complained about violent features that were added just for controversy sake. People got angry because a game that allows you to rape women (Rapelay) was taken off of one site. No gamer complained about Hot Coffee for apparently being too adult. But when it comes to seeing the site of a penis (surely you’ve looked at yourself naked in the mirror?) gamers don’t like it, why is this the case?

  3. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t relavent, it was done for the sole purpose of causing an uproar. That is why I want them to get smacked.

    Everyone has a freedom of speech and freedom of expression and R* is no different, however, you have the responsibility to use that freedom, well, responsibly. If you are watching an R rated movie at theater and suddenly the movie starts throwing random shots of penises at you, you are no longer in an R rated movie. You have crossed over into NC-17 land where you HAVE to be an adult to be there.

    No homophobia here, just complete lack of respect for something that was trying to portray itself as a raw expression of the criminal element now just hooking rocks at society in a desperate attempt to say "LOOK AT ME! I DID SOMETHING WRONG! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

  4. 0
    Spartan says:

    Some people need to grow the fuck up in society; especially these so called family groups.

    —————————————————————————

    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  5. 0
    RevoTRUTHonary says:

    I love this quote

    Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story?

    This could be said about ANY nudity in ALL media. I mean what plot device beyond him being a nudist could they use?
    I think rockstar did this to be humerous and for that "AWw" moment most people would react when seeing it. Yes they are pushing the envelope but in the end its to tell a joke. And its on all of you.

  6. 0
    State says:

    Why do you jope Rockstar get in trouble for it? What is so bad about the sight of a penis? I’m sure you haven’t complained about the unnecessary lap dancing clubs?

    Do they shove drug taking in the game to cause controversy? Do they introduce certain weapons to cause controversy?

    It seems as soon as a penis comes into the equation gamers get a bit worried because they believe it to be a bit gay to look at a penis. The homophobia is pathetic.

  7. 0
    shady8x says:

    Can’t wait for the faux news report:

    The new GTA has just come out, now I have never touched this evil vidja game but I have been told that you can have sex with male prostitues which are fully nude and then you can kill them and rob them!!! my god the horror…

     

    Hmm it will probably be more creative…

     

  8. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    It did seem unnecessary didn’t it?

    I saw the scene too, it was just kind of put there for pure shock value. That is all. R* did it just to get people to say, "Holy crap! I see a penis!"

    I understand the man got a massage moments prior to it being shown and the dialog and interaction with the other characters clearly show that he is naked. It just kind of shoved it in your face at the end of the cinema to be blunt and stupid with it. A part of me kind of hopes R* gets smacked for doing it because it really felt like it was done just for shock value and to piss people off.

  9. 0
    Dark Sovereign says:

    Having seen the scene in question, it seemed unecessary. You go through most of the cut scene with the camera just above the bad spot and then, right at the end, blamo!, you get a shot of poorly rendered penis.

  10. 0
    GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    1: The Family is not at the edge of death. It is not fragile. If it is, it’s not real family.

    2: They don’t need a reason to show a person’s dick. Walls are not important to a story. Air is not important to a story. The ground is not important to the story. It is not essential for any of the characters to have tattoos, or hats, or shoes, or for that matter, clothes. These are all for the purpose of realism or for the sake of having little, tiny details that make everything unique.

    3: The more you complain, the more interest their game gets.

  11. 0
    Wormdundee says:

     Really, you have nothing to be worried about. The only reason Hot Coffee was a problem was because it was hidden AO content in a game that had been rated M. This is obviously M content, and the game is rated M, there is no problem at all.

     

    I mean sure, Fox News and ‘family values’ groups will bitch and complain all they want, but nothing’s going to happen. 

     

    I mean think about it, one of the ESRB descriptors that automatically gives a game an M rating is ‘Nudity’. What possible reason could there be to censor it. After all, if any nudity gets censored, then what’s the point of having that descriptor? Just for the sake of clarity, there is another descriptor of ‘Partial Nudity’ which I’m guessing means breasts and butts.

  12. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    "It is even more controversial than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity. The game lets you lead a life of crime as part of a motorcycle gang with plenty of gang violence… relentless foul language, drugs and alcohol, and sexual references… "

    I’m sorry, but I fail to understand how the portrayal of nudity is "more controversial" than criminal activity, illegal drug use and brutal violence.  Last time I checked, nudity was not wrong, immoral or illegal.  If it were, I would have been guilty of taking a shower naked this morning.

    I guess the prudery brigade is out in force again.  I mean, for these folks, killing hundreds of people is one thing, but heaven forbid if we see a man’s ‘naughty bits’.

  13. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    And so it begins… First off, please dont flame me for what I’m about to say, I love GTA and I’m not at all offended by the scene, I’m just making predictions here.

    This kind of worries me a bit…  While the scene was obviously put in there for comedic factor (yes, I did laugh at it by the way :P), I think R* may end up with another Hot Coffee on their hands if they arent careful… I know it’s R*’s way to push boundaries like this, that’s what I love about the company, they arent afraid to try stuff that might offend people, but it’ll be a complete and total s***storm once Fox News gets wind of this.  Yes, I know that news station is crap, but a lot of people watch it, and it’ll blossom from there into another hot-coffee-esque controversy, which is probably the last thing R* needs right now.

    I have a nasty feeling R* will end up having to censor this just like they had to release a new version of GTA:SA back during the hot coffee days… I just hope I’m wrong, but I can see this turning very ugly, very quickly.

    Again, I’m not criticising R*… I’m just saying what I think might happen when the dust clears from this

     

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  14. 0
    Alyric says:

    Why would Rockstar do this for one reason when they could do it for multiple ones?

    Honestly, my first reaction when I heard the news was that they were pushing this into an M rated title so that the next time they wanted to show female full frontal nudity, they could point to this and say "double standard" if they get slapped with AO.

    Also, there’s not a single doubt in my mind that they’re simply after cheap advertising through controversy.

  15. 0
    TK n Happy Ness says:

    What part of "Rated M for Mature" do these assholes NOT understand? GTA is not meant for kids, and is not advertised towards kids like a certain ex-attorney in Florida claims.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  16. 0
    LAG - Law Abiding Gamer says:

    Well of course we should stop this horrible, horrible thing.  I mean, everyone knows that once you reach puberty, it shrivels up, falls off, and we become sexless beings.  Right?  Kids should not be led to believe that adult males have…dare I say it…A PENIS! 

    I mean, if we acknowledge that kind of thing, next thing you know we’ll have to admit that the world is round, Santa Claus doesn’t fly, and the Earth isn’t the center of the universe.  ALL CIVILIZATION WILL END!!!

    ***Homicide-free video gaming since 1972!***

  17. 0
    tibuka says:

    Yes, exactly what i thought! Only in the US would anyone be more offended by some nudity than by cutting people to pieces. I’m from germany where violent games get banned all the time, but i don’t think anyone here would be very upset about some nudity in a game. (Although there are rarely any games with that… *sigh*)

  18. 0
    sortableturnip says:

    Just add this to the "You Knew It Was Coming" file….or send it to the redundency department

    What’s next…a fax from Jack Thompson saying he’s going to take action against Take-Two over this??

     

  19. 0
    sheppy says:

    I say it’s because it SHOULD be no big deal.  From what I know it’s a flacid penis, devoid of sexual connotation.  From adesign standpoint, I heard it was an ingenuis way of forcing the player to feel empathy for the uncomfortableness of the scene that the players character was feeling.  He didn’t shove his cock in the screen and say "Like your momma’s juices off."

    Frankly, I’m glad they ARE pushing the envelope.  Anything they do will garner controversy, period.  But much like South Park, they are pushing the boundaries so that other devs don’t have them.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  20. 0
    PeterWDAwson says:

    Rockstar pushing the envelope hasn’t really been a bad thing in my eyes, most of the time. If you don’t push the envelope then games can’t grow as art. Of course even the slightest push of the envelope can produce rediculous controversies like with Mass Effect. Pushing the envelope with Bully was fine, I supported it. Manhunt, eh… But here, it’s hard to say. The brief nudity, while not critical to the story, does help develop the character if even the most inane ways. It might also be for a casual sex joke in the form of, "Heh, he’s naked!" Dunno if it works as well as it did in movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall but whatever. Start complaining when there’s a BJ mini-game or something.

  21. 0
    Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    "Do players expect Rockstar to stir up controversy with each of its titles, including the Manhunt and Bully series?…"

    Now I could be wrong, but isn’t it these alarmist scaremonger groups that are stirring up the controversy? Rockstar didn’t advertise the expansion pack saying "NOW YOU CAN SEE A VIRTUAL PENIS!!!! BUY NOW!!! CONTROVERSIAL NEW ENVELOPE PUSHING CONTENT!"

    They released it, but the only people drawing attention and creating a scene about the content is these guys. Whatever happened to "ignore it and it’ll go away". Perhaps this is budget marketing on Rockstars part though. They decided to put a virtual penis in one of their games that is visible for a few seconds and the CSM and every other group will start screaming the name of the game from the rooftops. Compare the expenditure between a big media blowout advertising campaign, and the man hours taken to model a wang and put it in the game. It’s the cheapest advertising I’ve ever seen!

  22. 0
    DavCube says:

    "Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story?"

    So players should ONLY be allowed to do or see story-related material?

    Besides, it’s for realism’s sake. He’s getting a massage. Do the math. You’re supposed to be ‘Common Sense’ Media. How about living up to your name?

  23. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Where was their outrage at the movie Eastern Promises?  How about Forgetting Sarah Marshall? 

    Oh, but if it’s a videogame with a pixelated rendered penis, sweet Jesus that’s terrible.  It’s fine for kids to see Viggo Mortensen’s dick, but God forbid we see a pixelated wang.

  24. 0
    insanejedi says:

    Because it was Hilarious. The way it was presented was really funny, (not going to spoil) and the best moment was when my brother went into the room at the exact right moment. hi-lar-ious.

  25. 0
    gamadaya says:

    "Families can talk about why Rockstar likes to push the envelope and garner controversy over its games?"

    How is that a question?

    ———————————

    Internet troll > internet paladin

  26. 0
    State says:

    It is even more controversial than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity.

    So this is the most controversial title because they show something that 50% of the population have. Apparently this game is worse than previous titles because whereas those had the ability to cut people up with a chainsaw this shows a fully naked man.

  27. 0
    4nBlue says:

    Calm down people they have only said that that the game is not for those under 17. That’s what gamers say everytime someone attacks a M-rated game. The only parts about the dick is:

     

    "It is even more controversial  than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity."

    "Families can talk about why Rockstar likes to push the envelope and garner controversy over its games? Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story?"

     

    They state that it has a virtual cock in it in a way no different from the Simpsons description. They also encourage you to talk about why the cock is in the game when it doesn’t contribute to the story. That’s a question that many gamers also have been wondering and talking about. Did they do it for controversy, publicity or to push the envelope for the sake of games they are planning.

  28. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    "Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story?"

    For the same reason there are different versions of various religious text.

    For the same reason there are different levels of porn (erotica, softcore, hardcore).

    For the same reason there are different styles of each genre of music (ex: classic rock, soft rock, hard rock, christian rock, alternative rock, etc).

    For the same reasons an author can tell a story one way to an adult and another way to a child and some adults may very well prefer the child’s version.

    For the same reasons someone may prefer an edited version of a book or movie.

    For the same reasons someone may prefer one political slant to another political slant to the very same story.

    Personal preference.  Rockstar chooses to make the games THEY want to sell.

    If you don’t like what they sell, don’t buy it.  Don’t play.

    If you don’t like what they sell for your children, don’t buy it.  Don’t let them play it.  Set the rule and punish them if they break the rule.

    it’s that simple.

    Yes, it contains content that some individuals/Parents may not find suitable for themselves or their children.  Yes, that content is revealed in the ESRB rating and is, therefore, available to any individual or Parent to make a decision as to whether it is appropriate for themselves or their children to play.

    Your personal opinions are noted.  Now, it’s up to the individual/Parent to make the final decision as to whether to agree with your opinion or not. 

    And I don’t condemn them if they don’t.  It’s their Right, whether anyone likes it or not.

    Nightwng2000

    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

  29. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Further proof that they’re nothing but hypocrites.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  30. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    Common Sense Media’s description of ‘The Simpsons Movie’

    "Parents need to know that the movie breaks no new ground content-wise (except for showing Bart’s tush and penis). The same hilarious — but intentionally in-your-face — levels of humor apply. The movie features a few more edgy words and sight gags, but nothing comes near, say, South Park levels. Minor characters and animals are crushed, kicked, and killed off, sometimes in groan-inducing ways. Bart gets drunk, Marge and Homer share a pre-coital scene, and there are lots of jokes that reference other movies and cultural events that might go over the younger audience members’ heads."

    Well, you get to see young Bart Simpsons penis in this movie, but it’s perfectly alright to let your child go see this film ^^

    Gimme a break!

     – Warren Lewis

  31. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I saw the headline on the Common Sense Media’s newsletter, and promptly deleted the email right there.

    They say: "Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it’s not integral to the story?"

    I haven’t had time to play Lost and Damned yet, but what if it is integral to the story? Does Common Sense Media know that it isn’t? (They could be right, I don’t know)

    But anyway what the hell is the problem? The game is rated "not for kids" and the scene is not pornographic in any way. Are the people at Common Sense Media ashamed of the human body? Are we allowed only to show castrated naked bodies (Kenny and Barbie?) in video games? Do we need to start putting curtains and leaves on front of private parts in any media product now?

    Seriously. What the fuck?

    http://pixelantes.blogspot.com/

  32. 0
    sheppy says:

    As a guy who spent two semesters drawing nude models, and studying thousands of years of art, I can say this…

    FUCK THESE PEOPLE!

    What type of ignorant society do we live in where nudity is a major complaint?  I could understand sex being questionable but nudity?  No wonder so many of our youth are taught to be ashamed of their bodies and rebel into practically whorism in clothing at the age of 13…

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  33. 0
    catboy_j says:

    Really? I never wondered why. It’s an old mans penis at least it just isn’t naked blondes bouncing on a trampoline for sex appeal which is getting annoying.

    Plus they still have no correct idea about bully, or what limits it was pushing? At the very least they didn’t do research.

  34. 0
    Arcanagos says:

    Play GTA4, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

     

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  35. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    These groups employ certain words as euphemisms. It’s a typical conservative tactic. "Family" means a particular kind of family just like "family values" refers to a particular set of values. Ironically, though all families have values, not all families have family values.

  36. 0
    4nBlue says:

    I don’t know what you are talking about because the stuff they said in the review was actually quite normal. They wandered (like many gamers) why Rockstar included nudity in the game. They don’t tell you to act in a certain way they only tell you to talk about nudity and violence with your family and that it is not meant for those under the age of 17. Both of those are things that many gamers often tell. The actual review part is a normal review, the kind you see in magazines not dedicated to games.

     

    The things they are saying are actually brilliant for a watchdog group. They understand that by making a number about this they would give it publicity and that’s what Rockstar wants. They tell you to think and talk about whether violent videogames have impact on players, which is a great idea for any family where the parents are not gamers because they can hear their kids opinion.

  37. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Why do these types of groups (PTC, CSM, NIMF, etc) act as if the family was this sacred, delicate thing constantly on the verge of destruction and totally helpless against everything?  Their fear-mongering press releases & statements often portray the "family" as being as fragile, innocent, and weak as a newborn kitten…

  38. 0
    Murdats says:

    I would say that intentionally or not the gta series is pushing what is acceptable for games further forward (to where it should be)

    its leading the vanguard into cultural acceptance, after GTA has done it other publisheres can say "well its already been done and its old news" and we can start getting more mature stories in our games (and more mindless sex and violence :P)

  39. 0
    Dustin1986 says:

    I’m not sure that Rockstar is doing this entirely for controversy anymore. It doesn’t really matter what they put in their game at this point. They’re never going to make their critics happy, because most of these people don’t play the games anyway. Do you think that any of these people have actually seen this nudity scene? These are just adults making games for adults, and a lot of people just cannot understand that. For example, it would seem that Australia’s official position is that videogames are only for children 15 and under.

    The scene isn’t very far removed from what you would see in an R-rated film. I think that Rockstar is just acting as if they have the same rights and creative freedom as any filmmaker. And maybe if they keep acting as if they are respected, it might become true one day.

  40. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    Let’s see, you have to be 17 or 18 or have parent’s permission to get XBox Live to begin with, so they’re whining over absolutely nothing, just like they usually do.

    "Common Sense" Media is always anything but. They should grow up and get a life.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.


    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  41. 0
    Geoff says:

    Oh noes!  Not a virtual penis!  The very fabric of society is in danger!

    I found the scene to be amusing.  If you didn’t know that there would be full-frontal nudity in the game, the set-up is pretty funny.

    As far as I can see, Rockstar pretty much pulled a Kevin Bacon.  I mean how necessary is it in the movies Bacon is in to display his package?

    Still don’t see what the big deal is over a little bit of nudity.  It’s not like it’s full-blown porn.  Hey parents, guess what?  You’re 13 year old precious little snowflake Timmy?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure by now he’s fully aware that guys have penises.  In fact at that age I’m pretty sure he’s getting some rather "first-hand experience" with his before he goes to sleep every night.

     

    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  42. 0
    Nathaniel Edwards says:

    "Do players expect Rockstar to stir up controversy with each of its titles, including the Manhunt and Bully series?…"

    They should make a sequel to Rockstar Presents Table Tennis with an all-nude cast, male and female.

    I blog about controversial video games at The Legal Arcade.

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