I’ve strayed away from talking about the ongoing lawsuit against the designers and publishers of Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas. Especially as every other blog and every single webcomic seems to be commenting on it right now. But what the hell, the weight of public opinion seems to be behind this one.
For those people who have been living on the moon, gallivanting across the country with visitors or just generally don’t care about video games, here’s the summary for you. The successful newest incarnation of GTA, San Andreas, in which you play a street hood who can start his own gangs, steal cars, shoot people, buy and sell drugs etc. Recently a hacker found that there was actually a sex scene encoded in the game, but you needed to hack the code to unlock it. The result? An outraged public have demanded that the game be raised from a rating of Mature (17 years or older) to Adults Only (18+). The US Senate is debating the depravity of the computer games industry. A granny is suing the company because she bought the game for her 14 year old grandson and is now worried that he may have been corrupted. After all, you wouldn’t want to risk a child seeing computer graphics having sex. For a start it might distract him from killing hookers and stealing cars!
So aside from the fact that this game should be only sold to 17 year olds anyway and you need to breach the End User License Agreement first by hacking the game, the whole collective of the morally indignant is quivering in further indignation that such a repulsive sex scene could be found in a game about being a criminal. Violence and theft are good. Sex is just unacceptable, apparently.
I liked the summary in The Register: So, while US teenagers can, in the words of one Reg reader, “pimp hos, pop a cap in a drug dealer while driving a car stolen at gunpoint”, they may not indulge in sexually explicit acts with their virtual girlfriends because “that threatens the very fabric of American society”.