Feeds

Hillary Clinton demands GTA smut enquiry

Grand Theft Auto menaces family values

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

Senator Hillary Clinton has jumped nimbly on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas rumpy-pumpy outrage bandwagon by demanding an investigation into the game's torrid sex scenes as unlocked by Dutch modder Patrick Wildenborg.

To recap, Wildenborg's "Hot Coffee" mod apparently disables the game's "censor flag", thereby allowing access to hidden XXX material. As Wildenborg exlained: "If the censor flag is set, all the sexually explicit scenes are blocked from the normal flow of events. That makes a difference in a game scene when the hero visits his girlfriend's house for a cup of coffee. In the censored version, the game shows the exterior of the house while suggestive sound effects are heard. If, however, the censor flag is cleared, all the explicit scenes are tied into the normal gameplay."

So, horror of horrors, kids indulging in a bit of harmless thievery and carnage may be exposed to the beast with two backs. Who cares? Well, the problem is that GTA is rated "M" for mature - that's 17 years and older across the Pond. Throw in a bit of smut and you might be looking at an AO (Adult Only) classification - bad news for the game's manufacturers because it hits them where it hurts, and that's not in the graphically exposed and dangling cojones.

Despite the kerfuffle, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) doesn't think there's an issue here. ESRB prez Patricia Vance agreed with GTA producer Take 2's assertion that "Hot Coffee" is a mod and "not an inherent feature of the game". She added: "He [Wildenborg] actually had to change underlying code. It's not a cheat. It's not an Easter egg."

Vance concluded: "Game developers have been known to deactivate parts of their code without removing them from the finished products. Oftentimes* changes are made toward the end of development, and they program workarounds." In summary: if Take 2 didn't intend the porn to be "playable content", then "the company may not be at fault when ambitious modders discover it".

And that would have been an end to the matter were it not for the outraged intervention of Mrs Clinton, who has written to the Federal Trade Commission demanding to know "the source of this content" and whether the industry "erred in giving the game a rating of M, or mature, for players 17 years and older".

According to the New York Times, Clinton claims that "50 per cent of boys between 7 and 14 were able to buy M-rated video games", or at least that's what the National Institute on Media and the Family says. The NYT notes Clinton's intervention comes at a time "when many Democrats were trying to figure out ways their party can match Republicans on the issue of family values".

Well, here's a suggestion for the Democrats as to how they can help defend family values: don't accept oral sexual favours from White House interns while you're supposed to be running the country - and keep your cigars firmly to yourself.

Indeed, we suspect that Clinton's indignation may have something to do with the fact that an as-yet-unconfirmed mod called "Lewinsky" allows GTA gamers to blast their way into the Oval Office using semi-automatic rifles and then receive the kind attentions of a plump and shameless hussy called Monika who groans: "Oh yeah, you the man! Yeah, give it to me Bill!" while chewing on a big, fat... cigar. ®

Bootnote

*Thanks to all those readers who wrote in last week to express dismay at Vance's use of the deliciously archaic "oftentimes". Actually, we quite like it, and will henceforthwith use it at any available opportunity.

Related stories

Gaming rocked by GTA smut revelation
Grand Theft Auto firm faces 'murder training' lawsuit
Grand Theft Auto in the dock over US road killing

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Canuck reader threatens suicide over exact dimensions of SPAAAACE!
How many As? Reg hack's writing cops a shoeing
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Apple: No, China. iPhone is NOT public enemy number 1
Beijing fears it could beam secrets back to America
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.