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The GTA Porn Scandal

When someone first told me about this issue, they said that they didn't know the specifics, but apparently there was "hidden porn in Grand Theft Auto". Portrayed this way, it sounded like some developer managed to sneak an Easter Egg the size of Godzilla into production software, a difficult proposition to say the least. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, but it seemed less than likely.

Now that I've read up a little on the issue (thanks in part to MacFurious), I see that I was right. This wasn't some Easter Egg. What's the uproar about? A mod. That's right, a mod. Apparently, there's a mod floating around the internet that enables you to have your GTA character have sex in the game. This is what has people so upset? I could see being upset if you "ran across" pornography where you didn't expect it, but that's not what happened. Get a clue, Hillary, before you shoot your mouth off: you have to intentionally modify the software to get it to be pornographic. Your outrage is akin to seeing a piece of art vandalized with pornographic images and blaming the artist.

Now, you may say that that's not what people are upset about. You may say that they're upset that it's available in the first place — an even stupider thing to be upset about. You mean you can get pornography on the Internet for free? Really? You mean porn is two clicks away at any time? Wow. I never knew that.

I think it's amazing that this is what has caused the uproar. This isn't something hidden in a shrink-wrapped piece of software. This is some kid who managed to hack into another program to make it do something else. Blaming Rockstar Games (the company who developed GTA) for this would be like blaming Microsoft for a Word macro virus.

Here's a tip for all you alarmist parents out there: before you start looking for someone to blame, realize that no one forced your kid to download porn, whether it's movies or some mod. He went looking for it. He intentionally downloaded it, installed it, whacked off to it, bragged about having it, shared it with his friends, posted it to a usenet group, and discussed it on the school bus. Your kid isn't a victim here. He's a perpetrator.

Comments on The GTA Porn Scandal
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Monday, July 18, 2005 5:02:00 PM
You just have to love a man who's so passionate about porn ;)
  Comment from Blogger michmel at Monday, July 18, 2005 10:59:00 PM
okay, sure, but isn't this a little ridic?

"[Rockstar] said it was 'disappointed by comments that misrepresent Grand Theft Auto, detracting from the innovative and artistic merits of the game'."

c'mon now.. i love shooting & pillaging as much as the next person but artistic merits? a little silly..
  Comment from Blogger michmel at Monday, July 18, 2005 11:00:00 PM
sorry, i'm www.xanga.com/doodythunder.. forgot about that..
  Comment from Blogger Herself at Wednesday, July 20, 2005 4:42:00 PM
OK, I see your point, BUT the GTA series is has always promoted gratuitous sexual violence towards women. (i.e. health & hookers?)You don't need to download a patch for that!
And anyway, parents SHOULD know that these mods are available. Maybe some don't care or think it's harmless, but those that do care deserve a heads-up, no?
  Comment from Anonymous Anonymous at Monday, July 25, 2005 9:16:00 AM
You know it turned out Rockstar's culpable, right? I don't have a link, but they admitted last week that they did, in fact, include the content on the disc. They claimed something about "unused code common in most gaming software." I still think the political brouhaha is bullshit, but they should have come right out right away and admitted it.
-Markus
  Comment from Blogger Red Bull at Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:05:00 PM
Well the court said they're culpable, but the rating change is still bogus. The software, as released, is definitely not pornographic. Using a rating system as a means to punish a company undermines the meaning of that rating system. A rating is a statement about content, and the content in the game is Mature, not pornographic.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.