Grand Theft Auto: Reason is the Casualty

Sunday, July 24, 2005 at 10:19 AM

Up in arms is the best way to describe American media and lawmakers over Rockstar Game's Newest title, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

As we all by now know, a MOD (modification, typicall a patch or add-on to a game that changes the behavior or adds/unlocks content) was created for GTA:SA that unlocks a sex scene between characters in the game.

But why is this worse than the game itself?

The "hot coffee" hack allows players to access a sexual minigame in which the player must keep the woman's excitment level up to finish.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is rated "M" for mature. That means no one under seventeen should ever see the game played. The rating they want to change it to now that some hacker made a patch to unlock content that was never meant to be seen is "AO", which stands for adults only.

To view an AO game, you're supposed to be eighteen. An M game, seventeeen. First point, why the hell do we bother having a different rating for seventeen year olds and eighteen year olds? M and AO should be the same rating, and it should be either M or AO. To make it seem like there is even a difference between the two ages is ludicrous.

I hear many mohters, fathers, and caregivers expound about how hard this is making it to be a parent. Chief among them, Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who is likely to make an appearance on the Democratic ticket in 2008.

Quoth the Hillary:

The disturbing material in Grand Theft Auto and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children and it's making the difficult job of being a parent even harder," said Senator Clinton. "I am announcing these measures today because I believe that the ability of our children to access pornographic and outrageously violent material on video games rated for adults is spiraling out of control.

I have also heard people maligning Senator Clinton for the above, and making it sound like she is trying to further censor adult content.

But Senator Clinton is talking about access, not the material itself. And she's right. The ratings on video games are not meant to deter children, they are meant to deter adults.

Too many parents will simply buy their children a game, or allow a game into their homes that is rated "M". Rating GTA: SA with a more severe rating (for people a year older) won't help that.

Parents are responsible for their children. It takes a village, no doubt, but the village rates the games, and it is up to the parents to either abide by those ratings or, at the very least take them into consideration when allowing their children to play a video game.

Or better yet, watch what your child plays, get involved, or just glance. Come on, fello parents, a glance isn't that hard. If you don't think your child should be playing a game where the entire object of the game is to carjack and kill people, perhaps you ought to enforce that yourself.

Mark my words, if you won't raise your child, our screwed up little village will. Take a risk with your child's well-being not at your own risk, but at theirs.