ESRB investigate San Andreas sexual minigame

Following Leland Lee’s “suggestion” that San Andreas ought to carry an Adult Only rating, the ESRB decided to launch an investigation into the San Andreas minigames:

Isn’t this whole thing sort of like those nudity mods for the Sims, Tomb Raider, et al?

The ESRB’s investigation will examine whether the mod unlocks preexisting code, as appears to be the case, or is actually a purely third-party creation. Its ultimate purpose will be to determine if Take-Two violated ESRB regulations requiring “full disclosure of pertinent content.”

Its not really the same as the nudity mods in other games. In those people create the artwork/textures and mod them into the game.

In the GTA minigame the content is all right there. It would be the same if the nudity mods all they did was unlock some debug naked textures.

Strapping on a jetpack and flying around mowing down old ladies with two Uzi’s = Mature.

Sex minigame = Adults Only.


The character models are fully clothed and go through the motions of bumping uglies without any actual nudity. I don’t see the problem here.

edit: no wait the chick gets naked, only CJ stays clothed, that’s right. Blah whatever. How lame.

Looking at ESRB description of AO:

graphic sexual content and nudity.

A bad low poly model of a woman with a nude skin pretending to have sex with a guy doesn’t seem worse than some R rated movied to me.

In the clip that I saw, the woman was naked. The man was clothed.


Isn’t the only real difference between Mature vs. Adult Only the 17 vs 18 age requirement? The article on IGN had Lee quoted as saying that the ESRB has “once again failed our parents” as if parents have somehow been tricked into buying an inappropriate game for their 17 year olds. He’s basically saying that all parents are too stupid and/or lazy to figure out what games are about before letting their kids play them. While this is true in a lot of cases, sadly, to say that the fault lies in the hands of the ESRB’s inability to better distinguish between an extremely violent game and an extremely violent game with sexual situations is just absurd. If you wouldn’t let your kid watch a 17+ movie but you let him/her play a video game rated for 17+, I’m not convinced an 18+ rating would really make a difference.

It’s not really the age difference. Most game retailers refuse to carry AO titles, so AO titles are almost guaranteed bad retail sales. So it’s obvious the intent is just publicity and trying to reduce San Andreas sales rather than the good of the children.

Well, it’s not either or. For a lot of the activists, reducing GTASA sales is for the good of the children.

It’s not like nobody knows about GTA though. This is one of the most publicized and (in)famous franchises in history. Sales would be lower, certainly, but I doubt that it would cut too far into their profitability.

It cuts both ways of course. Parents who care about this sort of thing already know that GTA is not for children. The parents that don’t care might not even notice.

And you don’t suspect that the code was left in to entice console gamers to buy the PC version as well? A well-publicized X-rated cookie to get more sales?


I dunno, I don’t think a person who owned the PS2 version would want to buy the PC version just to look at a low polygon model of a girl in the game when she’s naked. I guess they wanted to include the feature, but left it there to be found by someone, so they can avoid an AO rating while still having it in there.

But you’re absolutely right in everything else.

I can’t imagine that people who would buy a game twice just to see low-poly models bump into eachother make up a significant market. There simply cannot be that many sad pathetic losers out there, can it?

I recall Phil Stein mentioning that they had to completely remove the “Tank” mode from RRT3 (where you could drive a tank around the landscape) because any prescence of it would cause the dreaded “Mild Violence” tag to be applied.

I’d be interested to see the next GTA be rated AO… would retailers really not carry it? I have my doubts.

I can’t imagine that people who would buy a game twice just to see low-poly models bump into eachother make up a significant market. There simply cannot be that many sad pathetic losers out there, can it?[/quote]

As much as we both might hope that there aren’t such sad pathetic losers out there, remember that this game is a phenomenon that has attracted millions of people, many of them losers. People who hang out on message boards and argue about which DOA character is hotter and vote for the Videogame Vixens thing on G4.

No one ever went broke underestimating the number of losers who have fifty bucks to spare.


Most mainstream locations wouldn’t carry it. Wal-Mart certainly wouldn’t carry it. Wal-Mart sells like 40-50% of videogames, don’t they?

I guess this is one explanation. In my opinion, they wanted to add it, realized it would get them an AO rating and decided not to implement it. Rockstar North gets lazy with removing the code, they have also left the portions of multiplayer they actually worked on in the previous games.

Take-Two has yet to comment but I sure hope that no one at Rockstar North was assigned to remove the code completely and only removed how to get into the mini game. If so, they are probably looking for another job.

I don’t see how Rockstar is at fault here. They didn’t disclose it because there is no way to get it without modifying the game, thus, it doesn’t really exist.

I have never seen a statement on these boards i agree with more than that one right there. Im glad some one can see the difference between sex and violence besides me.

I have never seen a statment on these boards i agree with more than that one right there. Im glad some one can see the difference between sex and violence besides me.[/quote]

Heh, this reminds me of the message by The Guy Game’s developers:

Shrug. Yee is just another sensationalist nutjob to add to a long list of nutjobs.

One could argue that at 17, are they really children anymore? Idiot. You know you can actually show slight nudity in PG-13 movies? Where’s the misguided outrage on that, Mr. Yee?

I don’t think much of game ratings or the ESRB going after developers because of some commented out code, but there’s a big difference between GTA’s sex mini game and the violence in GTA.

GTA’s violence is extremely detached: you aim, point a button, a model falls down, that’s it. The sex mini game is not - it’s a rhythmn game in which you decide whether or not have a girl blow you, fuck her up the ass, or do her missionary, and then you pound on the controller buttons in time so you can eventually orgasm all over her.

The issue here is obviously not sex. GTA has plenty of sex. The issue here is sex with an extremely specific, minutely detailed gameplay mechanism. The player makes decisions what position to take and what to do to the girl literally thrust by thrust. You better fucking believe that if GTA incorporated a stabbing minigame in GTA that played out stab by stab - allowing the player to decide each blow how to mutilate the other character over a two minute period- that the ESRB’s outcry would have just as fierce, if not more so.

The issue isn’t as Attadude idiotic as “VIOLENCE = OKAY! SEX = EVIL!” GTA contains abstract sex and abstract violence already, and that’s fine with the ESRB. Where they are apparently drawing the line is the level of detail and interaction involved in perpetrating that sex or violence.

Sounds like more trouble than its worth–why not just search for porn?

Being a parent (x4) myself, I can’t beleive what some will let their kids play, watch, etc. I doubt an AO rating will make any difference, except it will be harder for the kids to find before asking for it.

I would love to see negligent parents receive court actions against them after trying to sue game companies. :evil:

BTW, :x <— looks constipated