Yesterday, the US House of Representatives voted in support of an FTC investigation into Rockstar Games over the hidden sexual content found in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The ESRB re-rated the game AO (adults only) after Hillary Clinton pulled a Joe Lieberman and publicly criticized the games hidden sex content. Rockstar insisted that the content was created by hackers, until it was discovered that the content was hidden on console versions as well.
The hidden content is an interactive mini-game where the player has sex with his in-game girlfriend. The content was inactive and unfinished, but still present in the game code when it was discovered by curious hackers who released the ‘Hot Coffee‘ mod patch to unlock it. Cheat codes on console cheating devices such as Gameshark can also unlock the content.
Our government is obviously starting to get distracted (or are they really just distracting us?) with controversial, but largely irrelevant cultural issues. This obsession with pointless hot-button topics is infecting both sides of the aisle, although Republicans get most of the blame for making culture and morality more important than economics or other more important issues. (Republican congressman Fred Upton is responsible for this resolution.)
We’ve had the major league baseball steroid hearings in Congress this year, and now this. A source told Gamespot that future congressional hearings on this topic are likely. Hey Congress, why not investigate some real crimes, like the malicious Valerie Plame leak that destroyed a CIA agent’s career as a political vendetta?
Ok, sure, Rockstar Games should be punished because they may have been peddling backdoor smut to impressionable youngsters. Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave should know that GTA:SA is not a game for kids. It’s the responsibility of parents to ensure their kids aren’t playing these games if they’re that concerned about it. The ESRB has a comprehensive ratings system in place to inform parents about the games their kids play, so there’s no excuse for parents not to be aware of what their kids are playing.