The Master

The assault on video games

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Ugh. From Ars Technica (link):

Take-Two dealt setback with Hot Coffee lawsuit

10/29/2006 5:22:08 PM, by Eric Bangeman

A federal judge has handed Take-Two Interactive a setback in its fight against one of the lawsuits filed after the Hot Coffee incident. Ruling in a case filed by 86-year-old grandmother Florence Cohen, Judge Shirley Wohl Kram denied Take-Two's attempt to bar Cohen's lawsuit from seeking class-action status.

Cohen sued Take-Two after buying Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for her 14-year-old grandson. Apparently untroubled by the violent nature of the videogame, she was disturbed by the sexual content unlocked via the Hot Coffee mod and sued Take-Two, accusing the developer of violating consumer protection laws by misrepresenting the game's content.

Cohen seeks class-action status for her lawsuit, which would allow all of those who bought GTA: SA prior to the disclosure of the Hot Coffee mod and subsequent recall of the game to join in the litigation. There have been four other cases filed in federal court making the same allegations, and Take-Two is fighting to keep them from being consolidated into a single, class-action lawsuit.

In her opinion, Judge Wohl Gram wrote that "If class certification is granted, the Court will have the benefit of a well-defined class and a more fully developed treatment of potential choice of law questions. As such, the Court will be in a better position to analyze the various laws that are actually at issue in the instant case and to determine whether the Class has standing to assert claims arising thereunder."

Judge Wohl Gram will make the determination on whether Cohen's lawsuit will be class-action status at some point in the future.

Beyond Cohen's lawsuit, Take-Two still has a couple of other pieces of unfinished business relating to the Hot Coffee mod. A Manhattan grand jury is investigating the Hot Coffee patch and has issued subpoenas to Take-Two with an eye towards possible criminal charges. Out in California, the company is battling a civil suit filed the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office that accuses Take-Two of unfair business practices by not disclosing GTA: SA's sexual content and avoiding an AO: Adults Only rating.

I'm not all that familiar with the hot cofee stuff. Is it something the devolpers purposedly put in there or what?

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A minigame the developers had wanted to include was the ability to have fully clothed sex with your various in-game girlfriends, but they decided against it at the last minute. However, the content was left hidden on the discs and was unlocked by an intrepid hacker. He called the unlocked data "hot coffee" because your girlfriends would ask you inside for some coffee.

The ensuing shit storm cost everyone involved major money, as every copy had to be recalled and redistributed with the "offending" data removed. It's also forcing developers to erase all of the extra / unused data from future games so nothing like this happens again. Opponents of video games now want all data, even unused portions, to be considered when the ESRB determines ratings.

Click here for more info.

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A minigame the developers had wanted to include was the ability to have fully clothed sex with your various in-game girlfriends, but they decided against it at the last minute. However, the content was left hidden on the discs and was unlocked by an intrepid hacker. He called the unlocked data "hot coffee" because your girlfriends would ask you inside for some coffee.

The ensuing shit storm cost everyone involved major money, as every copy had to be recalled and redistributed with the "offending" data removed. It's also forcing developers to erase all of the extra / unused data from future games so nothing like this happens again. Opponents of video games now want all data, even unused portions, to be considered when the ESRB determines ratings.

Click here for more info.

It's kind of muck-up huh? How can that Grandma sue anyway considering that the product was bought for someone who is below the age of it's rating? Honestly the patch dosen't sound so bad and easily you can see all those things in a rated r movie. Worse even.

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It's not a patch. It's not even technically a mod since Rockstar does not actively support user generated content for GTA (as say Bioware does for NWN, and Bethesda does for Oblivion), and the mod is therefore in violation of EULA. It's even worse in the case of the PS2 and Xbox where the "patch" or whatever to get to it involves a rather tricky hack of not just the software, but in some cases the hardware of the consoles.

Of course, heaven forbid somebody actually read their EULA. Which should protect Rockstar in this, and for some reason it isn't.

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Not really related to video games, but...

Boy hangs himself 'like Saddam'

01/01/2007 22:43 - (SA)

Multan - A young boy who tried to copy hanging scenes from the execution video of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein died in central Pakistan, said police on Monday.

Mubashar Ali, 9, hanged himself, while re-enacting Hussein's hanging with the help of elder sister, 10, after tying a rope to a ceiling fan and his neck in his home in Rahim Yar Khan district on Sunday, said a local police official.

The father of the deceased boy said that his children had been watching the video of Saddam Hussein's execution on television and attempted to imitate the hanging as other family members thought they were playing in another room.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0%...50341%2C00.html

I wonder if we'll see the same calls for censorship we see in relation to video games? I mean, digitially created images of people are killed in video games, but this is a video of an actual execution.

I'm waiting for an answer from the nanny state ninnies, but all I hear are crickets chirping.

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Police said that the death was accidental and a case of parental negligence.

I'm sorry, but you can't blame parents for their kid's stupidity. People expect parents to watch their kid's 24/7, and that's not possible.

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I'm sorry, but you can't blame parents for their kid's stupidity. People expect parents to watch their kid's 24/7, and that's not possible.

I agree. The fault here clearly lies with the people who put the video on the Internet. This is why we need censorship. We're all far too stupid too take care of ourselves, which is why Mommy Government needs to step in and run our lives for us. Especially when it comes to those gosh darn video games. Of course, in order to take care of us they will need money, so we'll be paying most of our income in taxes. They had a great thing going in the Soviet Union.

It should be obvious to everyone that the State knows best.

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Game Boy Blamed for Holiday Death

Red Tops cite Game Boy failure for death of boy, 7, in spite of official Thai police report.

by Matt Wales, IGN UK

UK, January 5, 2007 - Nintendo's Game Boy has hit the tabloid front pages, following the tragic death of a seven-year-old boy in Thailand. This morning, the Mirror newspaper reports that Connor O' Keefe was electrocuted while uplugging his Game Boy charger in his hotel room, during a family holiday.

Local police have stated that the incident, which happened last Saturday, was most likely to have occurred when the boy attempted to use the electrical equipment while still wet, returning from the hotel's swimming pool. According to the Telegraph newspaper, Wiraporn Ungathakorn, acting manager of the Sunset Beach Hotel in Thailand said: "The water must have gone straight into the plug. The safety cut could not save him. He was found by his parents in the room and we sent him to hospital by ambulance. Doctors could not save him. The hotel has paid his medical fees. This was just a tragic accident."

However, speaking to the Mirror, Kathleen Curry, the boy's mother, debunked the claims, noting that Connor was aware of the dangers of electricity: "There should be some kind of warning about the different electrical currents you get abroad because this would not have happened in England."

In response to the story, a spokesperson for Nintendo told us, "Nintendo wishes to offer its sincere condolences to the family of Connor O' Keefe. Details of the accident are currently unclear so we are unable to make any further comment at this stage."

Credit to IGN http://ds.ign.com/articles/753/753263p1.html

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I'm sure I'll watch this, but there is no way I will pay to see it. No way will I support this in anyway shape or form.

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However, speaking to the Mirror, Kathleen Curry, the boy's mother, debunked the claims, noting that Connor was aware of the dangers of electricity: "There should be some kind of warning about the different electrical currents you get abroad because this would not have happened in England."

yeah... <_<

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Playing with Porn

Hilarious.

Especially some of the editing:

"It's Triple X vs. First Graders."

little girl: "This is my eighth time."

At least the mother, though a bit naive about a lot of things, is actually, you know, PARENTING her children.

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Playing with Porn

Hilarious.

Especially some of the editing:

"It's Triple X vs. First Graders."

little girl: "This is my eighth time."

At least the mother, though a bit naive about a lot of things, is actually, you know, PARENTING her children.

HA. That had me rolling. :laugh:

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Hilarious. People will find anything to bitch about. There's porn on the internet, your console connects to the interent, so OBVIOUSLY that was the manufactures intent all along.

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Hilarious. People will find anything to bitch about. There's porn on the internet, your console connects to the interent, so OBVIOUSLY that was the manufactures intent all along.

You know damn well the Internet is fueled and given life by porn! :ph34r:

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Hilarious. People will find anything to bitch about. There's porn on the internet, your console connects to the interent, so OBVIOUSLY that was the manufactures intent all along.

You know damn well the Internet is fueled and given life by porn! :ph34r:

well, yeah, that's a given.

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You know damn well the Internet is fueled and given life by porn! :ph34r:

It is amazing how many advances in technology were influenced by the "adult" entertainment industry. Porn decided the VHS/Betamax war, expanded the market for DVD's and was a major driving force behind the explosive growth of the Internet. Porn will decide the winner of Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD.

Porn welcomes technology that enables the user to be more private when using it, almost as if the makers and users of porn both admit it is a bad thing...

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The committee voted 5-2 Monday in favor of a bill that would restrict the sale of certain video games to young people. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

The legislation could impose fines up to $1,000 if retailers sold or rented video games rated mature to those under 17 or games rated adults only to those under age 18.

****SNIP****

One video game clip showed a character urinating on victims and setting them on fire while a narrator made racial comments. Another featured a character gunning down people in church, while another "rewarded" players who reach a certain level with video clips of real topless strippers. Many of the games included bloody beatings or shootings, as well as explicit language.

http://www2.indystar.com/articles/5/249484-8875-127.html

Does the portion in italics describe a console video game? I've never heard of any console game (PS2, PS3, XBox, XBox 360, GameCube or Wii) that features that sort of footage.

I live in Indiana, and my state senator has sponsored similar legislation in the past.

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By the way, I e-mailed my state senator and asked the above question. If she gives me a straight answer (which is doubtful) I'll post it here.

She was a candidate for Governor in 2004, but dropped out when the Lieutenant Governor changed his mind and decided to run after all. I am sure she is at least considering running in 2008.

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