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Forums / Hot Coffee, The Sims, And You.

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By now everyone and their mother knows about the Hot Coffee controversy surrounding GTA: San Andreas. But what effect does this have on other game series.

Already, attorney Jack Thompson is going after The Sims 2 as being "worse than Hot Coffee" with an argument that proves he's a total dumbass:

How do you like your hot coffee? If you're Jack Thompson, you like it scalding game publisher's laps. The Miami attorney and antigaming activist has done his share to see that games don't fall into the wrong hands. And lately, those hands have belonged to almost everyone.


Thompson was among those who spearheaded the recent effort to slap an "Adults Only" rating on Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and he's often been on the forefront of many other gaming issues, several of which have targeted the crime-spree-based GTA franchise. In the past, he's represented defendants who have been the victims of GTA-inspired crimes, including the triple homicide of three police officers by an 18-year-old boy in Alabama.

His beef with San Andreas? Unused code in the game that depicts sexual acts. These minigames can be unlocked by using game-cheat devices or patches available on the Internet.

Thompson is on a roll...and he's not done yet. His latest goat is a game that doesn't involve guns, carjacking, or prostitutes: He's going after Electronic Arts' The Sims 2.

In a manifesto sent today to press outlets, Thompson focuses on dismantling the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and exposing what he calls the industry's "latest dirty little secret." The secret's out now, and it involves nude sims.

In the statement, Thompson says, "Sims 2, the latest version of the Sims video game franchise ... contains, according to video game news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia, and pubic hair."

The Sims 2 is a "life simulator." In the game, players steer their digital beings around their cyberlives. Actions include everything from the spectacular (getting married, having children, receiving promotions at work) to the mundane (cooking microwaved meals, going to the bathroom, mopping the floor). Such activities, as in real life, sometimes require nudity. EA circumvents inappropriateness by "blurring" out the nether regions, almost to a comical sense.

Knowing that the game is popular among all ages, EA has even taken steps to ensure that Sims fans aren't exposed to indecent depictions. In the recent expansion pack, The Sims 2 University, gamers can send their teenage sims off to college. However, instead of packing the expansion with "keggers" and "reefer," EA chose to use juice and bubble blowers.

Thompson doesn't seem to care. He cites a cheat code that can remove the blur that covers the nether regions. "The nudity placed there by the publisher/maker, Electronic Arts, is accessed by the use of a simple code that removes what is called 'the blur' which obscures the genital areas. In other words, the game was released to the public by the manufacturer knowing that the full frontal nudity was resident on the game and would be accessed by use of a simple code widely provided on the Internet."

It's not just the adults that are liberated from their wardrobes. Sims kids can also be nudified, "much to the delight, one can be sure, of pedophiles around the globe who can rehearse, in virtual reality, for their abuse."

Were this to be true, Thompson would have his smoking gun, and EA would be forced to recall all copies of The Sims 2. However, it's what's under the blur that Thompson's after. And what happens when the blur is lifted? A simple mannequin-esque smooth body, according to EA.

Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications at EA, in response to the accusations, told GameSpot, "This is nonsense. We've reviewed 100 percent of the content. There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see a nude sim. If someone with an extreme amount of expertise and time were to remove the pixels, they would see that the sims have no genitals. They appear like Ken and Barbie."

Thompson doesn't buy it. "The sex and the nudity are in the game. That's the point. The blur is an admission that even the 'Ken and Barbie' features should not be displayed. The blur can be disarmed. This is no different than what is in San Andreas, although worse."

Thompson this afternoon updated his earlier statement, saying he is aware certain mods only remove "the blur," but adds that "Electronic Arts has done nothing about this." Thompson's new conclusion: EA is "cooperating, gleefully, with the mod community to turn Sims 2 into a porn offering."

The last time we checked, The Sims 2 was rated T for Teen by the ESRB, which means that anyone 13 years of age, with $50 to spend, can purchase the game.




So, what long term effects do you see this having on the industry, AND, what other game franchises do you see possibly being attacked in the future due to this.
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Maybe next he will go after Ken and Barbie, since you can depict sexual acts with them as well, despite Ken being fixed. . .

Honestly, I don't see why people need to pick these crusades against video games. Either the person is old enough to be able to choose what he/she watches, or he/she is young and the parents are fully capable of determining what games to get if it is really such a concern to them.

We've already seen this type of thing play out in movies, television, music, etc. I think if anything it will give a boost to video game sales because when something starts to become controversial it gets a lot more attention. I seriously doubt that him or anyone like him is actually going to succeed in banning video games like this when it appears on so many other mediums in a more realistic fashion.

Besides, GTA: SA already allows people to run with gangs, kill police officers, etc. Does he really think that sexual content is so much worse than violence?
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Dude, 18 and you murdered 3 cops? SHIT ALL RIGHT MON. He's from Alabama; explaining quite a lot right away.
Gawd, living so near to P-town... How many times have cops murdered some poor black 18 year old...
s'at my input, is all.
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Well nude patches have been commonplace in games for years, I mean what do you expect from a horny geek with nothing else to do. The whole hot coffee thing is stupid as a whole, if it is so offensive then just restrict the selling to adults. Anyway it isn't even part of the real game anyway, its just some leftover code, so Rockstar was at least decent enough to not put it in. I have to agree with Gogar, if person is old enough, then they should be able to choose what they want to play, if they want a little risque content that let it be, if they are old enough. What is there to prevent a full-grown adult from going out and buying a porn movie, it is their choice let them choose.

We might as well restrict all game to adults if this continue because there will be always someone out there looking for a way to 'help' hormone driven, gaming teens, be it a game developer adding some naughty content or a ingenious hacker trying to alter the code of a game. It's just stupid the fuss that is being made, how bad is it anyway. OMG that character is naked!!! What is the problem with that anyway, there are always non-adult restricted movies with bit of nudity in it and sex scenes anyway, these movies probably have more than any game could offer and the added plus of realism. On the games side you could always look at God of War, that had a bit of nudity in it and that wasn't restrcited to adults. Also who remembers Custer's Revenge, that was more offensive than any GTA by far. Well that's what we get for living in a puritan society, see if we all lived in France it wouldn't matter.
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But you see, no one played Custer's Revenge, and the fact that he looked like he was made of legos.
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Yes he did, a drastically unbalanced Lego, which brings about a strange thought, would the government ban legos if someone decided to construct a sexual based lego structure?
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Now, I've actually SEEN Hot coffee, and I have two things to say:

#1 : It looks like ass because the character models are so horrible

#2: Who the hell would pay 50 dollars for San Andreas just to see Hot Coffee when you could get a Porno on DVD with REAL women for 15 dollars at fucking Borders? Let's also not forget that another 'M' rated title (God of War) has more boobies and sex related content within it than San Andreas, and is just as accessable to kids/teens.

As for Jack Thompson, he's a douchebag. The guy makes claims against the Sims 2, saying that 'the blur' can be taken off the characters. Even though the blur comes off, EA says that their just like barbie and ken underneath, with no genitals or anything sexually explicit. Does thompson buy that? of course not. If he's so concerned about the accessibility of explicit materials to children, why doesn't he hop on the internet, search for a patch for the game and actually find the explicit content before slinging accusations around like a jackass...

The Politicans/government and the ESRB/Videogame industry desperately need a representative who plays videogames and knows what the fuck their talking about to act as a mediator between the two. This mediator would be able to investigate the claims of explicit material within videogames and suggest possible means of handling the situation without making a big fuss and pissing people off. The people blasting these videogames need to work WITH the ESRB to handle certain issues instead of fighting them and making things worse, I think a representative would be able to help in doing just that.
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I think the whole problem here is that America is retarded.
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Agreed.
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I think we all are REALLY missing the point that, for a game to kick total ass, is for it to have lots of violence, swearing, and of course T&A.

Now I want a show of hands here: who else picked up GTA again after hearing about the hot coffee code?
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I didn't, and I completely disagree. Katamari Damacy has none of that, and it kicks massive amounts of ass.
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Nah nah nah nah nah ARGGHH nah nah nah nah ARGHHH nah nah nah nah nah ARGHHH . Plus look at that opening, I thought I had slipped some happy medicine in my water.
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I can't help but think the game-watching people (particularly in America from the sounds of things) are idiots. I mean in Australia there was that big controversy over Harry Potter 3 being rated M15+, and then moved down to PG. That was understandable, because the series is getting darker and so forth. However, I suppose it's because the U.S comes first, but I don't see as many problems over here. I suppose for a start not having an adults only rating for video games stops many of these problems; a game like Metal Gear Solid or Doom III tops our rating system with MA15+ (the legally restricting one), and that's as far as you get. Otherwise it's just banned away. I haven't heard stories of activists harping on about nudity in The Sims; especially since this topic has been around for a while now. I heard about the lame hack/cheat to remove their clothes as far back as at least last year.

Is there really any point in trying to censor teenagers from a character model with no genatalia? In my opinion, no. Then again I'm not a psycho parent who deems virtually anything to be inappropriate.

Where will this end? Honestly, 'gambling references' is now on some games, like Golden Sun. Oooo, kids might think that gambling is fun! The only ones that would have crappy parents, and that's no one's fault essentially but theirs. I suppose being brought up the way I was doesn't help, but censorship boards are quite stupid sometimes.

Oh, and check out our new rating system! We've got colour coded stickers now, AND that odd G8+ rating that was games only has been changed to stop stupid parents getting confused about how that was different to film and television's PG.

The Office of Film & Literature Classification (Australia)

EDIT:

Well GTA: SA is now BANNED for sale and hire in Australia. Following an investigation requested by our Attorney-General the game is now illegal to advertise and stock.

Fantastic.

Investigation Release

SA's rating revoked

See, this is a direct violation of law here, to not disclose something. Interesting. They'd want to hurry up with that 'fixed version' or they should lose a lot of money.
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He's backed off from Sims 2, but is still going to pursue modders in general, since even a child's game can be modified to include adult content.

Which is ridiculous, I can take a pen and draw a penis on Mickey Mouse in a child's picture book, that doesn't mean we should put restrictions on picture books or people that could potentially make Mickey Mouse hung like a horse.

Oh, and if you're interested, here's Jack's website
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Rahul said:
I think the whole problem here is that America is retarded.



your mom is retarded.
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From the info on Jack's Wikipedia Entry, it sounds like he hasn't really had much success in actually winning legal battles against forms of entertainment, it seems more like he just tries to make a lot of noise and publicity for the matter. So, hopefully this means he is too incompetent to actually cause long-term legal trouble for the game industry.
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Matt said:
your mom is retarded.


Good argument!
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I would like to agree with Rahul in that most Americans are in fact, retarded


edit: not to mention... fat.
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Have you even been to America? It's still true, we're fat.... but until you're here, that's just an assumption.

It makes me sad. My brother was telling me about some forum-goer who expressed how he wished he were an American, because he could sleep all day, eat a lot of food, then sleep a lot more without much work. When motivated, they could be powerful, but generally not.

......stupid Dego's.
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I can't help but to have that attitude toward my own kind after dating a french man for two years...
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Oops. Congratulations, my stupidity has just made its daily appearance, and it's only half an hour into the day.

I remember you talking about having to move from Florida because of the hurricane, the flood, stuffing the closet, etc. It just eluded me, though.

It's not just Europe though! Asia, too. There's some game from Japan (fill me in, Rachel) where you're a rolling ball, trying to get bigger as you attract things to you, and one of the items is labeled 'American.' A fat man in a business suit. That sentence sums it all up.
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You're not a rolling ball ffs, you're the prince of the cos-mos and you have to roll up stuff into a big enough ball so it can replace a star in the sky. It's called Katamari Damacy. A pox on ye for not knowing it.

And I too have been to America. So my argument is suddenly sound!
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Viajera said:
Oops.  Congratulations, my stupidity has just made its daily appearance, and it's only half an hour into the day.

I remember you talking about having to move from Florida because of the hurricane, the flood, stuffing the closet, etc.  It just eluded me, though. 

It's not just Europe though!  Asia, too.  There's some game from Japan (fill me in, Rachel) where you're a rolling ball, trying to get bigger as you attract things to you, and one of the items is labeled 'American.'  A fat man in a business suit.  That sentence sums it all up.




i still live in florida... its been 4 yrs... it sucks...
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The real problem here is not that America is retarded, or anything like that, but merely that politicians want their jobs. The job of a politician relies on PR for success. Now what happens when DA Joe Bob busts the local game store for carrying some type of porno game? The same thing that would happen if our friend Jack gets his way. Public Approval from the relatively small gamer demographic plummets, while PA from the much larger demographic (the general public) skyrockets. Newspaper headlines like DA Joe Bob: Cleaning up our fair city! and Jack Thompson: Making America's youth safer! only serve to compound the inherent problem within the system, and that is that the thinking of the politicians goes something along the lines of: 'gee, this could be construed as bad for someone, somewhere. I don't use it, my kids don't use it...hell, probably half the population doesn't use it. Let's just get rid of it!' which of course, is in most cases incorrect. This form of censorship is not limited to just video games (although they are at the forefront of the censorship debate right now). Comic Books, Manga, Role-Playing Games(pen-and-paper ones) and many other types of American Media have often been assaulted in the same way. If Joe Bob and Joe Bob's kids don't like Hentai, it just must need to be gotten rid of (not that I read hentai, it was just an example).
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Well check this shit out idiot (him, not you)

The OFLC has given it an MA15+ rating with 'strong violence' and no sexual themes or anything slightly sexually orientated. So there.

Check out the OFLC's new colour coded system!
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Good lord, this guy needs to get his head out from under his ass. Trying to start a scandal and dismantle the ESRB based on an IGN review? and not even one by the site administrators? Hmmm, maybe I should post a reader review accusing the Teletubbies of having 'extreme sexual content. That'd obviously get rid of the little buggers. Because since I did Jack has seen any Teletubbies, he'd just have to take my word for it.
Anger.
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Mr. Domino said:
Hmmm, maybe I should post a reader review accusing the Teletubbies of having 'extreme sexual content.


I agree. Except instead of just sexual content the Teletubbies should be accused of drug use, i mean its gotta take a lot of pot, lsd, crack, acid, shrooms, and dish washer detergent before you turn different colors and have a t.v. stuck in your chest.
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Tummy.... stuck to it's tummy...

don't ask me how I know, I've refused to actually WATCH said program, but I somehow seem to know that...
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Well from what I'm told, the sexual content is M at best (not your crazy U.S M) and more probably PG. (M here is more like your Teen rating, and PG is like the E10+, although there are differences in ages)
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