Rockstar's Sex Mod Scandal Deepens
If Rockstar Games thought its statement on Wednesday regarding pornographic material within the game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was sufficient, at least one U.S. Senator and a media watchdog group disagree.
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) on Thursday announced that she would ask the Federal Trade Commission to look into the matter, and the National Institute on Media and the Family said they would back Clinton's efforts.
"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," Clinton said in a press conference. She argued that children's access to inappropriate content in video games "is spiraling out of control."
Along with asking the Federal Trade Commission to look into Grand Theft Auto in particular, Clinton introduced tougher legislation on video game ratings that would penalize retailers who fail to abide by them. The law would prohibit the sale of violent and sexually explicit games to minors and would institute a $5,000 USD fine for violators.
In a letter to FTC Chairwoman Deborah Majoras, Clinton echoed the concern of many parents nationwide, saying, "we should all be deeply disturbed that a game which now permits the simulation of lewd sexual acts in an interactive format with highly realistic graphics has fallen into the hands of young people across the country."
Dr. David Walsh, founder and president of the National Institute on Media and the Family agreed. "America's parents and retailers need to know immediately if the code and pornographic animation are on the disk -- hidden, locked or otherwise. We don't want technical runarounds," said Dr. Walsh. "In plain English, America wants to know 'is the code on the disk?'"
According to the creator of the "Hot Coffee" modification, Patrick Wildenborg, it is. All of the scenes were already on the disk Wildenborg said, and all it takes to make them part of the gameplay is the removal of something called a "censor flag."
So far, Rockstar has denied all involvement, saying the added scenes were the work of hackers. However, those who have seen the actual modification say that it is too professional to be the work of hackers, and the actual scene itself must have been some type of "easter egg."
Rockstar Games did not respond to a request for further comment by BetaNews as of press time.