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News for August, 2005

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
No more Hot Coffee.
Posted by Tsuroki at 20:17. Category: General

I refuse to make some snarky, sarcastic entry about the Hot Coffee fiasco. I've had it. I don't care anymore. It went out of control, becoming an orgy of press and populace. Nutter protestors and politicians (and Jack Thompson, who deserves a category all his own) are on a rampage, going after everyone and anyone who looks at em' funny. It's like watching those insane Japanese arcade gamers bust-a-groove to Dance Dance Revolution. And much like the DDR fanatics of the far east, I don't know what the hell these protestors are doing (besides making a lot of noise, drawing tons of attention, and scaring me just a little). But do I care? No. And I refuse to make any sort of quasi-witty remark about it all. That would just be childish of me, wouldn't it?

Now, with that said and done, here's the deal: Rockstar Games has tossed up NoMoreHotCoffee.com, a website that offers a content patch which (I presume) will be added to future releases of San Andreas.

Even though it's your own choice as to whether or not you install Hot Coffee in the first place, if you're one of those paranoid few who think garden gnomes are going to bust into your room late at night and install Hot Coffee under the cover of darkness, you may want to take a look at this patch.

"The "Hot Coffee" scenes were not intended to be part of the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas experience. If your copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for PC has been altered by the unauthorized "Hot Coffee" download circulating on the Internet, or if you wish to prevent your version from being so altered, follow the appropriate link below to download and open the "No More Hot Coffee" game patch. Then follow the simple installation instructions."

Related Links:
NoMoreHotCoffee.com
Rockstar Games Tech Support (If you're having trouble installing the patch)


Inside the Mind of a Luddite
Posted by illspirit at 15:07. Category: General

For the most part, it seems the Hot Coffee controversy has been put on the back burner pending the outcome of the FTC investigation. So what have the critics done to channel their self-righteous rage and stay in the spotlight? Well, in Thompson's case, as you've surely heard already, he's simply widened his fear-mongering campaign against The Sims, Bully, and Killer 7, among others. He also found time in his busy schedule to do an 80 minute radio interview over at ChatterBox Video Game Radio. At one point in the interview, he all but agrees that Hot Coffee was okay in an M rated game since the actors were all fully clothed, while attempting to further demonize The Sims 2. The best part of the interview was when he attacked Rockstar North...

Infact, we have got a bunch of sociopaths in Edinburgh-Scotland sitting around in kilts sipping their single malt whiskey, spreading racial and hurtful stereotypes.

And now we have a lawyer sitting in Miami spreading racial and hurtful stereotypes about people he accuses of doing the same. Brilliant. Someone send this man a dictionary so he can look up the definitions of irony and hypocrisy.

Elsewhere in the "land of the free", the Governor of Michigan is also trying to help protect the children by preventing adults from buying San Andreas. As reported on GamesIndustry.biz, said Governor is pressuring retailers in her state to refuse to stock AO games, and the Michigan House is contemplating legislation to make it law. So, let me get this straight, the goal of this new anti-game McCarthyism is to protect kids, but now lawmakers want to make it illegal for stores to sell them at all? Even to adults? Sounds an awful lot to me like outright censorship, albeit in a dodgy, roundabout manner. The funny part is, while there's all this hooplah over retailers selling M or AO rated games, a number of chains which pulled San Andreas continue to carry NC17 and unrated DVDs with no resistance.

And on a final note, GamesIndustry.biz has a story about Bully which further demonstrates that the critics just don't get it. In this story which mentions that the folks at Bullying Online have been invited by Rockstar to preview Bully (which is news in and of itself), the anti-bullying group's director, Liz Carnell, was quoted as saying the following:

At the end of the day, computer firms are in the business of making money and if they can't be sensible and police their own activities I foresee more controversies like the one over Bully. As most youngsters rely on their parents for pocket money, if the parents don't like violent games then ultimately the games industry may find it's shot itself in the foot.

Do these people need a 30 foot tall chart with neon letters showing that over 60% of gamers now are over the age of 18 to realize that games aren't just for kids anymore? If, in some bizarre twist, all parents actually did do their jobs and stop letting their kids play mature games, the industry would carry on just fine selling these games to the massive 18-34 year old demographic for which the games are intended. Since when is it shooting oneself in the foot to make products for the most profitable market share? That's almost like saying the automobile industry would go bankrupt if parents stopped buying cars for 8 year olds.

Correction: ChatterBox Video Game Radio doesn't just air on the web, but on traditional broadcast radio too. Sorry about the mix up.


Friday, August 05, 2005
Panties in a Bunch
Posted by Tsuroki at 22:37. Category: General

Kick back, relax. Have yourself a sandwich. Just because Chappelle's Show has officially bitten the dust, it doesn't mean that the world is without it's humour. Take the following email, for instance - sent on behalf of the "entire gaming industry" to Patrick (the modder behind Hot Coffee), it seems to have come from someone who wasn't breast fed enough as a child. Pat did nothing wrong, of course - he just uncovered a nifty lil' bit of code. Too bad some thickheads just can't seem to grasp the fact that Patrick is not at fault. Yeesh.

Anyway, here's the email.

My name is Joe Laurino, CEO and Founder of HyperActive Productions, a game company situated in New York, New York.

And I wanted to drop in and say that you , sir, are an idiot.

That's right, you are an idiot and a moron. I say this on behalf of the entire gaming industry and all of the game designers within it.

What the hell were you thinking ? That content was obviously locked for a reason. With the American government's trigger-finger on video games, ESPECIALLY Grand Theft Auto, you should have realized that what the mod you were creating was going to cause an uproar. Your mod, singlehandedly, has turned the gaming world on it's side. Australia has banned Grand Theft Auto : SA from the entire COUNTRY due to the content you made visible to the world. People nationwide here in the United States are suing the company, not understanding that what they saw was never meant to be seen. Now, even mods as a whole are being scrutinized (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8664370/).

Just because you can do something, doesn't MEAN you should do it. If anyone should be taking responsibility for this whole mess, it should be you.

You idiot.

Joe Laurino
CEO, Founder, Lead Designer
www.hyperactiveproductions.net

This coming from a man whose company seems to rely on the likes of MS Paint for visual effects, has a development staff of 5 (4 of which are under the age of 18), sends "corporate emails" from his aol email address, and worst of all... relies on Yahoo! PageBuilder to design his website.

Seriously. Ewww. If you can't even handle basic HTML markup, please, stay out of the programmer kitchen. Ye' who knows not of what he speaks should shut his trap, aye?

Now, if you'd like to give Joe a nice, big hug (or throw your two cents at him en massť), his email is [email protected], and his "company" website is at www.hyperactiveproductions.net.

Much homie love from GTANet, Joe. Much homie love.


Thursday, August 04, 2005
More political hootinany
Posted by Tsuroki at 02:51. Category: General

GamePolitics.com, the gaming news supersite that deals with the delicate relationship between the videogame community and the political world, has been in a flurry of GTA mania lately. It's not surprising, of course - the Hot Coffee controversy has brought both sides out swinging. If (for some reason) you don't have these guys bookmarked, here's a rundown of today's top stories:


Wacko Jacko sets sights on Vice City... again.

Seems our old friend from the south is on a roll. His latest attack on the GTA franchise comes in response to the interview illspirit had with GamePolitics.com earlier, and in typical Thompson form, it's a mangled mishmash of twisted words and statements taken out of context.

"The video game enthusiasts' web site, www.gamepolitics.com is now reporting, today, that hidden sex scenes are also contained on Take-Two/Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This is the same news site that broke the "Hot Coffee mod" story re San Andreas, so it has proven itself reliable. Read all about it at the above-noted site right this minute...The significance of this is huge..."

Read my lips, Jack. GamePolitics is not reporting any such thing.

While it's nice that Thompson has gone on record with his view that we are reliable, it is unfortunate that he misinterpreted and disseminated a single sentence from yesterday's lengthy interview with GTA modder illspirit.
- GamePolitics.com

GTA blamed, in part, for triple-homicide.

Devin Moore went on a rampage through a police department in Florida back in '03, and is now in court for the murder of two police officers and a police dispatcher. His grounds for defense? Insanity - Moore's compulsive playing of GTA drove him to kill.

...The defendant has entered an insanity plea based in part on compulsive playing of Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City.

From what I can see so far, it's a textbook "the *insert popular culture item here* made me do it" defense, something that has been used time and time again throughout the years.


Protestors rise up against T2 & Rockstar

Washington-based activist group Peaceoholics raged against Take Two Interactive on Tuesday in protest of the upcoming Rockstar Games title "Bully". Bully is set in the fictional boys-only school of Bullworth Academy, and looks like it'll feature a free-roaming, melee-combat atmosphere similar to Grand Theft Auto. The game is the first major title from Rockstar Vancouver, and stays in line with the "bad boy" image Rockstar Games has given itself. Up until now, however, all of the controversial titles have come from Rockstar North (based in Scotland).

Protestors picketed outside of T2's Manhattan offices to voice their opposition, waving signs that read "Prosecute Rockstar Games - they are Felons!", "Stop Bully Now!", and so on. The group was led by activist Ronald Moten who had this to say to WABC TV news:

"It (video game violence) desensitizes them and makes them think that these acts are alright - it's alright to whup a woman, it's alright to steal a car, it's alright to mess with a prostitute, it's alright to curse and to use drugs."

Oh shit, they're onto us - stash the hash, man, it's the fuzz!

Along with their march outside of Take Two's corporate offices (it seems that Jack Thompson was also on hand for the event), the Peaceoholics issued the following list of demands:

- Not to release Bully under any circumstances

- Volunteer to sell its violent and sexually explicit games in adult video stores only.

- Let parents return Grand Theft Auto for a full refund until they do a national awareness campaign to educate parents of content and possible effects.

- Create a fund for victims of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and car-jackings, etc.

- Make a national apology for misleading and lying to children, parents, and legislators about their intentions and causing insurance premiums to sky rocket.

- Give a written response within five business days of receipt of these demands.

Fun stuff.

Source: GamePolitics.com



In other news, this is why I love webcomics.


Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Fans hit back in GTA sex storm
Posted by adamcs at 19:44. Category: General

Check out the BBC's latest piece about the ESRB/Hot Coffee fiasco, written by our very own illspirit.

"It's also worth mentioning that nearly everyone in the GTA3/Vice City/San Andreas mod scene have purchased each title twice.

Each of those three games was released in the month of October for the PlayStation 2, with the PC version following in May or June of the year after. Most of us ran out to buy the console versions to play the games as soon as they came out, and later bought them again for PC just for the mods.

So for Rockstar, the ESRB, or the US Congress to prevent us from modding games would have a devastating impact on sales."

Monday, August 01, 2005
GTA Garage Mod Manager
Posted by JernejL at 19:56. Category: General

GTAGarage and GTATools.com are proud to announce the creation and release of the first GTAGarage program, this program will make the distribution and creation of CAR modifications easier than ever before.

The program creates CAR packages for your custom made cars complete with all data needed for installing the car and checks for the need of Dmagic1 wheel mod so that almost nothing can go wrong during installation, the program also contains many useful features which are dedicated to car modders such as manual car data installer and San Andreas col into dff merging which will be extremely helpful in the future. The program works with all 3D gta games, that are GTA3, Vice city and San andreas.

Click here to get it.



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