...because after all the government should be there to tell us what we can and can't have.

Most people who pay attention to such things by now should be familiar with the Grand Theft Auto series. In the latest installment of the game, it has been discovered that a sequence which implies sexual acts is in the game.

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/grand-theft.../635240p1.html

I personally rather enjoyed this treatment of the situation by Dave Kosak:

WARNING: This column is satire. Please note that parts of this column may be inappropriate for minors. Naturally, they'll all want to read it now.

I would like to recount a conversation I had today with a unique and stunning individual, and I wished to commit these details to paper (or, to bits) while they remained clear in my head. MoralValuesMan is, by ordinary means of measure, an extraordinary individual. And I don't just mean his attire: he sat across from me in the restaurant, his pinstripe suit immaculate, his oxford shirt a crisp, deep blue set off by a white-striped power-tie. Yet around his shoulders he wore a sparkly blue cape held in place by a silver clasp. He was MoralValuesMan, defender of standards.

I remember we had just finished eating when we stopped the small talk and I asked him, pointedly, what he thought about the whole Grand Theft Auto Fiasco. "The ratings are pretty clear," he said. "M ratings, for 'Mature,' involve intense violence, blood, and gore. Whereas AO rated games, for 'Adult Only,' feature graphic depictions of you-know-what." He dabbed his face with a napkin. "It's my job to police that delicate line to protect consumers."

At this point, a waitress arrived with the bill. "Here's your check," she said, matter of factly, placing it in the table between us. She wore black slacks and a ruffled white blouse -- I remember these details so clearly because of what happened next.

"Oh, we won't be paying this check," MoralValuesMan explained, pulling himself out of the booth. He reached behind the waitress, onto a cart laden with roasting shish-kabobs. Taking two flaming skewers from the pile, he cried out a larcenous stream of expletives and plunged the flaming sticks into the stunned waitress's chest. Blood spurted. Dishes crashed and silverware clattered to the floor as MoralValuesMan reached into his suit and withdrew a MAC-10 submachine gun. The screaming waitress crashed to the ground, and I ducked my head under the table while MoralValuesMan fired his weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. "I want the cash in the register, NOW!" he barked, striding up to the front and stepping over bodies as he did so. Timidly, I followed him toward the door when he waved me over while stuffing wads of illicit cash into his coat.

"What the hell are you doing!?" I cried out, as we stepped outside into the blaring sunlight. Wordlessly he whipped out a switchblade, knifed the valet on duty, and grabbed some keys off the corpse.

"Look here," he explained, vaulting into a stolen Jaguar convertible with his blue cape billowing behind him. "Murder, theft, violence -- we're still all within the M-rating guidelines. Hop in!" He started up the car. "In fact, some of that would only qualify as 'Comic Mischief.' Did you see the look on that one guy's face?"

A few minutes later we were cruising through the bright sunlit streets, the two of us raising our voices to be heard over the rush of the wind. Surprisingly, no cops were following us. "How did you get involved in your -- uh -- moral crusade?" I asked.

"It started a couple of years ago, during the Super Bowl halftime show," he explained. "There I was, enjoying my sporting event interspersed with alcohol advertisements, when suddenly what do I see on my TV screen? An uncovered female..." he struggled with the word. "...B-O-B!"

"You mean... Boob?" I asked. He winced.

"Exactly! I mean, kids were watching! Those small children will be forever traumatized by the split-second scathing visage of a single unclothed female breast." He paused to drive up onto the sidewalk and mow down a bunch of Boy Scouts, their knees snapping sickeningly against the bumper as he crashed through the crowd. He veered back onto the road. "A boobie! Honestly, that sort of thing is inappropriate."

We drove then into the seedier part of town, where narrow litter-strewn alleys drizzled with the unnatural rain from air conditioners in tenement windows far above. "I imagine this is the sort of area where all sorts of immoral activity goes on," I said, peering at the shady characters.

"Nah, just violence, drugs ... M-rated stuff," he explained. We pulled up next to a sinister tatooed man with a handlebar mustache, standing next to a huge beaten luggage case. Hands in his pockets, he slithered toward us. With a grim nod, MoralValuesMan asked "You got the goods?" His contact nodded in kind, then wordlessly lifted the case into the back of the convertible.

"Got a tip for ya," the dark stranger said, handing a small folded note to MoralValuesMan. "This one's hot."

"Indeed it is!" our hero said, glancing at the note. Then he pulled out a glock and shot his informant in the head, execution-style. We ran over the body on the way out of the city.

Half an hour later I knew we had emerged in the quietest of suburbs when, aside from the occasional bark of a small dog, I heard the distant twinkle of an ice cream truck in the distance. Outside of our blood-smeared jaguar, the neighborhood was immaculate: neat little green lawns and white picket fences, every shrub trimmed, every rosebush in bloom. "So why are we here?" I asked.

"This place is the worst," MoralValuesMan said, wrinkling his nose. "It may look pretty, but within these quiet walls criminals are engaged in the absolute worst of offenses." He lowered his voice: "Consensual S-E-X."

Gunning the engine, we drove up onto a sidewalk and squealed to a halt in front of a small white house with an attractive wraparound porch. MoralValuesMan vaulted out of the car, reached into the back, and opened up his battered case. He withdrew a baseball bat, but not a baseball bat in the conventional sense: this weapon had screws and nails sticking out of every available surface, as well as two halves of a rusty beartrap awkwardly attached with the points facing outward. "Oh yah, that's the good stuff!" our hero announced. He turned to a nearby mailman who stood, staring at the man in the cape with a look of curiosity and horror.

"RUN!" I yelled, but it was too late. MoralValuesMan raised his weapon and smashed it down on the mailman, scattered U.S. postal debris everywhere. The weapon became embedded in his prey, so MoralValuesMan had to step onto the body with his foot to pull it out, then he slammed it down two, three... seventeen more times.

"Still M-Rated," he announced. Humming a tune to himself, MoralValuesMan strode purposefully across the lawn and over to the bedroom window of the house. He loomed underneath it. "I bet you they're doing it right now! Disgusting! SOMEBODY has got to stand up and make people understand that consensual sexual intercourse is disgusting and unnatural!"

He kicked down the door to the house and burst in, brandishing his weapon, spraying the walls with blood and gore. "COME OUT OF THERE, YOU SICKOS!" he demanded, his bloodstained cape billowing. "I KNOW YOU WERE DOING THE NAUGHTY!"

"It's MoralValuesMan!" someone shouted with horror from within the bedroom. A terrified man came running out in his boxer shorts, followed by a woman wrapped in nothing but a towel. "I know what this looks like but honestly we were--"

"I heard grunting!" MoralValuesMan accused, abandoning his weapon in favor of a fireplace poker.

"We were working on a ... really hard Scrabble problem!" the woman explained, holding up her towel.

But MoralValuesMan would have none of it: He lifted the fireplace poker high and brought it down upon the man in boxer shorts. The carnage that followed was horrifying. Afterwards, he turned to the woman: "Now get out of here," he said. She was gone in moments.

His M-Rated actions baffled me. "Why did you kill him but let her live?" I asked.

"Well, she was wrapped in a towel, and if I attacked her there was a good chance it would fall off," he explained. "Then we would be greeted with the horrifying, unnatural, disgusting visage of an unclothed female." He tossed his fireplace poker onto the grisly carcass of his victim. "Nobody needs to see that."
Source: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/635/635629p2.html

Now there is legislation coming forward to fine retailers for selling games of Mature or Adults Only ratings to minors.

Okay the first thing that should really set off your alarms is that video games are rated by the ESRB, or Entertainment Software Rating Board.

http://www.esrb.org/about_facts.asp

The ESRB is not composed of elected officials. It is in fact staffed and funded by the video game industry as a form of voluntary self regulation.

Do we want the laws of our nation to fall under the influence of a private organization?

I submit that we do not!

Furthermore is THIS the way we want to deal with this problem? Just automatically jump in and try to punish retailers or software producers for trying to be self regulating?

Has the though occured to any of these people that the standards the ESRB uses are in fact pretty strict compared to what they allow in movies? I've seen PG-13 movies where sex acts were strongly implied. I've seen PG-13 movies with tons of violence and terrible language. Any of these elements in a video game pretty much skyrockets it to a Mature rating.

We don't need a new law. We need to put good faith in our fellow man to do what they say they're going to do, and then when they screw up, then we resort to such means.

I haven't bought a video game in a while, as a matter of fact the title I most recently bought was GTA: San Andreas, and I had to show identification proving I was not a minor. There is nothing wrong with the system they already have.

By the way I have played this game. Yes there is violence and foul language but it's surprisingly not gratuitous. It's actually there to tell a story. And my version does not have any illicit sex scenes in it. As it comes from the factory, it is just like it was meant to be.

Admittedly Rockstar Games could have been more diplomatic about it, but the fact is that if someone misuses their code to do something they never intended for, it's not their fault.

By the way the sponsor for this legislation is none other than Hillary Clinton, a hard core left wing radical who wants nothing more than The People's Republik of Amerika to be able to tell us what to do, what to think, and what is and is not good for us. Hillary Klinton wants Uncle Sam to decide whether or not your cancer treatments are too expensive for the taxpayers. Hillary Klinton thinks you should entrust the raising of your children entirely to the government too... she even wrote a book on it. This is another great example of some left wing crackpot using the government as a means of making all our decisions for us.

This is not about a videogame. It's about moral hypocrisy on so many levels. The only people at fault here are irresponsible inviduals who misused a product by carrying out a modification that was unsactioned by the creators of the game, but instead of punishing these people, which is admittedly impossible, politicians who think they are so much smarter, so much better, and otherwise superior to us are trying to give a private organization that's not composed of democratically elected officials the power to tell us what we should think and be able to buy.