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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

I just can't get enough!

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

I just can't get enough!

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johnny cash
Having balanced the budget, cleaned up the mess in Iraq, ended world hunger, and gotten steroids out of professional sports, congress turns its eyes on the video game industry. In an overwhelming landslide of 355 to 21, the house of representatives decided the government must inspect the companies behind the latest GTA release and determine if they decieved the ESRB.

Aren't they just doin' such a great job?

Now, since these paragons of the Republic have never developed software, let's explain something in small words. In the process of developing an application, you're going to generate a great deal of code. In the end, a great deal of that code ends up getting deactivated, for various reasons. It's not bug free enough, maybe you'll patch it in a later release. Maybe you decided those features just aren't needed. Whatever. Because of the complexity of any large application, you can't just rip it out unless you use anal retentive design patterns like I prefer (design patterns which are innappropriate for the video game market, where good code is frowned upon in favor of fast code). So instead, you lock off those features, and distribute the finished product with all sorts of little lurking hooks.

With that in mind, can we really say that Rockstar was trying to peddle pr0n? They made a game, the game had some features that were turned off. In fact, by installing that patch, I'll bet that the EULA was violated, absolving Rockstar of the majority of the liability, and this whole thing is nothing more than sound and fury, signifying nothing. Much like the probe into steroids in baseball.

Dear elected officials:
Please go to hell.

Sincerely,
Remy Porter


In other news, mature video games sell. Who woulda thunk it?
  • Awwww, how sweet. :)
  • You don't seriously think they put it in and "decided to turn it off"? Come on man. Have you seen the mini-game? First of all, it's ridiculous. Second of all, it has all the trappings of an Easter Egg.

    I worked in the game industry for a few years. They didn't write mini-games and stuff just to turn them off and leave them in. Come on, the coders aren't complete morons. They know how to take code out of a build. Most of the time you're pressed for space and are cutting shit out like crazy.

    The more realistic explanation is that the programmers put the mini-game in completely expecting it to be found and activated with a mod, or as some kind of inside joke. Embedded jokes of that sort are fairly common in the industry. It's sort of a way that the programmers can "leave their mark" on a corporate product. For example, at one point there was some complex set of actions you could taken in a version of Excel that would start a mini-game of some sort.

    This was almost certainly a rogue action taken by the developers. However, I very seriously doubt the management had any idea, and thus there was no "deception" on the company's part. I suspect some programmers will be fired, however.
    • I thought it had all the feel of an unfinished mod. It may have been intended as an Easter Egg, but it was so rough. I know that when I throw in an Easter Egg, it's simple, but polished. As my mark, I want it to be quality- that's me though. I won't rule out the EEgg, but in either case, it was inactive code.
  • Why are are elected officials investigating this bullshite when Karl Rove is comitting treason and Bush is letting him?

    Tell me why!?

    [Okay people, I'm going to go back to 1999, way back to the Clinton Administration when people were saner.]
    • Oh yeah, real sane. Like how they were happy to obsess over "the dress" and Monica while thousands of people were getting murdered in Somalia.

      Of course, in both cases it's the right-wingers being idiots...but my point is they're no less sane today than back then.
    • But at least we could rationalize the "dress" attention... Most of America is populated by gossip whores. ;)

      As for this war in Irag, I'm not capable of wrapping my brain around it.
    • Right, but at least we had a moderate in power. At least some sane things were accomplished.
  • For those of you who haven't seen the "dirty scenes" in action, here's what all the fuss is about:

    (NSFW, people!)

    http://www.gtasanandreas.net/news/single.php?id=1469

    • OMG THEY'RE HAVING SEX!!111!111

      seriously, who gives a shit? Over here in the UK the game had an 18 rating on it anyway, so to say that Rockstar are putting "porn" into a game aimed at minors is complete bullshit. Any parent who allows their kid to play an 18 rated game shouldn't be able to complain about a fucking thing.

      And please don't get me started on Hilary Clinton, I have to go to work in 4 hours :|
      • Well, the ESRB had not given it an Adults Only rating before the material was "revealed". They have changed it to Adults Only which, in the USA, means 18+. So, considering that, it's not really "complete" bullshit. In fact, that was sort of the whole point.

        I would say the vast, vast majority of the purchases of the game were in the USA, not the UK.

        Look, I'm not some big proponent of censorship or whatever. But don't fool yourself. These game companies are all about money. BIG money. They are as exploitative as you can get. They don't give a shit about anything, anything, except how many units they move. They don't care about art, creativity, morals...You name it. It falls by the wayside next to how many units they can sell.
    • Which makes them different from any other business venture how?

      Considering the level of crap "Hot Coffee" is, I find it difficult to believe it was included as a way to sell more copies, sneaking in as mature instead of Adults Only.

      In some ways this really shows how the ESRB ratings fail- "Hot Coffee", with its rather cartoon sex, compared with the fairly realistic violence elsewhere in the game- well- our priorities are screwed up.

      As a note though- the Mature rating is 17+, AO is 18+. Because that one year is going to make such an incredible difference.
      • I fundamentally agree with you. I think the increase in rating was more a symbolic, futile action than anything. And I definitely agree that the priorities are all screwed up...but that's nothing new.

        Anyway, I didn't say it made them any different from any other business venture. In fact, it's the sameness that I think people are missing. Look how defensive so many people (including yourself) are of these companies' "freedom of speech" when somebody ups the rating on a game. You wig out. Like some High Art has been censored. Oh noes, a money grubbing corporation is getting yelled at by congress. Why does that bother you?

        Are you like, "poor Enron"? No. But a slimy game company gets caught slipping sexual content under the ratings radar and everybody's like "leave them the fuck alone, l0s3rs!!!!" why? I think everybody thinks the game companies are Their Kewl Friend.

        Well, they're not.
        • Enron committed serious crimes. With Rockstar, we're looking more at issues involving post-release responsibility of a manufacturer. Smith and Wesson isn't responsible for crimes comitted with its weapons, but Grokster is for its software, and Rockstar is responsible for non-crimes committed by modifying its software against their liscense agreements? I'm not supporting Rockstar, I'm supporting me, and my vested interests as a software developer. In my mind, this is in the same category as the DMCA, though not nearly on the same degree of badness.
          • Fair enough. I can certainly see that there are more "slippery slope" issues involved here than in Enron and similar cases.
    • yeah, I understand that, don't get me wrong. I just really don't see what the big deal over some very badly made, not entirely graphic sex scenes in a game that (in the USA) is aimed at 17 year olds and above. If I'm totally honest I'd have to say that I was more mentally mature when I was 17 than when I was 18, but that's probably due to the vast amounts of drugs and alcohol I consumed within those 12 months, but we'll not go there.

      And as for the Sims 2 that's mentioned in the same article; I have the game, and like most people have removed the censorship filters for a bit of fun, and guess what: all of the models have no genitals and no nipples. So once again, I don't see what the problem is.
      • Well the Sims 2 thing is a different issue. At least in my opinion. That dude's just a tool. I removed the censorship blur too. :)
  • you know, if this had been in a game which wasn't as popular as the GTA series has been there wouldn't be any of this bullshit :\ I know the British government isn't exactly up to scratch, but I seriously pity you guys in the US for having to live with this kind of bullshit.
  • Gosh. I've been really hating our government lately. Our invasion of Iraq has turned into a flop. So what does our government do? Attack the most inane issues. It's depressing. Easter egg or no, I'm sure the *users* could create mods that are far more explicit. Am I supposed to be glad that Congress has notified me of the speck in my eye? How can I when they're busy ignoring the tree in theirs?
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