Outrage Over GTA’s Sexy Hot Coffee Wouldn’t Have Happened if it was a Book or Film, Says Rockstar
Grand Theft Auto is a core staple of the games industry, breaking sales records, influencing games development and pushing boundaries with its rather adult portrayal of a satirical America. But a lot of people weren’t fans (and still aren’t) of the series, constantly criticizing the violence, the prostitutes or the swearing. This public condemnation of a video game reached a crescendo in 2005, when an explicit sex minigame titled ‘Hot Coffee’ was found hidden in the code for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas by a modder. Copies of the title were frantically pulled from stores, and the developer was forced to pay $4.9 million in ‘damages’.
Rockstar’s co-founder Dan Houser believes that the same outcries wouldn’t have been made over a book or film with similar content. He told The Guardian:
The massive social decay that we were supposed to induce hasn’t happened. So in that regard, a lot of those debates that used to go on, they’re not such a big deal now. We never felt that we were being attacked for the content, we were being attacked for the medium, which felt a little unfair. If all of this stuff had been put into a book or a movie, people wouldn’t have blinked an eye. And there are far bigger issues to worry about in society than this.
It’s hard to argue with him on how games are regularly treated far more harshly by mass media and clueless industry pundits, although it would be interesting to see how people would react if it was revealed that Winnie-the-Pooh had hidden sexual references.
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