GTA: Profitable Deceit

A word on the GTA:SA controversy. I wholeheartedly agree with Republican congressman [I never imagined I would start a sentence with these words] Fred Upton of Michigan: A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit.

To wit, the game developers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas surreptitiously embedded gameplay with explicit sex scenes. Routine play would not reveal the scenes, but the scenes could be unlocked with appropriate software. This is not a mod, a fan-developed modification of a game introducing new elements. This is a crack, an applet unlocking restricted software features. See details on the Hot Coffee crack and "sex minigame" at the GAMESPOT.

The deceit practiced by Rockstar games is to market this game with hidden sexual content at an M rating to ensure higher market penetration. The developers must have known it would only be a matter of time before the explicit gameplay would be unlocked, and may have even facilitated the crack release. When the Entertainment Software Ratings Board changed the game's designation to adults-only, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, and Circuit City promptly yanked the game from their shelves. And Rockstar promptly stopped production and has now begun issuing scrubbed versions of the game.

But back to the congressman's bold and unassailably right-thinking proclamation: A company cannot be allowed to profit from deceit. I wonder if the congressman would have supported as exuberant an investigation of Halliburton for the deceit it has practised under the guidance of the standing Vice President (see Halliburton—Building an Unsustainable Future)?

What lessons are children taught by self-interested entrepeneurs masquerading as statesmen, bent on securing an American Empire that straddles every oil field on the globe? Isn't that more morally corrupt than virtual fellatio, Congressman Upton?

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