my letter to ESRB and back

AuthorMessage
spill_no_sick
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spill_no_sick
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February 16th, 2006 at 03:55pm
Thank you for contacting the Entertainment Software Rating Board with your comments regarding the re-rating of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. This is a serious and complex issue, and we appreciate your concern. Please accept our apologies for the delay in response.



Through its investigation, the ESRB determined that the code for the hidden "Hot Coffee" scenes existed on all three platform versions of the game released to the public. The patch to unlock the content on the PC version of the game was made freely available on the Internet, while certain console accessories provided access to the content on the PS2 platform version.



Once it was determined that the previously undisclosed scenes were on the shipped discs, ESRB raters reviewed the original submission of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, without the "Hot Coffee" scenes, and once again assigned the original rating of M (Mature 17+) with content descriptors for Intense Violence, Strong Sexual Content, Strong Language, Blood and Gore, and Use of Drugs. However, when reviewing the newly disclosed "Hot Coffee" scenes, raters assigned an AO (Adults Only 18+) rating, along with a Nudity content descriptor. This discrepancy indicated that the accuracy of the original M rating had been undermined, and resulted in the ESRB's revocation of that rating until new versions could be manufactured and shipped without the "Hot Coffee" content. Copies of the game that are produced without this content on the disc will retain the original M rating.



It is inevitable that some may disagree with the ESRB's actions when considering the rest of the playable content in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, or other games like it. We simply ask those who disagree to consider that consumers, especially parents, count on ESRB ratings for reliable and accurate information about what's in a computer or video game. They deserve to know what they are buying, and the ESRB is both obligated and committed to providing the most reliable and accurate ratings information possible. If content that would affect a rating is on the game disc, and it's accessible, it must be considered in the assignment of that rating.



The strength of our self-regulatory system lies in its unique ability to independently evaluate publisher compliance with a wide variety of industry-adopted rules and regulations, and enforce instances of non-compliance with a range of sanctions, including penalties, fines and corrective actions. The interests of parents, gamers, and other consumers are best served by having an effective self-regulatory body, whose actions are objective, judicious and fair. We appreciate your taking the time to express your opinion on this issue, and hope that you better understand our actions.





Regards,



Entertainment Software Rating Board



-----Original Message-----
To: Consumer Online Hotline@ESRB.ORG
Subject: ESRB Consumer Online-Hotline - Questions for Research or School Report


Please choose which item best describes your inquiry:
Questions for Research or School Report

Please indicate your state/province and country of residence:
USA

Please describe your complaint, comment, or concern:
Why exactly was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas rated AO? The recently discovered content that changed its rating is only accessible through an online download. Anyone who can access the modifications don't have online restricitions to explicit content so they can get an AO video game legally anyway, but people who don't have the freedom on the internet can't even access the modifications anyway, so where's the threat? Many popular game titles (including Halo) have modifications that can be downloaded online, these don't have any harmful content, but if they did, would you change their ratings too? If you could download something to make the characters from Halo use explicit sexual language and preform lude acts, would you have to change their rating? Even though it took a "hacker" to change the code and make it available to everyone? What I'm really saying is that the game designers never made the AO worthy content available, some one else did, so why did the GTA game have to have an AO rating?
Buddy Christ
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Blog
February 17th, 2006 at 06:24pm
i thought you could only get it through the internet
spill_no_sick
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February 18th, 2006 at 09:36pm
dookie_#32:
i thought you could only get it through the internet
you can only get it through the internet, that's why I sent the message
Kitti
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Kitti
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February 18th, 2006 at 09:59pm
spill_no_sick:
dookie_#32:
i thought you could only get it through the internet
you can only get it through the internet, that's why I sent the message

"Blanket censorship"
Instead of parents parenting, they rely on a rating (STUPID!!!!). If the rating doesn't cover the company's ass in every situation, you can bet they'll be sued.
spill_no_sick
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spill_no_sick
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February 18th, 2006 at 10:07pm
paradoxical:
spill_no_sick:
dookie_#32:
i thought you could only get it through the internet
you can only get it through the internet, that's why I sent the message

"Blanket censorship"
Instead of parents parenting, they rely on a rating (STUPID!!!!). If the rating doesn't cover the company's ass in every situation, you can bet they'll be sued.
In another letter I sent to them I suggested that they have an official "ESRB Notification: Gameplay may change due to internet...stuff"

I don't know but they put it on Halo
ForgetvirginityFuckBillie
Geek
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February 20th, 2006 at 11:15pm
O.O
dirtyhippie
Geek
dirtyhippie
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February 21st, 2006 at 06:10pm
I hate "rating codes." Also rating stickers in general. It's just a result of parents picketing industries that have "explicit" content coming out of them, putting pressure on them so they won't have to do their jobs as parents. If I want to read a comic, to hell with the "mature readers" sticker on it! I have my bloody dad read it first. If he says no, fine. I'll read it anyway, but at least he made a decision not based on a cowed and feeble industry.

Censors should all be slapped in the face with napalm.
The.Crazed.Spork
Jackass
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February 21st, 2006 at 06:14pm
dirtyhippie:
I hate "rating codes." Also rating stickers in general. It's just a result of parents picketing industries that have "explicit" content coming out of them, putting pressure on them so they won't have to do their jobs as parents. If I want to read a comic, to hell with the "mature readers" sticker on it! I have my bloody dad read it first. If he says no, fine. I'll read it anyway, but at least he made a decision not based on a cowed and feeble industry.

Censors should all be slapped in the face with napalm.


I agree! rating stickers are stupid, if I want to find out what the content of the product is I go through it myself!
Dom
Jackass
Dom
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February 22nd, 2006 at 07:59am
Yes, 17 year olds only weakness is BOOBIES!! But that goes when you turn 18. But everything else is just fine for a 17 year old i suppose.
dirtyhippie
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dirtyhippie
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February 22nd, 2006 at 04:17pm
Dom:
Yes, 17 year olds only weakness is BOOBIES!! But that goes when you turn 18. But everything else is just fine for a 17 year old i suppose.
"Boobs...my only weakness...how did you...know?!"

I will admit to being a sucker for mammaries. Where's my support group, eh?!
Kitti
Falling In Love With The Board
Kitti
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Posts: 5688
February 22nd, 2006 at 11:04pm
spill_no_sick:
paradoxical:
spill_no_sick:
dookie_#32:
i thought you could only get it through the internet
you can only get it through the internet, that's why I sent the message

"Blanket censorship"
Instead of parents parenting, they rely on a rating (STUPID!!!!). If the rating doesn't cover the company's ass in every situation, you can bet they'll be sued.
In another letter I sent to them I suggested that they have an official "ESRB Notification: Gameplay may change due to internet...stuff"

I don't know but they put it on Halo

No censorship in Canada. Funny story. (Not that funny.) Just...be careful in Quebec when you're looking for programming that isn't in French...present company would be a good thing to think about...
I.Heart.Panic.
King For A Couple Of Days
I.Heart.Panic.
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February 23rd, 2006 at 02:23pm
ForgetvirginityFuckBillie:
O.O

I agree, lol.
Sorry...it was a bit hard to read all that when I'm tired...but I think I get it in general. Rating stickers don't do shit. You just get someone older to buy it for you.
Lucifers Angel
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Lucifers Angel
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February 23rd, 2006 at 02:26pm
the ratings are only there has a guidline and its the parents discression to let they're child play/watch a game or film personally i think that [utting ratings on games and films are a liberty, Why should a group of people sit in aroom and decide what i watch or play surely i am old enough to make my own mind up I HATE CENCORSHIP!!!
Tyler
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Tyler
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February 25th, 2006 at 03:39pm
the ESRB need to get rid of the M rating or the AO rating and just make a general 18+ rating. Having one for 17+ and one for 18+ is just stupid.
Nicky and Cambria. Haha.
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March 12th, 2006 at 01:10pm
I've heard alot about the Hot Coffee mod. What exactly does it contain?

lmfao the only GTA mods I have make cvars faster and motorbikes turn into shopping carts o__O
Tyler
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Tyler
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March 12th, 2006 at 03:28pm
Buttermilk Rusk:
I've heard alot about the Hot Coffee mod. What exactly does it contain?

lmfao the only GTA mods I have make cvars faster and motorbikes turn into shopping carts o__O


It unlocks a minigame where Carl (I thinks thats his name, havn't played it in forever) has sex with his girlfriend. It was made un-unlockable but someone made a mod to get it. Its a pretty stupid reason to make the game AO if you ask me.
Matt Smith
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Mibba Blog
March 12th, 2006 at 03:31pm
I don't really get this thread Confused
Is it about censorship or game ratings or what?
Kurtni
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Kurtni
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Mibba Blog
March 12th, 2006 at 03:31pm
Bloodraine:
I don't really get this thread Confused
Is it about censorship or game ratings or what?
Yeah I dont know either Confused
Laurie*L.
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Laurie*L.
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March 17th, 2006 at 03:48pm
The only thing it does it's to make kids under "the age" more curious...*rolls eyes*
Sara.
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March 18th, 2006 at 06:08pm
i got lost. but i'm not alowed to play that game anymore
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