The pressure continues to build for Rockstar over the Hot Coffee mod of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Jack Thompson, frequent litigator against the video game industry, has sent notices to stores like Best Buy and Target that they have until Thursday July 14, 2005 to pull the game off their shelves.
If the deadline passes with the game still in stores, Thompson has promised to take action against the retailers. He suggested lawsuits, boycotts, and organizing to force the game out of stores.
And the National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) has issued a warning about the game to parents. The organization was previously opposed to the game because of "it’s graphic violence and brutal murders of women", but the pornographic material has pushed them to further outrage. They are especially upset at internet sites that have the material posted for any person to see.
"It should be clear to everyone by now that video games do influence young people," commented NIMF founder and president, Dr. David Walsh. "While San Andreas is already full of violent behavior and sexual themes, the pornographic sex scenes push it over the edge. The ratings board has launched an investigation to determine if it was mislead into issuing a 'Mature' rating instead of the 'Adults Only' rating. There may even be legal ramifications since most states have laws restricting the sale of sexually explicit material to those eighteen and older."
Rockstar sticks to it’s story that game modders introduced the material into the game. "So far we have learned that the 'hot coffee' modification is the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game. In violation of the software user agreement, hackers created the 'hot coffee' modification by combining, reconstituting, and altering the game's source code," said a Rockstar rep. "Since the 'hot coffee' scenes cannot be created without intentional and significant technical modifications to the game's source code, we are currently investigating ways that we can increase the security protection of the source code and prevent the game from being altered by the 'hot coffee' modification."
The game modder who discovered the content, Patrick Wildenborg insisted while talking to the Associated Press that the mod did exist in the original game. "If Rockstar Games denies that (the code is on the disc), then they're lying and I will be able to prove that. My mod does not introduce anything to the game. All the content that is shown was already present on the DVD."
Recently, a source from Rockstar may have swayed opinion towards Rockstar creating the material. He said, "Rockstar was clearly on a path to an "AO" rating during development, but removed the graphic sexual content in order to earn the more retail friendly "M" rating."
Hmmm...was this content what Wildenborg later found in the game? And if so, how much care did Rockstar take to make the content inaccessible?
The story will continue to unfold, so stay tuned or check out our previous coverage.