Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How is GTA4 Not an AO-rated Game?

I'm not a big Grand Theft Auto fan. I enjoyed playing GTA3 and Vice City, but it didn't take long for the game to lose its charm and I pretty much ignored the release of San Andreas. Doesn't matter if it's games, movies or books, I just don't get into the whole mob/criminal underground genre. I'm not even a big fan of The Godfather. (It's a great movie, don't get me wrong. Just not my cup of tea.) That said, while I'm not planning to pick up GTA4 I'd be lying if I said the hype wasn't starting to get to me.

Yesterday, though, I started seeing various posts about a "GTA4 Hooker" video on YouTube and that it was very much not safe for work. My curiosity piqued, I checked it out when I got home last night. Uh, wow. If you thought the "sex scenes" in The Witcher went too far -in which you see a smutty pin-up card and a very blurry image of two shapes kissing- this is on another level entirely.

In GTA4 when you pick up a hooker you not only choose the service you want to pay for -hand job, blow job, or The Denny's Grand Slam Breakfast (I love's me some euphemisms)- you actually see the act being carried out. No, you don't see your avatar's tiny little prick, but -pending what you paid for- you do see the fist pumping, head bobbing or girl bouncing.

Now, I think in the early days of this blog I made it pretty clear my view of sex in games is pretty liberal, but there is such a thing as reaping what you sow. And if Rockstar wants us to be able to see our avatar pay to get blown, complete with a hooker's head bobbing up and down in the front seat of his stolen car, that's certainly their choice. I'm not going to make an ethical argument against it. But don't tell me that something like that, something that's more at home on Cinemax after 11pm on a Friday night, isn't deserving of an Adults Only (AO) rating from the ESRB. Hell, it makes The Witcher look like a Pixar film. (Well, almost.)