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View Full Version : GTA Hot Coffee lawsuit response: No one cares



JoeE
06-26-2008, 04:37 AM
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6193000.html?action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;3

But look on the bright side, it only cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and a few lawyers got rich!


In November, Take-Two Interactive reached a settlement with disgruntled purchasers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas over a class action suit stemming from the the hidden "Hot Coffee" sex minigame. The suit brought threatened to have the publisher pay out as much as $2.75 million for the game, which has generated over $370 million in revenue by selling above over 9.1 million copies in the US, according to the NPD Group.

Those who were offended by the game and pledged that they wouldn't have purchased San Andreas had they known about the Hot Coffee content could snag between $5 and $35 from Take-Two in restitution. Despite the mainstream media furor and political posturing that arose in the wake of the minigame's discovery, only 2,676 filed claims in the Take-Two class action settlement, according to The New York Times. Those claims totaled less than $30,000, meaning Take-Two will make up the rest of the $1 million minimum it pledged to spend as part of the settlement by other means, including an $860,000 charitable contribution.

By contrast, the lawyers whose suit brought about the settlement are seeking $1.3 million in legal fees. With the settlement still awaiting judicial approval, another lawyer unrelated to the case is seeking to have it denied. According to the paper, Theodore H. Frank, director of the Legal Center for the Public Interest at the American Enterprise Institute, believes the lawyers who brought the case are either "selling out" their clients to get their own payday, or brought a suit that had no merit to begin with.

mike black
06-26-2008, 04:43 AM
or brought a suit that had no merit to begin with.

Wow. Really!?

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 05:46 AM
This actually succeeded?!!?

Wasn't the game rate M? These people that were offended, didn't care about the rampant killing and other debauchery, but the sex bothered them?

I never get this mentality that violence is okay, but sex is a no-no. Peoples priorities are all fucked up.

Fourthman
06-26-2008, 05:59 AM
This actually succeeded?!!?

Wasn't the game rate M? These people that were offended, didn't care about the rampant killing and other debauchery, but the sex bothered them?

I never get this mentality that violence is okay, but sex is a no-no. Peoples priorities are all fucked up.

Not that I disagree in principle; I agree. But the title suggests a crime game, not a sex game. And that conceptual "bait and switch" is what people are basing their outrage on.

cPol
06-26-2008, 05:59 AM
I still don't get why this got as far as it did. How could Hot Coffe have been offensive? The only way to access it was to go out on the internet and download a user-gernerated (not generated by the company... generated by the user), install it and alter the released game's code. You had to want to access it and take outside action to do so.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 06:02 AM
I still don't get why this got as far as it did. How could Hot Coffe have been offensive? The only way to access it was to go out on the internet and download a user-gernerated (not generated by the company... generated by the user), install it and alter the released game's code. You had to want to access it and take outside action to do so.

Exactly... me and a friend were just talking about this. You had to go out of your way to view this content.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 06:18 AM
Exactly... me and a friend were just talking about this. You had to go out of your way to view this content.

I think the idea is that parents are trying to regulate the content that either their kids buy or that they buy for their kids. The argument is that if the kids could access it, then it should have been disclosed. That's really the whole point of the ESRB rating and if a company deliberately circumvents it by putting in hidden content that will be exposed after purchase, that's not acceptable.

There's probably enough there for a legitimate, if weak, lawsuit. Of course, we'll never know all of the facts or how it would have shaken out because they settled.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 06:22 AM
I think the idea is that parents are trying to regulate the content that either their kids buy or that they buy for their kids. The argument is that if the kids could access it, then it should have been disclosed. That's really the whole point of the ESRB rating and if a company deliberately circumvents it by putting in hidden content that will be exposed after purchase, that's not acceptable.

I'm sorry, I just can't agree with this argument. This is a game that was rated M. The whole objective of this game is to become the worst type of criminal imaginable. If a parent is buying this game for their child, it's their fault not the companies. If the child is getting the game without their parents permission, then the fault lies with the retailer.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 06:31 AM
I'm sorry, I just can't agree with this argument. This is a game that was rated M. The whole objective of this game is to become the worst type of criminal imaginable. If a parent is buying this game for their child, it's their fault not the companies. If the child is getting the game without their parents permission, then the fault lies with the retailer.

The ESRB puts, specifically, what kind of potentially objectionable content the game has on the cover. For example, it might say "Realistic violence, sexual situations" or something like that. It's not just that it was rated M. Plus, there's another rating beyond M, AO, that the game might have achieved if the Hot Coffee content was reviewed by the ESRB.

If a parent wants to buy the most ultraviolent game for their kids but avoid sexual content, that's their perogotive. And companies shouldn't try to circumvent that by placing hidden content in their games.

I think that's the main issue of fact that would have come up. Whether or not the content was intended to be seen or if they genuinely thought it was inaccessible.

Whether you or I agree with the argument or people's parenting decisions is not relevant. All I'm saying is that the argument exists and it's enough for a legitimate lawsuit. Not that it's correct.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 06:41 AM
The ESRB puts, specifically, what kind of potentially objectionable content the game has on the cover. For example, it might say "Realistic violence, sexual situations" or something like that. It's not just that it was rated M. Plus, there's another rating beyond M, AO, that the game might have achieved if the Hot Coffee content was reviewed by the ESRB.

If a parent wants to buy the most ultraviolent game for their kids but avoid sexual content, that's their perogotive. And companies shouldn't try to circumvent that by placing hidden content in their games.

I think that's the main issue of fact that would have come up. Whether or not the content was intended to be seen or if they genuinely thought it was inaccessible.

Whether you or I agree with the argument or people's parenting decisions is not relevant. All I'm saying is that the argument exists and it's enough for a legitimate lawsuit. Not that it's correct.

I suppose I see your point that the lawsuit is legitimate.

I guess it's more of a problem I have with the current status quo. Instead of parents taking personal responsibility for allowing children viewing age inappropriate content, eating too much fast food, etc., the first instinct is to sue the maker's of said product that should be available to responsible adults.

It's this culture of "it can't possibly be my fault, so let's sue" action that has me all riled up.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 06:45 AM
I suppose I see your point that the lawsuit is legitimate.

I guess it's more of a problem I have with the current status quo. Instead of parents taking personal responsibility for allowing children viewing age inappropriate content, eating too much fast food, etc., the first instinct is to sue the maker's of said product that should be available to responsible adults.


Ah, but here, we have parents that say that they're trying to monitor their child's media intake and take personal responsibility, but are subverted by deception on the part of the publisher. See, you support them!


It's this culture of "it can't possibly be my fault, so let's sue" action that has me all riled up.

My experience is that these types of suits, while popular in the news, are the extreme minority of suits filed.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 06:58 AM
Ah, but here, we have parents that say that they're trying to monitor their child's media intake and take personal responsibility, but are subverted by deception on the part of the publisher. See, you support them!

I support the fact they want to monitor what the children do/watch, but not a suit. Wouldn't sitting down and talking with their child about the content be more a appropriate? How about refusing to buy any more product from the offending party? And once again... I know this is my personal opinion, but the content of the game is not child appropriate regardless. I find the "personal responsibility" of the parents lacking, anyway.


Also, i don't necessarily disagree with you. kinda just playing devil's advocate here.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 07:00 AM
I support the fact they want to monitor what the children do/watch, but not a suit. Wouldn't sitting down and talking with their child about the content be more a appropriate? How about refusing to buy any more product from the offending party? And once again... I know this is my personal opinion, but the content of the game is not child appropriate regardless. I find the "personal responsibility" of the parents lacking, anyway.


Well, what kind of child are we talking about? 15, 17? Like anything else, some kids are going to be mature enough for it, others will not be. That's the kind of decision that a parent has to make. And whatever we think of the decision, I assume that we both agree that the parent has the right to make that decision.


Also, i don't necessarily disagree with you. kinda just playing devil's advocate here.

Hey, me too!

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 07:10 AM
Well, what kind of child are we talking about? 15, 17? Like anything else, some kids are going to be mature enough for it, others will not be. That's the kind of decision that a parent has to make. And whatever we think of the decision, I assume that we both agree that the parent has the right to make that decision.

I agree, but here is the original ESRB rating...


Blood and Gore
Intense Violence
Strong Language
Strong Sexual Content
Use of Drugs
Violence: Scenes involving aggressive conflict
Intense Violence: Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons, and depictions of human injury and death.


If they really had been a responsible parent, they would have seen the text I put in bold. Also, this rating is entirely voluntary on the part of the video game manufacturer. I would say Rock Star did it's fair share and should not be held accountable.


Hey, me too!

:hugs:

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 07:12 AM
I agree, but here is the original ESRB rating...



If they really had been a responsible parent, they would have seen the text I put in bold. Also, this rating is entirely voluntary on the part of the video game manufacturer. I would say Rock Star did it's fair share and should not be held accountable.



Fair enough.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 07:18 AM
Fair enough.

I win! :rock:



Okay... that was uncalled for. :surrend:

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 07:21 AM
I win! :rock:



Okay... that was uncalled for. :surrend:

Hey, I conceded a point, not the argument!

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 07:25 AM
Hey, I conceded a point, not the argument!

Sorry. Got a little overzealous there. I'm not use to rationality on the interweb. You, my friend, are one of the good ones. :thumb:


damn... I'm getting smiley happy. That's got to stop.

costello
06-26-2008, 07:27 AM
I still don't get why this got as far as it did. How could Hot Coffe have been offensive? The only way to access it was to go out on the internet and download a user-gernerated (not generated by the company... generated by the user), install it and alter the released game's code. You had to want to access it and take outside action to do so.

Or watch it on youtube :)

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 07:33 AM
Sorry. Got a little overzealous there. I'm not use to rationality on the interweb. You, my friend, are one of the good ones. :thumb:


damn... I'm getting smiley happy. That's got to stop.

Heh. Yeah, I think we're mostly on the same page here.

The only thing I actually disagree with is how "lawsuit happy" people are here in the U.S. Other than class actions, where the participants don't really have to get involved or take personal risk, I think that the vast majority of people who have been part of a lawsuit on either side would prefer not to revisit it if it could be avoided. It's not a fun process for anybody. Except lawyers.

Alexander Hamilton
06-26-2008, 07:40 AM
Heh. Yeah, I think we're mostly on the same page here.

The only thing I actually disagree with is how "lawsuit happy" people are here in the U.S. Other than class actions, where the participants don't really have to get involved or take personal risk, I think that the vast majority of people who have been part of a lawsuit on either side would prefer not to revisit it if it could be avoided. It's not a fun process for anybody. Except lawyers.

I don't disagree that people aren't as happy with there decision to sue once they've made it. I'll also concede to the fact that the only real winners are the lawyers. I do think it's become more of first instinct in America, though. Sue first, ask questions later.

Jen Grunwald
06-26-2008, 11:36 AM
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6193000.html?action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;3

But look on the bright side, it only cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and a few lawyers got rich!

That is absolutely re-fucking-diculous! I'm so angry I can barely type...


:rogue:

Amos Moses
06-26-2008, 12:15 PM
These lawsuits are gay, but it's completely Rockstar's fault. They should've completely removed that content before the game shipped to avoid this shitstorm.

JoeE
06-26-2008, 12:35 PM
These lawsuits are gay, but it's completely Rockstar's fault. They should've completely removed that content before the game shipped to avoid this shitstorm.

I agree, but I don't think Rockstar's punishment fits their crime, because the fact of the matter is that no one really got hurt.

Amos Moses
06-26-2008, 01:47 PM
I agree, but I don't think Rockstar's punishment fits their crime, because the fact of the matter is that no one really got hurt.

Agreed.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 05:22 PM
I agree, but I don't think Rockstar's punishment fits their crime, because the fact of the matter is that no one really got hurt.

Paying someone $5 isn't much of a punishment, and I think reflects the value of the harm they received.

xyzzy
06-26-2008, 05:23 PM
I don't disagree that people aren't as happy with there decision to sue once they've made it. I'll also concede to the fact that the only real winners are the lawyers. I do think it's become more of first instinct in America, though. Sue first, ask questions later.

Really? How many people do you know, personally, that have sued someone without trying every alternative first?