Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hot Coffee Fallout

We all knew it was going to happen and now the ESRB has put out a call to all publishers to resubmit games containing hidden content, released in the the past year. Publishers have until early next year to conform and anybody who fails to do so may face fines. This of course comes after the GTA: SA Hot Coffee incident when the game was reveled to have a sex based hidden game. This action was fairly expected and really this content should have been reviewed in the first place It was put in the game for people to find, simple at that, as such it should be judged along with the rest of the content. If you don't want people to play it you simply don't put that content on the game disc.

Far more ominous is the following:
“ESRB remains concerned about third party modifications that undermine the accuracy of the original rating, and we are exploring ways to maintain the credibility of the rating system with consumers in light of modifications of this nature.”

It would seem that while mods are safe for the time being it won't be long before some sort of regulation is introduced. Exactly what form this will take is difficult to say but any moderation would break down the very free-form, independent nature of the modding scene as it stands. Given how influential the modding scene become, creating game modes like capture the flag, team fortress, counter strike and day of defeat, this would be a step backwards for innovation in games.

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