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Grand Theft Auto Leads To Grand Hillary Politics

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She’s a step closer to that village-the village made up of people who know what’s best for you and your children. Even better for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, she’ll get both parties to join her. The glue that holds them together-outrage about a video game.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has trumped those picayune and bucolic agendas and initiatives on the table that have caused so many bitter squabbles. Unimportant issues like border control, terrorism, tax reform, social security, education, and poverty have finally taken a back seat to something much more pressing in a time lacking in moral turpitude and sufficient governance: a video game with some hidden, animated sexual content.

While Sen. Clinton may not have her finger on the pulse of reality, she does certainly seem to have one (well, two) of those spindly digits firmly implanted in the nether regions of those on either side of the fence. What an opportunity to unite the fascist tendencies of the conservative right with the socialist tendencies of the liberal left by pulling on the [heart] strings connected to the things each side loves most-family values punditry and big brother government.

If you’re just tuning in on this issue, I’ll start over.

Rockstar Games produced one of the best selling, most controversial video game series of all time Grand Theft Auto. The appeal of the game is that it lets players be as bad as they want to be by stealing cars, joining gangs, doing drugs, picking up prostitutes, shooting anybody, everybody, and police with a range of weapons. The content is mega-violent, uber-questionable, and all around, well, fun for those old enough to purchase a game with an M (Mature 17+) rating (or, admittedly, anyone with close enough ties to anyone old enough to purchase the game, i.e., brother, cousin, friend, lax or otherwise oblivious parent).

The game exploded in popularity, a fire further fueled by the controversy around it, but it caught little attention from Clinton or other legislators because pursuing it had little to no political advantages. Besides, it had the rating system. What more needed to be done?

Recently, a Dutch hacker revealed that he had cracked a code within the PC version of the game that unlocked pornographic, interactive game play. The modification, known as “Hot Coffee,” was made available for download so anybody with the PC version could gain access. Let the you-know-what storm begin.

The scenes, though explicit, are completely animated and the controllable game characters involved are of the chunky 3-D, almost looks like people, but not really, type with the usual video game quality. In other words, it ain’t exactly Shrek. What’s more, the male character (from what I’ve seen anyway), is fully clothed, making the scenes little more than what soft-core late night cable offers with characters that are square where they should be round.

Rockstar has vehemently denied that any such code was present in the original game, a claim that is being investigated by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). Rockstar says it was hackers and not its own software engineers that implanted the modified code.

“Hackers created the ‘Hot Coffee’ modification by disassembling and then combining, recompiling and altering the game’s source code,” said the game company in a statement.

This is not to suggest that a video game company who intentionally targeted younger gamers with the most gratuitously and vicariously violent and vulgar video game ever produced should be trusted with their damage control rhetoric. They stand to lose a lot of money if GTA: San Andreas loses its M rating in for an Adult’s Only (AO) rating.

Still, Rockstar continues.

“We are disappointed by comments that misrepresent Grand Theft Auto, detracting from the innovative and artistic merits of the game,” Rockstar said. “Unfortunately, the recent confusion only serves to suggest that games do not deserve the same treatment as other forms of creative expression.”

And those “artistic merits” have never had the aim of making money, right?

But one of the more surprising developments is the sudden involvement of Hillary Clinton. Clinton announced that she plans to introduce new legislation that would impose fines on retailers selling or renting M-rated or AO-rated material to children under 18.

That’s not the problem. There should be a penalty after all, if the self-imposed rating system by the game industry doesn’t prove effective. Studies have shown the guidelines are not enforced and that half of boys between 7 and 14 successfully purchased M-rated video games. Okay. No problem there, if retailers get busted, make them pay the piper.

But Clinton also called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the allegations, the source of the “pornographic” content, and to determine whether the game’s Mature rating should be changed to the Adults Only rating.

But, ahumisn’t the ESRB already handling their business here? Why launch a huge government investigation, which will no doubt outspend the ESRB with all that tax money at its disposal, over a stupid video game? Aren’t there more important things?

“The disturbing material in ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children, and it’s making the difficult job of being a parent even harder,” shouted the former first lady.

When she says “our,” what exactly does she mean? Is she referring to her children? The government’s chidren? And since when has she been a champion for family values? Isn’t this the same Democrat senator that has repeatedly and shrilly podium-pounded against any family value issue the so-called vast right wing conspirators might have taken up?

Is this a new Hillary Clinton, one with a sudden and new resolve? A sanitized, moralized, Hannitized Clinton, who with some grand epiphany has taken up the plight of parenting on behalf of her New York constituents and hopefully soon to be national collection of sheepish underlings once she wins the presidency? Wait. Scratch that last part.

Or, keeping with her opportunistic history, has she taken note of the sudden shift of the American middle to the American right. Surely she noticed that Democrats lost twice in a row. They’ve been without any real issue to give them any clout. They’ve filibustered, protested, sued, whined, kicked, and screamed about everything without any change at all. And suddenly there’s an issue that puts her bridging the gap between the parties and putting her in a favorable light with the corn fed red states.

Both sides are happy.

The Democrats are placated by a big government investigation (their favorite) that leads to more federal control of business while at the same time taking that pesky and “hard” parental role away from parents so Big Mama
Government can take care of them. It’s not the parents’ responsibility to monitor all things that go into their children, whether it be food, beverage, ideology, politics, or video game content. The village can be built, it will be built, with taxpayer dollars, and your overseer, your protector from all things a parent may actually have to use some judgment on.

And look! The move unites them for once with the right wing conspirators by protecting family values, rubbing the bellies of the creators of one of the biggest, most powerful federal governments in history.

This serves her interest more than ours. It pulls in the poles and the polls. And worst of all, it aims to take the decisions and judgments that belong to parents and put them into the hands of the government.

She should be thanked for her protection.

Grand Theft Auto Leads To Grand Hillary Politics
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