So I'm clicking through my inbox this morning when I see an "urgent" e-mail from Miami attorney and self-described "anti-game crusader" Jack Thompson. That's not so unusual, since Jack is a serial e-mailer who is always reading the decline of Western Civilization in one video game or another.
But this e-mail, addressed to ESRB President Patricia Vance, is titled "Kiss the ESRB Goodbye, and starts out with the following:
"The video game enthusiasts' web site, www.gamepolitics.com is now reporting, today, that hidden sex scenes are also contained on Take-Two/Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. This is the same news site that broke the "Hot Coffee mod" story re San Andreas, so it has proven itself reliable. Read all about it at the above-noted site right this minute...The significance of this is huge..."
Read my lips, Jack. GamePolitics is not reporting any such thing.
While it's nice that Thompson has gone on record with his view that we are reliable, it is unfortunate that he misinterpreted and disseminated a single sentence from yesterday's lengthy interview with GTA modder illspirit. The line in question is highlighted below:
"At any rate, the rest of the mod scene was rather surprised when Patrick released it (Hot Coffee), so I don't think anyone else even thought it was there. Although not many people (in the scene) are really shocked or surprised that Rockstar was working on it. Vice City had missions involving a porn studio with cutscenes showing people wearing less clothes than Hot Coffee while filming a porn, so to most who have been playing the series for a while, hot coffee seems like a natural progression. Especially considering all the other simulation flavored aspects they added to San Andreas."
Jack, please note, there is no mention of "hidden sex scenes" in that quote, or anywhere else.
Not having played Vice City to any great length, GP turns to the more GTA-savvy for guidance. illspirit checked back in, saying, "Basically, one of the property assets you buy in VC is a porn studio. During the cutscenes where the film director gives you the missions, it shows them filming the porn movie. The shots aren't as extended as HC, and aren't interactive, but the actors are wearing considerably less clothes than HC and dry humping just the same."
A knowledgeable media source adds, "I've seen the cutscene in question ages ago...if I recall correctly, that scene isn't hidden at all and it's a part of the mission story arc but the camera is framed in such a way that you can't see any "naughty bits." It's just obvious that the porn star (voiced by Jenna Jamison) is being penetrated while having a conversation or while her director (voiced by Dennis Hopper) is having a conversation (I forget which) with the main character. It's sexually suggestive to be sure, but not graphic in any way."
GTA Vice City is rated "M" by the ESRB for "blood and gore, strong language, strong sexual content, and violence.
Some coverage on this over at Next Generation.