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Friday, July 14th, 2006

    Time Event
    6:32a
    GP Exclusive - Interview with Modder behind Oblivion Controversy

    It wasn't nearly Hot Coffee-level, but the ESRB's decision to re-rate The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion rocked the video game world when it was announced on May 3rd of this year.

    As the ESRB would have it, the Oblivion decision was based upon "more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating... as well as the presence in the PC version of the game of a locked-out art file that, if accessed by using an apparently unauthorized third party tool, allows the user to play the game with topless versions of female characters."

    At the time there was much debate in the gaming community over the ESRB's action. The Elder Scrolls series enjoys an almost reverential status among fans of role-playing games. For its part, developer Bethesda went along with the decision, although a company press release expressed frustration with the ESRB, saying, "Bethesda Softworks made what it believes was a full, accurate, and comprehensive submission on Oblivion to the ESRB months before the game's release... Nothing was hidden from the ratings agency."

    So what really happened?

    GamePolitics has tracked down Maeyanie, the mysterious modder who created the topless Oblivion mod. Maeyanie is a bit photo-shy, but has allowed us to publish a 3-D self-portrait (seen at left). GP Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes reconstructs the Oblivion controversy with Maeyanie in this revealing interview:

    CM: First off, I just wanted to thank you for letting GamePolitics talk to you about the controversy surrounding The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion.

    Maeyanie: You're welcome.

    CM: I guess we could start with some questions about you and your background. Where are you from?

    Maeyanie: This is one I'm going to have to not answer. Let's leave it at "not USA."

    CM: What kinds of games are you into? What are your favorite recent titles?
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