Okay, it seems that we are finally clear on the responsibilities of the parties involved in the Hot Coffee scandal. Michael Millar noted the fact that things are “eliminated” from games in a fashion similar to the “coffee scene” elimination more often than we think. In another conversation, he had informed me that apparently Rockstar was legally required to release ratings-concerned information to the ESRB. Those of you who know Michael know he knows his stuff when it comes to games; knowing that he was probably right I checked out the ESRB’s web site for myself, and found the following in their FAQs regarding their ratings:
“Every publisher of a game rated by the ESRB is legally bound to disclose all pertinent content when submitting the game for an ESRB rating.”
I believe we can safely presume that the “Coffee” scene is pertinent; in the least, it is now. Now if it was not considered to be “pertinent” at the time that the game received its first rating, then perhaps Rockstar is not guilty of any goof-up. If it is perfectly legit for Rockstar to “remove” the content in this matter, then if you ask me neither Rockstar nor the ESRB actually did anything legally wrong. Morality’s still in the equation, there, though.
However, if whatever is on a disc can be considered pertinent—as seems to be the case here—Rockstar did goof up, in which case they really did have the AO rating coming. But I do have to say I admire their willingness to cooperate and, at least now, to truly eliminate the “hot coffee” from the game. I say that this can be safely considered pertinent, because the actions the ESRB is now taking are, at least in terms of its FAQs, noted as actions to be taken when the publisher fails to reveal certain pieces of information.
The last three posts have been a total learning experience for me. Many valid points have come up with regards to the fairness of the rating system with relation to both Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and God of War. (They haven’t been mentioned here; they are given brief mention in the ESRB interview that Wygal linked to.) For your convenience, since the URL is visually cut off in his comment and I’m not sure why it all copied, the website’s total, I will give you this link to the website. Anyway, for me the issue is pretty much resolved. Rockstar and the ESRB have done what they can. Hilary can back off of the issue; she really shouldn’t be getting in on it now if she wasn’t in on it when GTA first fanned the flames of controversy. kokosmasher proposed to me that perhaps she’s running for election. Anyone scared by that possibility?
Now I go on to happier things, like random comments made by youth pastors. I made a brief mention of a problem regarding predestination in another post, which Matt Prior, my current youth pastor, made a comment on: “Predestination, are you a predestined predestinationist?”
I suppose if you were one who believed in predestination (either a Calvinist or a determinist of some kind) you would have to believe that you were at least in some sense predestined to believe in predestination. I came up with an interesting thought the other day: “I’m trying to decide if I should be a determinist.” Of course I realize now a funnier thought would be: “I’m trying to decide whether I have a choice.”
One last note: Note that kokosmasher and I discussed how we would address this. It involves on of the comments made on the last post. Humorous comments are welcome, and light innuendo should be fine, but innuendo which involves God is something we at The Ongoing Saga would rather not have posted in comments on the blog. Thanks for understanding. As to the morality of those comments outside of the blog...I don't think I really know yet.
("One Last Note" Paragraph updated at 5:06 PM.)
Coming from this issue: Does anyone have an opinion about how the appropriateness of a joke such as mine or in fact Bobby's might change depending upon the situation and the group that one is with?
Anyone have an opinion on the ESRB's respective ratings of GTA and GoW?