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Second Lawsuit Over GTA's "Hot Coffee" Filed

Filed under: Video Game Politics
Posted by Allison on September 22, 2005 10:10 AM
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In the immediate aftermath of the GTA: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" scandal, where it was discovered that Rockstar had embedded some sexually explicit material into the game (unlocked only by installing a mod or inserting a cheat code), a lawsuit was filed by an 85-year-old grandmother who claimed she would have never purchased the "M" rated game for her 14-year-old grandson had she known he could unlock such sexually explicit material. According to the woman's lawyer, "No parent would knowingly buy an adult-only video game for their children." Today, a mother from St. Louis has jumped on the "games for 17-year-olds are fine for my kids, but NOT those for 18-year-olds" bandwagon.

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Brenda Stanhouse has filed a class action lawsuit, and has asked the court to appoint her as the class representative for all people who purchased the "M" rated version of GTA: SA, because, as Stanhouse's claim states, "The unlawful method, act or practice has caused economic loss and damage to plaintiff, and, upon information and belief, has caused similar injury to millions of other persons who purchased the deceptively rated game." The "economic loss" comes in because Stanhouse was forced to take the game away from her children upon learning of the new rating, which leaves $74,950 in other damages, if the plaintiff receives the maximum $75,000 amount asked for in the suit.

Rockstar did a bad and sleezy thing. However, they did it to the ESRB and the video game industry, not the people. After years of hearing Senator Joe Lieberman rant about the fact that "'GTA' allows gamers to have sex with prostitutes, then allows the gamer to beat her up to get his money back", there is no excuse for people to suddenly be shocked this already M-rated and infamous series contains sexually explicit material. If you, as a parent, believed a game rated "M" for people 17 or older was fine for your 14-year-old, then, you, as a parent, believe a game rated "AO" for people 18 or older is also fine for your child. Unless, of course, you're a complete idiot and need to word "Adult" in the rating for you to understand IT'S NOT FOR YOUR 14-YEAR-OLD CHILD.

Stanhouse's claim also states the sexually explicit material found in GTA: SA is "easily accessed by children". This is true, if, and only if, you allow your child to freely surf the internet for adult only content. So, unless Stanhouse has a plan to sue the makers of the internet (Al Gore, I'm looking at you), I'll have to assume this lawsuit is the workings of a money-hungry mother, who happens to be a bad parent, and a greedy lawfirm, which happens to work out of a county where an astounding 28 class action lawsuits have already been filed for the year.









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