Thursday, August 11, 2005

LFH: America's obsession with sex

The brouhaha over RockStar's "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" highlights an intersting facet of American Life: their fear of sex.

GTA:SA created a rumble in popular culture due to its unabashed portrayals (some argue glamorization) of drugs, violence, crime and "urban" stereotypes. A rumble, but one that resulted mainly in increased interest and sales. Drugs, violence, crime and glorification of the same was unliked, but tolerated.

But when it leaked to the popular media that a slight modification to the game (The Hot Coffee modification changed one bit in a configuration file) unlocked hidden sex scenes, the morality police swung into full force.

Even Hillary Clinton pounced on the opportunity to make noise about outlawing the game. Granted, Rock Star did not label the game as containing sex (that would have given it an "adult" rating and therefore banned it from the shelves of most big-box retailers) but the issue wasn't punishment for mis-labeling. It was to be punishment for including sex scenes.

Rock Star -- to its discredit -- lied about the scenes until it could not longer find even a lawyer that could keep a straight face while disavowing the obvious.

But why do we insist on making laws to punish the inclusion of sex scenes? Surely a law against intentional deceit would make more sense. But would that outlaw politics instead of video games?

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