If there is more diligent and efficient community of hackers than the PSP crowd, I've never encountered them. Less than 24 hours after the game's official release, and a group of Russian hackers - from prozzak.ru
- have already discovered that the content supposedly removed from Rockstar's Manhunt 2 was actually only swept under the rug.
After the scandal surrounding the GTA:SA Hot Coffee incident
, it is hard to believe that Rockstar could have done something like this accidentally. It is possible, of course, and I imagine that's what their legal teams are going to gun for. However, considering the fact that this was discovered in under a day and that the process itself
is so straightforward, I can't help but believe Rockstar are very much biting their thumbs at the ESRB. Which is equal parts hilarious and awesome.
The downside of this is that the game, even in it's somewhat neutered M-rated state, still hasn't been approved by the BBFC, the ratings board that governs the UK. This news is really unlikely to help Rockstar's case in the slightest with their appeals. That's something I can live with though. People who really want to play this game will still find a way, and everyone else will just be spared from buying a less than phenomenal
game based purely on hype and controversy.
The announcement that the ESRB would essentially be preventing the game from being released in the US was news I was less than pleased about
. While subversion of this kind is pretty damn funny, what effect might it have on the ratings climate? On one hand, after the outcry and controversy caused by Hot Coffee, the ESRB might see this as the final straw, and impose even stricter regulation on developers and a more rigorous certification process, which could end up protracting many game's developments even further. Which is bad for everyone. On the other hand, perhaps this might help make them see that freedom of expression is impossible to truly suppress. That if developers want to put something in a game, there's nothing anyone can do to stop them. Yeah, right. We can hope.
The ESRB does actually serve a useful function. Most parents are quite ignorant as to what games to deem appropriate for their offspring. Causing an outright ban on a game though is just plain wrong in my books. Adult consumers should have to right to decide for themselves what is appropriate for themselves and what isn't. Taking away that choice is an infringement of personal freedom, and that just ain't right however you slice it.