XXX in GTA?

Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is not a video game for kids. And while that’s certainly not news to anyone who reads labels before buying media for their children, an even nastier aspect to the game has surfaced, further rifling the feathers of parents groups. The National Institute on Media and the Family, which has issued warnings of the game’s explicit sexual and violent content since its October, 2004 release, is now warning parents of hidden pornographic material.

According to the organization, the sexually explicit content can be unlocked by downloading the “Hot Coffee” mod online. It is unclear at this time whether the discovered material was concealed by the developer or introduced by members of a mod community who used the game’s engine to create their own levels.

“We are calling upon Rockstar Games to come clean with the ESRB, the nation’s retailers and especially America’s parents,” says Dr. David Walsh, author of Why Do They Act That Way?, a best-selling book on teenage brain development. He asks the developer, “What is your involvement in the production and distribution of pornographic content in your game? What do you know about the “Hot Coffee” scenes, and what are you doing to inform the public?”

An investigation has been launched by the ratings board, which gave San Andreas a “Mature” rating rather than slapping it with an “Adults Only” sticker. If Rockstar Games is in fact at fault, it could face legal issues since it is against the law in most states to sell sexually explicit material to persons under the age of 21.

No matter what the ratings board discovers, one thing that is certain to come from this latest round of media attention, and that’s increased sales of the game.

The National Institute on Media and the Family is an independent, non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-profit organization. For more information, go to www.mediafamily.org or call 1-888-672-5437.