When Grand Theft Auto III was released, it sent the nation into a frenzy, as I already wrote about. Not only did gamers go crazy for this groundbreaking game, but it was prominently featured in news headlines across the country for featuring all of the adult-themes it did. It turned into a scapegoat whenever there was violence in the country, and pundits activists pointed fingers at the game for corrupting the youth of society.
Aside from all the violence and illegal activities that people hated about GTA III (and really, every game in the series since), there was the sexual content in the game that ruffled as many feathers, if not more. The act of picking up prostitutes, enjoying conversations revolving around sex, and engaging in sexual activities scared people to death, it seemed. Never mind someone getting shot in the face with a shotgun. The mere mention of sex was enough to send people into a fit of rage.
Well, Rockstar didn't really care what people thought about their choice to include sex so prominently in their GTA games. They kept including it in the series, despite the public outcry. They games were rated appropriately to communicate what they included, so they never balked at the stigma that sex carries with it when designing the Grand Theft Auto games. So when San Andreas came out, it was no surprise (or shouldn't have been at least) that it was filled with sex as well.
Actually, it included more sex than people even realized at the time, which caused the gaming industry to face a major crisis.
You see, after the game was released, there was a software patch released by someone on the internet, which unlocked and added a sex scene in the game. The original version of the game depicted the sex scene from behind closed doors, but with the mod, it showed the sex in all its glory. This was the now infamous "Hot Coffee Mod," which took this game to all new levels. High ranking politicians made calls to action to bring this game to it's death, and that's essentially what happened. The game faced a recall and a re-release with that scene in the game being taken out and a "cold coffee patch" being put out to fix the problem.. Before the re-release, the game's rating was changed from "M" for mature to "AO" for adults only. Not many games have the distinction of having that label, if only because it essentially destroys any chances of it being a commercial success.
If any company was going to climb out of a hole like that, of course it would be Rockstar.
Going back and playing San Andreas was fun for me, as I never played it before. In fact, up until I started GTA V recently, I haven't played a single GTA game since Vice City. In San Andreas, they added a bunch of things that I could tell weren't in Vice City of GTA III, but thankfully, it still felt familiar and I knew what I was doing. But the whole time I was playing, I was thinking about how unique our society is sometimes. As a culture, we turn a blind eye on violence and illegal activities for the most part, and highlight them in movies and TV shows. But when it comes to sex, we are deathly afraid of the topic and in turn, make it taboo. No other society in the world shares are same belief. And unfortuatey, as long as we are naive and close-minded about sex as a culture, there will always be unnecessary uproar about topics an