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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot Coffee Ends With A Dull Thud

In what might the best example of moral panic in history, the Hot Coffee fiasco culminated into a class action lawsuit which has now fizzled into a whopping 2,676 respondents. This is a number so small that if we crammed them all into two square miles, you could barely call that block urban. It will cost Take Two about the same as it would to buy a small luxury car to pay off the claims.

Or in other words ... wait ... one, two, three, four...

OK. Sales of Grand Theft Auto IV just paid off the claims while you were reading this post. That's how insignificant this response measures compared to the hype and craze the media, the lawyers, the politicians and let's face it - even the game industry - made out of the deal.

This speaks volumes to the fact that games, by the way, are not the domain of children alone. The most outstanding reason why this was never a big deal is that the vast majority of GTA owners are thirtysomethings who could care less about a crappy sex rhythm game when, let's face it, they have the Internet to download porn in massive volumes for free. And most of the other demographics were too busy downloading porn to care.

In the spirit of not simply dismissing things as "just a game" we can at the very least agree that San Andreas was a pretty poor method of getting your jollies.

I still say the biggest impact that Hot Coffee had was unfortunate and unintentional. The game industry, in all it's own moral outrage, left modding out to dry a bit. If Take Two does skip on a PC version of GTA IV - there will be another punctuation mark in the obit which has been the recent history of user mods.

Update This will not stop, of course, some politicians from acting like complete and utter idiots about the subject.

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