Following the continuing controversy
over the 'Hot Coffee' modification for Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
and related attacks on the entire GTA
game series, the company has issued a full statement explaining its current position on the issue. Gamasutra is happy to reprint it in full:
"We fully support efforts to keep mature-rated video game content out of the hands of children. Although we may not agree with certain interpretations of our titles, we are looking forward to the opportunity for a balanced and open discussion of these issues. Now that video games are mainstream popular entertainment, parents need reliable solutions to ensure family members only play the games appropriate for their age group.
Thanks to advances in the digital and creative arts, the quality and variety of video games have never been greater. But just as some movies are rated R, some games are rated M because they are intended for mature audiences ages 17 and older. Their plots and storylines are inappropriate for children.
New technology means modern game designers can tell creative stories in groundbreaking and exciting new ways, but not all stories are for everyone. As the creators of Grand Theft Auto
and other popular M-rated games, we join political leaders in fully supporting the video game rating system and any efforts to empower families to make the best choices for their homes.
We are disappointed by comments that misrepresent Grand Theft Auto
, detracting from the innovative and artistic merits of the game. Unfortunately, the recent confusion only serves to suggest that games do not deserve the same treatment as other forms of creative expression. By promoting awareness, we can avoid propagating the fear and mistrust of a new entertainment medium.
The organization responsible for rating games and enforcing industry compliance is the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). Senator Joe Lieberman has said it conducts "the best rating system in the entertainment media." In addition to age recommendations, ESRB labels include content descriptions that alert adults to specific content. Visit www.esrb.org for more helpful information about game labels and the rating system."