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10 Myths About Video Games

There's a Sex Minigame in 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'

Rockstar Games' "Grand Theft Auto" has long been a controversial series, but scandal erupted around "Grand Theft Auto: San San Andreas" when media attention focused on a mod for the game called Hot Coffee. Game modders dug around in San Andreas and found an abandoned sex minigame -- the protagonist is invited into his girlfriend's house for coffee, and naughtiness ensues. Outraged politicians and the media jumped on the game, and the Entertainment Software Ratings Board re-rated the game from Mature to Adults-Only. Rockstar had to re-release the game for PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and the whole ordeal cost its parent company Take-Two Interactive millions of dollars [source: 1UP].

Now here's the crazy part about the Hot Coffee scandal: Almost no one could actually play the minigame. It wasn't accessible in "GTA: SA" at all. It wasn't a part of the game. But the content was still on the disc, and modders found it. Only by modifying the game could gamers possibly play Hot Coffee. That wasn't too difficult on the PC, but some real work for the console versions.

Parents naturally didn't care about the distinction, even though games with a mature rating aren't meant to be played by children. Rockstar was hardly the first developer to leave unused code on a game disc, but Hot Coffee served as a clear warning: Even if it's not an active part of the game, someone's going to find it.