Undoubtedly, Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA V) will be the biggest video game that gets released this year. It has been speculated that the game will feature a large open world with three main protagonist. Many screenshots that have been released for the game show the game featuring a lot more side-events, such as scuba diving and racing. The game will be able to sell itself on its own. It doesn’t really need another huge media blowout the likes of which the ‘hot coffee’ incident in GTA: San Andreas generated. Even so, does GTA V need to shy away from that incident? I personally feel that Rockstar should rise up to the occasion and boldly implement a Hot Coffee 2.0 moment in GTA V.
If you can recall, the ‘hot coffee’ scandal developed after hackers found a secret or hidden ‘mission’ within GTA: San Andreas, codenamed ‘Hot Coffee’. As this mission was hidden, there was no way to access it without a hacking mod. So the scenes weren’t readily available to all. Nevertheless, it was deemed explicit enough that the content was argued should raise the game’s ESRB rating from Mature to AO. Now, having seen it for myself, I can understand where the complaints come from. It does feature a simulated sex scene. It’s interactive too, so the player can waggle their joystick or some such movement to raise a pleasure meter. There’s nothing else like it in the main game.
Having said that however, the scenes in the hot coffee mod really are tepid. No one is exactly naked in the mod (although maybe there’s a mod for that too…), so it all looks weird anyway. You don’t see anything properly explicit either. It was just another incident to rile up people who are anti-gaming.
It’s been a few years since the ‘hot coffee’ incident. Gaming has gotten a lot more bolder. Games like The Witcher 2 and Mass Effect have romance options that tend to almost always lead to some form of a sex scene. In The Witcher 2’s case, it’s much more… laid bare. The game is still rated an M for Mature on ESRB though. Even games like Heavy Rain, that have some form of interactivity during certain sexy scenes, fall within the M rating range. Even Catherine had some really steamy scenes. It can be argued then, that a hot coffee 2.0 incident within GTA V wouldn’t really be that outrageous in today’s market. That’s where I feel Rockstar can push boundaries further. And why not, this is Rockstar we’re talking about here. They’ll get away with almost anything, especially in a GTA game. GTA games sell. People are expecting outrageous things from them anyway.
The other obvious point to make is that GTA games feature massive amounts of violence. Against everyone, not just the ‘bad guys’. Attacking the police is part of the fun in a GTA game too. With such a huge usage of violence in-game, what does GTA have to fear from some average sexual content? The big point here, is that irresponsible parents don’t seem to really care about violence in video games. GTA games aren’t meant for minors, but somehow minors get their hands on these games. Granted, GTA games aren’t as complex as an RPG like The Witcher 2, so it’s easier for minors to pick up and play, but that’s no real excuse either. Some games are just catered for a mature audience. GTA is one of those games/series.
There’s plenty of room in GTA V for a Hot Coffee 2.0 incident. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.