There's a lot of fervor about the GTA sex game. I know why there's a lot of fervor, but I just can't get into it.
I love Easter eggs, even ones which don't quite make it to the end product, and an Easter egg on this scale is very amusing to me. I don't really give a shit that it's about sex, save for the way that it makes it a solid touch coup. And I've seen the videos: it's definitely "AO" stuff.
My own curiosity is pointed at a different target. Everyone else feels strongly about this. People are really, really worked up over it. In this circle, they're as worked up about this as they are about the London bombings. And they'll probably STAY worked up longer. Why?
I don't really grok it. I guess they have a big stake in the ratings system. Me, I inherited my mentality from three notable sources: Old school hacking, a deep distaste for the bulk of humanity, and the ability to create (both artistically and technologically) at a fairly advanced level for whatever age I happened to be.
In turn, I don't give a shit about the rating system. In fact, I'm hoping it crashes, because its morality is FULL OF SHIT. Like the movie ratings.
Fun fact: Planet of the Apes was released almost forty years ago. It was rated G. (Alright, technically, it was PG then re-rated as G).
This is a movie with VIOLENCE, GUNS, ADULT SITUATIONS, SWEARING, and outright NUDITY.
Nowadays, it would be rated R (or even NC-17), except it wouldn't be released. They'd cut out the nudity and release it as PG-13. You call that consistancy?
Ratings swerve whichever way they please, at the whim of the majority. Here's the deal: the majority of people are short-sighted, lazy, confused individuals who are experts at nothing and barely competant at the jobs they make a living doing. It's harsh, but essentially true, although I suppose you could argue the 'barely competant' into 'only competant'.
In forty years, we'll look back at GTA and think "wow, we rated that M?" The only thing is, I can't tell if we'll be thinking that because in this pretend future we'd rate it "AO" or "T". It's a toss of the coin as to which way the general populace goes.
But I can tell you that, in the future, games will not have to be rated. Ratings are only required for shelf space. We won't need shelf space in forty years. Any government which tries to regulate on-line shelf space will find itself left behind as the cyborgs move their operations to a more forgiving country.
Ratings are, like canals, destined to be left behind in the new age. Game stores will suffer and begin to fall aside - not now, but in ten years, fifteen years, they will see themselves dying as we link with the internet.
And all those kids growing up on the internet? Screw parental protection. They'll go where they want when they want, and circumventing the parental controls will only make them smarter and stronger in this world.
So, no, I don't think the GTA sex minigame is a big deal. If it hadn't been GTA, it wouldn't have been long before some baseline noticed that something like The Sims or Second Life can be rerouted into freaky sex acts all day, every day, no ID required. GTA just happened to trigger it first.
So, am I an anarchist? Do I hate restrictions? Don't I believe parents have a right to guide their kids as they see fit?
Frankly, getting around one's parental units has been the primary challenge - and reward - of youth since Thogette said, "Urg, no try hump mammoth." The point of parenting isn't to protect your child completely. It's to protect them enough, while they experiment and grow stronger with the safety nets in place.
No parent can change this, and any child who was "correctly" protected would never survive adulthood - at least, not without a tremendous culture shock. Nobody's future was ever put in jeapordy because they fell of the monkey bars, and nobody's future was ever sacrificed because they saw somebody naked - or even having sex. These are the trials and tribulations of youth.
Here's the thing: at some point, those lesser threats - monkey bars, for example - become more protected than the greater threats - under construction sky scrapers, for example. I'm speaking from experience, here: it is easier for a thirteen-year-old to get freaky-ass internet porn than a Playboy. (Interestingly, this can produce a backlash against freaky-ass internet porn in the child. And if anything needs a bunch of neophiles upset at it, it's freaky-ass internet porn.)
So think twice before you increase security on the little threats. Children will still go somewhere. Do you want it to be the little threats... or the big threat which your law will make less well protected?