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Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Receives “M” Rating – Who’s to Blame?

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It’s one of those stories that causes a cringe from anyone who follows the video game industry. From last years Grand Theft Auto “Hot Coffee,” we have a current situation with Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which has been hacked to expose female nudity and will be given a stricter rating. Nudity in games is becoming far too hot of an issue, though this current concern is different. There isn’t a single source of blame here, and the reactions from those parties have caused this story to spin in directions it shouldn’t be spinning.

The brief overview concerns a mod for the PC version of the game Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Like the situation last year, nudity was uncovered by a determined hacker and released for players of the PC version only. This happened only a few weeks after the game was released. Nothing happened until yesterday when the ESRB announced the game was being re-rated “M” for 17+ instead of “T” for 13+.

Following that announcement, press releases flew out into the media. The ESRB supplied the gaming community with this as a reason for the re-rating:

… more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating, as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or ‘skin’ that, if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters.

Simply put, the ESRB is against a wall. They could have kept this quiet since certain anti-game politicians weren’t calling out the nudity mod. If word made it out that it was re-rated without public knowledge, they have a major problem on their hands. On the other hand, by putting this out there, politicians like Leland Yee have already damned the ESRB for their actions, and will use this to further their own cause.

There is another side to this though, and that’s the “T” rating the game was slapped with in the first place. Anyone who has played through this top-seller should know that Oblivion in NO WAY should have received anything less than a “M.” It’s graphic gore, implied dismemberment, and heavy violence should have never made its way past the ESRB or into a game rated “T.”

In fact, by claiming they’re pulling the rating because of a nude mod, they’re nearly admitting they made an error. While there is a brief mention of detailed blood and gore, it’s obvious the press release is focusing on a nude mod of a non-sexual nature. A game should never be re-rated based on a mod, but that’s what they’re claiming has happened.

The interesting thing is to note that the Xbox 360 version is also going to be slapped with the “M.” There’s no possible way to access the nude content on the 360, yet it’s undergone the rating surgery as well. It’s admission that they screwed up, and along with titles like Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter and Call of Duty 2, this is slightly more prevalent from them than usual.

Still, the attack on the ESRB is uncalled for. Surely in the decades the MPAA has been around they’ve made mistakes too. It’s hard to remember any time in the organization’s history that they’ve pulled a movie to give it a harsher restriction. Worse, when you have a movie like Alien vs. Predator that’s rated PG-13 in theaters, it comes to DVD in an Unrated edition. Yes, parents may have bought their children Oblivion with a “T” rating. They also may think they’re getting the same version of Alien vs. Predator they saw in theaters when they buy the DVD.

Was this the right course of action for the ESRB? Is the mod a cover-up for a blatant misjudgment in the first place? Should they just admit that user-created mods should not be cause for a re-rating, and educate those who don’t understand this process?

Even if the ESRB hands come off as clean in some alternate universe, developer Bethesda is not handling this correctly either. They may be cooperative with this ratings change, but their press release has this to say about the situation:

…some modders have used a third party tool to hack into and modify an art archive file to make it possible to create a mesh for a partially nude (topless) female that they add into the game. Bethesda didn’t create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion.

They’re partially correct. The nudity does appear in the game; it’s simply hidden under clothing. The modder that found the nudity said this in an interview with Gamepolitics.com:

In the process of trying to create a nude skin for Oblivion, I found Bethesda had already done all the work for me. They just covered it up with underwear afterwards.

Why, in the face of last year’s Hot Coffee mod, would Bethesda lie? The content is on the disc, and they seem to be skirting this problem like Rockstar did. This is also strike two for publisher Take Two, who also handled the publishing duties for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Bethesda wisely failed to disclose the name of their publisher in the press release, though Leland Yee picked up on that immediately. It’s not a matter of whether or not Americans are in general over-sensitive about female breasts. (They are.) It’s a matter of lying in a time when the industry is facing a huge fight, and Bethesda deserves to take as much blame for their statements as the ESRB does for missing the rating during the process.

Speaking of Leland Yee, this should be a great boost for his cause and career. An attempt at preventing the sale of mature games to minors goes before the California courts in a matter of weeks, and Yee is also in the running for a seat on the California senate this election year. His response attempts to prove the failings of the ESRB, and his harsh words for Take Two will look great in tomorrow’s paper.

From the crowd that supports the industry though, they can see right through him. The problem is, he does have a point this time. The ESRB did make a mistake. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t believe that the game should be rated “M” within the first 20-minutes of playing the 100+ hour Oblivion. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to find a middle ground here, and sadly, it’s something that’s going to curse this industry for a long time. It’s utterly amazing how people can spin an entire entertainment industry as evil because of two games. That’s what will happen, and the next few days could be grim.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    I see no evidence Bethesda lied. Real life is full of nude people covered up by clothing. In attempting make the clothing in their simulation look as similar to real clothing as possible, it’s completely natural for the designers of Oblivion to have followed the same pattern.

    Should they have anticipated that some twitterpated modder would misuse their work? Maybe.

    Are they lying when they say the aforementioned twit did something they never intended? The burden of proof is on the accuser for that one. Got any proof, Matt?

  • Naked Under My Clothes

    Victor Plenty nailed it.

  • Edward Ptorgi

    I have heard through the grapevine that Leland Yee actually walks around *stark naked* under his clothes. Even in front of children.

    Oh the humanity.

  • Scrawl

    Why is it that even though Barbie’s clothes can be removed, we still sell them to children?

    Shouldn’t Barbie only available to people aged 15+?

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Vic:

    “Bethesda didn’t create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion.”

    and the modder:

    “In the process of trying to create a nude skin for Oblivion, I found Bethesda had already done all the work for me. They just covered it up with underwear afterwards.”

    Just like GTA, it was on the disc. Bethesda claims they didn’t do it. The texture was in game, the modder unlocked it. Rockstar tried the same thing and got called on it. Bethesda likely will too.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    If you think Bethesda lied, you fail to understand 3D graphics. What was on the disc was never intended to portray a naked human figure. It was created to simulate what clothing looks like on a real three-dimensional human body. The modder’s statement (and your argument relying on it) are overly simplistic and flat wrong.

    Numerous people who have seen the mod say this so-called “nude skin” does not have the same level of detail as the parts of the skin which the player is intended to see, such as the face or the hands. The parts Bethesda designed to be covered by clothing include only the minimum detail required to make the clothes look right. This means Bethesda absolutely did not create a game with nudity, and is strong evidence they never intended their game to include nudity.

    When even a prominent defender of the game industry can so publicly fail to comprehend the technical issues involved, and give his backing to false claims that Bethesda is “lying,” it’s no wonder our legislators and the general public have such wildly inaccurate ideas about games and the people who play them.

  • Daniel Thomas

    With respect Victor, you fail to understand the “rules of the game”. The issue is not the level of nudity or how it was created. These are red herrings. The issue is one of disclosure. Under the ESRB rules, Bethesda was supposed to disclose anything that impacted the rating; they didn’t. Personally, I wouldn’t have said they lied on their application. But they did exercise poor judgement and I don’t see how they can say they “fully disclosed” to the ESRB. That is just not accurate. The content was on the disk. They failed to disclose the content on the disk. The fact that the content was an artifact of the graphics proggamming is, again, besides the point. They had a duty to disclose. They failed that duty. End of story.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Your argument is a load of dingos’ kidneys, Daniel. But thank you for playing.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    Well I have never talked to said modder. I have never looked on the PC version of the game, I do not have it. But I do not think he would lie to Game Politics, as well as a slew of other gaming publications. I also believe that if he had lied, Bethesda would have gone after him for something.

    The textures, as low rez as they may be, are likely there. If they had not put nipples on the breasts this most likely would not been a problem. Do you remember the story (never proved) that Tomb Raider: Legend was pushed back to take the nipples off of Laura Croft?

    I would also like to add, Victor, that it is entirely besides the point that real life has nude people. MANY games have nude people. It is the “skin” used for the models of people in games, after all. It is America’s problem with sex — that is the real problem here. Oh my god there is a tit in a video game?!! Oh the horror. Little Johnny has never seen a tit in a movie or a nipple on a television show. He will be scarred for life!

    America, specifically American politicians, overreact to this in video games. In other countries nudity is not taboo.

    But apparently the ESRB has done their spin job very well on this story. No one has in this thread has been talking about the Teen rating the game got, when it needed an Mature rating.

    Do you remember the photos of charred bodies hanging from a bridge in Iraq? The ones that got censored in US newspapers because it was too much for the US people to take?

    Go into an Oblivion gate. Walk up the tower to grab the Sigil Stone. What do you see hanging from ropes? Charred, and in many cases, burning, bodies. You see dismembered bodies everywhere in Oblivion, not just in the Oblivion gates. That is one of many items in the game where I said “This is not a Teen game.”

    Another instance happened within 20 minutes of playing the game. While in the sewers outside of your prison cell, you kill orcs. The orc blood splatters all over the wall. You throw fire at things, they go up in flames.

    This is not a Teen rated game. Period. I said this the first day I played it. And look now, it has been slapped with a Mature rating.

    It is impossible to put the blame on any one party here. It looks very bad for the game industry right now, and very good for politicians careers. I am waiting to hear from Jack Thompson and Hillary Clinton. Jack is running to save his career, and Hillary is running for other political seats. Yee picked the perfect time to lodge the dagger. I cannot fault him for that, nor can I argue with his point right now.

    E3 is one week away. If you thought we would hear nothing but Wii stores, think again. Now it is going to be ESRB, Mature rated games, and Bethesda. It was really a catch-22 for the ESRB to come out with this ruling. They were screwed every way you look at the situation.

    I just hope we can hear about all the great games and consoles at E3 and not this nudity and mature ratings BS.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    The modder’s claims and Bethesda’s can both be true, Ken. Neither of them is likely to be lying. Their statements are not contradictory in any way, if the technical issues involved are properly understood.

    Bethesda put 3D representations of human beings into the game. They included only the details needed to make them look right through multiple clothing changes, and they included code intended to keep the figures clothed at all times. There is no evidence they ever intended the game to display nudity to anyone.

    Is it even physically possible to create convincing 3D models of human beings without making them accurate enough to offend someone if a third party comes along and breaks the code that keeps clothing on the figures? Nobody really knows, but Bethesda’s programmers were not able to find a way that would work on current technology. They clearly took steps to avoid offending anyone. Their statements to that effect are most likely to be entirely true.

    Oblivion probably should be rated M on the basis of its violence alone. I can agree with you on that much, but I can’t go along with the absurd claims arising from this nudity issue.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Vic, how can you not say the nudity is on the disc? Bethesda is saying it’s not, the modder says it is. Yes, Bethesda created the model. That’s the point. It doesn’t matter that it was clothed when they shipped it.

    Rockstar never intended a sex scene to be in their game either, but it was left on the disc. What Bethesda did is no different. This isn’t a discussion about what they needed to do to make the clothing models work properly. That’s irrelevant.

    Someone modded both games and found the content deemed, for whatever reason, explicit. This has nothing to do with technical issues. The modder said it was there, end of story. Bethesda is trying to cover up. It’s not a failure to comprehend anything. It’s not a lie. It’s right there in the press release.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    Daniel – I agree with you somewhat here. On the issue of the rating, not of the nudity, Bethesda issued a rather long — 60 pages — report to the ESRB. We do not know for fact if they showed every violent scene in the game, but they had to provide them video of it. My guess (which is based on opinion mind you) is that the ESRB did not see after 60 pages and video of the game that it needed more than a T rating. I have to fault the ESRB for that. I would think that they saw video of dismembered bodies, and the stuff in the Oblivion gates, on the grounds that so many hours are spent in Oblivion gates. The ESRB messed up, and they are using the nude mod as scapegoat here. That is the real, ugly, story here.

    Victor – If I had the DVD I would rip it open and look at every texture file on it. But I do not have the PC game. This is a classic he said/she said. And remember, Rockstar denied the sex scene being pressed on the disc, until someone unlocked it on the PS2.

    There are no cheat devices for the 360 yet, so no one knows.

    From the crafty way Bethesda wrote their press release (they must have good lawyers) it sounds to like they are skating the issue:

    “Bethesda didn’t create a game with nudity and does not intend that nudity appear in Oblivion.”

    That is correct, they did NOT create a game with nudity, and the game does NOT contain nudity (without a mod). What they are not saying in this press release is if the Bethesda artists, the skinners for Oblivion, created nude skins for the females.

    Now logic (which has been thrown out the window, by the way) would tell you that there would be an entire “skin” of skin under the male and female models, and clothing would be placed on top of this. That is how things are done. That is how I was taught how to do this years ago at college when I took PowerAnimator and Maya classes. It is no big secret.

    The fact that the media and politicians are in an uproar about the nudity frankly pisses me off. Especially since it is AFTER MARKET nudity, it is something the developers did not intend in the game. This same argument holds true for San Andreas and the Hot Coffee incident too.

    Also, it is because of the fact that Bethesda, more so than many developers, encourage the modding of the game with an excellent tool the World Construction Set. I have extensive experience with the Morrowind version, and have read that the Oblivion one is leaps and bounds above that. Bathesda encourages people to do this!

    And you just know the first thing people are looking to do, as the modder in this story proves so well, is create a nude patch for the females. It happened in World of Warcraft too.

    In a sane world, the fact that Bethesda put 3D representations of human beings into the game (with realistic skin/cloths, etc) would be relevant. It adds to the realism, which id does, again, beside the point.

    The problem is our countries insecurities with sex and the female figure. Would this be a problem in France? In Italy? In Japan? I seriously doubt it.

    It is hard to take sides in this debate. And believe me, Matt and I did not want to take sides. And we did not want to take the side that we have taken. Matt and I spent at least an hour and a half on the phone discussing all of this, even before he had written anything. This is a big problem and a black eye for sure.

    This Bethesda/ESRB issue could really be a tipping point. But it is something that needs to be out there. This is why, after all, the ESRB released the press release yesterday, and re-rated the game. They knew it had to be done too.

    Now the industry is going to have to deal with the consequences.

  • Vincent

    The issue here is not so much that the ESRB made a mistake. As noted in the article, I think it’s reasonable that they are allowed to make mistakes. But considering the 360 version was relabelled to M as well, it’s abundantly clear that the primary reason here is that they “missed” some of the violence, despite Bethesda telling them how incredibly violent the game is (“ticking the highest value” for it on the submission form, delivering a 60 page document describing all of this). They very clearly just didn’t do their jobs properly.

    What they SHOULD have done is say something like this: “We have rerated Oblivion from T to M [for this and this reason]. We apologize for any confusion we may have caused and will cooperate more closely with publishers Bethesda and Take2 to prevent this from happening again in future”, after which Bethesda could easily have issued a similar statement. Instead what they said was something like “We rerated Oblivion to M, it wasn’t our fault, this is all Bethesda’s doing, they brought it on their own heads. Oh and by the way, before you criticize us, there’s also this nude mod that you can now talk about endlessly to cover up our mistake”. This is little more than misdirection from the shoddy job they did (and they did, this game is indeed clearly an M game), but it seems to be working very well. The ESRB is willfully trying to damage and discredit the game industry to protect themselves. I give full props to Bethesda for exposing them after the ESRB’s frankly incredibly childish press release.

    It’s interesting to note that the independent, government sanctioned UK rating board, the BBFC, had no problems with rating it 15 (and the ESRB-like PEGI, for the rest of Europe, had no problem with rating it 16). The BBFC is siding with Bethesda, agreeing that they did fully disclose all information, and that the “nude mod” is outside the scope of rating. It’s ironic that the “nightmare scenario” as depicted in the US, a government rating board, displays more common sense and professionalism than the supposedly angelic red-blooded freedom-loving ESRB. Perhaps it IS time for a change in the ESRB, either completely, or at the very least they need to overhaul their rating process.

  • Andrew Ogier

    I personally think the ratings system is rendered useless by not being mandatory. Who cares if Oblivion is rated for Teens or Mature? It doesn’t actually prevent minors from seeing the dead carcasses lit up like christmas trees either way. Anyone can walk into a shop and purchase, so why the big hoo-haa about the rating change?

    Here in the UK, Oblivion is rated a 15+ game by the BBFC, making it illegal to sell the game to anyone under that age.

    This isn’t about the violence portrayed in the game. It’s about America judging videogames as The Next Bad Thing. First it was Rock ‘N Roll, then it was television, then videos, now video games. The new scapegoat for parents who want to blame everyone but themselves when their kids fuck up.

    “Ooh there’s titties in a videogame in the form of a hack in this new oblivion game. So that’s why my son went nuts and stabbed all of his classmates before slicing his throat. It wasn’t my lack of parental skills at all, or the fact that my son was a god damn psycho. It was all that nasty game with the boobies. It took away my baby blue eyed boy.”

  • http://victorplenyt.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Matt, you’re straining at gnats in your attempt to prove Bethesda lied. The company shipped computer code that was completely incapable of displaying nudity. This makes their statement true. They did not design their software to display naked people.

    The “Hot Coffee” story is totally irrelevant here, and only demagogues are bringing it up. That situation involved a sex sequence with no other purpose within the Grand Theft Auto computer code. That “Hot Coffee” sequence never served any necessary function to make the game work properly. It was designed for the sole purpose of making the game more pornographic.

    The Oblivion content exploited by this modder was never designed to display naked people to the game player.

    I can understand why dishonest politicians would try to confuse the issue by claiming these two extremely different situations are actually the same. But why is it proving so difficult for some of the game industry’s defenders to understand the situation correctly? Why insist Bethesda lied when in fact their statements have all been clearly true?

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    The company shipped computer code that was completely incapable of displaying nudity.

    Rockstar shipped computer code completely incable of showing sex.

    They did not design their software to display naked people.

    Rockstar didn’t design their software to show sex.

    That situation involved a sex sequence with no other purpose within the Grand Theft Auto computer code.

    It makes NO DIFFERENCE whether or not the code has a purpose on the disc. The problem is that is was there, and is this case, was certianly there, when the hacker found it.

    The Oblivion content exploited by this modder was never designed to display naked people to the game player.

    Why does that matter if the content was on the disc? if it was on the disc, that was the problem. Behtesda said it wasn’t. That’s the lie.

    But why is it proving so difficult for some of the game industry’s defenders to understand the situation correctly? Why insist Bethesda lied when in fact their statements have all been clearly true?

    Because they haven’t. They claimed the nudity wasn’t on the disc. The modder says all he did was remove the clothing and boom, we have nudity.

    You seem to be stuck on that it wasn’t meant to be seen. That doesn’t matter here. Whether or not the content was going to be used or not, it was found and can be accessed. I don’t know of any other way to put it or make it clearer.

    The eeries similarity between this and Hot Coffee are numerous too. Both companies had content (no matter how explicit) on the disc that wasn’t meant to be seen. Both companies denied it was their fault, the modder said otherwise. The ESRB re-rated the game. Take Two published both. Politicians win.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Where did Bethesda ever say “the content wasn’t on the disc”? That is not what they said. If they had, you might have a leg to stand on with your claim that they lied.

    What Bethesda actually did say was the truth.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    The artwork is on the disc. You will never see nudity in the game, unless you use the after market mod. Now that I read over the entire press release again, they could have stated it better.

  • http:/victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Rockstar’s actions and Bethesda’s actions are vastly different in the crucial arenas of motive and knowledge.

    Rockstar knew GTA had an explicit sex sequence in it. It was intended as a sex sequence, it was programmed as a sex sequence, and the graphic artwork designed for it was done with full knowledge that it was a sex sequence. They tried to lock it out, in order to avoid having to take it off the disc. They had to have known it would be seen as offensive to many people, if the general public gained access to that sequence.

    Bethesda did not include anything remotely comparable to that on the disc for Oblivion. Their whole focus was on making the game characters look correct while wearing various different types of clothing. The artwork was designed for that purpose only, not to display nude pictures to game players.

    They could have been more paranoid about what aftermarket modders might do with their work, but this does not seem to have occurred to them. Maybe they could have designed better safeguards against this happening, if the possibility had occurred to them. Maybe they could have made better predictive statements to the ESRB, had they foreseen what might happen.

    Bethesda did not deliberately include nude content that would clearly offend the average viewer, the way Rockstar did with the “Hot Coffee” sequence. As far as I can tell, Bethesda was honestly unaware they had included anything on the disc that would enable the display of nudity. That is why the two situations are fundamentally different.

    Unless someone leaks a copy of an internal memo showing Bethesda’s people knew about this possibility, and proceeded anyway, I see no reason to believe Bethesda has lied about this.

  • http://www.lawntennisnews.com manfred

    Getting all worked up over a few pixels is ridiculous and a complete waste of taxmoney :)

    -manfred

  • http://www.dailydffr.net/IcoNyx IcoNyx

    Now a word from a Parent:

    it appears that there is a bit of cloak and dagger going on in the world of politics, anything to take attention from themselves I think… but anyway the issue HERE is that people are arguing weather the rating system for video gaming is acceptable… my opinion: It blows monkey butt.

    Now once you get that image out of your head wrap it around this one: I am a parent of kids… wow, impressive huh? and I am a gamer, and as such so are my children. This is no big deal and frankly the fact we actually NEED a rating system is proof that the blame for all the flaws and failures in our “American utopia” can easily be placed in one place: Parents.

    I have played them all, Barbie repunsel, magical Pegasus, Muppets adventures, tomb raider, Fairy tails, dragon tails, dragon slayer, Oblivion… you get the point, and no I don’t just skim the cover, I actually PLAY them!

    I have come to the opinion that for a parent to be active in their child’s development and education is not enough; they must also be active in their entertainment too! they must play the games their children play, watch the TV their children watch, and even listen to the music their children listen to. In doing this they KNOW what their children are up to, and frankly it makes for a rather “wicked” parent. My kids are literally my friends and as such they actually trust me and tell me things most children would NEVER tell their parents… some things I wish I’d never heard Ill admit but the tell me just the same!

    sure it is boring, after beating the magical Pegasus for the second time (time trial and then content watch) I was feeling a bit gay I’ll admit But at least I KNOW that my kids aren’t going to be able to get Barbie to go all “animal pr0n on the unicorns, and ken is not capable of making Barbie his personal B***H!

    you see that is the problem with America today, it has NOTHING to do with the games, or the TV or even politics, it has to do with the politicians trying to hide the fact that they as parents screwed up and their kids are (in their eyes) F**ked up! they dont want to accept the blame for this, so they find a target, ANY target , and go after it with a zeal they SHOULD have used on their own parenting skills!

    Frankly I don’t care what the rating is for Oblivion, when my kids are 17 if they want to play it, I will give them my blessing (and buy it for them) and if they want to keep playing Barbie: magical Pegasus… Ill be worried but Ill let them. Because I know my kids, and I know they know: it’s just a game.

  • Naraus

    Dude you are completely stupid as long as there are no nipples it isn’t rated “M” (or anything). I mean come on, my four year old sister has a Barbie doll that has breasts on it but it doesn’t show nipples its just blank just like the models on oblivion and is that doll rated “M”, no it isn’t you fucken morons, you can buy them at the local toy store.

    God… people these days are so fucken blind and have no common sense.

    Idiots…

  • brent

    come on dude less be reasonable here ok. parents are so fucking stupid these days. how many 13 year old boys havent seen a breast or a voilent picture. the point im trying to make is that most kids when they get a hold of the remote control to the tv, they are flipping through and they see a dude murder someone else. the parents dont sue the maker of the movie damn tell me one ten year old that hasnt seen a naked women. this is just a way for parents to act like they care

  • Sukurei

    On the issue of the rerating, I agree on the issue of extreme violence.
    I’ve read the comments and find myself mainly siding with Victor and defending BethSoft. The ESRB fucked up, and they realized it and used the best scapegoat they could to cover it up: The artistic nudity.

    Assuming nudity isn’t taboo, you could think of it like this, if you’re drawing a picture of something, what I like to do is start from the back and move forward. In other words, I’d draw basic background (the artistic nudity) and place whatever is in the foreground on top of it (the underwear). Let’s say I were to paint it without erasing the lines (welding the underwear onto the nude texture). If one really wanted to (and had the patience and care) they could scrape off the paint (remove the underwear using a mod) and reveal all the lines used to draw the background and such. It’s the same thing here, except in this case, the background is taboo and will “corrupt our youth.” Personally, as a teenage gamer, I don’t see the big deal. So they added nipples, big deal, it’s not like they showed other bits that are far more related to sex.

    This is as stupid as reversing a rock and roll song and hearing something that by pure coincidence sounds like Satan. I’m not saying to make porn legally available to minors (in case some ass decides that it could be considered that), I’m just saying we shouldn’t get bent out of shape.

  • Terminator 101 (my gamertag)

    Alot of what Bethseda and ESRB are telling us is a load of crap! But what people like Leland Yee and Jack Thompson are trying to get us to believe is also B.S. Its just propaganda with videogames not politics. What I believe is that ESRB and Bethseda just used the “Nude Modd” as and exuse for re-rating the game to “M.” I was surprised at the rating of oblivion to after playing it because of the gore and blood, but other than that they are making a big deal out of a videogame. Often, (Too, Often) games are overrated, for games like Perfect Dark Zero. (Its like, Ooh, I can turn the blood on and off and if I walk up to a dead body after shooting it in the head there’s no hole) And another thing I beat every acheavement for Oblivion on the 360 version, and I do not, (I reapeat) do not understand the point of the “Sexual themes” in the list of content. The only reason I can think of for “Sexual themes” is the fact that you create your own character and can choose between Male and Female.

  • Placebo

    It’s funny how when someone sees such a thing like boobies in a movie, they say, “Oh what a romantic love scene this must be.” But when a set of funbags appear in a video game, the media hound it, and Bethesda is automatically the target of a preposterous scandel of Nudity in their game. But, hey. Let’s not blame the MPAA for putting topless women in movies. Let’s not even go after the porn industry. Let’s stick with the video games and play “Pin the Blame on the Game Company”. Movie producers get off scott free when it comes to topless display and violently raunchy sex scenes. It seems as though the medium of video games has something to prove. People should quit worrying about exposing they’re wonderous little children to nonsense such as topless nudity when they’re going to see it anyway. Toplessness, bad, but news on the war? Informative. Your little girl is going to grow them sometime, and your little boy is going to see them sometime. If we can’t enjoy art because of the media hounds and concerned parents, then why in the hell was it formed?

  • Anonymous

    SHOULDN’T THEY BAN BARBIES TOO?
    Ageists.

  • http://www.factsome.com/ Jack3d (gamertag)

    Fallout 3 has eyeballs coming out of skulls if you shoot people in the head enough, so it’s no wonder it received the M rating.

  • eugen

    matter of fact is the vanilla models(on the disk or steam download) have no textures for boobs(only the rough shape) and other sensetive places. (i mod myself) for me it looks like a good old witch hunt to distract from bigger problems.(dont know wich i am not in the USA)