I call BS.

San Andreas recalled? If hardcore pornography was submitted for approval by the MPAA do you know what it would receive? An NC-17. Why? That’s the strictest rating that the MPAA has. How about in the case of music albums? Oh, wait, they don’t have age-limits. They only have one sticker that is absent if the album is completely wholesome (in a mind-numbingly pointless way.) What in San Andreas would require someone be 18 years or older to purchase that they could not get at the age of 17 from a film? Anyone? So why is 17 years old inappropriate for people to buy this game at? I’ve seen posts calling this decision ‘saddening’ and ‘out of hand’, but it’s more than that. It’s complete bullshit. And the worst part of it? It’s all voluntary.

And I know it’s easy for someone (namely me) to talk trash when they have nothing on the line, but at what point is it the job of Rockstar to coddle every child that may possibly play their game? Obviously even they shied away from releasing the actual content for people to play. Think about that. Rockstar said “okay, this is too much.” This is the Rockstar that said killing people in GTA3 is equivalent to Pac-Man eating dots! (And they were right.) Come to think of it, I’m not disappointed about all of this uproar about the content. I’m disappointed that Rockstar was so quick to buckle. And I’m downright pissed that Rockstar didn’t include it from day one. I’m pro-“entertainment with sick and twisted shit.” Requiem For A Dream was an amazing movie. Go ahead, give it the AO rating. People will still buy it. It’s Grand Theft Auto for Christ’s sake.

In an interview over at Cathode Tan, Jeff Freeman (a designer with Star Wars Galaxies, and more impressively a parent,) best summed up the the problem by talking about the attitude of most parents. “I can’t stop my little children from playing 37 hours a week of Baby-Killer 3, because I don’t understand this little letter on the box it came in!”

In fact, Mr. Freeman even goes on to make another great point in his blog about abolishing either the M or the AO rating. Why differentiate between 17 and 18 at all? Y’know, I like that Freeman guy. Hell, I’m tempted to go buy Star Wars: Galaxies in support of such a common sense attitude. Wonder how much I can trade in my copy of San Andreas for…