Saturday, May 06, 2006

John Romero says modder are screwing the industry

You have got to be kidding with this one. John Romero, formerly of Id software, has blamed modders for releasing game mods that expose games to a re-rating as recently happened to Bethesda's Oblivion, and previously happened to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto due to the Hot Coffee mod.

There's a number of problems with this entire thing:
  1. the modders aren't to blame
  2. give me a break, it's a polygonal breast (as opposed to all the silicon ones you can find on the web)
  3. the US views on sexuality are from the dark ages (damn Puritans)
  4. who cares what John Romero says these days (when was the last time he produced anything noteworthy)
The real outfall from this will have a chilling impact on game development. The modding industry is a great source for new ideas as well as new employees for developers. If developers become paranoid about modders altering their game content so that sexual content become available, then developers will simply not produce any modding tools, and will aggressively go after the modding community and shut them down. The real problem, however, is not with modders, or the ratings produced by the ESRB, but is instead due to the puritanical right wing idiots who are both offended by this content and the power they have in affecting entire industries (recall Janet Jackson and the superbowl scandal). It's rather repugnant to me that in the US human sexuality is a forbidden zone for all media content, while violence is shown at every step (seems rather pathological to me) in video games and on mainstream TV. I say, more sex, less violence.

On a tangential note, it would not surprise me in the slightest if some underhanded game company produced a 'mod' for a competitors product that contained sexual content or artwork or looked into the game files to find such a thing. "Hey Walmart, Game Company X has a game with sexual content, while our game doesn't".

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