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CBS News: “Dark World of GTA San Andreas”

On the same day that President Bush named his first nominee to the Supreme Court, CBS News ran a story about violence and sex in videogames. Included in the story were several references to the recent controversy over ‘Hot Coffee’ in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC, Sony PlayStation 2, and Microsoft Xbox), and the Illinois law banning the sale of violent or sexually explicit games to anyone under 18. The 8+ million viewer newscast had the following to say:

Welcome to the dark world of ‘Grand Theft Auto San Andreas,’ where killing cops earns you points, not prison. The “Grand Theft Auto” series has sold more than 35 million copies with worldwide sales approaching $2 billion.

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Illinois high school teacher Deb Perryman knew the games were out there, but until she was asked to review them for a statewide task force, she had no idea what was actually in them “I was really shocked,â€? she says. “They were even to me more graphic than the most graphic movie I’ve ever seen.â€?

The video game industry says it will continue to fight any further restrictions. It points out that just like the movie industry, it voluntarily rates its game for age appropriateness, even though a recent study found that despite the warning labels, 50 percent of boys age 7-14 have bought a game rated-M, for mature audiences, and a stunning nine out of ten of the boys have played them.

But the recent discovery of graphic sex scenes allegedly hidden inside “Grand Theft Autoâ€? and unlocked by a simple code available on the Internet was enough to lead to calls for a federal crackdown. As for Deb Perryman, she’ll take any help she can get to say ahead of the game. “It’s impossible as a parent to keep up,â€? she says.