Home > Video Games > My Childhood Was Destroyed By Hot Coffee and All I Got Was Five Bucks

My Childhood Was Destroyed By Hot Coffee and All I Got Was Five Bucks

$5 for Hot Coffee?! Starbucks Has Some Serious Competition

Hot coffee can be a very dangerous thing, at least for the bottom lines of more than one, careless, corporation, especially when it comes into contact with the dainty bits of politicians and the general public:

‘Hot Coffee’ was the term branded to a particular scenario in the 2004 GTA game, that could be found by either modifying the PC version or entering cheat codes into the PS2 version. It allowed the player to participate in uncensored, highly explicit sex scenes.

Take-Two argued that the code was not meant for public use, but in 2007 agreed to voluntarily pay compensation to end a hefty class action lawsuit. The results are only just beginning to show now, with game owners receiving between $5 USD and $35 USD.

The problem, in case you managed to not care about this the first time, is that when originally-rated by the ESRB it scored an M for Mature. The problem is, though, since you could access the explicit sex scenes in the original run of GTA: San Andreas (on PS2 only) via a code (that Rockstar kinda-sorta ‘forgot’ to mention on their ESRB disclosure form) meant that responsible parents that allowed their kids to play a prostitute murder sim were also getting a heaping helping of graphic sex in the deal. (Which takes time away from murdering prostitutes, don’t cha know.)

Of course the larger issue with Take2’s boneheaded handling of the entire situation is that it managed to call into question the veracity and reliability of the entire rating system, thus inviting in politicians (like Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman1), who, like vampires, need only be asked through the door once and then you can never get rid of them, parasites, and Jack Thompson (but I repeat myself) to dredge all the publicity, campaign contributions and protection money (but I repeat myself) possible out of them.

In fact, at the end of the day, Take2 is lucky its stupid little stunt didn’t cost the game industry much more monstrous problems and they should thank their lucky stars that the penalty has been about as violent and scarring to their stock price as being gently stroked with a feather. (Something I’m pretty sure will be a sequence in GTAV: Debauchery is Awesome.)

1 What? You thought only Republicans/Tories/knuckle-dragging cavemen had hang-ups about this stuff? Hmm, I wonder why that would be…

  1. 03/30/2010 at 17:13

    I think one of the things that probably surprised my colleagues at SMU Guildhall in Dallas (where I went to grad school) when we studied the history of the video game industry was that the inquisitors that badgered the industry over sex and violence were largely Democrats.

    • ECM
      03/30/2010 at 17:22


      After all, it was Tipper Gore (wife of the Goracle) that led the charge for labeling albums, etc.–not really a surprise if one knows their history. (Sadly, most people choose to ignore it.)

  2. 03/30/2010 at 17:34

    and btw, do I need special privileges to get my own avatar? Starting to get a little bored of the ol’ generic yellow flower thing 🙂

    • ECM
      03/30/2010 at 17:41

      Nah, you just need to register on Gravatar and the you can kiss the ‘Mandelbrot’ goodbye XD

  3. feilong80
    03/30/2010 at 17:53

    Sweet. For some reason I thought I should go by my online alter ego (actually, it was because I got absent minded and forgot I logged in to your site originally under my real name).

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