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Bethesda Responds To Oblivion Re-Rating 341

Posted by Zonk
from the took-it-well-all-things-considered dept.
Gamespot has details on Bethesda's response to the ESRB for their (some would argue) knee-jerk reaction to fan-added elements of Oblivion. From the article: "There is no nudity in Oblivion without a third party modification. In the PC version of the game only - this doesn't apply to the Xbox 360 version - 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 go on to state they submitted a 60-page document detailing the violence in the game. If anyone is at fault here, I think it's the ESRB.
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Bethesda Responds To Oblivion Re-Rating

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  • by (A)*(B)!0_- (888552) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:30AM (#15261654)
    "Want to mod your videogame? Sorry, there is the POTENTIAL someone could modify it to show more nudity or violence."
    What does the government have to do with the ESRB?
  • by Sven The Space Monke (669560) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:39AM (#15261729)
    At this point, not much. However, there have been attempts at legally enforcing ESRB ratings. To my knowledge, most of them have been unsucessful (at least in the US). There is at least one law that I know for sure is an attempt to legally enforce the ESRB ratings, but it's in Canada. Bill 30 [legassembly.sk.ca] is the province of Saskatchewan's attempt to make it illegal to even advertise or display a game where someone under the ERSB rated age could see it. It doesn't have much opposition at the moment, as the government is playing the lame-assed "you want our children to see PORNOGRAPHIC VIDEO GAMES?!?" card to anyone who speaks up against it. While it isn't shutting me up, it kills almost any support I manage to cull.
  • by AnyNoMouse (715074) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @09:53AM (#15261859)
    Oblivion, on the other hand, does not have that content shipped with the game. It cannot be unlocked because it doesn't exist. What Bethesda did do, was make a tool set available so that players could make their own content for the game. There are dozens of player created mods available with new content that you can add to the PC VERSION ONLY. One of these player created mods happens to be a naked woman model.

    Actually, that's not entirely true, at least in the PC version of the game.

    In the packed BSA files there is a nude female mesh torso with a nude female texture associated to it. This mesh is meant to be used with armor and clothing to allow skin to show (arms, neck, upper chest, stomach, etc). The first nude mod released for Morrowind was simply this nude mesh and texture extraced from the BSA archive, renamed and placed in the proper directory.

    As proof of this, Bethesda has not released a .nif exporter for Oblivion and only recently have people been able to create models for the game purely through the efforts of a few people reverse engineering the format (it's hardly complete and the support for models is limited at the moment).

    Of course, I don't think it will be possible to use this mesh on the 360 version and Bethesda's 1.1 beta patch removes the nipples on the texture. Also, the nude mesh is horribly deformed to make it fit to clothing necklines better.

    Just wanted to point out what the reality of the situation is... I think Bethesda is in the right on this matter (and Rockstar as well, btw).

    -MD
  • by nsanders (208050) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @10:45AM (#15262335) Homepage
    Most online games all ready have this warning, and it should apply to Modable games as well. Usually when you launch the game you will see an ESRB warning that says something along the lines of "Online content may change and may not be appropriate for rated ages"
  • doesn't make sense (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 04, 2006 @11:24AM (#15262725)
    how come american culture so affended about a pixelated boob, when USA has the biggest porn industry in the world ?
  • by SloppyElvis (450156) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @12:36PM (#15263353)
    However, Windows automatic file replacement prevents you from copying over WINDOWS/system32/cards.dll, the resource dll used by solitaire (and the other simple card games on Windows) to draw the cards.

    You can, however, simply copy cards.dll and sol.exe from WINDOWS/system32 to a separate directory on your PC, open cards.dll with a program like ResHacker, and replace all the card images with naked people. This is trivial to do. It took me 3 minutes to create a "Solitaire: Swimsuit Edition" using this method, but I could have made "Solitaire: Donkey Pr0n Edition" just as easily - and put it on the web for all the children to download.

    I'd post the result, but I'd hate to have Micro$oft lawyers dragging me into court for hacking Solitaire. Anyway, you can do it yourself very easily if you want.
  • by Ayaress (662020) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @01:16PM (#15263722) Journal
    The Hot Coffee content was included in the game. The textures, animations - the whole bit. The hack to unlock it was, in fact, almost trivial, and could be done without downloading the 6 kilobyte crack to unlock it.

    The Oblivion nude mod is completely third party. It requires the use of a dowloaded addon and the addition of new texture and model files to the data folder. The simmilar mod for Morrowind weighed in at about 12 megabytes, and if the same people are behind this one, they would have cranked the detail up even more - their major justification for the mod had always been the less insectile look of the characters.

    The difference is pretty clear: The ESRB rates games based on all content included on the disk. It's hidden, but it's still there. They can't rate games based on things users make and add to the game themselves, like they are with Oblivion.
  • by Nazo-San (926029) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:13PM (#15265288)
    Bethesda CREATED the material. The nude textures and the nude meshes using said textures. It takes a third party mod to unlock them. The third parties did not create the material and, as far as I know, it's impossible for them to do so considering that a mesh exporter has yet to be released (nor any news pertaining to actual work being done on one last time I looked.) And for those of you thinking bad thoughts, a NIF exporter would allow us to do a lot of legitimate things such as new weapons, new armors, even better looking creatures or performance enhancing things such as the removal of the mind numbingly massive number of polygons dedicated to creatures that don't need them like the bear.

    So, for the record, a third party mod is required to unlock the material, but, Bethesda created the material and then later renamed the model file so they could put in a different version with underwear welded to the people's skin without overwriting the original. They then placed this in the final game rather than removing it (along with a lot of other crap that doesn't belong, but, this is the only thing that's doing more than taking up extra space.) Third parties did not create the material. Please stop saying over and over that they did.
  • by Spikeles (972972) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:49AM (#15268492)
    Check out these two PDF's from http://www.esrb.org/about/news.jsp [esrb.org]

    1: http://www.esrb.org/about/news/downloads/oblivion_ parent_advisory.5.3.06.pdf [esrb.org]
    2: http://www.esrb.org/about/news/downloads/oblivion_ release_5.3.06.pdf [esrb.org]

    You will actually see that Oblivion will now require a 'Nudity' descriptor to be placed on the box.

    This is unbelievable! I've finished the game and am through my second time and not once have i EVER seen nudity!

    Although... seeing 'Nudity' on the box would make me more likely to buy it. :)

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