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ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature' 282

kukyfrope writes "Perhaps reacting based on the debacle that was the 'Hot Coffee' scandal, the ESRB today changed the rating on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion from Teen to Mature. From the article: 'The content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating, as well as the presence of a locked-out art file or 'skin' that, if accessed through a third party modification to the PC version of the game, allows the user to play with topless versions of female characters,' said the ESRB in a release."
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ESRB Changes Oblivion's Rating to 'Mature'

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  • by Durrill ( 908003 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:04PM (#15257259)
    I saw a video of this nude patch a few months ago, check it out here [gametrailers.com].
  • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:13PM (#15257356) Journal
    Did you even read the entire summary?

    The "art file or 'skin'" was already present in the game, locked out or otherwise.

    The third party tool gave you access to what was already there... exactly like GTA & their hot coffee disaster.

    What the ESRB is trying to tell game makers is that they need to stop including postentially sexual content on the game discs, even if it's "locked out".
  • Re:Any game? (Score:3, Informative)

    by esper ( 11644 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:42PM (#15257609) Homepage
    You could technically mod nudity into any PC game, yes, but, in this case, the original topless female mesh was already present in the game as distributed, it was simply not usable until a mod enabled it (by pulling the resource out of an archive and placing it into a separate file, overriding the normal female upper body mesh).
  • by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:50PM (#15257689) Journal
    A book, present both in Oblivion and in Morrowind. Contents follow:

    The Lusty Argonian Maid

    by Crassius Curio

    Act IV, Scene III, continued

    Lifts-Her-Tail: Certainly not, kind sir! I am here but to clean your chambers.

    Crantius Colto: Is that all you have come here for, little one? My chambers?

    Lifts-Her-Tail: I have no idea what it is you imply, master. I am but a poor Argonian maid.

    Crantius Colto: So you are, my dumpling. And a good one at that. Such strong legs and shapely tail.

    Lifts-Her-Tail: You embarrass me, sir!

    Crantius Colto: Fear not. You are safe here with me.

    Lifts-Her-Tail: I must finish my cleaning, sir. The mistress will have my head if I do not!

    Crantius Colto: Cleaning, eh? I have something for you. Here, polish my spear.

    Lifts-Her-Tail: But it is huge! It could take me all night!

    Crantius Colto: Plenty of time, my sweet. Plenty of time.


    (and make friends to the alchemist in Skingrad, she'll ask you an interesting question...)
  • by LiquidAvatar ( 772805 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:02PM (#15257807) Journal
    My understanding of it was that they accomplished it by replacing the default female torso texture with some other undressed torso texture that was supposedly hidden. Seeing as how they admit that the nipples don't look quite right, is there any chance that they simply replaced the femal torso textures with the male torso textures? Not too many games have males that wear bras, so it would cause nipples to be displayed. And, if the wrong texture was being applied to the model, that could explain the mishapen nipples that have been mentioned.

    If this is the case, it brings up all sorts of interesting questions about the nature of nudity, since the texture, on one model, is perfectly acceptable but the same texture, on a different model, is obscene.

  • Re:Finally. (Score:3, Informative)

    by chrisbtoo ( 41029 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:08PM (#15257845) Homepage Journal
    FTFS: The content causing the ESRB to change the rating involves more detailed depictions of blood and gore than were considered in the original rating[...]

    You think that was just a cover-up (no pun intended)?

  • by plbland ( 922595 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:38PM (#15258485) Homepage
    You know us British are European right?

    Seriously though, it's kind of wrong to assign broad sweeping judgements on a massively diverse group of people.
  • Re:Oblivion nudity (Score:4, Informative)

    by Covin ( 234817 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:51PM (#15258592) Journal
    The parent is correct, the underlying skin of 'female upper body, nude' was only included to allow additional clothing to look correct when it exposed portions of what the bra was covering.

    The nude female skin included in the file isn't even female. The proportions are quite distinctly male as evidenced by the placement of the nipples being way too far appart and thus rendering them on the side of the breasts rather than the front when it is placed over the female upper body mesh in the mod. The mesh file of the supposed nude still distincly shows the folds of the bra (rendered normally as a folded up, dirty off-white cloth going around the upper body) giving the topless characters lumpy shadows where the bra was.

    In other words, this was not a 'hidden' nudity thing. The males can be rendered without shirts and clothing made with exposure of various parts of the upper body. The female was made the same way, and since the nipples would never be shown, it didn't matter that they used the male skin 'skin' for it as well.
  • by DoctorPhanan ( 972649 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:07PM (#15258685)
    Just to reiterate, the nude texture was included into the game because Oblivion's clothing and armor textures/meshes would not always look correct with a bra texture going straight through it. The bra mesh would also cause clipping and it would be rather clunky to retexture it with every armor. Rather than make some convoluted script that checks skin tone and modifies the existing texture, Bethsoft used a much simpler solution.

    I think that the presence of nipples are the foremost concern for those who object to the "nudity" nipples are apparently the most offensive part of the mammary and must therefore never be shown to children of any age. But if we consider the role a nipple might play in the modelling of armor and clothing (although I will admit that I have no experience in this matter and will defer to the knowledge of anyone who does), such as providing a boundary for how far the neck of a peice of attire can go. The nipple play a part in determining where a seam might be placed on a blouse or an indentation on a tight fitting dress.

    Unlike the Hot coffee mod, which was an intentional inclusion of graphic content, Oblivion's mesh and texture were created to make the game run more smoothly and quite possibly as a modder's resource. The "nipple" on the topless mesh is barely distinguishable from the rest of the breast, and Bethsoft goes to great lengths to make it's content appropriate for younger audiences. For example, in Daggerfall (and Arena?) the book series known as "The Real Barenziah" had very graphic sexual content, Which they removed from Morrowind (and Oblivion) and replaced with the phrase "this passage has been removed by order of the church" They also removed all nude daedra or provided more consevative versions of them for Morrowind. I don't think Bethsoft ever intended for the mesh and texture to be used for this purpose, and while Bethesda certainly expected nude content to become available, they should not be obliged to provide such content for ESRB screening purposes.
  • Re:So this out yet? (Score:2, Informative)

    by x_codingmonkey_x ( 839141 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:11PM (#15258712)
    Yes right here [gamespy.com]. I'm using it right now and I just find it makes the game more realistic. When I remove someones shirt they should not have some stupid leather bra under as I believe in the past no one ever used bras. Anyways, enjoy.
  • by adam.dorsey ( 957024 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @11:20PM (#15259655)
    My message to the ESRB:

    I just heard that you re-rated The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion based on a third-party content patch that unlocks the base skin used under the clothing models.

    This is absurd.

    I can make a third party patch for anything that will turn any 3D model into a naked chick in The Sims 2, Barbie Horse Adventures, etc. What I or anyone else does to a game that we have purchased should not affect the rating of the unmodified game sold in stores. This is just a cheap ploy to get attention.

    Their form is at http://esrb-web1.client.logicworks.net/about/conta ct.jsp [logicworks.net].

    Let 'em know if you feel the same way.
  • It's still a mod (Score:3, Informative)

    by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @04:09AM (#15260593) Journal
    Regardless of how those textures got there, the semantics of it are sorta like this:

    1. There's the game as you bought it, and it doesn't show any nipples.

    2. You download a mod which, regardless of HOW, replaces the bra texture with a skin and nipple texture.

    Exactly what difference does it make where that texture was? If the mod was 100k larger to include its own textures, would that have prohibited anyone from downloading it? Well, no. Would an extra 100k have made the parent pay more attention to what little Billy is playing? Hah.

    Or does anyone imagine that if the game shipped without that texture, someone else wouldn't have painted it? It's been done before for countless games which _didn't_ include nipple textures, and which in fact had the bra as an integral part of the texture. So what? It didn't stop anyone from recolouring that area, or swapping in a naked texture from another game.

    So exactly what conceptual difference does it make? Why is it ok to have a naked mod for The Sims 2 or Morrowind or (don't laugh) SWG, but not in Oblivion? It's still something you have to explicitly search for, download and install, not something you can discover by accident.

    If it was a case of "Oops, I bought this "Test Clothes" from a vendor hidden in a valley, and now my character is naked", _then_ I'd understand it. Well, ok, then it would be something that people (kids or otherwise) could stumble upon in the game as it was shipped. But that wasn't the case.

    So let me tell you what it really is: idiotic hypocrisy. That's all. Bunch of retards trying to look more moralistic and puritan than the Joneses. "*GASP* You mean those nasty game developpers were playing with naked textures? Why, the evil perverts... let's punish them! Let's gather an outraged mob with pitchforks and torches!" That's all there is to it. A bunch of SFVs (Stupid Fashion Victims) and prom queens trying to be fashionably outraged, when they think it's fashionable to be outraged.

    Groupthink is a funny thing. Or as Terry Pratchett once wrote, the IQ of a mob equals that of the most stupid member divided by the number of members. It's funny how whole towns or whole countries can be such a mob. Take a bunch of people who, taken individually, have nothing against X or pro Y, put them in a group where they think it's fashionable to be pro Y and against X, and watch them try to be the ones who scream the loudest against X and pro Y. Just to fit in the perceived group standards.

    In this case, the perceived standard (at least in huge areas of the USA, but not only) is that to be a fashionable pillar of the community you have to be fashionably outraged by nudity, sex, etc. Watch the bunch of hypocrites try to outdo each other in being outraged of it.

    It's freaking sad, that's what it is.

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