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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
GTA sex scandal hits Australia
Screenshot from GTA: San Andreas
San Andreas was one of the best-selling games of 2004
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, has effectively been banned in Australia because of hidden sex scenes.

Shops have been ordered to stop selling the blockbuster game after the country's ratings board stripped it of its official classification.

The row is over graphic sexual content in the game which can be unlocked with software created by a fan.

Leading US stores stopped selling the game after it was rated as an adults only title due to the graphic scenes.

Hot fuss

Parents are strongly advised to exercise caution in allowing children continued access to the game
Des Clark, Office of Film and Literature Classification
San Andreas was originally classified as a MA15+ title, meaning it could only be sold to gamers aged over 15.

But the revelations about the hidden sexual content have led Australia's Office of Film and Literature Classification to revoke the game's rating.

This means that the game can no longer be sold, hired or advertised in Australia.

"Businesses that sell or hire computer games should remove existing stocks of this game from their shelves immediately," said the director of the ratings board, Des Clark.

"Parents are strongly advised to exercise caution in allowing children continued access to the game, particularly if they might have access to the 'Hot Coffee' modification."

The Hot Coffee modification was created by a Dutch fan of the game, who found a way to unlock explicit sexual scenes in San Andreas.

US concerns

GTA's publisher, Take Two, initially denied the scenes were part of the game but later admitted they were contained in the retail version of San Andreas.

The case has caused an uproar in the US, where the game was re-classified as an adults only title, leading big retail chains to pull it from the shelves.

US politicians, such as Senator Hilary Clinton, have called for an investigation into the issue and a woman has filed a lawsuit over the game.

The team behind San Andreas, Rockstar Games, has stopped producing the current version of the game and is working on a version without the controversial content.

GTA: San Andreas was one of the best-selling games of 2004. The title already has an 18 age rating in the UK.


SEE ALSO:
Uproar grows over GTA sex scenes
26 Jul 05 |  Technology
Hidden sex scenes hit GTA rating
21 Jul 05 |  Technology
Clinton wades into GTA sex storm
14 Jul 05 |  Technology
Sex controversy over GTA game
11 Jul 05 |  Technology
Parents 'ignore game age ratings'
24 Jun 05 |  Technology
GTA sequel is criminally good
02 Nov 04 |  Technology


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