GTA sex scandal hits Australia

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Gaming

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

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 have 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.

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.

Source.