the year since Hot Coffee was discovered, the industry, so seems, has
seen it all. There’s been a slew of legislation, threatened, promised
and delivered. Age verification and ratings compliance have been
stepped up at the retail level and the venerable ESRB has fundamentally
changed its rating policies.
But has it changed the way we mod and play games? It depends on who you ask.
the hacker at the center of the controversy, little has changed. “The
hot coffee controversy hasn't affected how I play or buy games,” says
Patrick Wildenborg, the modder known to many simply as PatrickW. For
Patrick, the worst part of the controversy was weathering the media
storm that forced him to disconnect his phone for several days just to
get some peace.
He acknowledges that it has had
an effect on the GTA mod community, however. The second version of San
Andreas was made “much more mod-resistant” according to Patrick, and
among members of the community, there is doubt that future versions
will be moddable at all. “This has already made good people leave the
scene,” Patrick adds. Among those that remain, there exists a certain
amount of caution. “Some innocent modding stuff isn't getting
released,” says Patrick, “because modders are afraid it might cause
Patrick first released the Hot Coffee mod to GTAGarage.com on June 9,
2005, neither he nor any member of the community could have imagined
the absolute firestorm it would create in the months to come. An
active, tight knit and established mod community, members worked on
levels, dissected code and exchanged techniques. In a matter of weeks,
however, all that would change as they found the fingers of the game
industry, politicians and citizens groups pointed squarely at them.