"I ain't insecure, but tell me I'm great." With these words, L.A. rapper and novice voice actor Young Maylay got the attention of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton and commanded the momentary but sizable interest of the media, Congress, the FTC, and Wall Street. You can hear these words in the videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but only if you unlock the hidden explicit-sex minigame known as "Hot Coffee." As the player maneuvers the main character, Carl "CJ" Johnson, through a series of sexual positions, Maylay's voice track belts out lady-pleasing lines such as, "You're incredible! You should get paid for this!" In the world of Grand Theft Auto, the highest compliment a man can pay his lover is that she fucks like a whore.
In the new GTA game, your character, CJ, picks up girlfriends during the story. You need to keep them happy, and that includes making regular visits to their houses to enjoy some "hot coffee." The sex is only implied unless you use cheat codes to unlock it. Onscreen instructions tell you to press the buttons in the rhythm of pelvic thrusts, with frequent position changes so your girl doesn't get bored. As you rock her world, your Excitement Meter goes up until climax. The girlfriends are completely naked, while CJ retains his clothes for modesty—I suppose Rockstar loves T&A, but they couldn't handle cock.
Once word got out about Hot Coffee, politicians got rhythmic on Rockstar. Senator Clinton stepped up swiftly: "The disturbing material in Grand Theft Auto and other games like it is stealing the innocence of our children." I don't belong to the cult of childhood innocence, because I remember what it's like to be a ball of writhing ego who has yet to develop empathy. I'm likewise against plans to make the sale of mature-rated video games to children a crime, as Washington's former Governor Gary Locke tried and failed to do, and Senator Clinton has now proposed.
But when I see millions of copies of the new GTA yanked from store shelves, and Congress voting to have the FTC investigate, and a class-action lawsuit filed by the inevitable angry grandmother, all I can think is: Rockstar deserves it. They're arrogant jerks and have been ever since GTA became a pop phenomenon. When Hot Coffee hit the fan, Rockstar's PR flacks issued a series of shrill and indignant yet highly selective denials worthy of Senator Clinton's husband. They whined that it wasn't their fault, that hackers illegally modified the software. They refused to accept any responsibility whatsoever.
But it was their fault. The sex minigame was created, manufactured, and distributed by multiple people at Rockstar working together. They even recorded dialogue! All the hackers did was find it.
Hot Coffee was a dumb idea, created by a team of people who thought they were too cool for school. Rockstar's gutless denials and steady stream of bullshit makes them worthy of some of CJ's hot coffee: because Rockstar fucks like a whore, too.