July 22, 2005
“Absolutely not,” say Grand Text Auto executives. Bloggers at the popular site have categorically denied that, with the aid of a program freely available on the Internet, “secret content” can be unlocked and the blog can be revealed as being laced with sex and obscenity. The sharp reply came after the Entertainment Blog Rating Board, at the behest of Senator Hillary Clinton, issued a ruling revoking Grand Text Auto’s previously awarded rating of “serious hypertext.”
Furthermore, Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern released a statement in which they denied that the real reason Façade is 800 MB in size is that hidden sexual content exists in the game. (Reports had surfaced early in the week that after undertaking only a three to four year research project, players could simply download the resulting “mod,” apply it to Façade, and then coax either Trip or Grace into dressing up in a mascot outfit.) The statement claims that Façade contains “only nice and fun things” such as a marriage breaking up, drunken behavior, nagging, emotional manipulation, and social discomfort.
The dark, swirling scandal has taken on the appellation “enterprise espresso beans” in the blogosphere, for some reason. A hastily removed 60 second story included, as a clever plot point, the revelation that this scandal was “virally” manufactured by Grand Text Auto bloggers themselves to increase T-shirt sales, but no statement has been released by the bloggers on this matter, and their contact information is not easily available.