By Columnist
updated 8/10/2005 3:59:51 PM ET 2005-08-10T19:59:51

One side note to the furor surrounding those hidden sex scenes on "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" is that for all the controversy, they boast a weirdly sex-positive message.

As everyone and their grandmother knows , owners of the PC version of the game can access these scenes by installing code called "Hot Coffee" downloadable from the Internet.

The code, or "mod" as such programs built to modify off-the-shelf PC games are called, unlocks a mini-game starring CJ, the — ahem — gang-banging protagonist of this interactive criminal epic, and a variety of female characters. Players are tasked to help CJ pleasure his women via some deft joystick movement. There's no genitalia to be seen, but it's not hard to figure out who is doing what to whom where.

That's not surprising for a game that even in its unaltered version is rated "M" for Mature. What is surprising is that inept joystick moves earn a diss from the game with the message, "Failure to satisfy a woman is a crime!"

Granted, this message is not After School Special caliber, but coming from a game that chews through all flavors of violence and deprivation, the hidden sex scenes could have been worse. A lot worse. I would be the last to say that "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" has anything to teach society , but there you go. Hidden in the most violent video game of all time is a plea for better lovin'.

Rockstar Games, the creator of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" first denied the scenes, saying they were the work of a malicious modder. They have since admitted that the hidden scenes were actually scraps of legacy code, never meant for public consumption, that somehow shipped with the end product. Riiiiiiighhhht.

The whole furor has thrown an unfair light on modders, creative and technically proficient gamers who extend the playability of popular games by adding more levels, new characters or new settings. The "Hot Coffee" mod was a little different, coded not to modify "Grand Theft Auto," but expose scenes already provided by the game's programmers.

And yet "Hot Coffee" and the odd sex-positive message it unveiled got me thinking. A lot of games out there are dying for a little love from a modder with a twisted sense of purpose.

Here are a few mods that I'd like to see:

'Sims 2': The 'death and taxes' mod
The mother of all simulations made history by allowing Sims to be born, age and eventually die.  This mod takes the next step. Included are short and long forms and a tutorial on how to itemize home improvements and Sim items like that neon Flamingo. Failure to accurately complete tax forms leads to banishment of your Sim to that tacky bungalow on the outskirts of Strangetown.

'Civilization': The 'bring 'em on' mod
The empire-building PC game where the player assumes everything from feeding the people to conquering new lands is updated to the 21st century: Act as the administrator in a newly conquered country. Choose between improving infrastructure or building more concrete walls around the Green Zone. Inadequate military equipment, discontent on the home front, less tax dollars and green horn bureaucrats who can't speak the language increase the challenge.

'Katamari Damacy': The 'paper or plastic' mod
After rolling their ever growing sticky ball up and down hallways and through streets collecting everything in their path from paper clips to kittens, players must sort out their sticky items in the appropriate bins reserved for paper, plastic, aluminum, glass and two dozen other receptacles for organic and inorganic waste. Failure to finish sorting in time replaces “Katamari Damacy’s” loveable Japano-pop soundtrack with cuts from “The Best of Yoko Ono.”

'Medal of Honor': The 'war really is hell' mod
The World War II series where players single-handedly win the war gets a dose of realism with this mod which replaces the panoramic battlefields of Europe and the Pacific for a dirt hole in the middle of nowhere. Players win by keeping their characters' heads down and not moving for eight hours.

'Star Wars Galaxies': The 'get a job' mod
Installing this mod allows participants of the massively multiplayer online role playing game to access the classified listings from their local newspapers while still playing the game. Essential reading for those long commutes between Tatoonie and the wookie planet.

'Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball': The 'banana slings' mod
The 2003 title that combined beach volleyball, nubile beach beauties and the “jiggle cam” long before those cheerleaders at the Athens Olympic Games gets a much needed update with an all-male cast. Choose from a variety of players: Chelsea boy, suburban dad, pasty blogger, etc. Then dress them in short or shorter-shorts and tap into the discomfort your girlfriend feels when she walks in on you playing "Final Fantasy." Also includes “back hair removal" option.

'MVP Baseball 2005': The 'players' union boss' mod
With sports games dedicating more play to the franchise mode where players act as mini-Steinbrenners, this mod rectifies a huge gap in the so-called real sports genre by giving props to the players' union. Choose lawyers to represent your players. Engage in walk-outs. Defend your players from nosy senators during congressional hearings on steroids. Refuse to deliberate on drug testing for bonus points.

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