The Last Of Us Dev Promises to Remove Phone Sex Numbers

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The Last Of Us Dev Promises to Remove Phone Sex Numbers

The Last Of Us screen

Creative Director Neil Druckmann says the inclusion of real phone sex numbers in The Last Of Us was "an honest mistake."

Look closely at the right bulletin boards in The Last Of Us and you'll notice among the posts an ad for "ABC Quality Pest Control," with two separate 800 numbers you can call to "make your home free from pests." But if you do happen to call them, which some people obviously did, what you'll actually end up connected to is a phone sex line.

"That was an artist's mistake," Druckmann told Kotaku. "What happened was, they put some phone numbers in the game and then they thought they could just change the area code to 555, then it's invalid because it's what they do in movies. But I guess that doesn't work when you have a 1-800 in front of it."

Druckmann said Naughty Dog will remove the sexy hotlines, although I'm not really clear on why it should. The Last Of Us is what I call a very M-rated game, with "blood and gore, intense violence, sexual themes and strong language" all on the ESRB content descriptor menu, and television advertisements depict (or at least strongly suggest) Joel, the hero, offing an injured guy with a rusty machete. In light of all that, is the presence of a phone sex number really that much of an issue?

Source: Kotaku

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This game just can't get enough it seems

Okay honestly who calls numbers from video games? Unless it's who framed roger rabbit. Just seems like a big waste of time.

Huh, I too thought all numbers with 555 in the middle were always fake.

The more you know...

Man, all these tiny blunders.

I'm reminded of a politician who arrived at his hotel and tried to call a government office, but used the 1-800 prefix instead of the official one. The resulting number was a sex line, which got really awkward when a rival candidate got a hold of it (even though the interception showed that he hung up ten seconds after dialing) (too unbothered to find source).

It makes me wonder just how many sex lines there are out there...

Seems like with this latest boner for Quality Pest Control, Naughty Dog could have used some better Quality Control.

I'd assume the reason they want to remove it ASAP isn't because "sex in video games oh noes" but rather, they don't want to be seen as endorsing the sex industry or advertise for it.

Hey, it's free advertising.
One eight hundred LUST of us.

Zombie Izzard:
Okay honestly who calls numbers from video games? Unless it's who framed roger rabbit. Just seems like a big waste of time.

I could easily see someone thinking that some kind of Easter Egg voice mail would be found by calling it. Developers love to put that kind of stuff in games.

This a legitimately hilarious mistake

For fek sake. I despair about the state of humanity some times. Why phone a number in a game? Seriously! Who?

To be honest... I'm a little suspicious... Are they BOTH phone sex lines? If so, what are the odds that two random 800 numbers are actually sex lines?

Now I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying.

Zombie Izzard:
Okay honestly who calls numbers from video games? Unless it's who framed roger rabbit. Just seems like a big waste of time.

God of war had a secret phone number in it that if you called it, you heard Kratos kill David Jaffe or however you spell his name.

Krantos:
...what are the odds that two random 800 numbers are actually sex lines?

Startlingly high, I imagine.

I'm totally gonna copy what one of the Facebook comments for the article said:

"Dev Promises to Remove Phone Hidden Sex Numbers"

This title sound right not it does.

It has outright amazed me the number of tiny controversies that have hit The Last of Us without a huge stink being made over the strongly implied attempted rape in the game. It's like whoever lights fires under the asses of people who start those controversies doesn't actually play games, and since it wasn't used in any of the advertising, no one has noticed.

I could have sworn that sex lines and telemarketers were usually under 900 ACs, and 800s were reserved for business... but I could be wrong. Anyway, the issue is really the fact that there's no prior warning as to what you're calling, so it really should be changed. Though, in my opinion, it should be changed to a sexy poster that says the numbers are to a sex hotline... that's just me though.

Welp, looks like I won't be downloading any patches for this game.

I think what we've learned from The Last of Us is that video games have reached the point where they're TOO realistic. People have their likenesses stolen, maps stolen, and phone sex hotlines advertised, all unintentionally. Next thing you know, someone's apartment is going to get broken into because some video game used their building's ventilation system.

Andy Chalk:
In light of all that, is the presence of a phone sex number really that much of an issue?

Was the accidental inclusion of some dead code that lead to a sex scene in San Andreas enough for the media to lose its shit when an 8 year old figured out how to access the scene? It's just going to take one stupid kid, in a family where the parents bought the game despite the M rating, to phone up that number and we'll have another media shit-storm on our hands.

We've been dealing with the fallout from Sandy Hook for months now, do we really want to give them more anecdotal ammunition to misrepresent?

I'm more amazed that phone sex numbers exist at all in the age of the internet.

I can't provide a citation but I remember reading somewhere that a large percentage of phone sex calls were actually used for talk therapy. Since many men feel it isn't "manly" to talk about problems with friends or go seek help they call the phone sex line just to talk to someone who will pretend to care. And if they are caught they have an instant "socially acceptable" excuse.

A pest control poster has numbers for phone sex lines?

That's actually kinda funny. Why remove it? If someone actually calls the number it's their problem, not the game developers.

I'd remove simply because I wouldn't want to get sued by whoever owns those sex line numbers for having it in the game without permission.

Besides that, sex is the most evil thing on the planet. Far more evil the murder and violence. Of course they would seek to remove it from the game. The game may get slapped with an AO for having it if they aren't careful.

Klonoa Prower:
I could have sworn that sex lines and telemarketers were usually under 900 ACs, and 800s were reserved for business...

It's a business. A business that takes a credit card number and then lets you talk creepy/dirty at a bored housewife who pretends to look like a Playboy centerfold.

The idea is 1-800s are toll free and 1-900s are pay-per-minute right to your phone bill. But there's nothing stopping a 1-800 from asking for a credit card number and then dinging you per minute.

This is 'Murica! We are deathly afraid of sex. Violence is cool, through. We love violence a lot. 'Murica!

I don't see the problem in removing it. I mean whether you like it or not, everything depicted in the game is fiction. If they don't want "real life" vulgarities or what not in the game, that's their choice.

Who. The Hell. Calls up numbers they find in video games?

GET A LIFE!

So I only imagine that someone who got the number from the game called the hotline and started doing Clicker noises.

lacktheknack:
(even though the interception showed that he hung up ten seconds after dialing)

image

OT: It's an 18, what's the point? People leave these numbers in telephone boxes on the street.

Joel, the hero, offing an injured guy with a rusty machete.

Now I suddenly don't have the stomach to try this game. Which is a shame. Plant zombies, natural world, I wonder why that's never been done before.

Who let all of the serial killers and rapists into the entertainment industry?

This brings back memories.

Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny

When this song came out the artists just tossed in the phone number at random. Naturally the number's owner ended up getting thousands upon thousands of calls from people who were curious if it was "Jenny's" phone number for real.

The phone company was kind enough to change the poor shmuck's number for free, if I recall correctly.

Lol wut? Who calls numbers in a video game, I always suspected that phone numbers in games were all dummy numbers or parts of ARG's.

the real question is what was on the artists heads when they put this in. if they just "put random numbers in" then were they thinking of sex lines when doing that or something?
Also why woud you call pest control from a game? you want your cocroaches to be purged by a flamethrower or something?

Formica Archonis:
The idea is 1-800s are toll free and 1-900s are pay-per-minute right to your phone bill. But there's nothing stopping a 1-800 from asking for a credit card number and then dinging you per minute.

are there 1-700s? we could just use that in games and noone would be able to dial then. or something like that and it would be good enough.

PirateRose:
I'd remove simply because I wouldn't want to get sued by whoever owns those sex line numbers for having it in the game without permission.

This. The problem is that what they thought was a fake number turned out to be a real one that is currently in use. I doubt they care in the slightest who actually owns it.

Yeah, strikes me more as a legal issue than a moral one. Advertising another company's phone number, under the wrong name, without permission seems like it could get you in trouble. Or at least is annoying to enough to warrant to quick patch it'll take to fix.

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