As much as the previous poster can be accused of topic necromancy, as long as it's up here I might as well post.
I never got the big fuzz about Hot Coffee, personally. Nor did anyone I hung out with at the time. We all pretty much wrote it off as an American thing, as we often do with these things. If there is an outrage about something seemingly trivial blown way out of proportion, which anyone with half a brain wouldn't care about under normal circumstances, it's usually American. I mean really, we're talking about the country where McDonald's is sued for having hot coffee and for having burgers that make people fat when frequently consumed.
Now, as for violence in videogames, first of all there is a reason violence is so common throughout different forms of cultural expression. Violence is a part of our being, an instinctive response and something that will develop naturally on its own without the need of outside stimuli. Violence isn't some complex philosophical dogma that's taken three great thinkers and a sect to develop, it is about as basic as eating. Children always fight. Admittedly not all children fight, at least not much, but children always fight, and I doubt there was a time when it wasn't so. Children don't even need an excuse to fight, they will just do it, much like some adults still do.
That being said, I'll have to admit I'm rather fond of Rockstar. There are a lot of people out there trying to do what they do less successfully, and there is still some innovation in them. They seek new territory and they push the boundaries. If videogames shall ever be concidered an artform, like books and movies have become with time, we will need people who are willing to push the boundaries a bit. GTA may not be perfect, but despite the clones it still stands as fairly unique. And not only that, it sells.
That is no small feat.
. . .
. . .