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And it is not just America anymore. Our own local ambulance chasers are casing quite a stir in Japan too. I wonder how Europe will handle this (if it comes it to that.)


JACK THOMPSON is well known for his scathing attacks on the videogames industry and he has not passed up the opportunity presented by the Hot Coffeegate scandal to springboard a whole raft of new accusations against the industry.

The game currently in his sights is The Sims 2 which, on any other day, is viewed as one of the cleanest videogames going. Not, however, according to Mr. Thompson who stated in a release to the press that The Sims 2 is “worse than Hot Coffee.” He stated that “Sims 2, the latest version of the Sims video game franchise ... contains, according to video game news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia, and pubic hair.”

For anyone who knows The Sims franchise, normally all such areas are blurred and, according to EA vice president of corporate communications Jeff Brown, there’s nothing to see there anyways. “If someone with an extreme amount of expertise and time were to remove the pixels, they would see that the sims have no genitals. They appear like Ken and Barbie.”

Mr. Thompson then backtracked a bit and blamed the nudity on modders, stating that “The sex and the nudity are in the game. That's the point. The blur is an admission that even the ‘Ken and Barbie’ features should not be displayed. The blur can be disarmed. This is no different than what is in San Andreas, although worse.”

He said he is aware that only certain mods remove “the blur,” but added that “Electronic Arts has done nothing about this.” Thompson's new is that EA is “cooperating, gleefully, with the mod community to turn Sims 2 into a porn offering.”

This is a worrying development for publishers and developers after Hot Coffeegate, and not only do people like Thompson seek to censure videogames themselves but also the modders who create 3rd party content for videogames that has become so popular and such a cornerstone of videogame life in recent years. By making publishers responsible for such content Thompson will force the industry to censure modders or face direct censorship themselves. The videogames industry is wading in dangerous waters and fending off blows from multiple sides now, but if it is to survive with its artistic freedoms in place then it will need to go on something of an offensive against people like Thompson.

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