Attorney Jack Thompson hasn’t met a video game he didn’t hate. He’s made a career out of trying to sue big name publishers of various violent video games such as DOOM and the GTA series and is often in news headlines decrying such games as “murder simulators” that publishers should be held responsible for. His claims tend to be long on inflammatory emotional statements and short on facts and now he’s targeting the life simulation known as The Sims 2 which, he claims, has content that’s worse than the Hot Coffee mod.
In a manifesto sent today to press outlets, Thompson focuses on dismantling the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and exposing what he calls the industry’s “latest dirty little secret.” The secret’s out now, and it involves nude sims.
In the statement, Thompson says, “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.”
Once again he starts off by displaying he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. The Sims 2, as shipped from the publisher, does not contain any nudity at all. Whenever Sims get naked in the game they’re covered by a digital blur just like you’d see on your favorite episode of COPS. It is true that you can turn off that blur using a cheat code, but all that does is leave you with Sims that look like your average naked Barbie doll. The default skins for the Sims do not contain any naughty bits.
Now, it is possible to replace the default skins with skins created by modders that do include graphic details, but this is something that has to be done by the user of the program as an intentional substitution and not part of the original program. Thompson probably knows that, but doesn’t care. The fact that it can be done is enough for him to declare the program as being a “pedophile’s dream.”
Thompson doesn’t buy it. “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.”
[UPDATE] Thompson this afternoon updated his earlier statement, saying he is aware certain mods only remove “the blur,” but adds that “Electronic Arts has done nothing about this.” Thompson’s new conclusion: EA is “cooperating, gleefully, with the mod community to turn Sims 2 into a porn offering.”
I’d laugh at Thompson’s antics if there weren’t so many people taking him seriously. Is he going to sue the Mattel company next because kids can remove the doll’s clothing without a digital blur popping up? He’s just claimed that the same kind of nudity in The Sims 2 is inappropriate so surely he’s going to sue the makers of Ken and Barbie for the same offense, yes?
This asshat is one of the biggest media attention whores around and, as far as I’m aware, has yet to win any of the lawsuits he’s filed against various publishers. It’s clear his motivation is purely one of greed and he’s hoping to get a bite of the billions the video game industry tends to make in profits these days. His claims are rarely based on facts and are often outright lies and he seems to feel that publishers should be responsible for anything users of their products do with them. I’m sure if some nut used a broken CD to slice the throat of his victim Thompson would try to sue whichever game maker provided the CD for the nut to break and use as a weapon. What a dipshit.