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Sims 2 is ruder than GTA

Says US videogame critic.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

US attorney Jack Thompson has taken time out from his busy schedule of condemning the makers of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and comparing the ESRB president to Hitler to take a pop at EA's The Sims 2 - describing the game as a "pedophile's paradise."

In a statement, Thompson referred to The Sims 2 as the industry's "latest dirty little secret", claiming that the game "contains, according to videogame news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia and pubic hair." [According to videogame sites!? Lordy. - Ed]

Although there is no sex in the game, characters appear nude when carrying out activities such as taking a shower. Their breasts and genitals are blurred out to avoid offence - but Thompson claimed hackers can get around this by using a cheat code.

"The nudity placed there by the publisher/maker, Electronic Arts, is accessed by the use of a simple code that removes what is called 'the blur' which obscures genital areas," he said.

"In other words, the game was released to the public by the manufacturer knowing that the full frontal nudity was resident on the game and would be accessed by use of a simple code widely provided on the Internet."

Thompson went on to note that children can also be made to appear nude in the game - "Much to the delight, one can be sure, of pedophiles around the globe who can rehearse, in virtual reality, for their abuse."

EA responded by observing that even if the blur is removed there is nothing to see: "This is nonsense. We've reviewed 100 percent of the content. There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see a nude sim," EA executive Jeff Brown told US website GameSpot.

"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."

But that's not good enough for Thompson. "The sex and nudity are in the game. That's the point," he said.

"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."

Thompson later updated his statement, saying that he understood that available mods only get rid of the blur without revealing graphic details. However, he went on to complain that, "Electronic Arts has done nothing about this," claiming that the publisher is "co-operating, gleefully, with the mod community to turn Sims 2 into a porn offering."

The ESRB has made no comment on Thompson's statement, and there is currently no suggestion that The Sims 2 could be slapped with a higher age rating as in the GTA: San Andreas case.

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