Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

March 17, 2009 -

Law enforcement is an increasingly challenging job, so GP likes to see police officers well trained and well-informed.

Moreover, with an uptick in the number of incidents in which alleged pedophiles have made contact with their victims through online games, this is clearly a venue that the police need to be able to understand and deal with effectively when the need arises.

That being said, we hope these comments by an investigator with the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force were somehow misquoted or taken out of context:

"There is no reason an adult should have [Animal Crossing: City Folk]," says Andy Anderson, Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.

Anderson says adults playing "Animal Crossing" and similar games are likely doing it for the wrong reasons.

Actually, there are many adults who enjoy the Animal Crossing series.

GP: Personally, I haven't had time to get into AC: City Folk, but I enjoyed the original Animal Crossing on GameCube and once passed an entire Philly-LAX flight playing AC: Wild World on the DS. So, it's kind of disheartening to see adult ownership of Animal Crossing eyed with suspicion by the police.

Thanks to: GamePolitics reader eugaet for the tip!

UPDATE: Crispy Gamer caught up with KMIZ News Director, Curtis Varns, who retreated a bit from the original story:

I think Detective Anderson’s comments did take the story down an unintended path. We decided to do the story to let viewers know children had been contacted inappropriately through the game. It was not intended to be an indictment of the game or a smear piece on any form of interactive entertainment.

 

The point of the story was to make parents aware so they could decide whether or not they needed to keep a watchful eye on their kids’ activities. The reporter even wrapped the story up by stressing police were not putting this information out to make people paranoid rather trying to make them aware. Upon reviewing the story, I fear much of the intent has been lost because of the comments we allowed into the story.

Looks like a case of good intentions, but flawed execution by KMIZ.


Comments

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

That really steems my brocolie. i have all three and im not a psycho. next they will diss harvest moon etc anyway i play the game buy myself. anyway most adults have their own club for the game and if they do anything criminal they should be proscuted. anyway youll never see a guy like me causing trouble i play with honor .  

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

So we should be playing more violent games like Grand Theft Auto?

When we got our Wii, my fiance wanted Animal Crossing since her friend has it. I'm a pc guy and I hadn't had a console since my Atari 2600, but ANimal crossing grew on me, but I don't visit other towns. My fiancee visits her best friend's town and vice versa, but that's it. The only reason I would is to find fruits in other towns that don't grow in mine, as foreign fruits sell for more at Nook's than do fruits in your own town.

Anyways I'm back into WoW these days mostly.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

I don't think these people have really done any investigating because you can't talk to, visit, or even see other towns, users, or even your own friends unless you have their friend code. So unless you are an iresponsible parent that lets your child talk to pediphiles then there is no way to visit them in Animal Crossing. It's just like Wild World.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Hello,

I think this cop is dead-on correct. I mean, look at it this way. Do you really think adults playing animal Crossing are just playing for fun? That's like saying that adults drawing with chalk on their driveway is "normal", when it clearly isn't!

Children are threatened all the time, and if the police want to see what the buying habits of adults are to protect them, and if they want to investigate based on those purchases, I think it's an acceptable risk. If an unaccompanied adult buys a game like that, the store personnel should be entitled to let law enforcement know, just to be safe. f the adult has nothing to hide, then they should be more than willing to let police interview them. We need to step up here and let children know that they can be safe in our society at all times.

 

If an adult finds such a game entertaining, that can be an indicator of undesired but undiscovered behavior, and that also needs to be investigated with all due speed!

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Hi, troll.

What's it like being a member of the thought police?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

I am (almost) certain that was a sarcastic, non-serious post. Almost.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Thou shalt not think that any male over the age of 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a pedophile… Some people are just nice.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Funny how I got the same response when I e-mailed Jacqueline Lapine, the reporter from the story

Thanks for taking the time to comment.  We decided to do the story to let viewers know children had been contacted inappropriately through the game.  It was not intended to be an indictment of the game or a smear piece on any form of interactive entertainment.  The point of the story was to make parents aware so they could decide whether or not they needed to keep a watchful eye on their kids' activities.  I even wrapped the story up by stressing police were not putting this information out to make people paranoid rather trying to make them aware.  Again, thanks for taking the time to write.  We'll consider your comments when we cover similar stories in the future.

 

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that the news director forwarded his response over to Lapine, and it has essentially become the company line.  In the response I got from Varns for Crispy Gamer, he specifically mentions the comments Anderson made took the story down the wrong path, and that the intent of the story had been lost as a result.  I'll admit that I find it funny Lapine responded with a lot of the same lines, but made no mention of Det. Anderson or the blatently ill-informed comments he made in the news broadcast.

David Chapman
Journalist / Editor
Email: wldcard@visionaryink.com
AIM: WldCard99
http://www.twitter.com/WldCard


David Chapman
Journalist / Editor
Email: wldcard@visionaryink.com
AIM: WldCard99
http://www.twitter.com/WldCard

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

So if I play a E for Everyone game, I'm a pedophile on the rise.

If I play a M for Mature game, I'm a psychopath training to man-slaughter. Watch out, students!

If you're a cop... The hell you doin' commenting about video games? Go bust a meth-lab or something! What the fuck are we paying them for!

 

 

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Play adult games and your a potential murderer/rapist

Play all ages games and your definately a pedo

Not really a great option there is it?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Wow! So owning a "kiddie game" makes me a pedophile! Yay! I need therapy 'coz Andy Anderson says so! Andy Anderson is really smart.

... God I hate politicians. So I guess owning a copy of GTA4 makes me a murderer too. Fucking idiots.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

So my plan into getting my mother interested in gaming will be seen as the creation of a paedophile?

In the ever immortal words of Penn Jilette (sic)... ah, you all know well what I'm about to say.

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

But I love E rated games.

 

so there is no way I am going to let a cop who completely misunderstands the concept for playing a videogame all because he does not like it.

TBoneTony

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

In case anyone wants to share their opinion about this guy's comments, here is his e-mail address:

AAnderson@boonecountymo.org

 

I think I've seen this guy involved in some other game related shenanigans.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

If anyone would like to send an email to the reporter Jacqueline Lapine to educate her on all her inaccuracies you can do it here http://www.kmiz.com/contact/email.php?id=44

I know we can all get a little passionate when someone does stuff like this but this is a good opportunity to approach this maturely and thoughtfully.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

~Written by the same officer that believes he should get commission for tickets given.

 

I will not buy securom games. http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message1.jpg and http://www.wolvenmoon.com/sharedfiles/message2.jpg

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

So its either we are mass murders on the verge of snapping or pedophiles. We gamers just seem to can't win. I'm going to bed.
---- Rumblerumblerumber

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Ah, so you're one of the lazy bastards that never get out of their chairs and risk an early death.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Does Officer Dumbass know that Nintendo is actively marketing AC to adults?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Even if he was slightly misquoted, but not enough to make much difference, his view seems to be born out pure ignorance and poor research/laziness.

"The equipment is real expensive and we cannot afford to buy all of the systems and do not have the resources either to examine all of the possibilities," Anderson explains.

Even if his dept can't spare the $350 for for system, game, and accessory, it stands to be very likely that somebody on the force has a kid with the game that could lend it to them for an afternoon.  Hell, ten minutes on Google would suffice to find information on how the game works, how their arcane Friend Code system works.  Instead he decides to save that time and assume that because the game has a "kiddie" look that its only for kids and can't be enjoyed by anyone else.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Yeah but then you have to teach them how to use google, and not click on ads to the right instead. :(

 

Trevor Gray ganjookie@yahoo.com

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

I'm getting lots of opportunities to use this, lately:

Aside from being stupid, though, it's actually pretty scary that the guy who said this has actual power. Orwell would call it thoughtcrime.

@GP: "Moreover, with an uptick in the number of incidents in which alleged pedophiles have made contact with their victims through online games, this is clearly a venue that the police need to be able to understand and deal with effectively when the need arises."

An uptick in the number of incidents, or an uptick in the number of incidents being reported? Don't ignore your own role in this media circus. Internet predators are an exaggerated threat.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

I try and stay away from GP during the day because it is difficult to suppress the rage these comments provoke. My wife LOVES Animal Crossing, and even that little racoon that brings a new meaning to "preditory lending", Tom Nook.

We aren't talking Barbie Horse Adventures (www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/01/09/), we are talking about a Sims-esque game. The person who let this quote spew forth from his lips should EAT the disc!

I take offense when people insult my wife, and this man has done just that.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

By the way, there's a video on the linked article. It turns out the guy was actually slightly misquoted in that article. Of course, his actual words are just as bad.

"... sense to me at all. I cannot come up with any legitimate reason that an adult would be playing that particular game," were his exact words.

We're not given the precise context. I'm guessing the sentence we only hear the end of was probably along the lines of "(something) doesn't make any sense to me at all." An adult playing Animal Crossing, perhaps?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Its sad its stories like this and other such as the guy in the park taking pictures of his kids that make me not want to have to do anything with kids. Part of me want to join the Big Brothers and Big Sisters but the rational side of my brain says stop it could ruin your life, so I don't volunteer cause of it. I rather not take the risk its not worth it, and I'm sorry some child out there has to suffer for it.

I remember a news story, believe it was around my area, of a missing child who ended up dead. Witnesses say they saw the child along the side of the road but kept driving on because they were afraid of being label as pedophiles or worse. Sad too cause if they would of stopped the child would of lived. Sad what this world has become to just to protect the children.

--- Jay Clark President of the Washington D.C. Area ECA Chapter http://dc.ecachapter.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Hasn't the latest round of Wii ads shown this game being played by adults???  Statements like this only encourage further social divide and discrimination against adults who play video games.  Joyous.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Well, I'm not old, but my dad enjoys animal crossing. It's a surprisingly addictive game, even when nothing changes bewtween releases...

But really, with games with online MP like Halo, where you can link up with random people and talk privately, their worried about animal crossing?

 

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

True, but pervs can find more innocent kids on AC i guess?  Those Halo kiddies will curse you out for not having chocolate milk.

 

Trevor Gray ganjookie@yahoo.com

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

No no no, the REAL innocent kids can be found on PSN, there are 11-year-olds that'll fall for anything!

 

Note that I don't mean that in a really offensive way, just playing around

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

ba dum tish

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

| XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HarryMiste |

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

HA! :D

 

Please ignore my previous post about stupid kids falling for stupid tricks.

Trevor Gray

ganjookie@yahoo.com

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

"Suspicion breeds confidence"? Looks like the age of thought crime is right upon us!

ZAR.

 

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

 Probably means I shouldn't be playing Viva Pinata either.

*sigh*

Not everyone who enjoys a good "kid" game is a pedophile.  Most aren't.  This is just silly.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

This is one of the most ignorant things I've ever read. I'm a 30-year-old woman, and I love the game. It's just plain fun, not to mention adorable. I just bought a copy for my 60-year-old mother, since I'm sure she'll have a blast with it as well.

You can only visit and write to friends you've *exchanged* friend codes with. If I have someone's code, I can't do a damn thing with them unless they've got mine and we've registered each other as friends in-game.

IMO, parents who purchase this game for their kids need to understand -- and make sure their kids understand -- that you should only register friend codes for people that you know, like school friends and relatives.

Just another instance of folks blaming the game when they should be blaming the home environment. Maybe Mr. Anderson should actually play it before he starts pointing fingers. You never know, he might actually have fun and dislodge that stick from his backside.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

"You can only visit and write to friends you've *exchanged* friend codes with. If I have someone's code, I can't do a damn thing with them unless they've got mine and we've registered each other as friends in-game."

I was wondering about that. This guy is saying random strangers can contact children within the game, which had me wondering why the heck Nintendo wasn't requiring the use of friend codes for a game that's played by lots of children. Now I see it's just yet another misconception by an uninformed cop.

Thanks for clearing it up.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Well I'm boned...

But seriously?  I played it because I loved making Shirt Designs...I made so many I had to buy another copy to keep on making new ones.  I even entered one in a contest and won =D

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

Yay, I'm a pedophile now, yay! /sarcasm

Idiot, this person is an idiot, plain and simple.  I own all the AC games and I'm not a pedophile.  Can we sue for slander?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

http://animalcrossingtragedy.ytmnd.com/

I don't know how much more I can say this guy is full of it.  It may be a localized issue with one guy in the town that contacted the 3 kids, but it is no reason to say adults should have no reason to play it.  I'm sure the mom in the above video didn't think so, and neither did her kids later on in life.

Personally I play this game with my niece and nephews online.  I live in SoCal, they live in Utah.  It's a great way to connect with them and have fun.  I'm 31 and they are 5-10years old.

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

That story actually made me cry.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Me too

 

Trevor Gray ganjookie@yahoo.com

Trevor Gray
ganjookie@yahoo.com

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

This is just insulting. I am an adult, and I have Animal Crossing City Folk... but I do not do anythig bad with it! Heck, I do not even take it online half the time! ACCF is just a game I like to play and relax to. No killing, no real puzzle finding, just fun! If anything, it is just like the Sims, only you have neighbors with better interactions and choices!

This just feels like a witch hunt, back when they basically said "If you play doom, you are gonna shoot up a school or kill somone in reality" type phase. What is wrong with this world? Honestly!

-Nicole

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Would this also include games like 'Viva Pinata'?

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

That's even worse! "Want to come and see my Pinata's little boy, that's it, take a good look, the cutest one's at the back!"

You pervert!!

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

I guess some people are eternally idiots.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

I read a story posted by someone a few months ago who got busted and berrated because he was taking pictures of his own kids at a park. The people crowded him calling him a pedo and a creep and called the cops and tried to get him to give them his camera. It really is scary how some people see problems where there aren't any, but I guess that's what happens when you live in a culture of fear.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

Decided to Google it, and it seems he himself decided to call the police to prove his case. The police agreed with him that it was crazy, too.

Your point still stands, of course.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

My goodness, if all it takes is liking rated E games to be a pedophile now-days, I must be an Ultra Pedo! I have nearly 2000 games in my collection!

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal ...

No, you can't talk to anyone across the country... in fact, unless you trade codes, you can't talk to ANYONE.

The first step is giving your friend code to someone else and putting theirs in.  The responsible way to do that is first to either already know the person, or to meet them on a chat site and decide whether or not to trust them.

Once you actually do trade codes and link, if you don't like how they act, you can end the wifi session, delete that person from your friends list, and you never deal with them again.  Ever.

Of course, if something bad happens, folks nowadays won't take responsibility.   Plus, it's good TV ratings for ignorant people to pass blame.

Re: Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

If it wasn't completely wrong in so many ways to harass the police (or any one, for that matter) I would say every adult who has ever played an "E" rated game should report themselves, their friends, neighbours, ect.

Maybe then Andy Anderson realize people of all ages enjoy these games.

"I'd far rather be happy than right any day."
 
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