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.