Cybercop: No Good Reason For Adults to Own Animal Crossing

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.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

101 comments

  1. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    "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.

  2. 0
    Ganjookie says:

    Did you read the article about the PS3 user who told a girl he would take her off his friends list if she did not show her lil boobies?

    pretty dumb, but she fell for it.

     [edit: reading further you did see it :p ]

    Trevor Gray

    ganjookie@yahoo.com

  3. 0
    Mad_Scientist says:

    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?

  4. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    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?-

  5. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    If a kid is that retarded….

     

    I’m just saying, how stupid does someone have to be to fall for a predators trap?

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

  6. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Eh, Bloody/gorey kids never get boring…sooo many options for killing people with Garrys Mod….especially infants/children =D

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

  7. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Oh. My. Lord. You play pokemon with your neices/nephews? You PEDAPHILE!

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

  8. 0
    Awol says:

    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

  9. 0
    HelpHelpImBeingRepressed says:

    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.

  10. 0
    Saxy says:

    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?

     

  11. 0
    kit_katherine says:

     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.

  12. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    While that is true, for any interaction to happen, both peopel have to register each other’s friend codes. So if a hopeful perv enters a friendcod,e he couldn’t do jack unless the other person put in their friendcode.

    I think Nintendo chose that system to prevent certain people from harassing one another.


  13. 0
    Conster says:

    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.

  14. 0
    g33kg0dd3ss says:

    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.

  15. 0
    finaleve says:

    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

  16. 0
    Ganjookie says:

    I think you are correct that they do not have the funds to purchase a WII and AC; nor do they have the manpower to test this idea of his.  It seems he is just making a blanket statement with no proof to back him up.

     

    – Trevor Gray

  17. 0
    Ashkihyena says:

    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?

  18. 0
    Ganjookie says:

    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.

  19. 0
    NicoleWagner1981 says:

    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

  20. 0
    Nocturne says:

    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!!

  21. 0
    Vash-HT says:

    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.

  22. 0
    Kuros says:

    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!

  23. 0
    bakaohki says:

    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.

  24. 0
    JB says:

    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.

  25. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    "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.

    THis statement is a bit confusing. Is he saying that he cannot afford to buy all the hardware in order to test Animal crossing, or is he talking about buying up all the Wii’s to keep them out of the hands of pedophiles and children? It most likely is the former, but you have to ask about the latter.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
    http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma


    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  26. 0
    MaJeStIc_12_x says:

    Other "likely" quotes from Andy Anderson, Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force:

    "There is no reason that a man should not watch NASCAR."

    "Yes, my of my close buddies is former mayor Dean Grose. Why’d ya ask?"

    "There is no reason a man should ever hug his son, his niece on the other hand…"

    "I can’t tell them apart, they all look Chinese to me."

     

  27. 0
    divisionbyzero says:

    I think we’re all jumping to conclusions here. He said there’s no reason for an adult to own Animal Crossing. He could just be advocating piracy.

  28. 0
    The gaming Dutch says:

    So liking (social) games with cute little characters makes me a perv?

    I’ll now feel quite dirty playing Cooking Mama, Super smash or Pokemon with my brothers kids. 

    I better go and burn a large piece of my game collection now…

  29. 0
    Nocturne says:

    Even suggesting that adults only play Animal Crossing for dubious reasons is just absurd.

    It is however the only game I have ever played that could have genuinely resulted in video games related violence, my favourite townsperson moved to a friends town and he gloated.

    Fortunately for him the office was busy at the time and someone was at the desk between us.

  30. 0
    t.easterbrook says:

    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 .  

  31. 0
    WookinPaNub says:

    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.

  32. 0
    Bobholden says:

    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.

  33. 0
    GCosta says:

    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!

  34. 0
    Grifter_tm says:

    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.

  35. 0
    Michael Chandra says:

    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.

  36. 0
    WldCard says:

    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

  37. 0
    RevoTRUTHonary says:

    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.

     

  38. 0
    Deamian says:

    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!

     

     

  39. 0
    BrandonL337 says:

    Ba-Dum-Tish!

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  40. 0
    Harry Miste says:

    To further that, I’ve had strange looks from people after confessing that I thought Animal Crossing: WW was fun.

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

  41. 0
    Ganjookie says:

    Touché

     

     

    ——————— Ganjookie@yahoo.com Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye an

  42. 0
    Chadius says:

    Sadly it’s this kind of thinking that transformed "G" rated movies from "General Audiences" to "Only Kiddies Allowed." So now "E" for Everyone is "E" for KIDZ.

     

    *faceplam*

  43. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

     WHOA WHOA WHOA! Back the Crossing up here! First, it’s not okay for kids to play M-rated game (understandable), but now it’s wrong for Adults to play E rated games?!

    Something’s not right here. We’re not included in Everyone? Is that E for Everyone (under 10)?

  44. 0
    Harry Miste says:

    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 |

  45. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    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.

  46. 0
    cppcrusader says:

    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.

  47. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    It is sometimes eery, I’ll admit that, but I’ve always wondered if there’s a bit of inverse physchology going on there, where we convince ourselves that is what a pedophile looks like, because a person is a pedophile, and they ‘look like one’.

    I suppose the real question is how many people ‘look like’ pedophiles, but aren’t, much in the same way as how many people own Animal Crossing and aren’t doing it to hunt children, such a statement by CyberCop brands anyone who owns such a game as a Pedophile, and that’s like saying that because someone stabbed someone with a knife, all people who own knives are murderers.

    I do agree there seems to be, for want of a better word, a sort of ‘unhealthy’ look about most captured child-abusers, but how much that is the fact that they’ve probably just had their ass kicked repeatedly by the Police, or whether they know they are in more trouble than they can possibly cope with, or whether it’s some symptom of their ‘problem’, I really couldn’t say, but yes, it is there.

    I still enjoy playing Harvest Moon at 36, I wonder what CyberCop would brand me as?

  48. 0
    Adrian Lopez says:

    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.

  49. 0
    mogbert says:

    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 (http://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.

  50. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    I agree 100% with that article.

     

    On another note, if I was the father in the article that had a cop approach while I was with my daughter, I would ask her to cover her ears and give the cop a few ‘choice’ words.

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

  51. 0
    Geoff says:

    Then you were obviously up to no good Dennis and should have been reported to the authorities.

    Jeez if that’s what he really said, what an idiot.  However this kind of generalized perception isn’t new.  Many adult males are afraid of joining any sort of "Big Brother" program due to being wrongly accused of being a pedo.  There was also an article I read about a year or so ago about how some fathers get shit or weird looks if they’re with their kid(s) and the mother isn’t around. 

    We’ve gotten so afraid of pedos that now if you’re an adult male and near any small child people become immediately suspicious.

    I’ll see if I can find the articles in question and post the links up for anyone that’s interested.

    EDIT: Ok, found it.  It’s the WSJ so you gotta take some of it with a grain of salt, but I think the overall issue is real enough. online.wsj.com/article/SB118903209653018615.html 

     

    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  52. 0
    Nocturne says:

    Isn’t it weird though, that a lot of the time when you see pictures of people arrested for abusing children and the like, you can’t help but think *Yeah, he looks like a pervert!",

    As bonkers as it sounds now, it’s no wonder they used to think the shape of your skull affected your personality.

  53. 0
    Chadius says:

    Exactly. The only way for a Badguy to find a kid is to meet the kid in real life first, then exchange friend codes, then hope the kid is playing Animal Crossing at the same time, then hope they accept  the converstaion.

     

    Oh, and the microphone/speaker is roomwide, so they need to hope no one is supervising the kid’s online play. Nintendo has placed too many hurdles for this to be an actual problem.

  54. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Little issue with that. In order for any solicitation to happen vie a Wii or a DS, two codes have to be wilingly exchanged, and I am extremely cautious about who gets my friend code.


  55. 0
    DeusPayne says:

    And I’m sure adults playing Viva Pinata are doing it for the wrong reasons. And the Shrek movies. And any adult who buys action figures. Reading comic books…

  56. 0
    thelobbyist.net says:

    People, people, please.  Read closer: Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.  Who cares. lol

     

    thelobbyist.net – live it, love it, debate

  57. 0
    Arell says:

    Well, playing some of the free Asian MMOs has made me feel like a pedophile, although mainly because of the visual style of the characters…

    But seriously, this guy is simply ignorant of how much fun games like Animal Crossing can be, even for adults.  Adults don’t have to always have games with gore, headshots, and gratuitous levels of (near) nudity.  Sometimes cartoonish games with carefree atmosphere are just as enjoyable.  I know it’s not an online game, but should I be ashamed that at 29 years old, I still think Dark Cloud 2 is a great game?

  58. 0
    Praetorian says:

    Wow, apparentl this guy has never played an animal crossing game…

    I thought AC on the DS was silly and I kept ignoring it while my girlfriend kept going on and on about it. Then one night I was bored and made a toon…holy crap, I spent all night fishing and filled the house with fish!

    BTW, I’m 30 and I dislike children. Does this still make me a pedophile if I play AC?

    EDIT: I just thought that this would be a good time to post what everyone is really thinking:

    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=443436909&albumID=273889&imageID=7640760

    Praetorian

    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn

  59. 0
    thefremen says:

     There is no good reason for adults to wear silly uniforms and live out their childhood fantasies of being a crime-fighter! These "police" are obviously just posing so they can be in a position of trust and attack children.

Leave a Reply