Monday, July 25, 2005

Dear Jack

I’m always happy to hear the name “Jack Thompson.”

I am. The guy is the worst enemy censorship ever hard. He is so irrational and over the top that if he’s ever right about something, it’s entirely by accident. And he is absolutely never right twice in a row. He’s a walking, talking example of how people who foam at the mouth turn everyone else away from their misguided “cause.”

The reason it’s misguided is because Thompson doesn’t want some kind of logical, reasonable debate about violence in games, and more importantly, violence in our society. No, that’s way beyond his capacity. He‘s the guy who stands two feet away from you, yelling while getting so worked up that little pieces of spit are hitting you in the face.

It was saber rattling in Washington that got the ESRB to change the rating for San Andreas, not a mall lawyer who writes “manifestos” and then e-mails them to five million press outlets. This is what happens when the sun shines on a dog’s ass and he thinks he caused it by peeing on a different tree.

Anyone who might think that censoring video games is a good idea has to listen to Jack Thompson be on their side, and believe me, he’s converting plenty of people. To the other side.

Here’s his latest, and it’s a doozy (from Gamespot):
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..."

It's not just the adults that are liberated from their wardrobes. Sims kids can also be nudified, "much to the delight, one can be sure, of pedophiles around the globe who can rehearse, in virtual reality, for their abuse."

Sims don't actually have genitalia, mind you (they're like Barbia dolls), but he's not the kind of man who will let inconvenient facts get in his way. This kind of razor-sharp reasoning demands a response. In kind.

Dear Jack,
I saw your most recent press release about visible labia in The Sims 2.

I wanted to pass along my heartfelt congratulations. I originally wanted to congratulate you in song, but “labia” doesn’t really have any proper rhymes. It’s the unfortunate pronunciation, you see—if it were pronounced in such a way that it rhymed with “Maria,” I’d be in business. I could go West Side Story with “I just met a girl with labia,” or I could have sent you a relatively famous limerick about a girl named Jill (modified in your honor, of course) with the new line “They found her labia in far North Korea.”

Sadly, though, I can only salute you the old-fashioned way: via e-mail.

I’d also like to mention another serious problem with nudity in The Sims 2.

To be frank, let’s talk labias.

You see, many people play The Sims 2 with the camera zoomed out to a degree that the characters are roughly two inches high. For a digital labia (a “digabia”) to be clearly visible at that distance, it must be sized in a disproportionate manner. I feel certain this will badly mislead the tens of millions of children who play The Sims 2 exclusively for accurate information about genitalia. I feel that it will be a tremendous disservice to the level of sexual satisfaction in our nation’s women when our male youth sexually sally forth, expecting labias the size of fireplace bellows.

Now that you in the process of triumph over the forces thrusting pixilated genitalia upon our youth, I would like to call your attention to another possibly devious form of entertainment. This device, clearly favored by pedophiles in rehearsing their abuse, is the Etch-a-Sketch. It appears to be a harmless device as delivered to the consumer, as it is entirely blank. However, the build in knobs and drawing tools allow modders to draw any kind of sexual content they desire. It’s all available, and it’s available in explicit detail. I believe this product should be available for adults only.

Pen and paper, obviously, should be next.

I remain, sir, your faithful servant in the race to control.

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