Ivan's Blog

Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks

Friday, July 22, 2005
Video Games--- What is fanatical Florida-based activist Jack Thompson angry about now? It's The Sims 2, which completely blurs out nudity whenever one of the Sims takes a bath, changes clothes, etc. But what happens if you download a hacked, unauthorized patch (which violates the game's End-User License Agreement) and manage to disable the blur? The blur is removed to reveal... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

The Sims are just like Ken, Barbie, or Clay Aiken under there... no genitals, no nothing (not even nipples). In the initial letter that he sent to dozens of mainstream media outlets, Thompson did not acknowledge the fact that the un-blurred Sims are simply devoid of anything underneath the blur. In fact, he actually listed various private parts and falsely claimed that depictions of these private areas were part of the game and could be unlocked with a code. Thompson has since acknowledged that there is nothing to be seen under the blurring effect even if it is disabled, according to interviews that he has done with GameSpot and NextGen.

Nonetheless, Thompson still refers to the blur-disabling in The Sims 2 as "the video game industry's dirty little secret," and something that will cause "much delight to pedophiles around the globe." Thompson said that Electronic Arts is "working... to put porn into the hands of kids" and that EA "absolutely loves it."

Thompson wants the game's rating to be changed from "T for Teen" to "Adults Only," which is the same as classifying a game as hardcore pornography. In addition, Thompson is calling on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and the federal government to force EA to recall all copies of The Sims 2 worldwide. (Strangely, Thompson did not call on the Mattel corporation to recall all of the Ken and Barbie dolls that have ever been sold.)

You've really out-done yourself this time, Mr. Thompson. Your impersonation of Senator Joe McCarthy is second to none.

(On a related note, click here to see an e-mail exchange in which a gamer tries to be nice to Jack Thompson and actually agrees with the vast majority of his arguments, only to have Thompson completely dismiss the e-mailer as worthless and stupid, simply because he plays video games.)

PlayStation 3 News
In other news game-related news, Sony Computer Entertainment president Ken Kutaragi revealed at the "PlayStation Meeting 2005" in Japan that only 450 development kits have been shipped to PlayStation 3 game developers worldwide. That is a surprisingly small number given the fact that the system is tentatively scheduled to be released worldwide in the spring of 2006. I would say that a summer of 2006 launch seems a lot more likely unless game developers are going to get an insanely huge amount of work done in a fairly short period of time.

Also, regarding the expected hefty price-tag of the PlayStation 3 due to all of its multimedia functions, Kutaragi said, "I'm aware that with all these technologies, the PS3 can't be offered at a price that's targeted towards households. I think everyone can still buy it if they wanted to... I'm not going to reveal its price today. I'm going to only say that it will be expensive."

Sony also announced that they have now shipped a grand total of 91 million PlayStation 2 systems worldwide since the console was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000. Of those 91 million systems, approximately 37 million were shipped in North America; 33 million were shipped in Japan and the rest of Asia; and 21 million were shipped in Europe.