US media warns parents of sexual predators in Animal Crossing

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Watch out! If your child is playing Animal Crossing: City Folk online, they may be chatting with sexual predators!

That’s the conclusion of the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force (catchy!), and reported by ABC 17 News. What’s more, according to the article, to reach the next level of the game you need to write letters, send gifts and – most ominously of all – “exchange favors”. In fact, Andy Anderson from said Task Force, “cannot come up with any legitimate reason that an adult would be playing that particular game”.

Well, that’s me told.

Not only does this warning show a stunning misunderstanding of how friend codes work on the Wii (hint: you have to approve everyone to visit your town with a horribly time consuming code system that even the most enthusiastic child predator would have trouble justifying), it also casts gaming in the sort of light that leaves us gamers suitably infuriated by the mainstream media.

But let’s back up a second, perhaps I’m wrong and the report is correct. If there’s no legitimate reason that an adult could play Animal Crossing, then I am have to look guiltily into my past and wonder whether my time on the GameCube version made me some kind of pervert. But then again you couldn’t connect to the internet on that one, so perhaps I was safe in some kind of child-predator protective bubble.

I’ve since kicked my filthy Animal Crossing habit, but my girlfriend is still a daily user of the DS and Wii versions. Given she’s 25, should I be worried that she may be some kind of pervert? I’ll have to keep my eye on her. Thanks ABC 17 News!

Alan Martin

Animal Crossing (via Kotaku)

TechDigest writer