Monday, April 16, 2012

At the Video Game Store: Demonic Rule but NO Simple Nudity

Get ready for a Platypus diatribe that’s a cliché,’ but oh-so-true, argument about what’s wrong with society.

Tonight one of the Bare Platypuses took his puggles to the local video game store.   While waiting for the kids to trade in some games (Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones if you’re wondering), your Platypus browsed the miles of aisles of flashy box covers.  A couple titles caught his eye.

The first is, from what a bit of internet research tells us, a game that’s been out since 2007 called Overlord. 

[Cue Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live’s “Church Chat” lady voice…] Let us quote exactly from the back jacket of the game, shall we?
Think Evil. Breed Evil. Control All!
Get in the action and become the Overlord, the all-powerful dark lord with a horde of minions to command and a land to conquer.
Control a horde of minions.
Slavish and loyal they’ll smash, destroy, kill, and steal anything for you. Your word is law.
Become the Overlord.
Do you want fear, respect, gold and power?  Become the most powerful being in the world by any means necessary.
Conquer a twisted fantasy world.
Show the Seven Heroes, demonic Halflings, and Rabid Unicorns who’s boss.

You can read the jacket to Overlord by clicking Disturbing Game 
That game was rated “T” for Teens – The same rating enjoyed by the other game we’ll review: The Sims.  The Sims is a lot like playing with a virtual dollhouse.  Players control the homes, jobs, accessories, and---admittedly---relationships of their characters.  When the simulated cartoon avatars use the shower or hot tub, their “naughty bits” and bums are pixilated lest we see ordinary figures bathing and swimming in cartoon nakedness.

If you search online but "off the grid" there are patches that users can download from third-party providers. These replace the pixilation with faux buttocks and pubic mounds. But you won’t find any ordinary nudity in the retail version of the game. And you won’t find any nudist camps in the Sims Vacation expansion pack either---a special module for the game that lets players control icons in destinations like campgrounds and the beach.  Apparently EA Games is too concerned about its brand to openly offer The Sims with a nudist option.  Or they fear having their game slapped with an “M” Mature rating.

Now the Platypus doesn’t believe in censorship or banning games.  So we’ll just ask a question.  If you were a parent, which would you rather have your teenager play?  A game that’s advertised with the line “Do you want fear, respect, gold and power?  Become the most powerful being in the world by any means necessary."  Or a game that would allow Ken and Barbie Sim and little Skipper Sim to frolic in the buff at a virtual nudist club while playing volleyball and shuffleboard?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for option two.  If you do download the computer “hacker’s nudity patch” for your Sims, better scan it for viruses first.