The Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force is warning parents that Animal Crossing could be a haven for sexual predators, with ABC 17 News warning that Mayor Tortimer may want to see your child naked.
Is Mayor Tortimer actually a man in California that asks for naked images from Missouri children? That's what Missouri's ABC 17 News suggests in a story posted on March 11th regarding the increasing use of game consoles as tools for sexual predators. The report, which you can view in its entirety below, suggests that Animal Crossing allows children to interact with complete strangers, encouraging them to exchange notes, items, and "favors" in order to reach the next level in the game.
Another example of the sort of sensationalist television "news reporting" aimed squarely at terrifying parents into tuning in. In case any parents are actually reading this, Animal Crossing: City Folk only allows other players to visit each other if they exchange friend codes. Your task, as a parent, is making sure your children aren't posting their codes on forums, or sharing them with strangers.
The whole situation isn't helped by the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, who seem to be aware that internet crimes are going on, but don't seem to have any real knowledge of how communication on the Wii occurs to impart to our newscaster friends. All they know is Animal Crossing is a kid's game, and adults shouldn't be playing it.
"I cannot come up with any legitimate reason that an adult would be playing that particular game," says Andy Anderson, Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force. Um. How about game reviews? Is that legitimate? I don't want to be playing for the wrong reasons here. Either Andy Anderson just isn't trying hard enough, or I am a sexual predator.
I don't mean to downplay the dangers of online play for children. As we've seen recently, it's an issue that's becoming more and more widespread. My problem here is that ABC 17 News is combating a real problem with misinformation. I know that news programs make a great deal of advertising revenue off scaring parents senseless, but a certain amount of actual "journalism" isn't too much to ask from our well-paid television news personalities.
Is Mayor Tortimer an internet predator from California? No. That's ridiculous. Everyone knows it's Tom Nook that likes them young.
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