OCP: July 2005

JARKtrovery '05

For those of you dead, there has been a large amount of controversy over at deviantART. Scott Jarkoff, AKA Jark, was fired from the dA staff. Jarkoff is one of the two founders of dA, and since the other one left a while ago, the community at large went "OMGWTFBBQ".

Metaphorically speaking.

At least one artist on my devWATCH has already quit dA. There are threats of riots in the forums. Seriously, several are threatening to boycott dA until the administration changes stuff or reinstates Jark. Most prominent are claims that dA has become a corporation. Which is strange, because it's always been a corporation. Since day one. Pardon me for kicking your legs out from under you.

As is always popular, the public seems to have jumped to a conclusion without any sort of backup. There has been no official word from the admins, and Jark himself has only posted this journal entry, which seems calculated to enflame the masses. In fact, it doesn't really say anything at all. I especially like how he mirrors the entry at his blog, impliedly because the Ebil Nazi Staff would probably delete it.

However, we do have a nice new deviantSkin, which makes me go yay

I'll have a sardonic animated GIF on the whole thing as soon as I can boot up my crappy desktop and start ImageReady.

Tue 03/08/05

Oh, hello! What's this!

Jark has made a second post [mirror], and a third [mirror], and a fourth [mirror] on his journal. According to the last one, he can't explain exactly what happened for legal resons, which is, oddly enough, the same reason Spyed gave for the firing.

In essence, two guys founded a company. One resigned. The other stayed on as part of the board. He was just fired. NOw he's turned into the Green Goblin* and has sworn revenge.[ Oh come on; did none of you see Spider-Man?] Instead of putting on a costume and using purloined technology, he put on a sad face and is being passive-agressive. For some reason, the fanpoodles are surprised. This happens all the time in the real world, but not on their precious Internet.

It's also mildly amusing to see him complaining about not being an afmin, when he's still perma-subscribed. All of the privileges, none of the responsibility. We're not even sure what the firing was about, and it can't be revealed, for legal purposes. Something's rotten in the state of Denmark.

10:30 PM

Read this response to my animated GIF. Yes, she actually used the ol' "only say something nice cause of freedom of speech" passive aggressive trick. Which is the most transparent P/A attack ever.

*Technically, yellow.

There's something wrong with the man.

Jack Thompson is-this is not a joke-attacking The Sims 2. His claim is that pedos can use cheats to remove the blur used for censoring.

Knowing that the game is popular among all ages, EA has even taken steps to ensure that Sims fans aren't exposed to indecent depictions. In the recent expansion pack, The Sims 2 University, gamers can send their teenage sims off to college. However, instead of packing the expansion with "keggers" and "reefer," EA chose to use juice and bubble blowers.

Thompson doesn't seem to care. He cites a cheat code that can remove the blur that covers the nether regions. "The nudity placed there by the publisher/maker, Electronic Arts, is accessed by the use of a simple code that removes what is called 'the blur' which obscures the genital areas. In other words, the game was released to the public by the manufacturer knowing that the full frontal nudity was resident on the game and would be accessed by use of a simple code widely provided on the Internet."

Let's look at this logically. For someone to find this they have to

  1. Want to remove the blurs.
  2. Know that the blurs can be removed.
  3. Actively search for the code allowing them to remove the blurs.

I fail to see how EA is responsible for any of that. One thing's for sure; EA's flagging sales are going up again.

Jeff Brown, vice president of corporate communications at EA, in response to the accusations, told GameSpot, "This is nonsense. We've reviewed 100 percent of the content. There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see a nude sim. If someone with an extreme amount of expertise and time were to remove the pixels, they would see that the sims have no genitals. They appear like Ken and Barbie."

Thompson doesn't buy it. "The sex and the nudity are in the game. That's the point. The blur is an admission that even the 'Ken and Barbie' features should not be displayed. The blur can be disarmed. This is no different than what is in San Andreas, although worse."
Wait, seing genitals is different from a sex minigame? Which is, in itself, in a game which allows you pimp out hookers?

The minigame in San Andreas requires someone to, again, actively search for the tools which would allow them to see it. The purported genatalia in the Sims 2 requires someone to actively hunt down this purported cheat code.

[UPDATE] Thompson this afternoon updated his earlier statement, saying he is aware certain mods only remove "the blur," but adds that "Electronic Arts has done nothing about this." Thompson's new conclusion: EA is "cooperating, gleefully, with the mod community to turn Sims 2 into a porn offering."
Yes, because it's easy for a corporation to hunt down each and every mod for a wildly popular game, and release a blanket patch. What Bizarro logic is Thompson using here? And why doesn't he have screenshots? And who wants to take bets on whether he goes after "God of War"'s sex minigame next? Anyone?

I can't wait for Monday, to see what Penny Arcade does with this.