… is the kind of headline you’d expect from our tabloids when they at their laziest – or most attention seeking – but, despairingly, it echoes the recent statement from the “Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force” that “I cannot come up with any legitimate reason that an adult would be playing that particular game,” Andy Anderson told ABC News, via GamePolitics.

The game in question: [more] “Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City” – hugely popular with my wife for starters.  Anderson believes that any adults playing Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City on the Wii are most likely doing it for the wrong reasons, suggesting that the majority of these adult gamers are actually child predators. This is a mainstream title that has sold hundreds of thousands of copies across the globe and remains the flagship title in one of the most productive, least violent and most child-friendly gaming genres there is.

In essence you develop a small village until you have strong friendships with the residents, accumulate wealth and collect items, from furniture to clothes.  To see it highlighted as a harbour for perverts shows colossal ignorance of the game, its heritage and, most damningly, the mechanism by which two people can visit one another in the ultra-cautious Nintendo environment – two people have to mutually swap “friend codes” outside of the game, making it much safer than on all the other mainstream consoles.

I think we can assume that Anderson’s intentions were good, but I know for sure that the millions of adult gamers, most of whom see the Wii as one of the few ways they can bring the whole family in to their hobby, must cringe at poorly thought out statements like this that throw fear and insinuation in their direction.

And I’ve thought of a good reason for an adult to play Animal Crossing: it’s fun.  My wife told me.