Grounded!: Detroit Free Press Calls Van’s Mom

by Alphaville Herald on 27/01/04 at 10:33 am

In case you wonder where Evangeline has been lately, perhaps his absense has to do with The Detroit Free Press Calling his mom as part of a story which was published today: Sex and the Simulated City: Virtual world raises issues in the real one.

From the article:

“From her home in Florida, the boy’s mother said she was upset when the Free Press told her that Ludlow’s Alphaville Herald had disclosed her son’s name.

“This is what I was afraid of,” said the woman. “I told him I don’t want anyone knowing your name, where you live. You are a minor. Somebody could find out.”

The mother said she knew her son was infamous in the game, but didn’t know to what extent, and didn’t know whether the boy complained about the Herald to Electronic Arts. She would not allow her son to be interviewed.

A single mother, the woman said her son plays the game for hours, though she objects.

Electronic Arts has terminated several of his game accounts, including his most current one, his mother said.”

All of which leads us to ask the question, why doesn’t Maxis get on the phone and call these parents themselves?????

65 Responses to “Grounded!: Detroit Free Press Calls Van’s Mom”

  1. toy

    Jan 31st, 2004

    ~wracks her brian trying to figure out what the hell “happedicapped” means~

    good grief buy a freaking dictionary before attempting a word over two syllables Isabella :)

  2. toy

    Jan 31st, 2004


  3. Ethel Williams

    Jan 31st, 2004

    Be careful. Don’t make fun of my friends.

  4. toy

    Jan 31st, 2004

    sorry ethel but toy dont take orders well from anyone but her Mistress :) and your a far cry from being that :) so toy will continue to make fun of the ‘handicapped’ if your one also so be it to toy your fair game :)

    toy :)

  5. Dyerbrook

    Jan 31st, 2004

    RE: “Minor’s full names and locations should not be disclosed in journalism for the protection of the youth, IMHO.”

    The Detroit Free Press behaved honorably, and didn’t disclose this minor’s name and location. AV Herald did not behave honorably, and sicced the RL media on a minor, revealing his name and location obtained by sleuthing. It poses problems for the degrees of privacy that this company can ensure its patrons. However, it is a very permeable concept, this “privacy” in a game rivulated with personals ads running on Sim profiles and the “Real Sims” websites. Still, neither Van’s profile or her/his various out-of-game websites gave his real info that I can tell.

    I wonder why this journalist didn’t probe a little harder to see if this boy actually exists. We can’t be sure it isn’t “Mom” herself here playing all these roles, can we? It’s the Sims. People say they’ve talked to Van on the phone..but that’s easy to fake, and has been done with many Internet hoaxes.

    Did Van forfeit his/her right to privacy by behaving badly and violating the TOS? No, not by the rules of RL society which conceals the names of minors even when they commit the most heinous crimes.

    What the story of Van illustrates is how inefficent the TOS and the complaint system are for dealing with negative phenomena in the game. Probably hundreds of complaints were filed about Van by players, and yet Maxis took months to respond, and only pulled his Sims from the game when the RL media roar began to reach the doors of Walnut Run. That’s appalling. It points up the need for a free (and responsible) press.

  6. Dyerbrook

    Jan 31st, 2004

    “The mother said she knew her son was infamous in the game, but didn’t know to what extent, and didn’t know whether the boy complained about the Herald to Electronic Arts. She would not allow her son to be interviewed. A single mother, the woman said her son plays the game for hours, though she objects.”

    Um, am I the only adult in the Maxisverse that finds this completely hypocritical? Mom can use the Internet as a babysitter, Mom can let her kid wreck havoc in a game, and waste hours on it, she can let him talk to strange adults in the game and even practice cyber-prostitution with adults, but, er, when it comes to a legitimate media query about the effect of online games on our nation’s youth, she picks up her skirts and runs in horror, and can’t let her underage son talk to a reporter? I mean, come on, that’s outrageous. That’s not to say that she shouldn’t have the right to keep her son’s identity disclosed, especially because he is a minor, and it isn’t to say that the Free Press should have revealed it, it is just to make a point about how the precious morals we invoke to protect our youth are twisted beyond recognition when it comes to a case story like that of a pervert bent on the destruction of society.

    If her house was an offline Sims game, the social worker in the sensible brown suit would have *long ago* come to take this baby away from her. Come to think of it, even a RL ACS might have at least made a home visit and asked what was up…

  7. Dyerbrook

    Jan 31st, 2004


  8. Cocoanut

    Feb 1st, 2004

    And this brings up a major question.

    I have been over the AVH trying to find any mention of the minor’s rl name, and can’t find it. I didn’t go over every last thing on this site. But I did go over quite a lot before I quit.

    Which made me think, are we to assume the professor somehow had this information (not posted on this site) and gave it to the newspaper? And if so, how did he get it? (An answer would be nice for those questions.)

    And if he did, geez – how on earth are we supposed to know it was accurate? After all, the professor is the same person who is convinced I am ThanksALotUri. Which doesn’t say just a whole lot for his “Internet sleuthing” ability.


  9. Van

    Feb 2nd, 2004

    this has gone on long enough,My r/l name is Donna Walker Im from Kansas and thats the truth. You all were to easy to fool.

  10. toy

    Feb 2nd, 2004

    sure van/rapheal…… as if anyone could believe anything you would say hehehehe

    tou :)

  11. GG

    Feb 3rd, 2004

    Coco, the name is here. I’m not great at doing internet serches but I was able to find it fairly easily. As far as I know, there isn’t a direct link from this blog to the article written by the prof containing the minor’s name but the page is still on the web for everyone to see. Which I think is contemptible.

  12. NickE

    Feb 5th, 2004

    Maxis doesnt call there parents because of obvoius reasons. Most parents wouldnt care. Its the sims online they can do whatever they want.

    If they called some of the kids moms, the moms would prolly tell them off for “bashing” her son .. etc.

  13. TreeHumper

    Feb 8th, 2004

    I like Trees. I hump trees. Yummy. I am laughing. Don’t steal my tree.

  14. Eeyore

    Feb 18th, 2004

    I would just like to say I am apalled at this whole thing. I, too, have been scammed by Evangeline. Did I fret about it? Yes.. I was ticked.. but its a game. I choose to play it. I do not annote anything that happens in-game to my daily real life. So I got ticked, then moved on trying to make the money back that I lost. There is nothing that can be done about it, just the same as if you were pick-pocketed irl while you were at a ball game. There is no way to get your money back.. get mad, then get over it. Evenageline scammed alot of people. That is how s/he chose to play the game. There is NO REASON for a grown adult to give out this childs real name. If you really had a major problem over it.. you could have went to EA with the info, or just called his parents yourself making them aware of it. You really need to re-think your ideas more clearly. Aparently you have no children of your own, but think of it in other ways.. if your child/neice/nephew/grandchild/Godchild did somthing similar and their name was exposed to MILLIONS of internet users how comfortable would you be? Children come up missing, and some found dead becasause some freak on the internet got their real identity from the net. I pray for your sake that nothing serious happens to this boy. Yes 17 is ALMOST an adult.. but they are still a child. They are still at risk and our world is a scarry place anymore. There was no need to expose this information! I am ashamed to even admit that I have enjoyed playing this game with you. I am glad that my main sim is not in AV, and I never will play soley in AV for this very reason. The drama will never stop. I will leave you with one last thought…

    THIS IS A GAME.. NOT REAL LIFE.. treat it as that. I pity the realisms that you will pass to any future possible offspring.

  15. Beth Anon

    Feb 20th, 2004

    What bothers me most is that this “Mother” was unconcerned that her son was a nefarious character(s) in TSO, but instead, concerned that someone might find out who he was in real life. She does a considerable disservice to her son by letting him run amok. By doing so she is basically telling him that his actions have no consequences (as demonstrated in TSO) and that what he does is acceptable behavior. That boy better get out of his mother’s house and find out about the REAL WORLD where he can’t treat people as he does under the mask of anonymity. Shame on her, she claims to “object” to her son’s playing but yet she doesn’t enforce it. I sure hope she’s the exception, rather than the rule of parents of teens that play TSO.

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