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The Ciem Ratings Controversy is a debate that the Dozerfleet founder had with himself over the actual rating for Ciem: Vigilante Centipede on October 8th, 2008, and lasted until 6:40 PM EDT of the following evening. The reason for uncertainty had to do with how standards are defined and what is deemed appropriate based on various standards of various sites.

History of issueEdit

Due to the extended downtime of Bays 1 and 2, inquiry was made into the possibility of making a variation on Ciem that was not confined to strict DSHW format, but was rather in whatever format is accepted by other sites that are prone to comics of Ciem 's nature.

Since Ciem does not meet the format requirements nor the traffic and clout specs to apply for inclusion on Keenspot, the next logical place to host it was on the storytelling forums of either Mod The Sims Social or Sexy Sims 2. Three different individuals who were familiar with the rules for story submission at MTS Social were asked about the propriety of Ciem being submitted per rules for the forums.

SexEdit

HystericalParoxysm, the operator of Sims2Wiki, argued that Ciem, if it were a movie, would be comfortably within the specifications of a PG-13 rating. (13-UP in DRS.) Citing entries of her own from DemusedSims, she made the case that the footage of sex in Ciem is "easily tame enough for PG-13." In the #Social channel of Sims2 Community Live Chat, others implied that the cropping of images such that nothing below Candi's collarbone is visible in the chapter 18 "topless" scene suggested that a PG rating might be more fitting.

This was deemed doubtful, since there is a significant amount of dialog in the story concerning the consequences of sex. Showing a clip from DemusedSims, HystericalParoxysm demonstrated that "so long as nipples, genitals, and butt cracks are obscured, almost anything else is admissible as PG-13." This means that nothing in Ciem is considered too sexually explicit for Sims2Community.

Mike19 and BoolPropped, the latter of which is a moderator of the story forums, both agreed with HystericalParoxysm's verdict.

ViolenceEdit

Since there is almost no offensive language in Ciem, the next topic of discussion was the violence. Only BoolPropped had any issue with the violence, and argued that the death of a child in a bombing, even if off-camera, was too disturbing for PG-13. She also complained against the number of pregnant women who are attacked by the villains throughout the story. While the attacks on fictional species was considered okay, the implications that certain characters were racist was cause for concern.

Arguments for the ratingsEdit

Several arguments were presented for why the piece would be considered either. Given the uncertainty with standards in the MPAA, and that Ciem is a DSHW rather than a film, the story could easily go either way.

Arguments for a PG-13 RatingEdit

  1. No nipples or genitalia are ever depicted on-camera.
  2. Language is very mild, with occasional light terms such as "crap" popping up rarely.
  3. Most of the gruesome deaths occur off-camera.

Arguments for an R RatingEdit

These arguments are based on criteria typically considered by Ted Baher's MovieGuide for what a movie's rating should be.

  1. Violence, includes pregnant women whose lives are endangered.
  2. Erin is shot multiple times with an automatic assault rifle.
  3. A mermaid is suffocated in oxygen-deprived water deliberately.
  4. Dagmar, who is pregnant, is attacked with a sharp blade by Musaran, and beheaded off-camera.
  5. Claire jumps to her doom to escape from Musaran. Claire is implied to be a lesbian.
  6. A mutilated corpse of a woman is depicted as being half-buried in the snow.
  7. A man is bloodily crushed by tree that grows around him rapidly.
  8. Victor threatens small child Maria Sanmarcos with a gun.
  9. Victor is explained to be a pedophile, though his activities are not really explored.
  10. Poison Dart Eddie is explained to be a rapist, though none of his rapes are depicted.
  11. Eddie threatens women with darts.
  12. Jeff the Invisible threatens Candi with a guillotine.
  13. Don attempts to shoot Candi.
  14. Don is burned alive.
  15. Candi's body is charred but heals rapidly.
  16. Jeraime develops a bloody nose after being violently electrocuted.
  17. Several villains are attacked with animal-like stingers from Ciem.
  18. Women frequently talk about significance of their past sex lives on their present crises, especially Miriam.
  19. Several characters are implied to be racist.
  20. Some readers may be offended by a character with Down's.

VerdictEdit

By a narrow margin, Ciem was ruled a PG-13-style story by HystericalParoxysm, an administrator. It nearly scored an R rating when reviewed by BoolPropped. As a result, Ciem was scheduled for submission to Mod The Sims Social's forums, but on condition that the racist characters are toned down. Additional advice from HystericalParoxysm is that the story should be flagged as being approved by her, to avoid conflict with BoolPropped not deeming the story appropriate.

Had the story failed examination and been bumped into the "R" category, the official DRS rating would have been raised to 16-UP, making Ciem the first DSHW to receive that rating. This would have required that the story be submitted to the adults-only Sexy Sims 2 website, where it would likely get less attention.

Content edited out in Mod The Sims versionEdit

The following things will be toned down or removed from the Mod The Sims version of Ciem:

  • Candi's discussion with Renaud and Elle in the pharmacy will be removed completely. In the DSHW, it is merely shortened. The full original version of the conversation will be in deleted scenes.
  • Dagmar and Claire's death scenes will be removed. Musaran's rampage through the Hallison Hall will be much shorter.
  • The clock tower deaths will be omitted.
  • There will be no textual mention of Kelsea Linney bringing her son with her to blow up the Levens family house.
  • The mermaid killing will be omitted.
  • The truck driver's anti-Mexican sentiments towards Maria will be toned down.
  • Mention of Patsy Fatone, Harold Harvey Henson, Hannah P. Henson, and Mack Bern will be left out. Only Terry Silverberg and Darci Lane will be shown in Chapter 25 concerning Ciem's TV coverage.

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