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Gay Programmer Fired for Adding Studly Guys to Computer Game

December 6, 1996 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Buxom beauties are fine but buff hunks aren’t, a gay programmer discovered when he got fired for adding some muscle men in swim trunks to a computer game.

Jacques Sevrin, who worked at Maxis Inc., slipped the unauthorized characters _ who kiss each other on some days _ into the new action game SimCopter, a follow-up to the popular SimCity 2000 game.

In the new game players fly rescue missions through a complex 3-D city with tiny characters in the background.

``The artist that was working on it made them these standard female computer-game bimbos, really skimpy shorts, big breasts _ what you’d expect,″ Sevrin said Wednesday.

The male figures were ``really dumpy, little squat middle-aged types,″ he said, so he threw in some beefcakes.

The game was released Nov. 20 and 78,000 copies were shipped before the company discovered the additions.

Sevrin was fired the next day for ``adding the unauthorized content,″ a violation of company policy, Maxis spokesman Patrick Buechner said.

The additions also went unnoticed by even hard-core devotees of the game, said WiredNews, an online news service that first reported Sevrin’s firing. New versions of the game, which will shipped starting next week, won’t contain the hunks.

Sevrin, 33, said since the company doesn’t object to images of scantily clad women, studly men also should be allowed. He said there was nothing overtly sexual about his characters.

``These boys in swim trunks just walk around _ very rarely, I might add _ except on certain days of the year,″ he said.

On those dates, which the program automatically reads based on the computer’s internal calendar, include Friday the 13th and Sevrin’s birthday, Sept. 30, as well as Aug. 22, his ex-boyfriend’s birthday.

``On those days, all kinds of things happen. There will be boys kissing, there will be a greater number of bimbos, there will be Elvis impersonators. It’s really hilarious,″ he said.

Despite being fired, Servin said Walnut Creek-based Maxis was a fine employer and he never felt any homophobia at the company.

``I didn’t do it out of anger, just kind of `Why not?′ I can’t quite figure out why they would be so angry. It’s not a game for kids, it’s for 20-year-olds, ″ he said. ``But you put gay and kids anywhere in the same sentence and people explode.″