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Fox News / EA Spar Over Mass Effect 'Controversy'

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nothing-to-see-here-move-along dept.

Role Playing (Games) 192

The whacked out rantings of Kevin McCullogh have been a hot topic on games blogs in recent weeks, as his lurid description of Mass Effect prompted vitriol from actual gamers. That exchange would have been easily left behind if not for the fact that Fox News stepped into the fray, adding a measure of 'fair and balanced' to the discussion. Their 'Sexbox Sexpose' drew in veteran games journalist Geoff Keighley, who optimistically thought he'd be given the chance to set the record straight. Instead they filled the airwaves with plainly false generalizations about the game's sexual content. Kotaku is reporting that EA is fighting back, protecting BioWare's property and demanding a correction. From EA's letter to Fox: "The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards. As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness." I hope the EA folks aren't holding their breath.

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192 comments

more like ASS effect (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166212)

amirite?

Re:more like ASS effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166860)

As "rite" as you are funny and original.

Re:more like ASS effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22167952)

'Mass erect' might be more appropriate, rite?

Re:more like ASS effect (0)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168242)

Not really. If you want good cheesecake [wikipedia.org] , I suggest the Dead or Alive [wikipedia.org] franchise instead.

Re:more like ASS effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168468)

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.

Faux News (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166254)

Luckily the only people who take Faux News seriously are fundamentalist "Christian" retards.

They are of no consequence in this world or the next, like a whole generation of mentally retarded puppies.

Re:Faux News (0, Troll)

nscheffey (1158691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166314)

Unfortunately they are of some consequence. See 2000 [wikipedia.org] and 2004 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Faux News (3, Funny)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166946)

They are of no consequence in this world or the next, like a whole generation of mentally retarded puppies.
The souls of Christian fundamentalists belong to Arioch in the next world, but they still cause a lot of unnecessary trouble in this world. As evidence, I offer the Mike Schmuckabee campaign. Frankly, this could have been avoided if the British Navy, or a British privateer, had sunk the Mayflower before it got across the Atlantic.

Re:Faux News (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22167508)

Fox News gets called right-wing only because it smatters the usual liberal news pap with some true reporting. There isn't a news organization as right-wing as left-wingers paint Fox as being.

What true reporting? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168084)

If Fox News has true reporting, they haven't been using it with this particular tempest in a teapot. Instead, they're practicing yellow journalism [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Faux News (2, Informative)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168796)

You know, most of the complaints about Fox News aren't about their conservative bias, but rather their piss poor investigation and fact checking skills. Is it any wonder that people who get their news from Fox News continuously score at the bottom of polls trying to determine how well informed the average person is? The Internet is a better source for news than Fox News, and that's just scary. I mean it is their job to report on stuff, you think the least they could do is some basic journalism.

Re:Faux News (4, Interesting)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168036)

Well-trolled *cough*, I guess I'll bite: I know plenty of well-informed non-fundies that read/listen/watch content from The News Corporation, including Fox. Why, because they also read/listen/watch liberal stations. There is plenty to take seriously from each side, the effort is spent sifting through the fallacies and weighing out bias to get at the heart of the matter and from there deciding what your stance on the issue will be. Remember, the truth is more easily found when most conflict is filtered out. There are exceptions - i.e. the big issues, in which the points of view of either side perfectly cancel out. These are fundamental differences and will determine your stances on other things. *shrug* Go with what you feel comfortable with, I just try not to have a herd mentality.

Four words. (2, Interesting)

Optio (1225470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166290)

Stable door. Horse. Bolted.

Faux News aren't going to back down, as the voice of "fair and balanced" coverage; and for all their vitriol, the gaming community is going to struggle with the mainstream for a fair few years yet.

Re:Four words. (4, Insightful)

dryueh (531302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167056)

How about these four: Rated M for Mature

I mean, seriously.

Re:Four words. (3, Interesting)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167922)

How about these four: Rated M for Mature
Seriously? Here in the UK it's rated 12 (as in suitable for 12 year olds).

Bob

Re:Four words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168106)

Yes, but the UK is much more relaxed about things like nudity (for example, Page 3 girls).

Rating boards like the ESRB that target the US tend to be much more restrictive. Every country has its quirks. Germany has no problem with full frontal nudity in popular magazines but they freak out on video game violence. The US tends towards the opposite extreme.

Re:Four words. (1)

Optio (1225470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168686)

I think for the rating its more a difference of cultures. Bugger that common language crap, here in the UK we're generally far more permissive than folk in the US. /sweeping generalisation. My understanding is that most of US tv is heavily censored in comparison and restricted in content.

As an example, this is one of the reasons why to us the US versions of things like Coupling or the Office seem tame and frankly a bit poor by comparison because US studios arent neccessarily prepared to push the boundaries of taste.

Another example is God, The Devil and Bob, a US made cartoon that was only made for one series. US Conservatives were in uproar over the portrayal of The Man Himself and effectively took it off air after the network only showed 3 episodes in the US.

Re:Four words. (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168854)

Bugger that common language crap, here in the UK we're generally far more permissive than folk in the US. /sweeping generalisation.

Except for Nunchuks and Ninjas. Thus the cartoon "Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles" in which Michaelangelo had a grappling hook rather than a pair of 'chuks.

Yet there are naked women in the newspaper.

It's surprising how much the taboos of cultures can vary. Something perfectly acceptable to one culture is utterly offensive to another culture. Weird, isn't it? =)

Re:Four words. (1)

Optio (1225470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168936)

It's surprising how much the taboos of cultures can vary. Something perfectly acceptable to one culture is utterly offensive to another culture. Weird, isn't it? =)

I personally am perpetually mystified as to how australians love sour sauce over everything.

Re:Four words. (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169088)

Dude, I live in the Deep South (but I wasn't born here... kind of like a reverse-Beverly Hillbillies thing) and there are people I work with who eat pickled pigs feet and put ketchup on their scrambled eggs. Putting sour sauce on scrambled eggs doesn't sound that much weirder.

Re:Four words. (4, Insightful)

brouski (827510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169156)

It just doesn't matter to these people. In the end, all video games have been, are, and always will be, intended for children.

Re:Four words. (2, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167998)

You've got to give them credit for trying though. Fox News is obviously making an attempt to distort the facts, and often the threat of a lawsuit is enough to bring them in line.

On that same note, this is one of the perks that Bioware gets from being part of EA, the use of a large legal department.

O'Reilly Effect (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169176)

Before I begin, a disclaimer: I am a Conservative. I regularly read conservative news and blog sources, such as Newbusters, Hot Air, TownHall.com, Little Green Footballs, and the Jawa Report. I am also an avid gamer. I currently am playing mostly EVE-Online, and a bit of TA Spring. I have been gaming since before the days of Sierra's Hero Quest, and I still have an original, functional Atari game system.

So now that I've set your expectations and prejudices, I shall continue...

Honestly, I think of this as the O'Reilly effect.

One of the things I have noticed, is that ever since O'Reilly became an ascendant star on Fox News, the tone of the channel has changed a bit in regards to all things Internet. This is especially evident when Bill-O himself is on, even when he talks with fellow conservatives about the issue. Here is a link to him talking with Mary Katherine Ham about whether the Internet is a good or bad thing: http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/23/video-mary-katharine-ham-talks-smoking-crack-with-oreilly/ [hotair.com]

As you can see, O'Reilly is as clueless as ever when it comes to all things Internet. Honestly, he makes Internet-Savvy Conservatives look bad. At least when it comes to technology, he comes off as a boorish old geezer. Honestly, I'm not sure how much of it is an act, and how much is him just being completely out of touch.

MKH, on the other hand, clearly "gets it". Of course, she's my generation (Gen-X) so it's not surprising that she would have a better grasp of this. Also, if you read through the comments at Hot Air, you can see that many of the other conservatives there think like I do, and just shake their heads with a mix of disgust and sadness at O'Reilly.

I think that his influence has been seeping into the rest of Fox News for some time. While obviously the PHB's there think that controversy like this makes for good ratings (and it does), it also serves to make the whole network look out of touch to younger viewers. I think it's a short-term gain, long-term loss kind of strategy. I guess time will tell if I'm right or not.

Either way, both myself, and many other conservatives think that the whole Mass Effect "controversy" is a compete non-starter, and entirely fabricated. As others here have said, it's a rated "M" game. The industry has marked it appropriately, and it's up to parents to make use of the tools given to them and make a judgment about whether or not to buy this game.

This is part and parcel of the conservative concept of Freedom. YOU get to control what you and your children are exposed to. It's not the Government's job to decide that. As far as the original article that spawned the controversy, I've read it, and it's utter hogwash. The writer is just a tool looking for some cheap publicity. Ignore him.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166296)

A "new" level of recklessness? From Fox Noise Machine?

He must have not been paying attention for the last 15 years or so.

Batshit insane (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166342)

In a world where commercials for soda have titties half-popping out of bras, soap commercials sensual show close-ups of women showering, and Brett Michaels slapping women's asses on VH1...they are complaining about a very tame sex scene in a game that has a story better than any movie put out in the last 30 years?

Seriously folks. I don't know who is the cause of all this trouble, but I can assure you it is the guy with the high-and-tight that back in the 60's was saying "damn hippies, with their long hair and their acid rock and their peace signs..."

Re:Batshit insane (5, Insightful)

legoman666 (1098377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166476)

I can't agree with you more. How in the hell can Fox complain when you look at the trash that is on their network? Someone should send them a recording of some of their "reality" shows, commercials and such nad not mention that it's from their own network. Maybe they'll start denouncing themselves.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166494)

That guy in the 60's saying "damn hippies" is probably dead by now, that was 39-48 years ago!

Re:Batshit insane (2, Insightful)

TuxThePenguin2205 (1031140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166498)

I agree with most of that but "a game that has a story better than any movie put out in the last 30 years" seems like hyperbole to me. "more wordy than any script in the last 30 years" may be closer to the mark.

Re:Batshit insane (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166602)

Read the book that came out last year, and read through the codex entries in the game...look at all the side quests, and how different they are from each other. Look at how fleshed out your crew members become...look at the detail inherent just in the Citadel.

I like to compare Mass Effect to The Dark Crystal...sure, (mostly) everyone loves it, but hardly anyone realizes the unfathomable amount of detail and creativity that it took to create the universe and the species/people/stories that inhabit it.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

TuxThePenguin2205 (1031140) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167406)

You seem to be confusing "lots of (back) story" with "good story". Lots of popular stories have huge amounts of back story either supplied by the original authors (LotR, Dune Series) or by fans/spinoffs (Buffyverse) this has little to do with the quality of the story. I'm with Yahtzee on Mass Effect. ;-)

Re:Batshit insane (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167662)

That's just it though...the Mass Effect universe as a whole is so large that any part of it could easily become it's own story.

Each of the species alone could have an entire game-length storyline dedicated to their history. Hell, the Krogan and the Rachnii by themselves could have an entire SERIES devoted to their race. Or what about the protheans? Or maybe the discovery of humanity by the rest of the galaxy? Or our discovery of them? Or what about the BUILDING of the citadel, and the origin of the keepers? Then again, you could do an entire story line about the thresher maws...a good place to start would be how the hell they appear on so many different planets that are so far away.

There is of course the shadow broker, they could do an entire story line on that. Or how about the consort, how did she become who she was? Or perhaps Benezia? How did she come under sovereign's power so easily? What caused it to happen? What went on while it was happening? What was she like prior to the indoctrination?

What I'm getting at here is that while a lot of the things I have mentioned were touched on in the game, each of them has enough creativity and life in them to be able to hold a storyline for an entire book (if not an entire series of books) individually. Nearly everything in the Mass Effect universe (much like our own) has a very long and complex history, one which could be fleshed out in countless numbers of books and video games.

Perhaps, when seeing it in that way, you can understand why the Mass Effect universe is appealing to me...it's not just some little world created for a game...it's like an entire alternate reality.

Re:Batshit insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168230)

you're in idiot

Re:Batshit insane (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168822)

Sure there is a lot of potential story in the universe, a well crafted universe has that. That does not necessarily mean that the story presented in the game is good.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169600)

A couple of reasons why I disagree.

1. By studying the backstory, the mainstory in the game becomes more interesting because of what else you know about what is happening. An example: if you read the book that was released last year, and then played the game when it was released, when you might Anderson it was an entirely different experience...in the game, he just tells you that he and Saren had worked together. By reading the book, you know exactly what happend.

2. The main storyline in the game is a bit short...you could likely complete the storyline (without any side quests) in a matter of 12-14 hours, no problem. I think with the way that the game is broken up (i.e. I'm supposed to stop Saren, but I can spend 30 hours gameplay time if I want exploring random planets, with no mention of the main storyline in sight) makes you feel like you are getting less of the story than you actually are.

There are a few other reasons I have, but typing them out would likely prove to be useless. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

Re:Batshit insane (4, Insightful)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166642)

Fox is full of shit, but so is this:

a game that has a story better than any movie put out in the last 30 years

Any movie? How is the ventilation in the cave you've been living in for the last 30 years?

Sounds like you've watched nothing but the latest Scary Movie sequel(s) and Jerry Bruckheimer movies. Mass Effect might be a peak for gaming, but there are tons of amazing films from the last three decades that make it look pretty average in comparison.

Re:Batshit insane (2)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166690)

I am very well aware of what is out there...I have a 4-out-at-a time netflix plan, and own over 500 DVD's...trust me, I know what has come out in the last long while.

All told, FOR ME, no storyline in a movie captured my attention or made me want to know more about it quite like the story line and universe of Mass Effect. Sorry if my opinion is different from yours, but we wouldn't want to all be the same now would we?

Re:Batshit insane (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22169032)

Your opinion is wrong.

Re:Batshit insane (2, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166794)

To give Mass Effect its due, its pacing and story was better than plenty of "name" flicks out there (you listening to me, Sunshine [metacritic.com] ? I had such high hopes...). But to suggest that it's better than, say, There Will Be Blood [metacritic.com] ... I mean, c'mon now.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166726)

Alright, I never played the game, but your telling me the story is better than ANY movie in the last 30 years? Empire Strikes Back, Pulp Fiction, Lord of the Rings, Taxi Driver, hell... Hotel Rwanda? I doubt that very much.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166748)

I will answer your post with a cut and paste of my answer to the post above yours:

I am very well aware of what is out there...I have a 4-out-at-a time netflix plan, and own over 500 DVD's...trust me, I know what has come out in the last long while.

All told, FOR ME, no storyline in a movie captured my attention or made me want to know more about it quite like the story line and universe of Mass Effect. Sorry if my opinion is different from yours.

Re:Batshit insane (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168408)

I have a 4-out-at-a time netflix plan, and own over 500 DVD's...trust me, I know what has come out in the last long while.

Honestly. I know this is slashdot and thereby geek central... but you need to go outside. Other people need to understand that if all you do is sit on your butt and watch movies, odds are you'll be an okay critic. But that doesn't matter because you're basically never going to make an impact on anything but a couch and a computer chair. Spend your money on a gym membership. Learn a new sport. For the love of the Cheesits that stain everything you consider clothing, get away from the monitors and TV's for a while. The real world will accept you.

Re:Batshit insane (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168758)

No need to get a gym membership, I have a free-weight set in my basement which I use 5 days a week with a semi-strict diet plan. I can't play any sports due to injuries sustained when I was younger (torn knee ligament, minor ligament damage in BOTH wrists) and older (L3-L4 vertebrae fusion, bone spur in my left hip socket, early arthritis). Still, I do lift five times a week and do stretching and yoga seven days a week. You see, I HAVE to remain active. If I don't, my body will literally stiffen up to the point where I cannot walk. Don't talk to me about staying active. You have no idea.

Re:Batshit insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168482)

Apparently all your movie watching leaves little time for READING sci-fi. Mass Effect is hackneyed compared to any decent sci-fi novel.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168820)

I'm a bit ashamed to admit this, but since the age of 13 I haven't really read very much. It's not that I don't enjoy it...I love it! For whatever reason, however, after about 10 minutes of reading a book I get bored. I'm not really sure why this happens...when reading, I still "see" what is happening on the page (as opposed to interpreting the words) so I know it's not an imagination problem. I used to read for at least a couple hours a day when I was younger, and there are many MANY books I want to read that are out there...for some reason, I just can't do it any more. I get bored, no matter how good the story line is.

Again, another reason why the Mass Effect universe has me so excited...I have never been bored reading up on the storyline or the backstory. I don't know what is different about it compared to other things, but for whatever reason it is able to hold my interest.

Re:Batshit insane (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168128)

Princess Bride!

Re:Batshit insane (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168994)

Inconceivable!

Re:Batshit insane (0, Offtopic)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169154)

You keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.

Wow, EA (5, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166408)

I'm generally in the camp that EA executives are full of crap, but...

As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment.
... I find that quote to be rather insightful. The same congressional members that make laws granting more and more power to the MAFIAA at the expense of the people are the ones demanding game companies be held to an unrealistic standard of decency in entertainment.

Recently /. had a story about how some parent's group was "outraged" that game companies are now trying to lobby congress for favor, but, as long as the TV, radio, and film conglomerates have deeper pockets and the numbers keep dropping in favor of interactive entertainment, it's not going to be enough. Faux News is showing their hand without fear since the existing career politicians are already beholden to those guys.

Re:Wow, EA (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166672)

I generally think the whole convergence thing is a load of hotair but I think that's just because the pundits called it a decade or two early. We really are seeing this now, communications and entertainment all coming down one pipe. And because of this, entertainment will drastically change, too. Are you gaming tonight, are you going to watch something? Video on demand isn't coming to us the way that was anticipated, we're seeing it via PVR (the super-vcr) and bittorrent (a product completely bypassing the cable company middleman!)and whole season DVD's. Behavior patterns and expectations are shifting now, not in the future but now. People are getting used to the fact of moving away from the primetime structure, of watching what they want when they want or doing something else if they feel like it. Back before TV, radio and movies were the kings of pop culture. Before radio, sheet music reigned supreme and families played piano, singing along. For single entertainment, books and newspapers were available.

Newspapers aren't dead and I truly think that the Internet is giving them new life and relevance, they're just not going to be quite the way we knew papers in the past. The written word is the cheapest form of information creation and distribution we have and the computer only gives it more power. We already see amateurs creating works with a worldwide following. It may not be on quite the same scale as Dickens in his day but on a smaller scale, it remains possible. I mean hell, web comics are turning a profit! That's astounding. And when you're independent and not beholden to a big stupid parent company, it doesn't take nearly as much revenue to remain in business.

Anyway, dems my thoughts.

Re:Wow, EA (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168428)

My favorite thing about this whole situation is that many times the middle-man *is* getting cut out. It is kind of amusing to me. Many moons ago, that was the norm - going to the source for most of your goods. Then regional and global economics became a big thing for more than just the affluent, allowing the middle man to prosper as brokers of goods and services. Thanks to the advent of the global economy, we are often able to go to the source now, with a global reach. The only middlemen that I see really profiting in the future are those that consolidate certain disposable goods and food into one place (like Wal-mart), that is, unless someone figures out how to get replicators to work, a la Star Trek. *rambles on for another 10 minutes, but deletes it all as it gets way off-topic*

Re:Wow, EA (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168596)

mean hell, web comics are turning a profit! That's astounding. And when you're independent and not beholden to a big stupid parent company, it doesn't take nearly as much revenue to remain in business.
Pff! Web comics don't actually exist. Wikipedia said so.

I hope I never go on TV (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166454)

Everything is twisted for ratings and if you go on TV thinking anything else you're naive and deserve what you get. Only if I get to be like Patrice O'Neal and get to explain what a Donkey Punch and an Angry Pirate are on a news show will I feel like I've done something worth my time.

Definitions (2, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166486)

I once heard a much older person refer to the language of Goodfellas as "pornographic." I corrected her saying the f-word isn't referring to anything sexual--in fact those men in that movie view it as an interjection or part of speech and nothing more. She ended up winning the argument as there are two definitions for pornographic [wiktionary.org] :

1. Containing an explicit depiction of sexual activity.
2. Depicting something in details, usually unnecessarily.
She pointed out that it was an almost gratuitous manner in which they used curses and was probably unnecessary to tell the story. That could probably be arguable but she likened that swearing to people using the bathroom. Everyone does it but we don't see it in movies unless it's got an important plot point (see Pulp Fiction or Unforgiven).

So, to relate this to the story, if Fox News is accusing Mass Effect of 'depicting something in details, unnecessarily' then I guess the game could be described as pornographic in nature. Indeed, some of the games today have such vivid detail that is not necessarily needed for the plot ... but, a very enjoyable side effect, it makes it seem completely and utterly real. Perhaps these details are necessary then?

One thing you must admit, there might be this gradual transition that we need to draw a cut off line at. Where we used to sit and play the original NES and play 8-bit, low detail Guantlet we can now sit and play PS3 high def red warrior needs blood Gauntlet. I went from shooting pixelated nothings to full upright three dimensional beings. Where does the video game become so real that it is a rated R movie in and of itself? If the argument is to make Mass Effect accessible only to 17 & 18 year old people, then I don't see a problem with this argument. Did Fox over sensationalize what was going on and mislead the public? Yes, of course, that's their job! It sells.

I'm just sad that nobody is approaching this from a neutral point of view and actually doing some objective journalism on this topic. Perhaps objectivity is no longer possible in this debate ...

Oblig Boondock Saints Quote (4, Informative)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166624)

She pointed out that it was an almost gratuitous manner in which they used curses and was probably unnecessary to tell the story. That could probably be arguable but she likened that swearing to people using the bathroom. Everyone does it but we don't see it in movies unless it's got an important plot point (see Pulp Fiction or Unforgiven).
Rocco: Fucking... What the fuck. Who the fuck fucked this fucking... How did you two fucking fucks...[shouts]
Rocco: fuck!
Connor: Well, that certainly illustrates the diversity of the word.

Re:Definitions (4, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166638)

If the argument is to make Mass Effect accessible only to 17 & 18 year old people, then I don't see a problem with this argument.


Mass Effect is rated M, you know...

Re:Definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166962)

Mass Effect is rated M, you know...
I did not know that, I have never played the game. Then what is the problem here?

Re:Definitions (2, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167096)

The problem is that some people can't wrap their minds around the fact that games are a means of storytelling, not just a series of puzzles.

Re:Definitions (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167636)

Bingo! Yes the game is rated M, and maybe rightly so. How is this different then a movie being rated R? Why aren't these assclowns out trying to get them removed from shelves? The cold, hard truth is that I see far more problems with what I see on television then what I see in video games.

Re:Definitions (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168556)

Well, as EA said, TV is losing the young folks to the internet and video games...and well it is Fox News...they don't really worry about this thing we call "Facts".

Re:Definitions (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169290)

Mass Effect is rated M, you know...

I honestly don't know, but are game ratings purely advisory? I mean, can a 12 yr old walk into a store by himself and buy an M-rated game? He couldn't just walk into an R rated movie.

Re:Definitions (1)

Atreusmonk (741599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169460)

In the case of games, it is purely advisory from a legal context (IANAL). However, many major (brick-and-mortar) retailers refuse to sell M-rated games to anyone under 17 or 18 years of age in the US.

Re:Definitions (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169532)

For the most part, yes they could just walk in and buy it. Some stores, like gamestop, have a policy in place though in which tey will not sell M-rated games to minors.

The rating system for movies is voluntary as well...there is nothing legally stopping a movie theater for letting a 12 year old buy an r-rated movie ticket and and seeing it by themselves...

The minimum age for unaccompanied patrons at R films, and all patrons at X films, was originally set at 16. By 1970 it was raised to 17 (in some areas the age may be higher still--often 18--and in rare cases as high as 21). Theater owners could still allow anyone into R-rated films without being accompanied by an adult since the rating system is technically voluntary and in most jurisdictions (excluding Massachusetts[citation needed]) does not have the force of law behind it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPAA_film_rating_system#Effects_of_ratings [wikipedia.org]

Re:Definitions (3, Informative)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169634)

Maybe he'd have trouble walking into an R-rated movie in a theater, but according to a recent study...

here [gamespot.com]

They are able to purchase an R-rated movie far more often then they are able to purchase an M-rated game. What say you now?

Re:Definitions (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169638)

Actualy, Movie ratings are only advisory as well. It's just the theatre owners and rentals stores have long standing policies in place concerning attendence and purchase. Legally, they don't have do keep kids out of r-rated films. Likewise, many retailers have adopted this for M rated games, somethign I support fully. The Politicians and soccer moms ignore that though, as it's an inconviently thing to their agendas.

Re:Definitions (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166708)

If the argument is to make Mass Effect accessible only to 17 & 18 year old people, then I don't see a problem with this argument.
I'm 35, you insensitive clod!

Re:Definitions (2, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169184)

I fail to see the problem. The GP said 17 & 18.

17 + 18 = 35.

hair splitting (4, Insightful)

emj (15659) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166736)

Did Fox over sensationalize what was going on and mislead the public? Yes, of course, that's their job! It sells.


No! You can't do that, I know all news shows in the US have to compete for profit, but there have to be a limit to what you can say and still call yourself a News show. If all you do is reporting one side of the story you are not a journalist, you are just a propaganda machine. It doesn't matter if you are called Socialist Weekly or Fox News there are still standards you need to uphold.

Re:hair splitting (1, Insightful)

Khisanth Magus (1090101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166870)

Fox News has NEVER been held to any real standards. Their purpose is to keep the neo-conservative propaganda machine moving.

Re:Definitions (2, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166840)

I'm just sad that nobody is approaching this from a neutral point of view and actually doing some objective journalism on this topic. Perhaps objectivity is no longer possible in this debate ...

Because the objective journalist recognizes this as a manufactured controversy and a boring non-story.

And if gratuitousness is pornography, then Fox News is hard-core pornography.

Before anyone else responds, recognize that the parent post is a troll. An imaginary "middle ground", whining about objectivity, and a non-sequitar about the pixel density of video games... this is called framing, and it's a setup to make you defensive.

Re:Definitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22167386)

Before anyone else responds, recognize that the parent post is a troll.
Remember, people who question our views are trolls. People who try to find a middle ground to an issue we're polarized on are trolls. The OP is a troll because he attempted to see the story from the eyes of those who oppose us. Mod him as such.

Re:Definitions (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167614)

The thing is, Mass Effect is rated M, so it's already the equivalent of an R-rated movie. Personally, having played the game, I think the whole sex scene thing is much ado about nothing. You don't even see boobs, all you see is some bare skin. That's a PG-13 rated sex scene, tops, but because it's in a video game, people are getting worked up.

Really, we need to stop having this double standard, and then I'll be happy. Either be harder on movies, or easier on video games, I don't care which.

Re:Definitions (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169096)

I see a lot of analogies to the uproar over Comic Books in the 50s. Older people think that they're all "kids stuff" and think that nobody over 12 actually plays video games, so when they see stuff like this they assume it's sex being marketed to children, and please won't somebody think of the children?!?

Pretty soon you have censorship or worse industry self-censorship (backed up by well meaning but grossly over broad laws, like the ones that gave legal authority to the Comics Code Authority in the 50s in many communities). It's bad laws that punish people who dare to tread beyond the narrow perception of those in authority. The CCA set back the US comics industry by at least 30 years, do we want to see the same thing happen to videogames?

Re:Definitions (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168320)

Umm, no, you are not shooting "beings". You are still shooting "pixelated nothings". If you are unable to tell the difference from reality and something on a screen, then you shouldn't be allowed near a tv, movie, or computer.

Re:Definitions by Fictionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22169278)

That second definition was added to Wiktionary relatively recently. Try to find it in a non-vandalizable dictionary...

Re:Definitions (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169376)

2. Depicting something in details, usually unnecessarily.

Wouldn't that make FOX news pornographic too?

Reviews (3, Funny)

demon93 (197176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166636)

I don't think she'll be selling many books through amazon. The reviews don't look good...

The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever [amazon.com]

Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry: Find True Love--Turn Your Tarnished Dating Past into a Brilliant Romantic Future [amazon.com]

The Fixer-upper Man: Turn Mr. Maybe into Mr. Right in 5 Easy Steps [amazon.com]

There's probably scope for a few more :-)

A new type of protest developing? (1)

TheJerg (1052952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166822)

It's definitely one way to make a statement on someone with a published work...

Sex In Video Games = Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22166716)

ZOMG! Sex Scene?!? In a video game?!?!
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode [wikipedia.org]

It's about time (4, Insightful)

ObiWanStevobi (1030352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166806)

I'm not worried about the video game industry with these stories, But I am very, very sick of this same old mantra that gamers are a group of lazy perverts. It's about damned time the gaming industry stands up for it's customers, and the customers stand up for themselves. Believe it or not, a great many people still believe what they hear on cable news networks (not just Fox, btw, but they do seem to lead the pack). Anything that can be done to expose them for the liars they are is great. Journalism today is in a very sad state of affairs. I'm not sure what can be done to fix something this out of whack, but I have no doubt anyone speaking up and calling them on their bs is a good thing.

Responsibility (1)

Cajun_Tiger (1226222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166884)

I've played the game through once and now going to the second time. This is much ado about nothing. The real problem here is not that the game has an intimate scene; its that parents don't accept the responsibility of being a parent. Why does Washington or some pundit have to tell us what to do?! Parents should be the ones telling their kids what they can play and what they can't play!

Re:Responsibility (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167142)

Actualy, I've heard that the roundatble actualy had someone say 'Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the parents to do their jobs' to which someone replied 'Unfortunatly, that is the case'

The problem games like Mass Effect are facing is that none of these anti-game commentators have played the game, nor did they ever get over the mindset of videogame = kids toys. No one i've seen who's bashed the love scene has actualy shown they understand what it takes to get to it. You have to spend pretty much the entire game getting to know the love interest, which is far more time spent on characterazation then most books or movies require. the scene itself was very tasteful, and isn't the core focus, just the apex of one of the games many subplotlines.

Re:Responsibility (1)

mythosaz (572040) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169646)

That's not entirely true.

Depending on how you look at it, there are four love scenes. The male character can end up with Ash or the Asari. The female character can end up with Kaiden or the Asari.

To get the love scene, you have to do two things.

(a) Finish a majority of the game.
(b) Talk to your love interest for about 2 minutes four of five times after major milestones.

To get the love scene, you need to add about 30 minutes of playtime to your game (the dialog, walking, loading, etc.)

Having seen both the "normal" love scene, and it's "not-quite-lesbian" version, I'll remind you all that it's pretty darned tame. It could be shown, uninterrupted, unedited on prime time television. Much worse is shown in COMMERCIALS for television shows.

Re:Responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22168432)

Another very relevant fact that these folks conveniently ignore (or more accurately don't even know about) is that the Xbox 360 has built in parental controls that can regulate the content that will play on the system. In the event a child was able to obtain and bring home an M rated game, they should have 0 chance of playing it on the system if the parents took even 15 minutes to be the resonsible adults they are supposed to be and lock the system down.

When we are talking about a $400 system and a $60 M-Rated game that REQUIRES an adult to purchase, and the before mentioned parental controls, it is absolutely ridiculous to make the statements that this is marketed towards kids or generally inappopriate for sale in the USA. I'm not sure about the average pre-teen, but I sure as hell didn't have $500 of float money at that age to spend on things like top of the line gaming systems and HDTV's. By the time I was able to afford these luxuries, I was *gasp* an adult!

It requires HUGE lapses in responsible parenting for this game to get into a minor's hands. Furthermore, with the ease of finding actual pornography on cable television, the internet, your local 7/11, how ludicrous is it to think a kid is going to spend 30 hours of game time for the sole purpose of seeing 60 seconds of blue alien side boob???

In fact, the sex scene was rated as a PG-13 equivalent scene and had nothing to do with the M rating. The Mature rating was actually awarded for the violence as it is a shoot 'em up space cowboy adventure.

I see more arousing situations during the prime time hour on most network stations or on the front page of any easily available magazine.

This is the type of reporting that people should lose their jobs over, plain and simple. If any of us in any other industry were to perform so horribly in our daily jobs, we'd be in the unemployment line. It's time we started applying the same standards to our media and government officials.

sex appeal (0)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166938)

Funny how a woman whose career exists only because she's hot (can't be because she's smart or talented, she isn't) is bashing a video game for using a bit of the hotness.

Fox NEWS is well... (0, Flamebait)

maclizard (1029814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22166954)

This news clip pissed me off something fierce, but I don't really think it will affect the consumers. The fox news audience consists of idiots and Republicans, both of which will find a new calling in November when the Dems take the whitehouse.

I have to say though, it really think something should be done about the fact that stupid people can say stupid things and the rest of us just have to accept it because they are how they are. When will the intellectuals rise?

Re:Fox NEWS is well... (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167464)

This news clip pissed me off something fierce
Welcome to Life.

I don't really think it will affect the consumers
Oh, I'm sure it did. A handful, at most, but news stories do have an impact.

The fox news audience consists of idiots and Republicans
Nice generalization there. Have any thoughts about black people?

both of which will find a new calling in November when the Dems take the whitehouse.
Hm? That's silly. Limbaugh and his ilk are dying for a Democrat in the White House. Preferably Senator Clinton, but I'm sure they'll settle for Senator Obama.

I have to say though
Must you?

it really think something should be done about the fact that stupid people can say stupid things and the rest of us just have to accept it because they are how they are
Please, tell me you're a troll and this is a joke.

When will the intellectuals rise?
Well, at least, you're smart enough to realize you aren't one. Keep waiting, though. I'm sure they'll be along shortly to force the world to think as you do and guide humanity to a golden, gilded age.

One, two, and a... zing!

Instead of bashing an entire network (which makes as much sense as bashing an entire political party - hey, you did both!), you may want to read FoxNews' Eric Burn's article Media is Biased Toward Simplicity, Sensation [foxnews.com] .

Re:Fox NEWS is well... (0, Flamebait)

maclizard (1029814) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167714)

Let me guess, your a Republican or an idiot, or both. If you have ANY faith in what the people at faux news say, then I do not hold your opinion with any regard, none, so stop bashing me because I hurt your feelings.

Re:Fox NEWS is well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22167860)

Actually, Fox news is really, really stupid. Much more stupid than Rush Limbaugh, who is often rhetorically clever.

I believe, actually, that Fox news is Murdoch's attempt to appeal to and control people he sees as lower class.

Hence the stupidity. My parents are hard core neoconservative-leaning imperialist Republicans, and they get that Fox news is stupid, pander to the lowest common denominator "journalism." (If not, I can make fun of the latest news about Britney Spears or David Copperfield in their presence, "Wow, that was a really important news story, I'm glad we heard about it.") I've also managed to convince my Dad that Bill O'Reilly is soft on Hillary and actually wouldn't mind if she was president (which is true).

Of course, it is still their news source of choice, because they know it is anti-liberal at least.

Re:Fox NEWS is well... (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168154)

-- The fox news audience consists of idiots and Republicans Nice generalization there. Have any thoughts about black people?

What, black people can't be idiots or Republicans?

Re:Fox NEWS is well... (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168402)

Read Eric Burn's op-ed, but don't expect to learn anything, it's simple and sensationalized.

Basically, Eric whines about how Americans have gotten stupider, and how their attention span have dropped. There is no mention, not even the slightest hint that maybe, just maybe the news networks might have had a hand in this lack of interest in public affairs. He makes gratuitous use of referring to himself (the media) in the third person, and makes no apologies.

The media may be between a rock and a hard place, but hey, that's life, and I see precious few media outlets taking the high road. Maybe with the writers strike and a particularly captivating primary race FOX could put something like Meet the Press on during primetime (on FOX not FOX NEWS) before Who Wants to Strangle a Midget? and Watch Me Take a Dump in the Corner.

That would never happen because the media exec's forgone conclusions regarding the intelligence of their audience. Meanwhile, those of us who want real news will increasingly turn to the internet (which may be severely biased, but typically isn't nearly as simplified as the mainstream media) supplemented by Comedy Central for our infotainment.

Write and complain. (1)

SilentBob0727 (974090) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167132)

Everyone:

If you really are pissed off about this, write to fox news and complain (yourcomments@foxnews.com). The only thing that is going to make Fox News budge is if they realize they have offended their viewing demographic sufficiently.

C'mon, people, bitching on Slashdot isn't going to change the world. Be part of the solution.

Re:Write and complain. (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167872)

If you really are pissed off about this, write to fox news and complain (yourcomments@foxnews.com). The only thing that is going to make Fox News budge is if they realize they have offended their viewing demographic sufficiently.

I'm pretty sure that the next show on FOX will be about nerdrage now.

I Never... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167328)

I never thought I'd say this, but kudos to EA.

Rated I for Insane (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22167804)

Clearly we need ratings on news programs so that people can sort out the crap. I mean, my 13 year old nephew could have watched that program and believed those people! Do you know how disappointed he'd have been when he rented that game, went home and played it, and found that there were not naked chicks running around? Oh man. Think of the children!

Seriously though, the fact is, all new shows exist to make a profit. Disgusting sensationalism generates profit. The target of the sensationalism varies depending upon the slant of the network but the problem is, it's all junk.

Fox News and the Word "Mass" (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168152)

Why do the struggle so with stories related to the word "Mass?" Mass Effect, Weapons of Mass Destruction; they'll probably distort the Catholic Church next.

Dear Fox News (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#22168364)

You have left me only one choice. The only power I have is as a consumer that votes with my wallet. Because of this, I will be spending as much money on video games as possible this year. Tell my friends I will miss them.

Fox likes to make people mad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22169518)

That gets them ratings... DUH!... Why do you think they hire people to yell at one another in all those silly and stupid 3-6 people, split screen yelling matches. NBC does the same type of thing on occassion. All news places do. Unfortunately, there's nothing that you can do about it other than shut off the tv since they have free speech. All reporters have some sort of bias, even the AP.

Fox "expert" has her book bashed on Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22169842)

After appearing in the Fox segment pimping her book while bashing Mass Effect, it seems that her book ratings on Amazon have taken a turn for the worse...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599211793/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top [amazon.com] .

Fox? Get facts straight? (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#22169944)

Anyone expecting Fox News to have any sort of accurate information is fooling themselves. I just now looked at their website for information on this story, and at the bottom of the page saw page links for a "Free Xbox 260". These guys don't fact-check anything!
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