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An off beat example of the mainstream media being comprised of nothing but hacks

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posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 06:16 PM
This is a very small story, especially with everything else going on in the world but it is an excellent example of how the media will jump on anything without doing any research.

In this clip, the Fox newsroom has compiled a panel to presumably 'debate' or 'discuss' (the parentheses are used because the terms are very loosely applied here) the so-called graphic sex in a video game for the XBOX360 called Mass Effect.

What is painfully obvious is that they have only been monitoring the 'bloggers', specifically Kevin McCullough over at, who had this to say about the game:

…And because of the digital chip age in which we live - “Mass Effect” can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes.

First of all, I own this game and there is no customization available where a player can 'sodomize' anything in the game, let alone 'whatever the game player wishes'.

He also said this:

"It’s called “Mass Effect” and it allows its players… to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to “engage” and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game “persons” hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of…"

A player cannot engage in 'the most realistic sex acts ever conceived'. There is a love-making seen in the game, but all you see is half an asscrack and some sideboob. Nothing any young child hasn't seen on 'baywatch' a thousand times.

Although a player can have a lesbian relationship in the game what is wrong with that? Do gay and lesbian gamers want to be limited to the types of characters they can roleplay as in a roleplaying video game? Is there some serious gay-bashing hiding in this man?

To move along, the Fox news team obviously picked up on this guy's blog, as the site he writes for is a political site, and they ran with it. The result can be seen here:

I can't get the embedding to work. Internetz beat me again.

Here is the URL Mass effect on FOX

What they were totally wrong about in the 'discussion':

  1. There is not full nudity in the game
  2. There is not graphic sex in the game
  3. The player has no control over what exactly happens in the scene. It is not interactive, it is a canned animation.
  4. none of the panel have ever played the game
  5. they claim that a man is using a woman as a sexual object in the game (you can choose to play as a man or a woman in the game)
  6. The host admits that it is 'unfortunate' that parents have to take care of their own children

The worst thing about this whole debacle is that the host and the panel are not at all embarrassed by their ignorance. They flaunt that they wouldn't play a video game, with one panelist going so far as to laugh when asked if she had ever played the game. Yet they act like experts and that their opinion holds any substance whatsoever.

Would you feel confident discussing a book that you had never read? And having opinions on whether it is damaging to children or not? Wouldn't you feel embarrassed at your own ignorance and not make yourself look like a fool?

This kind of 'reporting' worries me greatly. How many other important issues are these reporters as ignorant about, but report on anyways? Even more frightening, how many people listen to this garbage and take it as gospel? How many people in North America now believe that Mass Effect has full digital nudity and graphic sex scenes? It's just totally false. It's not even true.

To make matters worse, Geoff, who tried very hard (futiley unfortunately) to carrect some of the people's mistakes was cut short while the panel had their little circle-jerk (sorry if that is an offensive term, I don't have the vocabulary to express the idea any better than that).. They took off the only person with an informed opinion and replaced him with uninformed talking heads.

This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it is a great big, huge mirror reflecting back how the media will report on anything while only doing the most miniscule fact-checking and research.

All of these people should be fired for , misrepresenting the news and putting forth absolute drivel that has no place in reality at all.

How much else do we listen to these hacks, just because we know no better?

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 08:32 PM
Wow...that uh...that actually made me mad. How can people be so stupid? I am a gamer, and a parent, and it is not hard to keep these games out of kids hands.

The host mentioned about having to look at the back of the game for a rating, well what about movies? On the back, with a smaller symbol than a game.

This is yet another case of ignorance breeding ignorance.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 08:49 PM
I am guessing the marketers of this game are delighted-Sales are probably through the roof.....

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 08:56 PM

Originally posted by ItsHumanNature
I am guessing the marketers of this game are delighted-Sales are probably through the roof.....

Very true.

As to the panel's ignorance... well... it is FOX. I'd expect nothing less from Rupert's minions.

posted on Jan, 26 2008 @ 06:43 PM
There has been a huge backlash amongst gamers in the know about this game and low-and-behold there are retractions coming (akthough on a much smaller scale ... personally I'd like them to do a 20 minute segment on how something like this gets so screwed up in the firt place). The pyschologist had these words to say (quoted from an online article):

The pop psychologist and author who so enraged the gaming community this week with her condescending attitude and false characterizations of BioWare’s Mass Effect has ‘fessed up to the New York Times.

Cooper Lawrence made her comments to the NYT’s Seth Schiesel, who writes of the gaming community’s intense reaction to Lawrence’s Monday appearance on Fox News’ Live Desk. From the article:

The Internet hath no fury like a gamer scorned…

Bound by global message boards, blogs, chat rooms and of course the games themselves, gamers are perhaps the single most intense subculture on the Internet — fiercely protective of their pastime and at ease with the byways of cyberspace…

Irate gamers have flooded the page on selling Ms. Lawrence’s most recent book, “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Overachiever,” sending its user-generated rating into oblivion… Many of the reviewers admit that they have not read Ms. Lawrence’s book.

Lawrence told Schiesel:

"I recognize that I misspoke. I really regret saying that, and now that I’ve seen the game and seen the sex scenes it’s kind of a joke.

Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it’s like pornography. But it’s not like pornography. I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit."

Meanwhile, BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka told Schiesel:

"We’re hurt. We believe in video games as an art form, and on behalf of the 120 people who poured their blood and tears into this game over three years, we’re just really hurt that someone would misrepresent the game without even playing it. All we can hope for is that people who actually play our games will see the truth."

Interesting that the 'experts' are beginning to show some spine and are admitting that the report and opinion were grossly misleading and probably on the table for some kind of lawsuit.

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