Gamers Push Back Against Clueless Conservative

January 16, 2008 -
Conservative pundit Kevin McCullough absorbed one of life's harsh lessons this week:
If you want to condemn, you'd better be right.

McCullough, who savaged Mass Effect with some of the most outrageous nonsense we've ever heard in relation to video games, further raised the ire of the gamer community by following up with nasty generalizations about those who play:
The Gamer-Nerd universe exploded in anger over the tone and a couple of the specifics of my most recent column... If the few who wrote me are indicative of the rest of the gaming universe, we know at least they have passion - for their toy-boxes...

Look, if the Gamer-Nerds need their pervy outlets to find true release and inner peace - then make them drive to the outskirts of town and be forced to frequent those places that no one wants in the community to get them...

The inevitable backlash from the gaming community has popped up on places like Kotaku and in a variety of refutations of McCullough's off-the-wall premise, including this one on GamerDad. And, of course, in individual comments to McCullough's rants.

Penny Arcade, however, may have the most insightful take on what McCullough is up to.

Comments

If you want to condemn, you'd better be right.

Unfortunately, like good ole JT, people like him arent the type to admit failure when insulting their way out of a situation seems like the better option.

Most of us however realise you can't insult yourself out of any situation, the hole just gets deeper and deeper.




I wont even dignify his response with a rebuttal, he seems content not to even do any research and take word of mouth comments and extrapolate from them (he seems really repressed, suddenly the tasteful scene of implied sex and he is nitpicking moments that could be explicit content).

He is wrong, and the fact is he wont admitt it because he didnt research the topic accurately to beign with and to hell if he's going to do it now, anyone with jounalistic integrity would have at least made the effort to double check rather than falling back on their own convictions.

:: Ding ding ding ding! ::

:: Raises GamerDad's arm in victory! ::

Winner by Intelligence: GamerDad!

Nightwng2000
NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Conservative fundy types seem way more interested in sex than 'Gamer nerds' I give him that.

Fstdt.com Shiny Mirror award :)

just read gamerdads article, very well said, the last few paragraphs say it all really.

McCullough fails at life. His hints at God's plan (that he obviously made available to McCullough) at the end of his pathetic 'retort' make him look really bad.

Religious self-righteous fanatical morons are the same everywhere, regardless of the specific religion involved.

odc04: Yeah, they always do, Makes me thing they have some sort of repressed desire or try to compensate for something. :D What would Sigmund Freud say?

Also, gamerdad wins.

Sounds like the Sean Hannity of the Internet, mixed in with some JT.

I do like his complaining of name calling on some people's part, but in the next few lines he still refers to us as gamer-nerds. I don't mind either alone, but both together rings the insult bell.

Also he's telling blatant lies, but that's nothing new to us. The only problem with the internet is that you don't have to post sources. Oh and the porn. All the porn. The porn that is easier to access than say.... the digital bottom in mass effect?

Man, at least JT was funny.

GamerDad: "That means the ESRB thinks that no one under 17 should be exposed to the contents. I concur."

Buh? I'm still confused by this - the game is rated 12 over here and I haven't seen anything in it that should push it any higher.

yeah it is only a 12 in the uk.

and the uk are STRICT on ratings beleive me.


could it be infact that mass effect really isnt that offensive *gasp* shock horror.

gamerdad nails it though.

Just like sugary cereal, your kids may moan for it, but if you dont think its appropriate.. err... say no .

The morals are reversed in America. Violence is not as offensive as sex, where as in the UK sex is not as offensive as violence. That is why Mass Effect is rated lower over there than it is here.

Here's the part I don't understand:

If you're prepared to obviously distort, falsify, and misreport on the content on a video game, why not go the whole nine yards and claim to have actually played the game?

It's like a film critic starting a review with, "Now, I haven't actually seen this film in its entirety but . . . ."

JackDon'tKnowJack: Because then his soul would be tainted with the mark of the beast. C'mon, this is basic. :D

@JQuilty

yeah, did you read his excuse for that? something about not needing to go to a whorehouse to know its wrong.....

what an idiot

We may have passion for our "toy-boxes" (what an idiot...), but at the very least we can have the integrity not to falsify our claims for the sole purpose of getting a rise out of the general public. An uneducated man such as McCullough, who incidentally is apparently far too busy imagining up outlandish scenarios in his head to actually fact-check, needs to worry more about tainting the journalism world with his unprofessionalism than what gamers are playing.

This guy could be the next Karl Rove for one of the Far-Right 08 candidates, oy. If not, then he should just make himself less credible by watching (or working for) Fox News.

Okay, to be honest, I didn't care much for this blog to begin with. The usual readers are a mental mess, seriously. Evidence of which can be found here in this following excert from the comments section...

"jim writes

Criminal element among Programmers


Now the problem that must be solved is the freedom and power that is available to computer programmers.

I first programmed a computer in 1950, I trained rooms full of PhDs and college graduates how to use and program a computer. In 1955 I was screaming to the powers at the RAND Corp. that they must do something about the progression from a normal person, to an programmer becoming an electronic addict.

(And just for fun, one of those computer weighed 250 tons, used 50,000 radio tubes, and filled a 4 story building.)

The power given to these criminal minded people is beyond what you can imagine. If you have a local street gang with guns, they at best can kill a few people in their neighborhood, and people a few blocks away are neither aware or concerned.

However, give a few boys out in the woods of the country of Romania a computer, and they can destroy a billion dollars worth of computers and files across the world. No one seems to identify this as a world-wide problem with a large group of criminal minded programmers.

Power corrupts. But the power to make use of a Computer can ruin the world.

You must know there are a million corrupt programmers who would love to break into the Pentagon, steal from the coffers of a bank, to see airplanes crash into the ground, trains crash in to each other, and every other kind of mayhem that can be imagined that is connected to computers.

Until someone puts aside their accounting structure, admits there is a problem, and spends the billions it will cost to correct problems in the Internet, you and all of us are living under the whims of criminals all over the world. "

Game, set, match.

As to a "ticket out of obscurity," I'd rather be the unknown fool that I am than an infamous idiot.

@sheppy:

If you don't care much for this blog and think its readers are a mental mess, then why, pray tell, are you still reading this blog and posting comments to it?

I don't care much for eggplant and therefore . . . I don't ever eat it.

what a tool!!

On the other hand, however, some gamers need to learn when to just shut their mouths. Going into an argument shouting "FUCK YOU" at the opposition provides no actual substance, and only serves to make you look like an absolute moron. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule, since not all people (Jack Thompson) are able to combine rationality and speech, but for the most part, attempting to civilly discuss the topic with the other party typically works out better. You can't hope to change someone's mind, or even tilt them a little bit with rantings and threats.

Gamer: "OMG ur a totall retard u stoopid fuck mass effffect is the roxx0rz."
McCullough: "Hm. I see your point. Very well, I will retract my statements."
Gamer: "LOLZ!"

I really wish that the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory wasn't true. Unfortunately, too many people fail to understand that being an absolute idiot/troll/jackass is not the way to go.

So what Mr. McCullough has managed to establish is that he is a liar, a Luddite and a bigot. Good enough for me.

For the uk people, as has been stated, Sex is viewed as ok and a natural part of life where as violence is taken as non natural and therefore warrants a higher rating. In America though we get our panties in a wad anytime a person even hints at the concept of sex while watching someone beat some other person to death with a shoe horn is considered ok and should be a family event. In truth I think a lot of Americans would be fine with non stop violence as long as no one said a dirty word or hinted at sex in any way or form.

As for this writer, he is a hack. He found video games as a hot topic wrote a crappy bias article that only a right wing christian would take serious and then probably seeded links where ever he could. His figuring was it will get him on the news or at the very least on digg, pushing his hit rating up allowing him to feel important. He should be evaulated as if you had come across him on the street, an insane hobo that is looking for any attention good or bad, feel sorry for him and move on.

This is an example of modern journalism. I can think of dozens of websites that write things that are basically one step away from trolling, just to get page hits to generate advertising revenue...

@ Jackdon'tknowjack

Sheppy was referring to Townhall. The comment he quoted is from that site.

AS for the greatness of GamerDad, I whole heartedly agree. I read his response and was well pleased with his no nonsense approach to the whole "controversy" (it is really hard to think of Mass Effect as a controversy.)

@ gs2005

That is one reason I haven't written my blog post on Blu-Ray. ;)

Kevin McCullough and Jack Thompson both:

1) Make up lies about a medium the know nothing about.

2) Use childish insults and generalizations when they are called on their lies.

3) Think the government should legislate morality.

4) Hate gays, gamers, young people, women's sexuality, etc.

And guess what? They are both motivated by "christian activism". Connect the dots- these people are fools.

@sheppy:

My bad.

I love how the game has all these complex commentaries on themes with real-world connotations ranging from genocide to torture, and for some reason the big story is about a romance subplot that features 3 seconds of side-boob. There's much more explicit content in late-night TV ads for chat lines or girls gone wild videos, and there's no such thing as built-in parental controls to block those.

Make a few wild and baseless accusations about a popular video game, calling for what amounts to censorship, and you can be sure that it'll end up on sites like P-A, kotaku, joystiq, slashdot, and GP... it would be a page from the Jack Thompson playbook of attracting web traffic, if he actually had enough saavy to make his own web site instead of just e-spamming press releases. Although I suppose if you're addicted to googling your own name, it could be in a playbook for getting better results out of that.

@Zerodash:

Most likely, them two is swapping e-mails as we speak. Peas in a pod.

The fact that it's generated so much attention is possibly the worst thing that could have happened to McCollough, though. In the last post about him the viability of a defamation lawsuit was discussed, and I'm pretty sure right now such a lawsuit wouldn't fly because there has been no real injury to Bioware's trade. All the news sites that really ran with this - PA, Slashdot, etc. - are pretty tech-savvy and none of their readers would believe the article anyway. But the longer it gets attention, the more likely it is that someone will take this article seriously. If anyone calls to boycott the game, or a legislator calls to investigate the company's practices, then McCollough's indefensible article has damaged Bioware's business and things could get messy.

@MysterX:

He's tried a couple time to establish a web presence (e.g., stopkill(dot)org). In fact, he's currently claiming to be establishing "rescuejustice(dot)com" as part of his campaign against the Florida Bar. However, I think that all his attempts end up being hacked to death.

I don't know, I think this guy is no Jack Thompson. The thing is JT usually knows how to butter his lies with near truths to make them a little easier to swallow for the Faux News croud. This guy goes so far out into left field, it becomes obvious to even the most casual observer that he is lying. Along with the fact that the things he claims are easily verifiable as false by anyone who can use youtube. Most of the scenes don't even need to be age protected. Also, from what I understand, there may be some nudity in there somewhere, it is supposed to be on par with what you could see in over-the-air NYPD Blue, and a lot less you've seen if you ever met Britany Spheres (typo deliberate).

And you know what else gets me? What really makes me hate this guy? Not that he wrote the article in the first place, but that when people called him out he simply found a way to interpret things such that he's still right. He would rather assume that everyone else in the world is wrong and/or deficient some how, and characterize gamers as sexually repressed perverts and Mass Effect as porn, than contemplate that perhaps he went too far in his condemnation. He basically says that all the gamers told him that Mass Effect was not porn, not because it is in fact not porn, but because it is porn but we as gamers don't want it to be regulated and taken away from us, leaving us with no sexual release at all.
Some of the worst mistakes happened at the hands of people who were convinced that they knew exactly what they were doing. Chernobyl was being operated by a highly experienced team of experts when it blew. People need to stop being convinced that they are always right and open themselves up to learning something. Since when was it such a crime to admit that you might have been wrong?

Would somebody sane please call this guy up on his radio show and let him have it?

There's a joke in What About Bob that reminds me of this guy. It goes something like this:

--
A man goes to a psychiatrist, and tells him "Doc, I think I have an obsession with sex." The doctor agrees to examine him and begins by showing him various drawings. First the doctor draws a square and asks the man to identify it. The man immediately says "sex". Next the doctor draws a circle, which the man again identifies as sex. Thirdly, the doctor draws a triangle, which of course the patient identifies as "sex". The doctor puts the drawings away and says to the patient, "Yes, I do believe t hat you have an obsession with sex." To which the man replies, "I'm not the one with the obsession! YOU'RE the one drawing all the dirty pictures!"
--

I bet this guy is more obsessed with sex than the people he calls "pervy".

He just makes me laugh, he's a sex-obsessed soap-box dictator who would probably find the Statue of Liberty erotic.

As I mentioned before, thousands of gamers have seen that video and not one that I've seen has mentioned that the females breasts changed size between shots, however, Mr McCullough did.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out who was staring at what.....

I'm not a betting man, but if I was my money would be on Kevin McCullough being a porn-addict with a compulsive masturbation problem. Its quite common for people raised with the "omg sex is evil" paradigm.

In fact, he seems to be quite sex-obsessed- no one else got nearly this excited over videogame sexy time.

"We don't need fearmongering and blaming the game for people's parenting choices. People need the real facts to make informed decisions about the games their children play." - Gamerdad

10/10

Huh. He apologized.

http://kevinmccullough.townhall.com/Blog/

I can respect that.

GoodRobotUs:

If I read what he said right, I think he was referring to the fact that the two different characters' breasts were different sizes; he'd assumed that the user had created both characters.

My guess, anyway.

I stongly believe that Kevin only apologized because getting stuck in a corner with facts coming from gamers and concerned parents. The average gamer-age is 28-33 years old. We're not stupid and we can fight with intelligence. I know in my heart that Kevin still thinks of us as "Gamer-Nerds" and forever he will!

My god, you'd think that this guy would at least keep his mouth shut after getting so thoroughly proven wrong. He could remain silent about it and hope it went away. Wait, not focusing on something that offends him? Yeah, that won't happen. You don't like a game, don't play it. You don't think an M rated game is for kids, then do buy it for your kids. I really don't get why people can't coorelate the concept of game ratings being parallel to movie ratings. Besides, I see more ass watching cable.

It seriously bothers me, games are becoming the scape-goat for everything. Just wait, they'll be blaming video games for terrorism soon too. Wait, too late.

Honestly, I couldn't read either article. I think I have a device in my skull that hurts me when I'm near idiots, and just attempting to read his articles felt like a hole was being burning in my forehead.

From what I've gathered of his ramblings (while popping pain relievers and placing a wet towel on my head) is that Kevin McCullough has no clue what he is talking about. His discussing video games is like a three year old discussing Quantum Physics. Five minutes of research would have dispelled any false information about the game that he had. The completely false information regarding Mass Effect proves that he was willfully ignorant, and as the police say, “Ignorance is not an excuse."

By contrast, GamerDad's article was sheer poetry. Someone should forward that to "Mr." McCullough.

Damn, he apologized. Well, he still made plenty of baseless claims in order to attack a game, so screw him. Attacking something because you don't understand it and have preconceived notions is called bigotry.

If his parents had have done their job in explaining the 'birds and the bees' to their kid then he would not have misinterpreted that scene from Mass Effect.

Most definitely a permavirgin. Genepool wins again!

@Grombar

Huh. He apologized.

I can respect that.


Only in so far as the ratings enforcement. He never did apologize for pretending that this was Barely Legal Lesbo Catholic School Girls Fun Farm Fest III...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

"Since yesterday's response many gamers who have written have offered more assistance in unlocking obscenity and dangerous content in the video game world. That is much appreciated." (this is from his "apology" btw)

I can't tell if he's being sarcastic or what. He thanks gamers for this? He slaps gamers across the face and then apologizes? I'd like for him to clarify what he meant, but I'd probably just be accused of being some sort of perverted "gamer nerd."

"Of course they themselves probably started hiding their collection of Hustler Magazine under their beds when they were eleven and have thus a good idea of how the "letter of the law" differs from the "intent." "

The good old personal attack. You ignore our retorts, quote the idiots, and then accuse us (again) of being repressed porn addicts. Then you take it another step further and call us anarchists. I'm disgusted.

"Many challenges stated that unless I played it myself then I had no business pointing out its objectionably content. Would they say the same of a strip club at the end of their block or hookers knocking at their door? (Well maybe sexually repressed gamer-nerds would...)"

The whole point of this "challenge" was for you to see that Mass Effect isn't akin to a strip club. Mass Effect is NOT porn, nor are the people who play this game are sexually repressed sociopaths. I take personal offense to this.

GamerDad FTW!!!

@Jabrwock

I read the "apology"

This is far from substantial - I for one would want him to retract his rants on Gamer-Nerds.
 
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