Fox News Smears Mass Effect

January 22, 2008 -
Like a bad penny, allegations that highly-regarded Xbox 360 title Mass Effect is porn disguised as a video game keep turning up.

The smear campaign crossed over to the mainstream yesterday with a Fox News report which aired on the network's Live Desk program.

Talking head Martha MacCallum hosted the segment, which featured a brief, tense debate between talk show host/author Cooper Lawrence and Spike TV game guy Geoff Keighley. While Keighley did a commendable job defending the game, right from the start it was clear that Mass Effect was in for a beat-down. As the segment opened, a Fox News graphic read:
"Se"Xbox? New Video Game Shows Full Digital Nudity and Sex

MacCallum: ...a new role-playing video game that is leaving NOTHING to the imagination... in some parts of this, you'll see full digital nudity. Imagine! And the ability for the players to engage in graphic sex and the person who's playing the game gets to decide exactly what's going to happen between the two people, if you know what I mean... Basically, Pandora's Box is open. I mean, kids have access to these things... How damaging is it, really?

Lawrence: ...the damage is this. We know that all the research shows that violence has a desensitizing effect. Well, sexuality does too... Here's how they're seeing women. They're seeing them as these objects of desire, as these hot bodies. They don't show women as being valued for anything other than their sexuality. And it's a man in this game deciding how many women he wants to be with.

Keighley: That's completely incorrect... first of all you can actually play as a man or a woman in the game. Cooper, have you ever played Mass Effect?

Lawrence: (giggling) No...

Keighley: ...you mentioned it has full graphical nudity, that's completely incorrect. There's no full nudity... there's the side of an alien boob... it's a small sexual situation in this game which is about two minutes out of a thirty-plus hour experience... you can actually play through this game without the sexual situation ever happening -

Lawrence: (interrupting) Right, and a young boy's going to be choosing not to have sex. That'll be what they choose. I mean, let's be realistic here -

Keighley: Cooper, it's not a simple choice. You don't turn on the game and it says, "would you like to have sex or not?" It's through the evolution of a relationship with characters and the fact that this game has incredible artificial intelligence. You can actually fall in love in this game. It's just like modeling your life...

Lawrence: (interrupting) Darling, I gotta go with the research. And the research says there's a new study out of the University of Maryland right now that says that boys that play video games cannot tell the difference between what they're seeing in the video game and the real world...

Keighley: You're completely misrepresenting the game...

Lawrence: Let me at him, Martha...

Keighley: It's a fantastic game and sex is a small, little part of it.

MacCallum: You know when you buy video games... you have to pick up the box and look at the back for the rating and you have to be involved in what your kids are looking at...

Male Panelist: Who can argue, possibly, that Luke Skywalker meets Debbie Does Dallas is a good thing? It's not. And I'm definitely not going to let Mass Effect in my house...

Female Panelist: I'm not sure why it didn't get an Adults Only rating. That's the highest rating it can have. So, first of all, this board that rates them needs to have their head examined...

2nd Male Panelist: I would argue that the government can not and should not censor everything coming across the web and in video games. At the end of the day... it's up to parents to control what their kids are seeing.

GP: Another disgraceful game bashing from Fox...

GamePolitics has previously demonstrated how shoddily some of these reports are thrown together (see: How Fox Morning Show Sensationalized the Halo-in-Church Issue). Nor are gamers likely to forget Fox's allowing Jack Thompson air time to bash video games while the Virginia Tech massacre was unfolding.

As for Cooper Lawrence's expertise with video game issues? It's apparently nonexistent. She is the author of several books - on dating: The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever; Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry; The Fixer-upper Man: Turn Mr. Maybe into Mr. Right in 5 Easy Steps; and the unforgettable Cosmo Girl's Quiz Book: All About Guys.


Comments

Re: Fox News Smears Mass Effect

<.< ...it's...a...game...Big deal. >.>

I mean, wats teh big deal? I could look up porno on the internet if I wanted 2.

=========================================================================== Jack Thompson is vanquished!!!

I also love how panelist 1 says Mass Effect is like Luke Skywalker and Debbie Does Dallas put together.
Eh... Have they seen that movie? Mass Effect is like Bob The Builder compared to it... Ugh, I hate ignorant people

Watching that report was like seeing a monkey bang two rocks together; totally without purpose, insight or effiency.

THESE PEOPLE ARE PAYED TO FEED YOU THEIR PROPAGANDA.

THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT AMERICANS, BECAUSE AMERICANS ARE SUPPOSED TO ABIDE BY THIS THING CALLED... NOW WHAT WAS IT. OH YEAH! "THE FIRST AMMENDMENT!" FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY! THEY ALL EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, BUT THEY FAIL TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE ENTIRITY OF THE CONSTITUTION! TO BE A BIGOT, YET DENY THE CONVENIENCE OF "AN ALIEN BOOB" (AND QUITE WELL-DONE ASS) IN A GAME THAT SURPASSES EVEN HALO 3 IN CONTENT QUALITY IS QUITE ANNOYING CONSIDERING THAT THERE IS NO EXTREME CONTENT OTHER THAN A CRACK, WHICH ANYONE CAN ASSUME MOST KIDS SEE IN SCHOOL ON A DAILY BASIS AND BY MAKING A FUSS OVER IT THEY ONLY MAKE IT MORE OF A WELL-KNOWN FACT TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT THERE IS A "QUESTIONABLE SCENE" IN MASS EFFECT (no sh*t this is an ongoing sentence, see if I care!). WHATS MORE ANNOYING IS THAT I CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT AND I FRANKLY DON'T GIVE AN ARSE'S DONKEY WHAT THESE LOW-LIFE FOX ANDROIDS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT ANYTHING. LET THEM CONTINUE SPEAKING THEIR PROPAGANDA INTO THE MINDS OF THE IGNORANT AS LONG AS THEY LIVE, FOR THIS IS WHAT THE AGREEABLE DESERVE FOR THEIR INABILITY TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES (Considering more than this pathetic issue of MASS EFFECT brought up by FOX NETWORK NEWS).

FOX NEWS IS THE WORLD'S ONLY "TERROR THREAT."

("terrorist" isn't a fraking word you nincompoops. Pay some respect to your enemies and at least call them "Rebels" so as to ease America's minds of this fear tactic.)

How Existential this convo' hath been. w00t

People still watch Fox News?

This just gets more stupider.

It's thanks to that douchebag at Townhall, that this crap is even thought.

"Let me at him, Martha..."

That kind of says it all, doesn't it?

It's like that high school tactic some guys would use, calling up a guy to ask him to come outside and talk for a minute about some bullshit, and when he does come out, 6 buddies jump his ass and beat him down.

But then again, since when does Fox really do news? It's like the TV version of a supermarket tabloid: All screaming headlines and crass sensationalism.

There should be a place in the world we can send all the stupid people to exist together in harmony. And it should be full of very large spikey objects, flame pits and killer bee swarms, so the rest of us sensible people can get on with our lives in peace.

Given the fact that more people are caring about the market crash, I don't think many people gave a shit about what Faux News says. After all, when have they ever published the truth and nothing but the truth?

goot for keighly for pointing out the pahllacies straight off the bat, some people just dont want to listen though.

All these idiots did was find Kevin McCullough's bullshit blog then basically quote it word for word, and like him ignored all of the facts and answers slapping them in the face.

They're all idiots every last one of them, except Keighly obviously since he actually knew what he was talking about. Not one of them knew anything about the game other than some outright lies they obviously stole from Kevin McCullough's blog. That Cooper Lawrence person has nerve to talk about the game making men/boy objectify women when all she does it objectify men and make them conform to her idea version of what a man should be like, like men are play things to her. She needs a good smack in the mouth, and I'm not saying that because of her gender but because she's flat out stupid.

That "2nd Male Panelist", whatever his name is, is the only slightly respectable one of the bunch for at least saying that the government should not censor things. It's just too bad that right after he said it was up to the parents to control what their children are seeing, McCallum being the moron that she is said "Yes, it's unfortunate."

It figures though that not one of them listened to the facts and even ignored the comments that Microsoft statement made telling people that they can utilize the console's parental controls and such, to which they basically said kids could play it when the parents aren't around. The damn thing uses a password system to keep that from happening.

I feel sorry for Keighly, for having to endure the sheer stupidity in that "fair and balanced" panel. Could Fox News get any more bush league with this? Seriously they need to go back to public access with this fodder.

This is absolutely absurd. Some people are so blinded by their own ignorance they just hear what they want to hear everytime. This, coupled with the fact they clearly love picking on an easy target results in a travesty of a report.

Disgusting. These people should be penalized for false advertising. Fair and balanced my foot.

@Trevor

At least the Kevin guy apologised, and then removed the collumn entirely.

Someone should have told Fox News that little tidbit.

Well, clearly she admits to being a gender bigot. Misinformation based on gender, inflammatory comments directed solely at males while ignorning the WHOLE Truth, incompetant research (or more to the point NO research) on her part.

She is no professional in ANY sense of the word. Quite frankly, she's the most corrupt, incompetant professional alive today. She admits she's done NO research on the game directly. She throws around gender bigoted claims about males then tries to link them to a video game which she's made FALSE claims about to being with.

THIS is the type of professional that makes me totally not trust ANY research, of any kind, that has been done.

Naturally, it isn't unexpected of a News organization that openly fought for the Right to Lie to it's viewers. Tabloid trash would be nobel prize winning work compared to this ignorant bigoted garbage.

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

Fox News is trash. For my daily dose of corporate kool-aid, I prefer Google News.

@nightwng2000

This might explain Cooper Lawrence's ineptness:

http://www.cooperlawrence.com/

I have nothing against feminism in general. Its their extremeists that just happens to piss me off.

Cooper Lawrence is a hypocrite. She bashes a game she has no knowledge of for "objectifying women" even though it does the opposite because she wants to play the victim even as she dreams of dominance over men and even goes so far as to attempt to "teach" other women how to bend men to their will. She calls him "Darling" at some point. Darling? How condescending could she be? What would her reaction have been if he had called her "Toots?" I thought that we were past that sort of crap in gender relations - but according to sexist Cooper Lawrence we're not.

this... is just stupid. a waste of time, money, and space.

Typical Fox Noise crap. As a former viewer, I can tell all of you that Fox "News" always stoops to this level.

If anyone takes Fixed News seriously. they should look at this (it is not funny) http://bravenewfilms.org/blog/20124-fox-blows-it

My head hurts from banging my head against the coffee table while reading that transcript. But, then do we really expect Fox News to research anything outside of their pre-conceived notions?

Go Geoff.
At least someone actually had their facts straight.

"Darling, I gotta go with the research. And the research says there’s a new study out of the University of Maryland right now that says that boys that play video games cannot tell the difference between what they’re seeing in the video game and the real world…"

Ha.
Haha.
I'm a 16 year old.
And I'll choose to skip a 2 minute sex scene to just get back to the game.
I saw the sex scene (who hasn't? Well, obviously none of these people..), and it's just boring.

"I’m not sure why it didn’t get an Adults Only rating. That’s the highest rating in can have. So, first of all, this board that rates them needs to have their head examined…"

Again.
Hahahahahahaha.
This just makes me laugh.
Let's bash someone for doing their job! Yay, Fox!

Christ Almighty. Are games not allowed to 'grow up', can they include mature themes without being shat on from a great height from people who have clearly never played a game in their life.

And then what about Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy. I take that one slipped under Fox's all encompassing radar. Well, at the risk of giving them another witch to hunt - Controllable sex, sex in a cutscene involving a man who is technically dead (ooer), a strip tease unlockable cutscene that does little to tease.

Sometimes I think the people that start these fires ought to be rounded up and shot, but of course, I only think this because I play games and it is my only response.

Typical fox/cnn coverage of an issue.

um, the rating is on the front of the box, the content desriptors are on the back.

I can see another one of their tactics here. One thing viewers will see is the ages.

Basically I guess it's "Well, he's obviously young and has no idea what he's talking about, she is older and thus more experienced and thus smarter."

As for the panelists, I doubt they were shown whatever the hell it was they were being asked about. The question was likely along the lines of "would you play a video game with hardcore porn in it?" and hoping for "omg no thats gorsz" as opposed to *shows a video* "What do you think of this?"

@Extra_Life

Of course not. Adults playing with children's toys? That's just silly.

Seriously now, kids can re enact sex scenes with Barbie dolls or even Legos, so I dunno where these people were when the first Lego Pron was coming out on the web.

Hell, unless modded The Sims is also no better.

Speaking of sexual content, Faux News must love it. They use sexual imagery gratuitously in all (and I mean ALL) of its shows.

http://foxattacks.com/blog/18210-fox-attacks-decency-with-bill-o-reilly-...

Twin-Skies,
I'm not really even pleased by the less than extreme segregationists either. But they don't rile me up as much as the bigoted segregationists, such as Ms. Lawrence clearly showed herself to be.

True Equality/Non-Discrimination doesn't come from treating each other as groups based on race or gender or any other grouping as seperate from all others. It comes from treating each other as individuals and recognizing the quality of each individual. That's what I got from King's speeches. But sadly, so many others felt it had more to do with rising up and segregating one group from another.

There are two other ways I try to show this in my own ways:
(1) I don't follow the traditional idea of "what does want? What do they think as a group?". I concern myself with what my friends, family, and aquaintences think, feel, desire, etc. Much easier to know what the individual is than worry how they compare to other people whom I don't know personally.

(2) I don't count how many of a particular group that I have as friends. I don't worry myself with "I have too many friends who are " or "I don't have enough friends who are ". In some people's eyes, I may appear to associate myself with one type or another. But in truth, I couldn't care less what groups they do or don't belong to. I get along with people who get along with me. That's all that matters to me.

Ms. Lawrence, however, shows herself to be the type of person who follows the ignorant idea that if someone doesn't live up to her bigoted stereotype, then they must be "exceptions to the rule" rather than "they are individuals who prove the rule false to begin with".

Sadly, such individuals have organizations such as FOX News to spread their misinformation and deceit and incompetence all around, while covering up opposing viewpoints as much as possible. And why cover it up? Simple. The arguments made by such individuals such as Ms. Lawrence cannot stand up to the Truth, The WHOLE Truth, and Nothing But The Truth. So, they limit opposing viewpoints as much as possible.

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

"Smear" was an interesting choice of words. To smear something is to intentionally misrepresent something as being bad. A smear is inherently disingenuous. The more I think about it, the more I think that's exactly what's happening here.

But who is smearing, and why? I guess the most likely bet is a PR company working for another game concern.

Ugh, sorry. Got preachy again. So embarrassing.

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

Meh, I guess the most likely bet is just bad journalists making up scandals. Cuz, like, I guess there's aren't enough real problems.

Remember, Jack has gotten a fair amount of airtime on CNN as well. It isn't just "LOL Faux News does it again". It seems like a lot of the mainstream media has a strange perception about games. I don't completely understand it.

And the headline! Sexbox? really? Can it be more pathetic. A Journalist is supposed to expose the truth and enlighten the world. What the hell is this? The only program that has truly been honest about this topic is The Daily Show, and that is a very sad thing. I'm just thankful that someone was there to say the truth.

I'm just complaining about the media in general at this point.

It's painful to watch though. You see these people who say these terrible things, and they are so very very wrong. But no matter what you say, they still nod in agreement and laugh at you.

I hate that they had to choose Mass Effect as their target, it's an amazing game. So many games have tried to do what it has done with putting you into a story and it's come closer than anything else I've seen. I think it's an example of things to come. I don't really see games as a nerdy little hobby, they're genuinely important to me. I want to see the medium grow, the way american comic books DIDN'T grow for such a long time, due to censorship and all that nonsense.

Sorry, that turned into a bit of a rant didn't it?

Acording to the ESA, the average age of an American gamer is 33 years-old.

http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php

Maybe somebody should point that out next time Faux News tries to stereotype all gamers as adolescents.

We have mature movies, mature theatre and mature literature, can we not also have mature games?

I would've thought that the book claiming to 'change' a man in 5 easy steps would have been evidence enough that she has NO clue about any aspect of a sexual relationship ever. How could she be the 'expert' in video game sex. What's her next book: "How to level you WoW character in 5 days." Or maybe "Men are from Mars, Videogames are from hell."

My son playing a game for the 30 seconds of nudity in a 30 hour plus game. I think every kid will agree that's alittle bit too much trouble for some pixelated boobs.

Cooper Lawrence, isn't a feminist - she is what the fringe Right trots out when they want to look feminist.

Let's be honest - people who believe Fox News also drink in Townhall's message verbatim. I think Mass Media should be a required course, before High School. We need to teach people to be critically wary of the news. GP has shown before how little preparation is done for these "pieces." I wonder how many Americans know that the TV "s"experts (see what I did there Fox?) have no credentials and are given copy (and by copy, I mean a writer has the 'report') around 15 minutes before broadcast. 24-hour coverage means a lot of air-time to fill, and that means NO RESEARCH.

It's odd that even Fox talking heads say things like, "You know when you buy video games… you have to pick up the box and look at the back for the rating and you have to be involved in what your kids are looking at…"

That's exactly what everyone wants, knows, or is trying to teach people. But that gets lost in the charade of "debate."

But I'm going to take that a step further. Parents should research the news they watch with the same intensity. But you'll never hear that on TV.

~~All Knowledge is Worth Having~~

@Buckeye531

Headline translation:

Fox news leads the way in the fight against sexuality with OUR biggest dick!

Oh, as for those "scientific studies" I heard once that if you can't repeat it, it's not science, and I have yet to see a result of one of those studies repeated.

@ Seb

When you put it that way, if I had a son who played a 30+ hour game just to see some boobs I'd sit down and have a long talk about time management. I would certainly commend his commitment, though.

@~the1jeffy

Other types who watch it are those who consider drinking any coffee other than Starbucks a big sacrifice.

@kurisu7885

Starbuck's black muck is..."coffee?"

"Right, and a young boy’s going to be choosing not to have sex. That’ll be what they choose. I mean, let’s be realistic here -"

So we all know a young boy will choose sex if they have a chance..... so the answer is to hide it from them... cause if they don't know about it how bad can it be. This is whats wrong in this country everyday normal stuff gets turned into something evil and instead of explaining and educating our children we just hide it from them and then wonder what happened when little Suzy has a baby or Johnny gets AIDS.

Honestly, how many of you as younger boys would rather play a game for unknown hours for a 30sec-1min sex scene? Especially when you could turn around and find all the "free samples" of full hard core porn? I guarantee the game would have been the last place I look for my sexual imagery fix!

and the unforgettable Cosmo Girl’s Quiz Book: All About Guys.

Ah Cosmo, porn for teenage girls.

What, don't believe me? Flip through a copy next time you're in the grocery aisle...

With such socially responsible titles as "Make him orgasm every time!" "1001 sex positions!" and the ever favourite "What does the shape of his genitals tell you about his personality?"
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

@Twin-Skies

The nectar of the gods to snot nosed elitists.

@Awol

At least a decade ago if a kid saw a naked boob on TV or on a magazine, their parents sat them down for a talking to of what they saw.

Today, a kid sees a naked boob on TV or on a magazine, they get five years of therapy and a lawsuit goes to the maker of said image and politicians get on the ban wagon.

The times do change.

@Twin-Skies
Good one.

"…a new role-playing video game that is leaving NOTHING to the imagination… in some parts of this, you’ll see full digital nudity. Imagine!"

Yeah, it's called Sexy Beach 3. I'd love to see what Fox would say about this game.
 
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