Most Gamers Willing to Forgive Cooper Lawrence

February 2, 2008 -
GamePolitics has been running a poll for the last two days in order to determine if the gaming community is willing to forgive (but certainly not forget) Cooper Lawrence's trashing of Mass Effect.

After all, the self-help author did come clean on the state of blissful ignorance from which she slammed the highly-regarded game on Fox News' Live Desk program on January 21st.

Moreover, many gamers apparently suspect that Cooper was simply the front person while Fox News is the real culprit behind the Mass Effect smear

So the votes are in. With nearly 2,600 GP readers registering an opinion:

  • 52% say it's time to forgive Cooper

  • 37% say "no way!"

  • 11% are undecided


I agree EZK, we have to show that we're NOT angry small minded people who hold onto grudges long after they've past. The best way to do that is to accept her apology, and request that Fox apologize as well.

We've been focusing too much on Ms. Lawrence's statements, she was put there so if it went bad, it would be her fault, and not the wonder paradigm of honesty and truth that is Fox News. IF you're noticed, Fox has sat bugger all in response to this. That, in my opinion, makes Ms. Lawrence much better than them, and we should be forgiving.

I said this in a previous article: Cooper came clean and she's not directly responsible. Fox just like to take people on their show and conform to their views, if they've not already done so. Cooper is the messenger, and we don't shoot the messenger.

@Sheppy - Hal never said that high road tactics don't work. What he said was that you can't ignore the critics. There is a difference.


As long as casual gamers don't regard themselves as part of the so-called gaming community, we're still "them" to them if you catch my drift. In my opinion we need to capitalize on all idiotic generalizations and make casual players realize that they're being called names by clueless barbie psychologists on FOX NEWS, supposedly a news channel. Hardcore gamers can wear flowers in their hair and remain 'the nerds' or we can make all gaming people realize that they're being treated unfairly too. Then a real shift in awareness can occur IMO.

Moreover, many gamers apparently suspect that Cooper was simply the front person while Fox News is the real culprit behind the Mass Effect smear

Forgive her for being a shill because, after all, she's just a shill. That's insane.


Good news. I'm looking forward to it.

I'd like to change my vote from Yes to No.

You don't attack the people you're apologising to.

Good! I think we should accept her apology, because she actually came out and admitted that she did wrong. I truly think that Fox is the one you should be mad at. Sure, She could've looked into it more, done the research, but this was just a straw man setup. If she said anything different, she'd probably be painted as "A Horrible Pro-PORN Psychologist" It was really lose-lose for her. I say forgive and forget, and hope that we've turned one person from ignorance to intelligence.

I think it's appalling that some people would want to forgive her. The fact is she went in head first without bothering to find out facts about the game AND spited someone who told her to do her research.

She mocked all games with her holier than thou attitude and when she realized she was wrong she NEVER apologized, she brushed aside the comments and went to other channels and still hyped her pathetic book.

This woman deserves no sympathy, obviously Fox News told her about the game but she still has an obligation to review material before speaking out about it. She's a newscaster first and foremost, her obligation is to her viewers to inform them in the proper context. She failed to do so and still continues to not apologize for those words.

She'll do this again, mark my words we have not seen the last of Cooper. She may not do it towards videogames but she will again spout off a quick story only to find out it went horribly wrong. Hopefully she'll get tossed this time.

as i said before, forgive not forget

nuff said

I still haven't heard the words, "I'm sorry" out of her mouth.

I won't consider an apology because although this is a mistake, every time there is media coverage and someone grossly misrepresents the gaming industry it just puts us back so far.
Considering what she had done, and how she had done it this woman does not deserve forgiveness, and neither does fox. I'm O.K. with her if she leaves videogames alone, let her do whatever it is Cooper Lawrence does. But if she decides to talk about gaming in general, or on a specific game again we must not forget about this fox fiasco and know that she cannot be taken seriously.

I don't think "forgive" is the right word.

"Accept" is a better one. I accept that she didn't know what she was talking about during her Mass Effect smear, and I accept her efforts to clear the air.

Yay! I'm one of the 286 (11%)!

But if the poll said "accept" instead of "forgive", then my vote would go to "let's accept her admission of being wrong". Atleast she did that; most of the other anti-game people had there heads stuck so far up themselves that they refused to believe that they were wrong even when faced with proof which clearly showed they were.

"most of the other anti-game people HAVE there heads stuck so far up themselves"

Just correcting an error in my previous post.

i'd rather not hold on to any hostility. It's not good for the health.
Yes, she admitted she was wrong without really giving a sincere apology.
All i'll say, i'll forgive her when she truly ask for forgiveness.

Her apology only came after angry gamers demolished her book's amazon rating. I don't really think she cares, I just think she is afraid of angry gamers. It didn't impress me.

But really I don't think anyone should dwell on the topic for more than a few minutes. Really it doesn't matter. This will happen again later in the year, probably in May after GTA IV has been released for a week. Maybe they will even cover it in April before it is released/as it is released. Who knows. Whoever is the ignorant fool

**Whoever is the ignorant fool that attacks the game can be anyones guess, but I'm sure we all have a good idea on who it will be. But again it doesn't matter who it is, all of their claims are one in the same and all of their credibility levels are the same. No credibility and no logic is presented in their statements. Anti-game activists simply don't stand a chance.

It is either up to a generation or two dying off, unless Gamers and those who seemingly represent authority of gamers start giving a positive message to the general public. There are a good number of possibilities, such as giving money to charity, such as the one on the front page of GP or by simply joining the ECA and getting involved.

TT: No credibility and no logic is presented in their statements. Anti-game activists simply don’t stand a chance.

Against us gamers. People who don't play games might be inclined to listen because they don't know any better.

I can forgive her lack of knowledge on the subject and the things she said, but only because they were obviously not her words. Her professional concerns for adolescents were skewed by the subject matter as presented to her. Of course, I will never forget how she chuckled at Geoff Keighley: that kind of derision is nigh inexcusable.

But we should be shifting our attention here. Cooper Lawrence may have not entirely apologized, thus saving face with her readers and such, and so on ad infinitum offenses to the gamers who voted "No" to this poll. The real culprit here is Fox News. Martha MacCallum and the rest of her incompetent staff orchestrated this debacle to devastating effect, somehow laying almost all the blame squarely on Cooper Lawrence.

I want to hear more about EA's and the ECA's concerns about the Live Desk program and Fox News itself. We are done with Cooper Lawrence for now: time to reload and take aim at the masterminds, I say.

im sorry but again i must quote monty python

"we found a witch, may we burn her?"

the simple fact is she thought she found a group she could start a witchhunt against without any fallout, shes a punk and an embarrasment to the psychological community too ill bet

I seriously hope that all those who voted "no" reconsider that. If you went through life not forgiving anyone until they said "I'm Sorry", you are going to have a hard time getting along with people.

She needs to be forgiven. If she is ever to truly change her ways, we need to show that we can look the other way and show forgiveness as well. Sometimes it takes the forgiveness first before someone truly apologizes.

But I agree that we need to turn our attention to Fox News and get them to make a retraction of their segment and apologize to Cooper for their treatment of her as a patsy.

I also think that we should apologize for our treatment of her and her book. It is only fair.

I feel people are too easily forgiven in this day and age. Using this case as a benchmark I could go on TV and spew any racist, sexist, or Hitler inspired drivel I want. Then as long as I put on the puppy dog eyes and say 'I'm sorry', all is forgiven and you're the bad guy for still holding a grudge.

The only reason she came clean was because the backlash was hurting book sales. If the only response from the community would have been sent directly to her private e-mail, she would have said nothing.

People need to be held responsible for their actions. In stead of forgiving and forgetting, I wonder what else she has said, or will say, about subjects she knows nothing about. If she is forgiven, she's given a free pass to do the same thing over and over again.

“we found a witch, may we burn her?”

Rofl! XD


Although I do agree with you about forgiving her for her statements, but we should not apologize to her about the Amazon book tactic. Self-defence and retailiation is the main reason her book was attacked, not out of hatred or spite.

We should focus on going after Fox News. Just a few hours ago the Fox News show "Cashin' In" was having another one-sided video game debate that involves the New Mexico video game and TV tax.

But here's the real question, how will the ECA react to the one-sided Fox News coverage? The ECA has not sugggested any course of grassroot/netroots actions to take. All we have been told to do is sit on our hands and let the ECA handle it. All Dennis did is discourage people from attacking her books on Amazon in a article on Joystiq. Quess what, the Amazon book attacks worked. We got the numbers, but we need a solid plan to use those numbers the right way. The ball is in your court ECA, I hope you pick up the ball.

@ Jason
Shes not a newscaster, shes a psychologist. Her job is to make people feel bad about themselves then change into a more socially acceptable stereotypical a-moral person, not hand out the news. Or some im told...

Now, ill accept her apology, but id like to point out how funny it is for her to have initially preached that the game is a tool to perpetuate a "male-ocracy" and to make women look like objects to be shaped for our own devices, when she has written books about how women can make a man do whatever she wants and how to craft a man into whatever she wants. A lil' hypocritical, dontcha think?
I accept your appology, Lawrence, but ive got my eye on you.

@ MR.B

If we consider retaliation a act not worthy of apologizing for, what is to separate us from he bigots spewing the crap about games?

If we feel that we deserve an apology for her actions toward us, why should she not expect an apology from us for the same actions?

The bigger man is the one known for stepping down first.


Guerilla Warfare > The High Road

We didn't forgive Hermann for going along with Adolf.

I am curious how 15% more is "most"...more gamers are willing to forgive than not, but not most of us.

As for those of you who still are screaming hatred, let us prove the anti gaming people wrong...even if we are the only ones who know it. Forgive, forget, lets move on with our lives.

p.s. for any of us to make criticisms of her book is ridiculous. Agree or not, unless one of us also has a few degrees in the subject and spends months studying the topic, I think we should stick to what we know: that she made a false statement, and recanted that statement. She looked like a fool on national television. Now, lay off of her.

@ BlackIce

You make me question my understanding of Boolean logic.

Are you truly saying that the more respectable person is the one who unabashedly attacks the other?

An ignorant person ventures forth into the media and pours scorn on something they have absolutely no experience of, based entirely on hearsay and possibly things they made up themselves because they wanted to get their inaccurate point across.

Question time! Am I talking about Lawrence or any of the morons who attacked her book on Amazon now? I wonder how many of those people would be willing to say they're sorry even if she organised her own apology to be printed in mile-high point on the moon for all eternity.

She was stupid and launched an attack on something she didn't know anything about, then later retracted it and *even agreed that calling Mass Effect porn was laughable*.

It's very hard to convince the media that gamers aren't a bunch of obsessed nutjobs when more than a third of them are still sharpening their pitchforks and screaming for blood. You don't necessarily have to forgive in order to make peace and move on.


The lackey's are not more respectable than the Boss.

Change my vote from yes to no btw.


Why don't you and the ECA suggest another action to take instead of attacking someone's Amazon book ratings. Hearing you and Dennis looking down on the book rating attacks and not offering another course of action make me pretty upset. If there is a higher road to take, most of the gamers will take the higher road. You guys talk about the higher road, but you never tell us what it is.

I said no, because I thought her apology was kind of weak, and I hold grudges for a loooooooooooong time. Sometimes I'll forget why I hold the grudge and STILL hold onto it.

She is hot though.

I can forgive, she is after all in main stream media. They don't get paid to report the news they get paid to "entertain."

Academics can "misspeak". Just last week, on my way to work, I walked into an old friend and said "hey man, good afternoon" - at 10am. That's misspeaking.

To render an expert opinion (and she was introduced as an expert and touts the fact that she's ABD) on national television, that has no basis in fact, research, or even observation, is not "misspeaking". It's simply and clearly academic dishonesty and conduct unbecoming a doctoral candidate.

The academic community does not "forgive". We ask for clarification and correction as well as a supply of sources if something like this happens. She still has to come clear about the "study" she cited (shouldn't be that hard to point people into the right direction) and she still has to apologize. Not for misspeaking, but for acting academically dishonest. And that I haven't heard.

As a gamer I might be able to overlook her behavior as having caused little harm. As an academic, psychologist, and researcher, I can not forgive her actions.

@ MR.B

If you need a third party to tell you what to do, I am sorry.

The only suggestions I have to counter the misconceptions of games and those who play them, is to show those who are most easily swayed by the likes of Fox News who you are and what it means to be a gamer.

Write letters to the editor of your local paper explaining the situation. Write Cooper personally (although that is not possible as she is not accepting emails at this time).

There is a lot that you can do. I don't think that it is the responsibility of the ECA or myself to tell you what to do. But it is clear what you should avoid. Book storming is one of those things that should be avoided. So are attacks against the character of our opponents.

Look at what John Bruce, Fox News and politicians do, and avoid those types of actions. Two wrongs don't make a right.

One of the accusations against gaming is that it clouds our judgment and makes us more violent/aggressive. Don't prove them right by your actions. Show them that we are civilized people and are willing to compromise.

One of the advantages that we have is our commitment to our hobby and each other. We also have strong imaginations. Use those to our advantage and we can be a force not to be reckoned with.

Weak. Weak, weak post Gamepolitics. She never apologized. Not once.

It's time the ECA did something besides posting statements by Hal Halpin on Go after these shitheads who attack gaming.

Another thing I would like to add, our opponents like to twist and misuse facts. Don't succumb to that temptation yourself.

Use the facts and truth to your advantage. Don't lie or stretch the truth.


It's not me that needs the suggestions, it's the people that did the bookstorming. I myself had suggested many actions in response, some of the ideas I came up with are not the best ideas (example: a "vote for the worst" style attack on American Idol in the vein of the bookstorm attacks). I did not partake in the bookstorming either. I'm not the one who needs the third party advice, I can tell you that. I agree with you on the call for cool heads on this issue.


That's what we're doing.


Sorry, but this is a News Site.

I didn't vote, but I would put it squarely in the "no" category. An apology doesn't cut it. Oops, I rammed into your car, sorry; Oops, the gun I was fooling around with went off and injured/killed someone, sorry.
Extreme examples, sure, but they present the point on a physical level. It was, for all intents and purposes, an attack on her part. The War Crimes Council concept of "I didn't know what I was doing, ergo I'm innocent, but sorry nonetheless" bull doesn't cut it here.
She had time to become informed, or she should have recineded the appearance. Hell, she said she asked a passerby what Mass Effect was, and the response was "it's porn". Very, very through analysis and research there. While we're at it, let's ask the lighting grip if the writers strike talks are going well.
Not a matter of morales, but a matter of professional principle. Do lawyers who know absolutely nothing about their case go into a courtroom to argue for a defendant they know nothing about? Hell no, that's akin to professional suicide.
She wants to play the politico-game with all the pundits and hack-jobs out there, she needs to know the field. It's her fault for not knowing what she was walking into, and an apology does not suffice.
Now, if she does honestly feel bad about what occured, and wishes to make amends, since she is a psychologist, and this matter does affect a part of her readership, mayhaps she should get in touch with Hal Halprin, the ECA, EFF, or similar organizations and work with them to create some sort of social awareness program. Maybe in her next book, she can have a section on "playing video games with your beau". Words mean little Mad'am, it is your actions that define you.

@ Ghost Coins

What you are talking about is a professional environment and professional people. Fox News is neither.

@E. Zachary Knight

Seconded. What I saw Fox News doing is making sure she knew as little as possible about the subject before going on.


To be frankly honest knight, I never knew she even had a book until the later reports about it being down-voted on Amazon. I never went there to down-vote the book, nor do I intend to. I wouldn't dare sink to her level of prejudicial statements about something I've never read, played or even seen, and I got to say I was somewhat disappointed that so many people took that road.

But more to the point, I have zero reason to accept her apology, as the damage has been done. Unfortunately, media slander is not considered assault, despite the fact that it is (it probably shouldn't carry the same sentence, but it should have some sort of punishment). Her, and so many "pop psychologists" like her give psychology a bad name, not to mention the damage they try to deal to the topic at hand.

She confessed to her error on a newspaper. The number of people who actually read about it, we'll never know. I don't think we'd like the statistics of how many people read the dailies front to back. What I do know is that the number of people who watch a given show from beginning to end is fairly decent, and despite how highly regarded the internet is on fast news, I'd be willing to bet most people still get their news from TV. I think the ratio of those who read the paper after watching FOX news, in comparison to those who at least watched the broadcast is probably a slim number. That's what is appalling to me. No apology from FOX or Cooper Lawrence on FOX to set their viewers straight.

Can she make amends? Can we forgive her eventually? Sure, I could. It'll take more than a PR-repairing retraction solely fueled by her plummeting Amazon rating. Do you think she would have apologized if we would have taken the high road? Think about it.

i voted yes for similar reasons that EZK is touting. so she didnt actually apologize, so she only 'rescinded' on account of her book being bashed. she has at least learned that gamers are a group that she doesnt want to mess with anymore, lets let her be, after all, she was just the puppet (what strings were pulled to make her 'sing' imho are irrelevant). if we continue to point our pitchforks and torches at her, we're just going to look like the stereotypes that the anti-gamers paint us as which would completely defeat why we're fighting against these types.

i agree with what others have said, its time to focus our ire at fox "news". its time for them to learn their lesson. they are the puppet masters in this show and im sure are even taking great pleasure in lawrence's metaphorical beating. one suggestion is to use one of the advantages we have against them, truth, and awaken the uninformed to fox's treachery and lies.

as mark twain said
forgive your enemies but never forget their names

No and for a reason.

Why would she have engaged in such without having a full understanding of the subject material?

Like I said, no.

Papa Midnight

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