More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

February 21, 2011 -

In yet another editorial masquerading as a news report (the last one being the whole Carole Lieberman "Games cause Rape" story), Fox News writer John Brandon takes another shot at stirring the pot about Epic Games' Bulletstorm. In his latest article, Brandon uses the censorship of the game in Germany as a jump-off point to attack Rock, Paper, Shotgun's dissection of his first article, to claim that "anyone" can buy the game online, and to throw some more quotes around. Of the censorship in Germany, Brandon opens by baiting gamers with the line: "It's too violent for Germany. But it's okay for America?”

He goes on to say that the game is "easily purchased or watched online by anyone, despite warning labels." This is just an opening salvo in a litany of half-truths and [edited] quotes from experts to shape a view on a game that isn't as violent as he'd have you believe. So who are his experts for this round? Some of the experts include Clair Mellenthin, a Director of Child and Adolescent Services at Wasatch Family Therapy in Salt Lake City; ECA president Hal Halpin, EA's Jeff Brown and others. The article also reprints a quote from last week's article from Dr. Jerry Weichman, a clinical psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern California. Here is the stand-out quote:

"Being rewarded for sexually assaultive and violent behaviors and thoughts … I believe that the unintended consequences far outweigh any possible positives," Mellenthin told FoxNews.com. “There should be significant blocks in downloading this game to ensure that it is truly an adult making an adult decision to use this technology."

Brandon then goes on to talk about Lieberman’s book on Amazon being "amazonbombed," and to critique RPS' reporting on Lieberman’s so-called list of "evidence" that games cause rape. Again from the article:

The site RockPaperShotgun.com contacted FoxNews.com sources and posted transcripts of interviews, exposing "the full story," they claimed. Some sources, including Scott Steinberg, the CEO of consultancy TechSavvy Global, shared private e-mail interviews with other websites.

After psychiatrist Carole Lieberman told FoxNews.com of a connection between violent games and rape, the site Destructoid ran the headline, 'Games cause rape' psychologist's book gets raped. The article described how Lieberman was "Amazonbombed" -- meaning gamers posted dozens of scathing and profane reviews of her books to the online retail site.

Next, he moves on to the ESRB, which he claims has no way of enforcing rating, thereby allowing children to buy games such as Bulletstorm easily: "many experts say it's useless, because it isn't enforced at retail."

What he means specifically is that children can use a credit card or gift card to purchase the game from retailers directly. The Federal Trade Commission does not deny this fact and admits that more could be done about it. A spokesperson for the agency says the following:

"Online retailers should be concerned about selling M-rated games to children under age 17,” said Claudia Bourne Farrell, an FTC spokesperson. "Although valid credit card information does not guarantee that the purchaser is an adult, it is a reasonable proxy for the purchaser’s age,"

Of course the same could be said of anything purchased online, including membership to and merchandise from the "No Spin Zone." No doubt certain parents don't want their children buying that material or Glenn Beck's newest book, but kids have access to it using a credit card..

 

Brandon ends his article by saying that Bulletstorm just is not as good as everyone says it is (based on his time with the demo):

"Indeed, FoxNews.com tested a widely available demo and found the game was gory and crude -- but hardly a creative tour-de-force."

I suppose taking a personal shot at Bulletstorm's quality is appropriate for an article that was supposed to be about Germany's censorship of the game. Oddly enough the only discussion of the game's censorship is in the first few sentences; after that it's all about game sales, and the game industry’s reaction to the first article. You can read the whole thing here. Frankly it's a poorly veiled opinion piece that we have become accustomed to reading at Fox News. You can also read the latest RPS response here. We'll let you judge which author has his shit together on the topic of video games.

Source: Fox News


Comments

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

This guy needs a jumping off point alright.

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Rock Paper Shotgun claims to be unbiased, but I went to their site and made a shocking discovery: they only cover PC games!  If they're supposed to be a fair and balanced media source (like FoxNews is) then how come they're so lax on reporting news for the equally important console specialist?

And for that matter, what's the deal with GamePolitics only reporting on politics?  I mean, sure, that covers the "politics" part of their name, but where are the games?  How come I'm not playing Farmville right now?  Oh my god I can't trust anybody!  Save me, FoxNews!  Tell me how many layers of duct tape to wrap my windows in so I can keep the terrorist gas out!

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Fangamer

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Fangamer

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Are you sure it's a news report masquerading as an editorial, and not an editorial masquerading as a news report?

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Keep on giving the game free publicity Fox.

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

the MPAA has no more way of enforcing rating then the ESRB, thereby allowing children to watch movies such as Saw and Kill Bill easily.

your move, John Brandon

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Correcting a small typo: "FoxNews", not "Fox News".  The space implies that the content is in fact news when clearly it's intended for entertainment only.  If there was a space they'd be held to too high a standard to "report" as they do.

It's interesting to watch someone attack a fairly broad and thourough report like RPS's while using highly edited quotes with little to no context.  I find that, as a rule, the quality of a news story can be measured by the length of quotes they dare use.

===============

Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

What? Fox News put out a sensationalistic story full of baseless accusations and outright fabrications?

Good sir, I believe you owe me a new monocole, for the one I was wearing has flown away in surprise!

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

For all you pinheads who play videogames:

You can't explain Videogames.  Tide goes in tide goes out- there is never a miscommunication. 

Where did videogames come from?  Where did the ratings system come from?  How come Germany has one and we don't?  You can't explain that.

 

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

I remember seeing that one night i was watching the colbert report. I remember at first i was completely flabbergasted, then i started laughing my ass off.

Two people who should NEVER defend religion in intelligent debate: My friend who's about as intelligent as a fence post, and that man.

 

Anyways, shouldn't that be an argument as to why America is as great as people say? aren't we kinda known for not slamming the censor hammer compared to other countries? 

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Where did the fence post come from?  Who put it there?  You can't explain that.  Why does your yard have one but mine doesn't?  You can't explain that. 

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

I have to say, RPS's exhaustive examinations of both FoxNews articles and Lieberman's evidence have been wildly entertaining.  I can't wait to see if they actually score an interview with Brandon.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: More Bulletstorm Musings from Fox News

Considering he's now written two articles about this game, I have to wonder if he's got some sort of hidden agenda in all this?  The site Gamingupdate claimed that Fox News was backing AB 1179 that's at the center of the Schwarznegger Vs. EMA case.  So there might be a reason why they're singling out this game, as to them it represents a more current poster child for an ultra-violent video game than Postal 2.

But it seems like John Brandon at the same time is all butthurt that he's been called out on his BS, and he's just lashing out now.  Interestingly enough, RPS just posted their own rebuttal, which can be seen here.

 
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james_fudgeprh99: Whether you agree with the article or not, fighting alleged censorship with censorship is hella lame10/02/2014 - 4:27am
james_fudgewhoever made that decision at Intel will regret it later on down the road. Boycotts are tricky business.10/02/2014 - 4:26am
prh99The unflattering characterization "They don’t know how to dress or behave." & "‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction..." probably didn't help.10/02/2014 - 1:52am
prh99Probably not many as it was purely a vindictive move. The headline alone was plenty of ammo, but for those that did read and complain..10/02/2014 - 1:42am
Andrew EisenI wonder how many of those who complain about that article actually read past the headline.10/02/2014 - 1:37am
prh99http://intel.ly/1tjh1AH http://bit.ly/1rGPHOY http://intel.ly/Zu6go9 it isn't surprising "Gamers are over" didn't go over very well.10/02/2014 - 1:34am
Papa MidnightCan you parlay that to #WriteAGawkerArticle? The cesspool of horrid crap over there extends far beyond Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 12:34am
Andrew EisenWow! Intel dropped Gamasutra due to GameJournoPros? Over Matt Matthews? The only Gamasutra guy in the group? Who hasn't written a single thing about #GamerGate at the site? Where did you read that?10/02/2014 - 12:32am
Neo_DrKefka#WriteAKotakuArticle "#GamerGate is responsible for breaking millions of Intel powered macbooks after angry SWJ hipsters slam them shut" or "How Toxic Processors from Intel causes sexism. "10/02/2014 - 12:15am
Neo_DrKefkaSo Intel has dropped Gamesutra due to there support of your Gaming News Cabal Fudge. Anti GamerGate article soon? Or like your e-mails are you hoping this narrative dies down soon?10/02/2014 - 12:14am
Andrew EisenWell, time to eat some dinner and work on the Hyrule Warriors guide until bedtime!10/02/2014 - 12:11am
Andrew EisenJust finished my stream. That... could have gone better. Technical issues prevented me from playing a console game so I instead played and bitched about The Walking Dead for two hours. Oh well, the folks watching still seemed to enjoy it.10/02/2014 - 12:09am
Matthew Wilsonwe all know valve can not cout to 3.10/02/2014 - 12:08am
MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
 

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