When it comes to reporting, cable news has a certain reputation of sensationalizing its subjects.
Perhaps the mantra of the station is to make its news as entertaining as some
of its fictional shows on the network.
Mainstream media making a mountain out of molehill about
video game is nothing new to me. I rarely care anymore after years of seeing Jack
Thompson run his mouth about Rockstar’s games.
I don’t get my news from TV anymore, so I only became aware
of this when the gaming community furiously exploded at the gross negligence
for the truth as demonstrated by Fox News.
Fox News during
one of its evening Live Desk programs aired feature headlined “’SE’XBOX?
MICROSOFT: CLAIMS ARE INACCURATE & MISLEADING” which targeted the apparent crimes
committed on today’s use through BioWare’s Mass
More specifically, the television channel positioned game’s
brief sexual encounter as some sort of grossly graphic abomination of modern
day morality in a “think of the children” tone. Problem is, Fox News gets it all wrong. While I
don’t expect all audiences to understand what an RPG is, let alone Mass Effect, Fox News appears so clueless that its staff isn’t even aware that ESRB
game ratings also appear on the front
of the game box.
Radio talk show host and author Cooper Lawrence was called
on by Fox News to give her take on
the outrageously damaging effects that games such as Mass Effect have on the world. Of course, she has never played Mass Effect. Long-time video game media
member Geoff Keighley tries his best to provide calm and sensible rebuttals,
but Fox News appears uninterested in
his logic and instead turns it over to a panel that continues to comment on the
horrors of Mass Effect.
I could go on and on about the inaccuracies presented by Fox News that night, but it’s probably
easiest if you just viewed the video
Electronic Arts, now the owners of BioWare, responded to Fox
News via a letter
written by EA’s VP of communications, Jeff Brown. “The resulting coverage was
insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is
acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards,” he wrote. “As video
games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV
news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive
entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness.”
Brown lists factual errors committed by the program during
its brief airtime, such as a Fox News voice-over reporter saying: “You'll see
full digital nudity and the ability for players to engage in graphic sex.”
“Do you watch the Fox Network? Do you watch Family Guy? Have
you ever seen The OC?” Brown questioned. “Do you think the sexual situations in
Mass Effect are any more graphic than scenes routinely aired on those shows? Do
you honestly believe that young people have more exposure to Mass Effect than
to those prime time shows?”
Brown then concluded, “This isn't a legal threat; it's an
appeal to your sense of fairness. We're asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.”
Meanwhile, members of the online community enraged by Cooper
Lawrence’s misinformed take on Mass Effect have given
their own opinions on the author’s book. Amazon has since removed the user
What Fox News has
done is disheartening. As much as the Nintendo Wii and DS have done to brought
the mainstream market into video games, complex, intellectual and mature games
such as Mass Effect will be continually misunderstood by those who can’t get
past that video games are now much more than just Pac-Man and Pong.
At one point, one of the panelists on Fox News says, “This made
me feel old, watching this. What happened to Atari, and pinball, and Pac-Man?”
Sadly, video gaming will not get its fair shake and coverage
until the a certain generation of so-called reporters – such as those at Fox News – die off and are replaced by
those who grew up with games such as Mass