Monday, February 04, 2008

Aliens & Lovers

or the controversy known as FoxNews' coverage of the new Xbox 360 game "Mass Effect".

What better way to ring in Valentine's Day than with a little Human/Alien Hot Stuff?

Apparently, FoxNews has stooped to letting their reporters use the internet and personal blogs as source material for their newscasts. Not that the search for the unbiased truth ever was high on the FoxNews priority list recently (Barack Obama a Muslim, anyone?) Anyhow, the following clip shows FoxNews Barbie and her sidekick Armchair Psychiatrist analyzing the new game while SpikeTVs correspondent attempts to set the record straight (poorly, I might add). here's the clip, courtesy of

The funny thing is, we rented this game Saturday afternoon, and I've been listening to the Prince Consort play it while I blog, edit videos and do other assorted office-type things. When he brought this story to my attention this evening on the way home from work, my immediate reaction ran along these lines: "WTF are they smoking over at Fox? Are they Ka-Razy? Say WHAT?!?!" Suffice it to say, after having listened to the "alien love" scene, last night and then watching it tonight (and videotaping it for reference), all I can say is... If the girl on fox who wanted this game to be rated AO (Adults Only, equivalent to R/NC17 in a movie theatre) actually WATCHED what the game actually showed, it's far less titilating or problematic than the sex scene between Sawyer and Kate in Season 3 of Lost, or even the sex scene between Sawyer and AnaLucia in Season 1 or 2 (I forget) of Lost. That Sawyer gets around. I LOLed at the description of Mass Effect as "Luke Skywalker Meets Debbie Does Dallas". I mean REALLY people.

If you want to watch a whole BOATLOAD of "sex scenes" from Mass Effect, this YouTube user has 'em all. And they're about as racy as... I dunno. Something rated TVPG-13 or PG-13 in theatres. Seriously, there's a LOT worse stuff out there. This game is rated M for Mature. And unlike it was said in the clip, ratings are not just on the BACK of the box. They are also on the front of selected ones, too. So now, let's get to know our ratings...

Live and direct from come the ESRB Rating Symbols

Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.

Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.

Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.)

Now I'm sorry, NO I'M NOT! if you, the (responsible) adult, leave stuff sitting out that you don't want your kids to get to, tough nuts. It's your responsibility as parents.

Why hasn't anyone gone ballistic over Viva Pinata? That game is chock full of fornicating party animals. Don't believe me? Check this out:

After going into their little houses and doing their little "romance dance", those perky pinatas disappear, some hearts appear over the outside of their house and a short while later an egg gets delivered by Storkos. Even my 5 year old gets what this means. And she doesn't even know where babies come from ~really~. Did I mention that Viva Pinata is rated E for Everyone? Don't believe me? Check it out:

Seriously people, it's NOT just teenage boys playing video games. No matter what the "experts" want you to believe, the largest demographic is actually males 18-35. You saw that right. Don't believe me? USA Today reported on this as far back as 2004 and STILL people are pulling the "teenage boys" card. It's getting old FAST. If *I* can Google that information in the space of a nanosecond, then SURELY the powers that be at FauxNews can do the same. Or is USA Today too liberal for them to take seriously? Here's a snippet from the article:

In fact, the average age of game players was 29 and the average age of buyers was 36, with men making up 59% of the playing audience.

and this report from Research and Markets,Guinness Centre, Taylors Lane, Dublin 8, Ireland which includes the following information (among MANY other things):

  • Trends in PC Gamer Demographics 2004-2007
  • Trends in Console Gamer Demographics 2006-2007 by Age & Gender
  • Trends in Online Gamer Demographics 2004-2007 by Age & Gender
  • Trends in Console Gamer Demographics 2006-2007 by Education
  • Trends in Online Gamer Demographics 2004-2007 by Education
  • Percentage of Various Gamer Groups

It will only set you back €3,210.00 for a PDF copy or €3,253.00 + EUR€ 50.00 Shipping/Handling for a printed copy. You read that right, THIRTY TWO HUNDRED EUROs and then some. If you want to know what that means in US$, go here.

Rightly so, EA Games issued a response to FoxNews - available at Kotaku here. I don't blame them. Reminds me of the Stealers Wheel song...

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.

People, it's simple. Know the ratings, monitor what your kids watch/play if you have 'em. But for the love of all that is holy and decent, MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION BASED ON ACTUAL FACTS, not just the rantings of some "journalist" (and I'm really stretching that term here, folks) on TV. Or even some random internet person's blog. Including mine. Be an informed consumer.

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