A Fair and Balanced Consideration of Mass Effect

By Chris Remo, Jan 22, 2008 12:35am PST The Fox News Channel recently invited longtime gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, who has played BioWare's Mass Effect, and radio talk show host and author Cooper Lawrence, who has not played Mass Effect, to discuss Mass Effect. The discussion was moderated by an anchor who has not played Mass Effect, and was followed by a round table consisting of four panelists who have not played Mass Effect.

If that sounds like a recipe for success, observe. But be forwarned: you may get angry.

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The topic of the piece is the Xbox 360 game's much sensationalized sexual encounter, a brief moment among an extremely length campaign. Lawrence rattles off a list of unsubstantiated--and generally unaccepted--"facts" relating to the average age of gamers and the links from virtual violence and sexuality to real-life behavior.

She doesn't even know of the game's option to play as a female character equal in ability to the male protagonist--she claims the game depicts women as mere objects to be conquered, unaware of even the most basic of Mass Effect's features.

What is really astonishing is how taken aback Lawrence is when Keighley asks if she has ever played the game. Not only has she not played it, she sounds almost offended that he would even consider that she has tried to gain an informed perspective on the material she condemns so vehemently .

Keighley presents himself well, and is clearly informed, but he is given little face time and is quickly hushed up to move onto one of the most ridiculous panels I have ever seen on television.

There does not seem to be a single fact that the Fox panelists ever get right. From the beginning, they suggest game ratings are only printed on the back of the box.

"This made me feel old, watching this," exclaimed one panelist, inexplicably. "What happened to Atari, and pinball, and Pac-Man?" Well, whoever you are (none of the panelists were ever even identified), they are all available in any number of compilation packs at any game retailer, as well as downloadable through numerous console and PC game services.

"Who can argue that Luke Skywalker meets Debbie Does Dallas is a good thing?" one panelist asks. It's an interesting question, but one that, like all the other questions raised in this fair and balanced piece, has absolutely no bearing on the topic at hand.

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31 Threads | 55 Comments

  • Hey, its called watch your damn kids. What is wrong with these stupid conservative parents that always place blame on companies... that one guy said it right. No one ever said it was easy being a parent. Adults get soo lazy with parenting, you have to be responsible, she mentioned that little click thing and she was in watching the content, well what else would you expect? The site relies on the decency of people to not lie, which, would involve the absence of proper parenting once more. It is ridiculous. People always want to place blame on others and can't own up to what the fuck they are responsible for anymore.

    End Rant.

    Mass Effect Ftw.
    That journalist was a dumb bitch. Play the fucking game if you are going to report on it.

  • HA, HA, HAAAAAAA, HAAA....grow folks stuck in the past realy are confused. The comment from the host, towards the end, tops it all. She says in a disappointed voice, "...it's harder to parent your children." I'm tired of witnessing these adults trying to hold on to these ancient values in an effort to NOT have to work at their childrens development. The old woman, Cooper Lawrence, who begins the clip states, "...I have to go with the statistics, young boys can't tell the difference between fiction and reality in games." In that moment, she and whoever conducted that study proves that adults, who think like her, have no respect for responsible adults who raise their children well. Progressive life is proof that, if you raise your child to be responsible, respectful and aware, they should have no problem seperating fact from fiction. These older people who don't understand technology are afraid of it and are insulted that children are more tech savvy then they are. Video games have replaced board games and other older forms of in-home entertainment and the ignorant sector of adults need a way to reverse that so they fish for ways to keep their childrens minds enslaved. The traditional American way of raising a child is "sugar-coating" reality (Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, etc.) and treating them as work objects (excessive chores; little or no benefits) - not HUMANS! This is one of the reason some children turn on their parents and adults as they get older. When truths from the falsehoods taught to children are revealed, those parents (and adults like them) are now seen as liars and decievers. So to all you ancient parents out there who don't respect your children as developing people......YOU GET WHAT YOU GET!! I will be playing Mass Effect and my son will sit next to me with his controller as we discuss the digital birds and the bees and switch games if we have to, se we can dump 1,000's of virtual bullets and rack-up massive kills from enemies! ;-)

  • Okay, so barring the fact that these people are the most advanced examples of propaganda-bots out there, nothing about their fiery ignorance is new. But since when did they start to believe that parenting was under some new threat!? That the working mother/father of today don't have time to monitor their kids behavior on this kind of unique level.I guess they forgot about the time when they were kids and Jimmy brought some porn mags to school and showed everyone and their parents didn't have a clue. I really don't give a shit what they think of Mass Effect. But I guess it's their unrest when their no-doubt automated parenting routines are disrupted. If they spent as much time making sure to turn that hefty Game case over to check the Age-rating as they did complaining then I their kids would be safe. But whatever it's fox. The irony is probably that while the fox people were there shitting out their mouths about it all, their kids were probably having their friends over for lunch break to show them the sex scene in Mass Effect.

  • I'm disappointed at the fact that they laugh at the fact that the Xbox 360 has parental controls.

    It bothers me so much that even when Geoff points out every falsity in their argument, yet Cooper explains her ignorance on the subject by assuming that the sexual content can be initiated at any point in the game. But instead of admiting that she was wrong about the game and everything she thought about the game were simply stereotypes and assumptions, she instead falls back on studies that hardly apply to Mass Effect.

    That all being said, Cooper Lawrence, sadly has it goin on. I would hit that.

  • At first I was pissed, then I remember it was FOX News. HAHA!

    Seriously though, they are doing a disservice to countless idiots around the world who actually believe a damn thing they have to say. Statistics? The "statistics" this Cooper woman was talking about should show--if they're accurate, which I'm pretty sure they're not, because again, FOX--should show that the demographic for video games is men ages 18-34. Yeah, people of all ages play, but that's the standard demographic. So, Cooper, "darlin'", it seems you didn't go with "the facts" after all.

    Secondly, I can't stand the way people talk about video games. It's as if they're this foreign piece of media that just makes them laugh and shake their heads. Oh, those crazy gamers! How about the moderator sounding as if she couldn't believe the concept of looking for the rating on the box. Is this not what has to be done for movies? Fucking moron.

  • Wait, Fox News slips off the fair and balanced bandwagon? Who could have seen that coming? There's some video floating about of all the times FOX used sex to sell a "news" item that's pretty eyeopening (literally). This is just more of the same. You want to be depressed? Go read the stats on how badly misinformed Fox viewers are on just about every subject and then remind yourself that many of these people can vote.

    I have to think that all this attention, negative or otherwise, is driving sales up for ME. Imagine all the the suckers looking for full frontal nudity and hardcore porn after watching that segment. It's really depressing to see the Fox(y) women on that station spout such drivel. Really, though, you know they don't buy half of that pre-scripted garbage. There's no way I believe that a woman who ostensibly looks like she's about 27 or so is pining for pinball and Pac-man. Unless she remembers them printed on her diapers or something, of course.