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First Person Shooters (Games) The Media Games

Fox News Brings Video Game Violence Debate To a New Low 421

Posted by Soulskill
from the unpredictable-like-the-tides dept.
Fox News took another shot at the video game violence debate earlier this week when they asked whether Bulletstorm, an upcoming M-rated shooter from Epic Games, is the worst game in the world. The article links violent games with an increase in rapes, and suggests there should be greater penalties for selling to minors. Gaming website Rock, Paper, Shotgun breaks down the problems with the article's sensationalist claims and highlights the disingenuous cherry-picking of quotes. "Scott Steinberg, CEO of TechSavvy Global, and all-round industry guru, got in touch with me to show me the answers he submitted to Fox when they approached him for comment. The full answers are reproduced below, because what results is a fantastic interview on the subject of adult game content and regulation. Fox chose to use none of Steinberg’s comments in their final piece, opting instead for the more sensational claims of those with no expertise in the subject (neither of whom have found time to reply to our emails). But seeing these answers also provides further insight into how the mainstream media coverage of gaming stories works. Far from being a reporter ignorant of the subject and twisted by naive contributors, Fox correspondent John Brandon was equipped with a wealth of factual information and informed opinion before composing his frantic article."
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Fox News Brings Video Game Violence Debate To a New Low

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  • Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dintech (998802) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:14AM (#35160412)

    Sounds great, where can I buy it.

    Hint: There's no such things as bad publicity for computer games.

    • by mvar (1386987)

      players are rewarded for shooting enemies in the private parts (such as the buttocks). There’s an excess of profanity, of course, including frequent use of F-words. And Bulletstorm is particularly gruesome, with body parts that explode all over the screen.

      Gore-fest! Awesome! Never heard of this game before but now I'm gonna definitely get it!!

    • agreed, the demo is being promoted on xbox right now and I keep avoid dling it, until I read this article!
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Funny)

      by jez9999 (618189) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:43AM (#35161282) Homepage Journal

      Hint: There's no such things as bad publicity for computer games.

      How about about "Fox News and Concerned Mothers For America approve of this game"?

  • Rubbish (Score:5, Informative)

    by Boombox2003 (1352089) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:16AM (#35160416)
    The FBI's stats actually show rape is down yet people dont take the time to verify things anymore. News reporters are meant to verify and inform not spread idle gossip and misinformation.
    • by mangu (126918) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:31AM (#35160492)

      The FBI's stats actually show rape is down yet people don't take the time to verify things anymore

      When I was a kid, my mother went to a PTA meeting where the school director (a retired army colonel, BTW) presented police statistics showing a decrease in rape incidents. He interpreted this as an indicator of increased use of marijuana because, according to him, marijuana causes sexual impotence.

      Conclusion: if video games cause rape that's good, because it will decrease drug use, same as piracy decreases global warming.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        When I was a kid, my mother went to a PTA meeting where the school director (a retired army colonel, BTW) presented police statistics showing a decrease in rape incidents. He interpreted this as an indicator of increased use of marijuana because, according to him, marijuana causes sexual impotence.

        Conclusion: if video games cause rape that's good, because it will decrease drug use, same as piracy decreases global warming.

        So the question is; do you want your kids to smoke a joint every once in a while or do you want them to rape people every once in a while?
        Basically the school director was PROMOTING drugs use.

    • by Haffner (1349071)
      Since when has Fox employed "news reporters?"
  • I'm not surprised (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciderbrew (1860166) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:21AM (#35160458)
    We have the same problem in the UK too. Do not trust the media is the only outcome we'll end up with. This is not good.

    I found this one via the B3TA Newsletter. http://b3ta.com/newsletter/issue465/ [b3ta.com]

    * HOW THE DAILY MAIL WORKS - Long, long blog entry, but interesting and quite damning. To put it bluntly, they make stories up. http://goo.gl/acMZq [goo.gl]
    • by pablo_max (626328)

      At least you in the UK know that you live in a Nanny state where the government is able to control every point of your life. Americans still think they are free.

    • by miknix (1047580)

      From TFA

      The FCC monitors all TV broadcasts and stiffly fines broadcasters for violating decency rules, yet there are no penalties in place for retailers who sell violent games to kids.

      Right! Because clearly there is no other way of watching past TV broadcasts.

  • Follow the money. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mal-2 (675116) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:23AM (#35160464) Homepage Journal

    Video games are a waste of time as far as NewsCorp is concerned. Every minute you spend actively engaged in a game is a minute you DON'T spend watching their (paid-for) movies, or (ad-filled) television prgrams, or (propaganda AND ad-filled) "news". If it's not good for Rupert Murdoch's bottom line, expect him to whip up FUD against it wherever possible!

    • by hitmark (640295)

      i keep envisioning the *AA members as mother birds stuffing content worms down the gullet of their consumer chicks. This with the subtext of "Consume you filthy consumers, consume!"

    • Re:Follow the money. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by digitig (1056110) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:44AM (#35160558)
      Remember that News Corporation owns 92% of the Planet Network / GameSpy, so if you're playing on a Playstation, Wii, PSP, DS or PC there's a fair chance you're still supporting his bottom line.
      • by Gonoff (88518)
        Then it will be interesting to see what new games get bad press - and where they are from...
  • there's already a 1000 comments over on fox's website slamming the article. Though, I don't appear to be able to link to them. Stupid Ajaxy website breaking the Internet!

    You'll have to click the comments icon. [foxnews.com]
    • by hitmark (640295)

      And that is exactly why media love their ajaxy sites...

    • by The Moof (859402)
      This was picked up by a bunch of gaming sites yesterday, so I'm assuming that has something to do with the 1000 of comments slamming the article.
  • With the slander and bullshit they put out on an hourly basis, are any /.ers really surprised at this? That's why it is the duty of those that are informed to educate those that are gullible and fall for crap like this.
  • We used to watch this every day after school back in the 60's. So did we run around gouging eyes, ripping out hair or the old favorite, whacking with a plank on the head? No. I remember my mom teaching us, "This just a comedy film, don't really do this to each other, or someone is going to get hurt."

    I think violent crime is a sign of more deeper social problems, that are more difficult to address. It's just easier to blame it on video games as a scapegoat.

    • We used to watch this every day after school back in the 60's. So did we run around gouging eyes, ripping out hair or the old favorite, whacking with a plank on the head? No. I remember my mom teaching us, "This just a comedy film, don't really do this to each other, or someone is going to get hurt."

      I think violent crime is a sign of more deeper social problems, that are more difficult to address. It's just easier to blame it on video games as a scapegoat.

      I think the whole Video Games = Violence is complete nonsnse.

      But to play devil's advocate, the analogy of watching violent TV shows as a kid isn't entirely valid in my opinion.

      In a game, YOU'RE doing things. Some games gets your aggression levels up either by plot or by an aggravating level. I recall a NASCAR race where they stuck cameras in the face of a popular driver IMMEDIATELY after a tense race; he'd barely gotten out of the car. In his aggression he dropped a curse word and people went ape.

      It's

  • by Pax681 (1002592) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:01AM (#35160644)
    Fox News Brings Video Game Violence Debate To a New Low
    and this is a shock to anyone ... why?

    fox news isn't news, it's opinion pieces and bullshit, all you need to know about fox "news" is to see is Outfoxed : Rupert Murdochs War on journalism [google.com]
  • This is perhaps just another example of otherwise decent-minded little cogs caught in a malevolent machine built and serviced by engineers of evil who care nothing for the Common Good or ethics beyond how those can be exploited to benefit them. Perhaps John Brandon is really a nice thoughtful guy who really wouldn't have chosen such a slant to the article; just as likely or moreso is that he was being an obedient cog and protecting his career by writing the article with the bias his bosses wanted him to in

  • News at 11.

  • Comparisons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:49AM (#35160902)

    At least the Weekly World News never took itself seriously and never expected anyone to believe that Bat Boy was real.

    After this amount of time it shouldn't surprise anyone that Fox News can't be arsed to come out with anything resembling news or information. Facts and accuracy be damned. Death panels? Sure. Obama is going to sneak into your house in the dead of night and smother your grandmother *personally.* Similarly, playing this game will turn your kids into serial killers. Never mind the research. What counts is eyeballs and page hits.

    If Fox News said that the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning, I would have to check the astronomical tables to confirm.

    Fox News is a fraud.

    Anyone who still watches Fox is confirmed for stupid. I don't care if your IQ is 200. You still watch Fox? You take anything they say seriously? Then I have nothing to discuss with you. Ever.

    Fox News wants you to believe in them. Fox News wants you to believe in Bat Boy.

    --
    BMO

  • Everyone knows that the worst video game in the world is ET for the Atari 2600.
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      After that game was released, incidents of kids eating candy from the floor and falling in holes increased 32%.
  • ...What does it say about what they do to the rest of the day's news?

  • by chemicaldave (1776600) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:19AM (#35161132)
    Just watch this video of some talking heads debating sexuality in Mass Effect, not knowing what their talking about, and getting their asses handed to them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKzF173GqTU [youtube.com]
  • Everybody knows facts have no bearing on their irrational opinions!
  • While this is a good article and it was wrong of Fox News to sensationalize it, it still misses the point. Even the industry calls these types of games "Adult Games." Why are minors being allowed to purchase them? We have R and NC-17 movies that as a society we have agreed that minors should not be allowed to see. Why is it different with interactive media.

    I'm not saying adults shouldn't be able to purchase games like this. Heck, even parents can purchase them and give them to their kids. But we have

    • by N1AK (864906)
      I've got a study for you. Look around you at the 20-35 year olds in the US, Britain, Europe etc are they all emotionally out of control psychos with a fetish for violence? Has society gotten more dangerous, or in general is violent crime falling?

      Those 20-35 year olds grew up with comparitively easy access to violent films, porn, all computer games. I'd seen half the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday 13th series before I was supposed to be in the cinema seeing Saving Private Ryan. I had mastered running
      • And yet, the first, first person shooters were developed by the military to desensitize soldiers into having to shoot another human being.

    • by DavidTC (10147)

      We have R and NC-17 movies that as a society we have agreed that minors should not be allowed to see. Why is it different with interactive media.

      It's not different, I suggest you do a bit of research.

      The ESRB rates all games, and video game stores epically [techliberation.com] outperform other stores when carding people.

      It is twice as easy for a 16 year old to buy an R-rated DVD than a M rated video games. It's almost twice as easy for them to get into an R-rated movie.

  • Huh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EnsilZah (575600) <EnsilZahNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:57AM (#35161394)

    So the mouthpiece of the party that opposes gun control and governmental regulation in general is advocating stricter imaginary-gun control?

  • "they asked whether Bulletstorm, an upcoming M-rated shooter from Epic Games, is the worst game in the world."

    They obviously have never played the Leisure Suite Larry [wikipedia.org] franchise.

  • Maybe if Fox news cares about the effects of violence, they should worry less about symbolic violence and more about the fact that they are consistent cheerleaders for the wars and military culture that results in things like limbs being blown off and people being burned to death in the real world.

  • ...my ass.

    Fox chose to use none of Steinberg’s comments in their final piece, opting instead for the more sensational claims

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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