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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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  • by DeathToBill (601486) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:38AM (#35160526) Journal

    Journalism is not about collecting facts and putting them on paper. It is about collecting a very large range of facts and opinions, selecting between them and constructing those chosen into a narrative for a particular purpose. Because there is selection and construction involved, different individuals will necessarily disagree on the result. Soulskill doesn't understand this basic fact. Instead, he thinks that because Fox selected some quotes and disregarded others, selected some opinions and disregarded others, they are necessarily wrong. Or at least that's the way he paints it.

    Anything he disagrees with is "sensationalist" or "disingenuous" or "frantic". Anyone he agrees with is "and all-round industry guru" (full marks for grammar there), "fantastic" or "informed". When you first read it, it all sounds clear-cut; poke around under the surface and it is a pretty straight-forward example of using pejorative language to remove someone's credibility without actually engaging with them in debate.

    Violence in video games is a topic on which a lot of people hold strong, opposing views. Research carried out frequently comes to contradictory conclusions, based mostly on where the money came from. So I think that best answer we can honestly give at the moment is, "We don't know." So actually engaging in debate would be more useful than this sort of biased name-calling.

  • by Interoperable (1651953) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:46AM (#35160564)

    Also, Fox News causes rape.

  • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:48AM (#35160578)

    "It is about collecting a very large range of facts and opinions, selecting between them and constructing those chosen into a narrative for a particular purpose.Because there is selection and construction involved, different individuals will necessarily disagree on the result."

    Wow, when you put it like that cutting out everything you don't agree with and lying though your teeth to create a misleading story sounds almost reasonable.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:54AM (#35160608)

    While that's certainly "doing journalism" it doesn't mean it's good journalism or immune from criticism. If I bake a cake out of shit, sure, I'm cooking something, but it's still a cake made out of shit.

    As you say, the research is ambiguous. That's not what the article says. The article says that, according to the research, video games make you rape people.

  • by the_fat_kid (1094399) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:49AM (#35160900)

    I think the real question here is:
    If Glen Beck didn't rape and kill that girl in 1990, why won't he just come out and deny it?
    What is he hiding?

  • 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

  • Re:Fox newscasters (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqldr (838964) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:00AM (#35160990)
    because they were made in a lab. Don't get me wrong, back here in Britain we've got our own fair share of idiots, but what happened with Glen Beck and Sarah Palin et all is that there was an accident involving a military scientific experiment in asshole warfare where a couple of hybrid super-assholes escaped and then due to administrative error, they got put on TV. Why they haven't told us about the countermeasures, I simply do not know.
  • Re:Great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:24AM (#35161164)

    Exactly! I'm not even from the US and even I got the notion that FOX couldn't reach new 'lows', since it has been underground for quite a while, you'd have to call it 'depth'.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:32AM (#35161218)

    I don't think there's much of a comparison here. We have on one hand the claim sexual innuendo in games (and only in games) leads directly to rape. The counter-factual claim that rapes are on the increase, and concrete evidence that the reporter who wrote the piece knew full well that he what he was writing an utter fabrication.

    On the other hand, I've been expecting an Democrat to be murdered for political reasons since the 2008 election campaign. It was obvious that it was going to happen when you have half of the political spectrum calling their opponents terrorists, traitors, and murderers. Eventually somebody is going to believe and then act on those claims. My only question is whether Palin and associates were evil enough to hope that it was Obama who'd get shot, or whether they're stupid enough to think they can act that way and there wouldn't be any consequences.

  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:49AM (#35161322)

    Yes, that's why the tea party is currently busy installing a government regulator in every woman's uterus. For freedom.

  • Re:Rape = Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @09:51AM (#35161344)

    If you can't see fox is the worst offender after watching 10 minutes of it, then I question your objectiveness.

    Certainly other networks put spins on things, but fox is in their own league in the level and obviousness of it.

  • Re:Rape = Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @10:28AM (#35161664) Homepage Journal
    I gotta give you thumbs up, for thinking, but thumbs down for missing a couple important details. Julian Assange is not charged with rape, but rather some kind of sexual "misconduct". Only the American media has managed to exaggerate Julian's case into some kind of rape case.
  • by feepness (543479) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @11:07AM (#35162080) Homepage
    ...crosshair shaped markers on maps do.
  • by DavidTC (10147) <`moc.xobreven' ` ... .vidavsxd54sals'> on Thursday February 10, 2011 @12:35PM (#35163154) Homepage

    You do realize that no one made that argument, right?

    People simply pointed out that the right uses a lot of violent rhetoric, and, look, an example of it. Where others might simply used a checkbox or something, Palin decided to use a gun crosshair, because she's all 'gunny', don't cha know.

    Although I personally find her 'reload' comment to be a lot more crazy.

    I know you won't believe it, but the right uses much much more of 'shooting things' rhetoric than the left.

    And, yes, I'm sure there's some examples of the left using violent-originating figures of speech, but the right isn't using metaphors. 'Targets' are metaphors. 'Bullseyes' are metaphors. 'War' is a metaphor. Even saying 'in our crosshairs' might be.

    If some on the left have cherry picked those terms out and complained about them, they're wrong, just like they were wrong to complain about the 'Repeal the job killing health care reform' bill's name. (Well, they should have just complained it was dishonest.)

    But actually drawing crosshairs on a map...that's not a metaphor. I've certainly never seen crosshairs used to identify locations or people outside the context of shooting at that location. A bullseyes, an X, okay, I can accept those and not read 'shooting' into them, despite the origin, but a crosshairs, no.

    Talking about 'ballot, soap, jury, ammo', is not a metaphor. Talking about 'using second amendment rights' is not a metaphor.

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon

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