FOX News has an article questioning the violence of video games and how they can affect people:
In the new video game Bulletstorm due February 22, 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.
But that’s not the worst part.
The in-game awards system, called Skill Shots, ties the ugly, graphic violence into explicit sex acts: “topless” means cutting a player in half, while a “gang bang” means killing multiple enemies. And with kids as young as 9 playing such games, the experts FoxNews.com spoke with were nearly universally worried that video game violence may be reaching a fever pitch.
I find the timing of this article very interesting. Just a month ago we had the Tucson shooting, in which people (including myself) questioned the violent rhetoric of our political discourse being a contributing factor. The shooter is only 22, so he has spent all of his adult life hearing this violent rhetoric from our leaders. That really makes me question this:
“If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm’s explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant,” Dr. Jerry Weichman, a clinical psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern California, told FoxNews.com.
It’s funny when you watch FOX and they quickly dismiss any connection to violence rhetoric in our political and media dialog and the increase in gun violence. Anyone remember Jim David Adkission?
On July 27, 2008, a politically motivated fatal shooting took place at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Motivated by a desire to kill liberalsand Democrats, gunman Jim David Adkisson fired a shotgun at members of the congregation during a youth performance of a musical, killing two people and wounding seven others.
And what was found in Adkission’s home during a police search?
- Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism by talk show host Sean Hannity
- The O’Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life by television talk show host Bill O’Reilly
Books by FOX’s two top talents are found in the house of a politically motivated shooter, and did FOX question if they were part of what set Adkisson over the edge? Absolutley not. They went into full defense mode.
What’s even more ironic is that I remember FOX news covering the Left Behind video games in 2006, where “Christians” go out and shoot non-believers. It’s a very violent video game, yet FOX seemed to love it.
Got that? Shooting people who don’t believe in Jesus, which are very real people all around the world, is fine and dandy, but shooting this thing:
Well shooting that very fictional character might lead to people becoming violent.
Then there are other claims in the article:
Carol Lieberman, a psychologist and book author, told FoxNews.com that sexual situations and acts in video games — highlighted so well in Bulletstorm — have led to real-world sexual violence.
“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games,” she said.
I wonder where the good doctor is getting her data? Apparently it’s not from the Justice Department. This chart shows something completely different:
There has been a huge decline in rapes over the past couple of decades.
Maybe Mario eating mushrooms and forcing himself down holes was the cause for the high rates in the 80’s and early 90’s?
As is typical with FOX, they go after sensationalism instead of fact. They chose a psychologist to get quotes from, who made a significant claim that was easily debunked with 30 seconds on Google. They also chose to ignore the solicited comments of an industry expert:
Here’s an update to my investigating the story Fox News printed in which they astonishingly suggested that Bulletstorm would cause rape. 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. The below, combined with our previously reported unedited response from M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon, show quite how determined the final story was to ignore the facts in favour of scaring its readers.
Steinberg gave very rational responses that make total sense. In other words, they weren’t sensationalized answers, which is against everything FOX believes in. You can read Steinberg’s responses here.
What gets me the most about this article is that FOX is now apparently against the free market and personal responsibility. When Hillary Clinton went after violent video games, the right went crazy. Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA) never made it out of committee, essentially killed by the Republican controlled 109th Congress.
So now will Republicans apologize to Hillary for opposing her bill, since FOX is apparently advocating the same kind of thing? I highly doubt it. After all, such a bill might get rid of the “good wholesome” fun of killing non-believers.