EA Requests FOX News Correct "Errors and Misstatements" About Mass Effect

fox-mass-effect1.jpgHoo boy, what an interesting past 48 hours it has been. First there was that report on FOX News where an “expert” and a panel of other people who hadn’t played a game since the 80′s ripped into the critically-acclaimed game, Mass Effect, for featuring “full digital nudity” and the “ability for the players to engage in graphic sex.” Following that, a large number of outraged gamers took to Amazon.com to post terrible reviews of the “expert,” Cooper Lawrence’s, book (currently, the book has a 1 1/2 star rating and is tagged with such words as “hack,” “garbage,” and “ignorant”). And now EA have decided they’re tired of their recently-acquired game getting dragged through the mud and have sent a request to FOX News to correct the inaccurate statement broadcast on the show.

Jeff Brown, Vice President of communications at EA, recently sent a letter to Teri VanHorn, producer of the Live Desk with Martha MacCallum show. Here are a number of excerpts from that letter, where he argues for corrective action to be taken:

“As the parent company of BioWare, the studio which created the game, EA would like you to set the record straight on a number of errors and misstatements which incorrectly characterize the story and character interactions in Mass Effect.”

Your headline above the televised story read: “New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex.” Fact: Mass Effect does not include explicit or frontal nudity. Love scenes in non-interactive sequences include side and profile shots – a vantage frequently used in many prime-time television shows. It’s also worth noting that the game requires players to develop complex relationships before characters can become intimate and players can chose to avoid the love scenes altogether.

FNC voice-over reporter says: “You’ll see full digital nudity and the ability for players to engage in graphic sex.”
Fact: Sex scenes in Mass Effect are not graphic. These scenes are very similar to sex sequences frequently seen on network television in prime time.

FNC reporter says: “Critics say Mass Effect is being marketed to kids and teenagers.”
Fact: That is flat out false. Mass Effect and all related marketing has been reviewed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and rated Mature – appropriate for players 17-years and older. ESRB routinely counsels retailers on requesting proof of age in selling M-rated titles and the system has been lauded by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. In practical terms, the ratings work as well or better than those used for warning viewers about television content.”

[Concerning the panel in the discussion] “They have had zero experience with Mass Effect and are largely ignorant about videogames, the people who play them, and the ESRB system that governs their ratings and sales.”

“The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards. As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness.

Do you watch the Fox Network? Do you watch Family Guy? Have you ever seen The OC? Do you think the sexual situations in Mass Effect are any more graphic than scenes routinely aired on those shows? Do you honestly believe that young people have more exposure to Mass Effect than to those prime time shows?

This isn’t a legal threat; it’s an appeal to your sense of fairness. We’re asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.”

I have to say, kudos to EA for stepping up the plate and trying to sort out this whole mess that’s been going on for far too long already. People being offended by existing graphic images in a video game is one thing, but being offended by things that don’t exist all because they can’t be bothered to do a tiny bit of research? That’s just plain ridiculous. Unfortunately, my pessimistic side is worried EA’s pleas might fall on deaf ears.

Via Kotaku

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No Comments on EA Requests FOX News Correct "Errors and Misstatements" About Mass Effect

Joelteon7

On January 23, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Wow. Fox just kicked the baby and got the angry dad in return. Way to go EA…now that’s something I didn’t think I’d be saying for a bit. No, seriously, way to actually bluntly point out their ignorance. Will it be fully reviewed? Oh heck no and that is what sucks.

SpiralGray

On January 23, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Kudos to EA. About time the industry started fighting back instead of relying on the fans to do it for them.

Tim

On January 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Way to go EA! We shouldn’t have to put up with such slander

carg0

On January 23, 2008 at 7:29 pm

wow, indeed… :shock:

Aristotle

On January 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm

I approve!

(I wasn’t much of an EA fan, but they seem very loyal to their games and those who make them. That gets awesome-sauce points in my book)

Doftimus

On January 23, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Good job EA! :mrgreen:

somewhat

On January 23, 2008 at 8:03 pm

This isn’t a legal threat; it’s an appeal to your sense of fairness. We’re asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.”

And if not, a legal threat will follow ? I sure hope so ! :grin:

Traceur

On January 23, 2008 at 8:09 pm

:?: Let’s not get all over excited about EA here. Sure fox is terrible and those people had no idea what they were talking about.

But “Good job EA”??? EA is ruining creativity in video games, they are a video game producing sweat shop who exploit their workers and toss them in the trash when there done. They’ve ruined so many game companies and series’ I want to cry.

Annom

On January 23, 2008 at 8:20 pm

EA announces a free game in summertime, a number of seemingly solid titles, publishes for valve, and fights FOX?

Wow, what a turn around.

Lupo

On January 23, 2008 at 8:36 pm

lol never thought I’d see the day I’d give kudos to EA.

What the so-called “expert” and straight out biased and ignorant panel said in the short “discussion” was utterly moronic. They didn’t even let Geoff fully defend Mass Effect(and games in general), cutting him off as soon as they realized his comments started to make more sense than Cooper’s unfounded accusations.

I really hope this degenerates into EA filing suit against Fox News. All the news outlets on US television are biased, but the garbage Fox spews forth from the TV on a day-to-day basis is horrible. Hell, I hope Microsoft gets in the act too and puts pressure on Fox for headlining their console as the “SeXbox”.

This isn’t just about Mass Effect… it’s about a popular media outlet blatantly lying and putting forth a negative image of gaming in general to the masses.

Ron Whitaker

On January 23, 2008 at 8:46 pm

Wow. I have to give EA tons of credit for handling this in exactly the right way. Now if FOX doesn’t feel compelled to point out the blatant falsehoods they put forth as fact, they’re the ones who end up with egg on their faces.

It hurts a little to say this, but GO EA!

xx-Thor-xx

On January 23, 2008 at 10:09 pm

fox news makes up allll the time

CrazyKillerLeon

On January 23, 2008 at 10:15 pm

anyone wants to email te host of the show hear is her email address
Martha@foxnews.com

weclock

On January 23, 2008 at 10:44 pm

lets see how fair fox news really is.

Iku Tri

On January 23, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Thank You EA for doing something good. Really good……..

The Man

On January 23, 2008 at 11:49 pm

The day EA does something good…

Wow. I really thought it would never happen.

Kick Fox’s big fat biased ass. Right now. Rock on.

William

On January 24, 2008 at 12:30 am

I’m glad EA did the right thing. Hopefully, they can find a way to take this story to the airways on other news outlets. I highly doubt Fox will retract their statements, but anything is possible. While the iron is hot, this is definitely the time to keep up the pressure on the largely misinformed media.

Xavier001

On January 24, 2008 at 7:38 am

This isn’t a legal threat; it’s an appeal to your sense of fairness.

What that says to me is “This isn’t a legal threat… yet.” It’s about time the industry started fighting back when things like this hit the media. I hope this is only the first shot in the war against ignorance.

DeathDream

On January 24, 2008 at 9:28 am

I to, never cared for EA but this is a big improvement of what I thought about them.

Goodjob!

~Death Dream~

havoc of smeg

On January 24, 2008 at 10:23 am

three cheers for EA!

so glad they’re sticking up for their game.

used cisco

On January 24, 2008 at 11:47 am

I’m also really glad EA did this, a much more productive course of action than going on Amazon and trashing a completely unrelated book.

Do this right, and we may get some results.

Iku Tri

On January 24, 2008 at 8:19 pm

This makes up for Bf2142′s Adware…

sean rials

On February 12, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Honestly, if Fox does not retact or correct the statements I believe EA not only should but probably will sue. I mean the media has been attacking video games for quite some time but the vidoe gaming community has never been able to really fight back. Here is their prime opprotunity they just committed slander on national television. Last time I checked committing slander was illegal. EA would wipe the floor with FOX in court and FOX has to know this. They did not “misstate” they LIED outright and they know they did. They probably just assumed that they could get away with it like they have in the past with so many other games.