Mass Effect Misinformation Et Tu FOX?

fox-mass-effect.jpgMartha MacCallum of FOX News hosted a debate on the network’s Live Desk program featuring talk show host/author Cooper Lawrence and Spike TV game guy Geoff Keighley facing off over the implied sexual encounter in Mass Effect.

Any expectations of a fair and impartial debate dissipated after the FOX News graphic title announced, “Se”Xbox? New Video Game Shows Full Digital Nudity and Sex.”

MacCallum: …a new role-playing video game that is leaving NOTHING to the imagination… in some parts of this, you’ll see full digital nudity. Imagine! And the ability for the players to engage in graphic sex and the person who’s playing the game gets to decide exactly what’s going to happen between the two people, if you know what I mean… Basically, Pandora’s Box is open. I mean, kids have access to these things… How damaging is it, really?

Lawrence: …the damage is this. We know that all the research shows that violence has a desensitizing effect. Well, sexuality does too… Here’s how they’re seeing women. They’re seeing them as these objects of desire, as these hot bodies. They don’t show women as being valued for anything other than their sexuality. And it’s a man in this game deciding how many women he wants to be with.

Keighley: That’s completely incorrect… first of all you can actually play as a man or a woman in the game. Cooper, have you ever played Mass Effect?

Lawrence: (giggling) No…

Keighley: …you mentioned it has full graphical nudity, that’s completely incorrect. There’s no full nudity… there’s the side of an alien boob… it’s a small sexual situation in this game which is about two minutes out of a thirty-plus hour experience… you can actually play through this game without the sexual situation ever happening -

Lawrence: (interrupting) Right, and a young boy’s going to be choosing not to have sex. That’ll be what they choose. I mean, let’s be realistic here -

Keighley: Cooper, it’s not a simple choice. You don’t turn on the game and it says, “would you like to have sex or not?” It’s through the evolution of a relationship with characters and the fact that this game has incredible artificial intelligence. You can actually fall in love in this game. It’s just like modeling your life…

Lawrence: (interrupting) Darling, I gotta go with the research. And the research says there’s a new study out of the University of Maryland right now that says that boys that play video games cannot tell the difference between what they’re seeing in the video game and the real world…

Keighley: You’re completely misrepresenting the game…

Lawrence: Let me at him, Martha…

Keighley: It’s a fantastic game and sex is a small, little part of it.

MacCallum: You know when you buy video games… you have to pick up the box and look at the back for the rating and you have to be involved in what your kids are looking at…

Male Panelist: Who can argue, possibly, that Luke Skywalker meets Debbie Does Dallas is a good thing. It’s not. And I’m definitely not going to let Mass Effect in my house…

Female Panelist: I’m not sure why it didn’t get an Adults Only rating. That’s the highest rating in can have. So, first of all, this board that rates them needs to have their head examined…

2nd Male Panelist: I would argue that the governement cannot and should not censor everything coming across the web and in video games. At the end of the day… it’s up to parents to control what their kids are seeing.

I find it disappointing and yet unsurprising that MacCallum obviously didn’t bother to play Mass Effect or even just watch the video in question before hosting a debate with an equally ignorant opponent of the game. I didn’t expect Lawrence, author of books on dating including The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever; Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry; The Fixer-upper Man: Turn Mr. Maybe into Mr. Right in 5 Easy Steps; and Cosmo Girl’s Quiz Book: All About Guys to be unbiased or even well informed, but I did expect the moderator to at least attempt to present both sides. That’s sloppy, unprofessional work. Unfortunately, FOX has shown bias before: see How Fox Morning Show Sensationalized the Halo-in-Church Issue).

For those of you who enjoy watching disasters unfold, here is the video clip.


via GamePolitics

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35 Comments on Mass Effect Misinformation Et Tu FOX?


On January 22, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I’m wondering why all the gaming websites feel it necessary to provide even more visibility for this junk. The mainstream media are morons when it comes to anything even slightly technical. They always have been. Remember that y2k thing? The media told us elevators would stop working and we should all stock up on food and water. The opinion of the mainstream media is, “Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?”


On January 22, 2008 at 4:57 pm

Firstly, I’ll have to admit bias against Fox, primarily because of what they did to FireFly and Futurama. That being said…

What a load of horse…stuffs. The panel at the end wasn’t balanced, though I’m sure they weren’t provided with reliable information as to make objective based decisions, meaning their opinions are pretty mute…in fact leaving only the guy from Spike TV as any credible source because he was the only one who had played the damn game and the only one to have any sort of experience with it, bar the presenter who was pretty limited.

The psychologist needs, and I quote, ‘her head examining’. I love her reply to being asked if she had played the game. Almost as if needing to play didn’t really matter so much. Ugh, Mass Effect is getting a lot of stick for being brilliant. Perhaps one day those fruit jobs will realise the error of their ways and apologise, but, this is Fox we’re talking about, so not bloody likely.


On January 22, 2008 at 4:58 pm

@ Spiral – Dunno about you, but at the very least, I found that hilarious. That’s reason enough for me to warrant it going up on sites.


On January 22, 2008 at 5:07 pm

I’m beginning to suspect Fox News might be an elaborate hoax by Rupert Murdoch.

Al Jazeera is a more fair and balanced news service imo (btw anyone who disagrees with that should watch the 2004 documentary ‘Control Room’ following Al Jazeera in the Iraq war)


On January 22, 2008 at 5:09 pm

SpiralGray – We call attention to these things because it’s important that we, as gamers, understand how videogames are being portrayed to the general public — while I doubt Geoff was really paid attention to by the average person watching, if it weren’t for him there would be absolutely no reason for someone watching Fox News to think that there AREN’T games out there with full nudity, sexual encounters that you can control, etc.

Props to Geoff for keeping his cool, since I would been really irked by their misinformation.


On January 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

This is ridiculous. Words cannot describe how biased this is.


On January 22, 2008 at 5:13 pm

It sems the people who think they know about stuff, really don’t, that so called “specialist said a completely false statement, i believe it was less then 40 percent of all -9 year old children who are not pre exposed to a certain effect cannot tell the difference between real life and media, not just video games and not “all” im kinda wondering how these people even get their titles, if the world is going to gasp in unison for something as trivial as minor nudity, which has been seen hundreds of times over then already have we turned into the thing i feared most, a society that cant handle situations at a minor scale. its not rated AO because its not Porn Female board person #2, also the majority of video game players i believe are averaged at 33 years of age, last time i checked thats not adolescent, at least the last guy made sense, i agree there are something people underage shouldent watch, but its up to their parents on making sure that what they get for their kids is rigth for them.


On January 22, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Firstly, my hat goes off to Geoff Keighley for handling himself in an appropriate and adult-like manner in the presence of complete and utter fools. I know if I was being interviewed for this segment, I probably would have let an expletive or two fly while attacking the cameraman in pure rage.

It’s amazing how news outlets get video games so very wrong. It just makes me wonder what else they get wrong in their reports and take anything they say with a grain of salt. They probably make the jobs of parents that much more difficult because instead of telling them the god’s honest truth about these games, they spread false “facts” which then requires the parent to look more into the game and do more research on it in order to get the facts straight.

It’s as simple as this folks, it’s an M rated game, meaning the game is not intended for anyone under 17. No ifs, ands, or buts. There’s no “This game is geared towards kids” crap. If it was geared towards kids, it wouldn’t have received an M rating. There are plenty of games out there for kids (Viva Pinata, The Simpsons Game, LEGO Star Wars), so why put the spotlight on the M rated games just because they are M rated?

American news outlets make me utterly sick. Do you guys realize how many Adult-themed games are out in Japan? Date-sims are notorious for featuring very attractive animated women in very indecent poses and situations. In fact, some kids in Japan actually play those kinds of games, and yet, they’re fine.

Phil Migrowen

On January 22, 2008 at 5:24 pm

“I know if I was being interviewed for this segment, I probably would have let an expletive or two fly while attacking the cameraman in pure rage.”

All the while foaming at how video games don’t cause violent behavior. :lol:


On January 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm

This us a pile of horse , as soon as Keighley made a point he would be cut off by FOX spewing more crap about the all out vitural sex machine that is Mass Effect. I’d like to see what version of the game they played because the one I plugged hours into was an action-rpg based in the future, not a game were I have sex with everyone and anyone. Mainstream news media (fox, cnn) should try playing the game before the rant about the immorality of it and looking like total jackasses.

FOX news screws up again. Are we really that surprised? Its gotten to the point where FOX news is the pathological liar that you eventually agree with just so they will shut up and move on. “Yes FOX Mass Effect is all about sex sex and more sex… and yes FOX Bush is an amazing president…” :roll:


On January 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm

ing Americans over reacting to a side of a boob, what next

Iku Tri

On January 22, 2008 at 6:26 pm

All Americans are not like that……
But it does look we are……*cough*bush*cough*

But that was . Someone should write a letter to Fox and tell them they need to hire newscasters who actually passed High School.

Plus my friend thinks they were thinking of a diffrent game…. :mrgreen:
I have no idea what though. [He has a sick mind at times]


On January 22, 2008 at 10:47 pm

The magazines in the supermarket have more revealing content on the covers than this 30 sec clip.

The Man

On January 23, 2008 at 1:11 am

I hate it when like this happens.

Mass Effect, even with its issues, is still my favorite game…

It is NOT geared towards kids, and it is NOT a porno.



On January 23, 2008 at 2:56 am

No one who wants real news listens to Fox anyway. This is just an out of control attack on gaming by conservatives. The game is rated M and could probably have been rated T in my opinion. Some people think these reporters are getting games wrong because they don’t know what they are doing, but I think it’s a very calculated attempt against gaming and media in general. Our country has been going through these crazy moral debates ever since Bush was “elected”.

It’s time people in this country grow up and learn how to think for themselves instead of listening to Fox News. It’s not just Fox either.. media in this country has been bought out by special interest groups. That’s why I check out BBC news when I want to find out what’s going on with America…kinda ironic.

havoc of smeg

On January 23, 2008 at 8:35 am

you know that scene in the simpsons episode “the springfield files” about fox, up to now, i just thought it was a joke.
how wrong i was.

Anti Anti-Gamer

On January 23, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Its called a love plot. Movies use love plots for the sole purpose of putting sex in the film. This game doesn’t really do that. And correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t it say PARTIAL NUDITY on the rating? Its not like its hardcore porno or anything like that. And most kids probably see more of that then the small scene in Mass Effect, which takes some work to get to.


On January 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Yeah.. it’s partial nudity. I’ve seen more nudity watching cable television in the afternoon.

Shawn Sines

On January 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Well the biggest irony is that they could have made their point by simply popping in a comment about The Witcher and its sex and violence.. which are gratuitous (though fun for 15 year old boys like me) but Mass Effect is far from lascivious. (go look that one up if you don;t know what it means).

Lets face it ME’s copulation was hardly worth the effort to earn it and is not even as entertaining as watching 1/2 an hour of Fox & Friends. Most adolescent boys will spend their time killing Mercs and Geth and won;t bother with all the boring talking in Mass Effect.


On January 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm

What I don’t get is she even said it is like a full length movie. But yet movies have nudity all the time. I don’t see them nit picking movies that have nudity. And we all have a butt, its not like we don’t know what a ass looks like anyways. Then you got a side of a boob, hello? You see that in shows on TV stations all the time, is the outside part of the boob more spectacular than the cleavage we see in the other side? Last I checked they both looked the same to me. You can’t just go saying because its a game and its accessible to kids that it is bad, network TV is a hell of a lot easier to get to than a video game.

Just my two cents

~Death Dream~


On January 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

These news reports always bother me. The game is clearly labeled M for Mature. If your nine-year old is playing this game, that’s your responsibility as a parent. If you don’t know what’s in the game, research it or don’t buy it. People need to stop blaming the gaming companies for things like this and take some personal responsibility for what happens to them and their children. Oh, but God forbid the average person take personal responsibility for their actions! The world might come to a screeching halt!

I don’t know how many gaming stores I’ve been in where I’ve heard the clerk at the counter tell a parent with their kid what’s in the M or T rated game they are about to buy. Without fail, the answer I hear every time is “It’s ok”. Then they about the content. I’m just glad it was Geoff Keighley up there and not your average gamer. Most of us may have lost our temper at the ignorance of these people’s statements.


On January 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

HAhahahaha! xD this is rediculous, why would she not go to the first-hand sourch, the actual GAME! it’s a freakin scene, and a non-interactive one at that, and with one boob which I apparently haven’t noticed when I played the game. Besides it is rated Mature, can’t really see how the hell a higher rating is needed, what +17 suddenly isn’t good enough, what kind of trauma is it gonna cause a +17 kid? you can get a greater erection from shows on FOX, then this game.


On January 23, 2008 at 8:55 pm

I’m sorry but I cannot think of a single thirteen year old kid who hasn’t already seen worse. Most males have seen porn by thirteen. And yet half an alien tit makes everyone flip their . I am a PS3 fanboy but I will admit that some games are good ie Mass Effect (Halo 3 sucks ass, admit it guys) and if this screws up the sales of Mass Effect I will be livid. People like that lady piss me off when they come on and blame video games for everything bad in the world. I love how she responded to the question of whether or not she has actually played the game. I find it hard to believe that stupid s like her actually think they are right. Because I would think that most teenage males would know more about stuff that effects them then a middle aged woman. Anyone agree?

Jimmy Blim

On January 23, 2008 at 11:03 pm

That’s just infuriating to watch. Since when was pure, unabashed (and, in fact, self-acknowleged!) ignorance an acceptable basis for publicly demonising anything on tv? Forget the quality of the writing, the gameplay and the amazing visuals, if you look at it from a commercial point of view, they have basically attempted to sabotage a multi-million dollar production, along with years of hard work and the credibility of not just a single, highly-respected game developer but an entire game genre, if not the industry as a whole, simply as filler for a pseudo-news programme.

Presumably this was meant to be a “spotlight” on the important issue of the negative influences of gaming on teenagers. There was a single person there, out of the 7 involved in the debate, who had even seen what they were all talking about. Does that not sound completely ridiclous? I think the treatment of Geoff Keighley was an apalling, but completely systematic, display of anti-gaming prejudice born out of this semi-lucid preconception that gamers are a bunch of lazy, ambitionless, masterbation-obsessed kids with nothing to do.

Heaven forbid they could have allowed a second person on there who had actually played the game, who could have actually allowed a fair debate about desensitisation in gaming. There are plenty of gamers out there who are quite capable of recognising the potential for games (like all media) to desensitise people to things such as violence or sexuality, however that would then turn the regular “gamers vs non-gamers” argument (which is clearly incapable of producing any real progress on the issues) into the, supposedly desired, correct argument of “informed opinion vs informed counter-opinion”. But then, why do that? How many people will be bothered to sit down and watch two gamers arguing about the “merits of the ethereal beauty of ICO show-casing gaming as an art-form” vs the “merits of all GTA4 prostitutes being Hillary-Clinton lookalikes”? Certainly no-one that watches Fox News. So, if the audience doesn’t want to actually watch the genuine argument, why bother even attempting to show one? Why not leave the whole subject alone and just stick to what you’re good at, like showing endless footage of Britney’s Latest Nipple-Slip….ooh, was that a bit of side-boob?!?


On January 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

What is wrong with the media, oh right I remember they are trying to make people believe everything they say so they can continue to brainwash society. Here is the thing people, stop watching the friggin news anyway it’s nothing more than social propaganda anyway. Mass Effect is an excellent game that gives the gamer more choices than most games that have been made before it. It has very realist graphic content, which in my opinion is what made this stick out.

It’s funny because I think of the Dr. that was making these statements, and I have to ask. How can you say that something is FACT when you have not even played the game or watched the cut scene yourself. That’s like diagnosing a disease without running any tests. As a Dr. she sucks, and as far as the poll talk about unbalanced entirely.

Microsoft should sue the Dr. for slander, as should Bioware. That’s why the ESRB exists, but if parents actually did something with their kids instead of blaming the media, games, and music for destroying the innocent kids minds maybe it would not be an issue.

But seriously, FOX I never really liked your station, but please tell me what “prime-time” TV show has not shown as much if not more nudity than Mass Effect?? I watched Nip Tuck and that show contains far more nudity, and that also in my opinion objectifies women as well as it portrays a lot of women getting “PLASTIC SURGERY” HELLO??

Where did that Dr. get her degree a cracker jacks box? :twisted:

Lt Maverick92

On January 24, 2008 at 7:56 pm

This is in response mainly to the news segment video.

1. It’s rated M so parents have to buy it for their minors.
2. The whole romance plot is OPTIONAL
3. It doesn’t even show nipples or genital areas or the actual secual intercourse, just more or less the sensuality of the situation, which is no different from what you see in many shows now a day.
4. It’s a video game pornographic movie. It has a very in depth story line, very good AI for non player characters (NPCs).
5. If the parents complain so much about it why did they buy it for their kids?

Now to talk,

The game is rated M yes, which means if you’re a minor like I am you must have a parent or someone over age 17 to buy it for you. Now I’m not saying that happens all the time, but that’s what is supposed to happen. Another thing, if parents want their child not to be able to access the games, they have simple features on many gaming consoles (Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS2, PS3) that lets the master account of that console (for the Xbox 360 anyways.) that can limit the time a child can play, limit the rating on the games played, and even set passwords so the child can not get onto the profile with saved games on it.

You [b]CANNOT[/b] let one thing make a game. This game has very good graphics, and no offense to you Cooper, but statistics mean bologna. In case you haven’t noticed, people of ALL ages play video games. Maybe more so in the 13-29 year old age group, but plenty of adults play them too. Mass effect as a great story line, and if just a very good game in general.

Also Cooper, you have yet to even play the game, it is more of an experience you have to fulfill by yourself, and can’t go with statistics. Everyone has their own opinion, and you can’t argue the fact that no one in todays world can give a completely unbiased opinion. You have to analyze and play a game for yourself in order to understand what’s going on, sure you can look at reviews, read your statistics but thats only half of the equation.


On January 25, 2008 at 2:21 am

This is BS. You have to show an ID to buy a M rated game. 17yr, all i can really say is FOX and all its people need to DIAF


On January 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm

If you go to any store to buy a game rated “M” they always ask for id. If the parent is there they even tell the parent about the rating and why it’s rated “M”. It’s up to the parents to monitor what their child is watching or looking at. If a Parent buys their child a “M” rated game and sees any type of violence or sex in it and the parent doesn’t like that, why are they buying them that game anyways.


On January 26, 2008 at 8:50 pm

This just makes my blood boil. I mean i’m 15 and I’ve seen worse in high-school. They should’ve sent yahtzee, he would have straightend their conservitive asses right out. The best part is that if you listen she es about the game content and then says you can see it on the internet and the last time i checked alot more people have the internet and not a xbox 360. Really if kids wanted animated porn wouldn’t it be easier to type “animated porn” in on google then to play a game for 10hrs and get a two minute cutscene with nothing in it. :???:



On January 29, 2008 at 12:24 am

To me, the worst part of the whole thing is when she laughed and said she had never played it. I mean, if you’re going to appear on a news station (I use the term “news” loosely) presenting an argument against something, or anywhere for that matter, you have to know what you are fighting against. All she did was open up a can of worms which anyone who’s against video games will use to spin their anti-video game propaganda.

However, they did bring up one valid point (though they did a bad job of discussing and presenting it). Are we as a culture getting desensitized to violence and sex and all that good stuff (pun intended)? It’s worth thinking about.

You could do a lot worse than video games though. Hell, video games tend to be more censored than, oh say, television, music, movies, to name a few.


On January 29, 2008 at 2:22 am

someone should link her here


On January 29, 2008 at 2:49 am

This is very simple to break down.

First, people who watch Fox and believe that what they are watching is an unbiased view that investigates the information they’re given are morons.

Second, all these ‘interviews’ are doing is proving gamers right and anybody with half a brain can see that…the Fox panelists don’t count because, as i stated already, if they truly believe what Fox is saying then there dumb as , Fox has been caught in enough bull to last a lifetime and has destroyed what little credibility they had to begin with.

In closing, it’ll blow over just like Hot Coffee did and Fox will find somehing else to look stupid with.


On January 29, 2008 at 8:50 am

Real cute weclock. ass.


On February 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm

i have this to say to fox, i am sixteen years old and i have mass effect. :evil: it is NOT desensitizing, niether is all that bull about violent video games. i have a’s in school, i respect my girlfriend, and i dont behave violently or perverted because of video games. in fact all id really do is play violent video games in my free time. now im different from some people who might react differently, however in the future, before you criticize someone elses, work make sure YOU have a clean record. you broadcast shows like family guy and other such thing, your picture for the sara chronicles show is pretty much the same as what goes on in mass effect and its just as violent. have you really lost that many viewers that you have to resort to falsifying information. and unless you forgot YOU gave mass effect .5 off a perfect score back in december. my advise is to retract your statement before you look anymore foolish.

joe anderson

On February 16, 2008 at 10:47 am

yea ok mass affect is a fun game and if you are a kid and you do play this game well who cares u just take out the sex so dont argue with it i mean its a game wow big deal if u have a problem with games look at gears of war which is my favorite game on live or mabye halo 3 cod4 i mean out of all the games out there you sure there is no more games with sex in them so just com down u dumb lady mass affect is a fun game and u do choose your own life in it so if you have a problem talk to the parents who let them have it jease your such and egatistical