Wednesday, 09 February 2011
Just like a recent rise in broken pots and gruesome turtle deaths can be written off on kids playing the various psychologically damaging Super Mario and Legend of Zelda iterations, depictions of sex in video games have been driving up the number of rapes nationwide. According to Carole Lieberman (no relation to Joe Lieberman, which is amusing since both share a similar stance on sex and violence in games) who is a so-called "media psychiatrist," a large portion of the increase in sexual assaults should be blamed on sex scenes in video games. The following is a direct quote from her to be read in a serious tone of voice:
“The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games."
Now, I'm pretty knowledgeable when it comes to video game history, but this is the first I've heard of people being able to magically play the God of War series during the Crusades. Surely they were getting laid by Greek goddesses and slaughtering mythological creatures on their HD sets with the amount of murder and genital pillaging going on back then. Right?
Carole's statement is more loaded than Rupert Murdoch's pockets after successfully pitching his propaganda to the brainwashed simpletons who bought into his devilish media empire. Dr. Lieberman as well as others claim that the ESRB ratings on games which serve as a note to parents on the content of games including foul language, nudity and drug use, aren't effective and isn't being enforced by retail clerks.
How they're coming to these conclusions, I don't know. I myself have been carded every time I've picked up a "Mature" rated game, so what's the difference between my anecdotal evidence and theirs? I want hard proof not sensationalized bullshit. They need to leave the sensationalized bullshit to me, the angry, cynical, overly sarcastic blogger. It's infuriating to know that there are millions of people who hang on to every word they hear from their favorite news station.
This scenario seems to happen every time a new, popular video game begins to garner mainstream attention. Mass Effect, the sci-fi shooter/RPG hybrid was attacked for having sex scenes which were less explicit than late-night HBO programming, for example. With Bulletstorm's release date approaching, the vultures sitting on their nests made of flawed moral fibers began to flap their wings in excitement. It was time yet again for the dog and pony show to roll through your television sets and conservative talk-radio AM stations.
According to the article, you can shoot people in "...private parts such as the buttocks..." to gain rewards. I'll let the experts take over now for a minute:
"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."
While I can't say video games are never responsible for acts of violence, it's an exercise in sheer stupidity to place so much blame on them. Why? Because movies, ads, commercials, magazines and music are all far and away ahead of video games in regards to sexual innuendo or sexuality in general. We're also comparing virtual characters with real people. Let that sink in for a second. Perhaps I'm mistaken and kids aren't allowed to watch music videos or read magazines anymore. But then who's the target audience for the Fox-owned IGN.com and Gamespy, both of which constantly advertise violent and sexually charged video games? As Tom Gray and later Cyndi Lauper once said, "Money changes everything."
This question always seems to creep up: Where are the fucking parents? An ample amount of regulations are in place which prohibit minors from becoming raging homosexual rapists after playing out scenes in Mass Effect. The ESRB ratings have become harsher over the years and employees at game stores have carded me more than Hussein at the corner deli when I'm feeling like it's Miller Time (I don't actually like Miller beer if you're wondering). But if they want to follow the logic that games are evil therefore our youth is corrupted, they should also be fair and balanced and attribute stupidity to their news reports. No kick below the "Bible Belt" will ever incapacitate the pure idiocy of their largest group of followers, however.
Aside from being a poorly written article for us to poke fun at, it serves as free advertisement for Bulletstorm by EA/Epic Games, which you should research because it looks like pure fun and anything that you hear on Fox News should be processed through an "opposite day" filter. Don't worry though, I'm sure we'll be hearing from these folks again around the time that Duke Nukem Forever is slated to release. In the immortal words of Duke himself, "It's time to kick ass, and chew bubblegum... and I'm all outta gum."
What are your experiences when buying M-rated games? Where do you stand on the "issue" of sexuality and violence in video games?