John Brandon of FOX News recently published a hard-hitting news report about Bulletstorm, the upcoming video game from Epic Games. And when I say "hard-hitting," what I really mean is "hilariously unresearched."
FOX News, once again, has seriously screwed up.
Headlined "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" it began with a warning to parents that a "Bulletstorm is on the horizon." The article then continues with a factually inaccurate statement from Carol Lieberman, a psychologist and book author, who claims that games such as 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.
Ms. Lieberman has since been contacted by numerous sources for comment and some kind of evidence to back up her claim, but she has not made any official response yet. Video-game fans, however, are already taking matters into their own hands by attacking her book on Amazon by leaving one-star reviews. This is a similar response to Cooper Lawrence's unresearched attacks on Mass Effect on FOX News in 2008.
Brandon did acknowledge that the ESRB rates video-game content for parents, but makes a bold statement that it's useless and that the summary for the ratings are online only. Apparently, Brandon has never seen the ESRB summaries on the back of a video-game box before.
The article vaguely mentioned a response from Bulletstorm's publisher, Electronic Arts. The only thing they were quoted on was that "Bulletstorm has been given an M rating by the ESRB, and we have adhered to all their guidelines in regards to the marketing and promotion of Bulletstorm."
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Electronic Arts' VP of public relations Tammy Schachter, however, was quick to defend the creative freedom of the game's artists.
"As you know, Bulletstorm is a work of entertainment fiction that takes place in the 26th century on the abandoned fictitious paradise planet Stygia, where our heroes fight mutants, monsters, flesh-eating plants and gigantic dinosaurs.
Epic, People Can Fly and EA are avid supporters of the ESA and believe in the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) rating system. We believe in and abide by the policies put in place by the ESRB.
Bulletstorm is rated M for Mature for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual themes, strong language and use of alcohol. The game and its marketing adhere to all guidelines set forth by the ESRB; both are designed for people 17-plus. Never is the game marketed to children.
Epic, People Can Fly and EA support the right of artists to create works of entertainment fiction for consumers of all ages, including adults who enjoy action adventures like Bulletstorm. Much like Tarantino's Kill Bill or Rodriguez's Sin City, this game is an expression of creative entertainment for adults."
FOX News attacked the game Mass Effect in 2008 by making similar unresearched and irrelevant claims. That report stated the game is "full of digital nudity and sex," and described the game as "Luke Skywalker meets Debbie Does Dallas." Clearly, no one knew what the the hell they were talking about.
Seriously, FOX News, get your shit together.