Thursday, February 10, 2011
On Ignorance and Slander
Oh boy, here we go.
Recently, Fox News aired a segment on Bulletstorm, giving it the title "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" due to its copious amount of severed limbs and skill shots named after sexual slang. In this segment, they massacred comments made by Scott Steinberg, CEO of TechSavvy Global, and M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon. Their unaltered comments can be read here and here along with some more back story on this media clusterfuck.
The fuss seems to revolve around the fact that many of these "skill shots" have been humorously named after sexual acts and slang. Rear entry is when you lovingly give your enemy a lead enema. Topless is when you not so delicately remove the top half from the bottom half of your enemy. And Gang Bang is when you wrap a flail grenade around your enemy, then proceed to kick him full force into his companions, detonating the explosives when the moment is just right.
Let me start by saying I'm not posting this rant in defense of Bulletstorm, since Bulletstorm doesn't require defending. In case you missed my earlier post about it, Bulletstorm is a balls to the wall, over the top FPS developed by People Can Fly, a polish developer currently under the employment of Epic studios. They are best known for their 2004 balls to the wall, over the top FPS: Painkiller.
It's already been established that Fox News is shit, and is entirely staffed by scaremongering cockbags who constantly falsify information to make entire mountain ranges out of mole hills, and that they are known for altering quotes from the interviewees that actually have the intelligence to not just tell them exactly what they want to hear. However, they do often find people with such incredibly uninformed opinions that they are akin to sparkly diamond mines in the eyes of Fox. One such person is Dr. Carole Lieberman, who provided Fox with deliciously slanderous statements about upcoming game Bulletstorm.
Dr. Lieberman is a known criticizer of violence and sexuality in video games, stating that "Video games have increasingly, and more brazenly, connected sex and violence in images, actions and words. This has the psychological impact of doubling the excitement, stimulation and incitement to copycat acts. The increase in rapes can be attributed, in large part, to the playing out of such scenes in video games.". This is of course, a baseless statement and complete and utter bullshit, but that doesn't stop her from spinning her wheels while referencing studies that never occurred.
Dr. Lieberman has admitted to never playing video games, so its a little hard to understand how she might feel that she is qualified to say anything about them aside from that they come in a plastic case and might include instruction booklets.
I don't deny that there are individuals out there that may take what they see in any medium, and act it out in real life, but these are individuals with inherent mental defects that would act on these ideas no matter where they saw or heard of them, including their own delusional fantasies. Such individuals are often in the spotlight when it comes to reports on video games, because news about calm, collected adults who enjoy video games in privacy of their own homes don't get the same kind of reactions as stories about terrorists that use outdated games as a unrealistic ground for training. Likewise, psychiatrists see the worst of the worst, since mentally healthy individuals do not seek out help for such issues. If you search for news about violent offenders who have at some point in their lives played violent games, you are almost certain to find such examples, and if you are pigheaded enough you will probably disregard any evidence you find that sits contrary to your beliefs.
Half the comments against her and her book are so saturated in sarcasm they're dripping. The rest likely come from people who are at a loss for words due to the anger they are feeling. She states that she would need to look through her records and check online for something to back up her claims, which makes it seem that she has really been winging it the entire time and if someone is going to put her on the spot and question her ideals she would like to have the opportunity to do some actual research.
It seems to me that if you've been bombarded with angry people emailing you, and reporters questioning your statements, you may just want to get your shit together so you can defend yourself. If after this amount of time you don't have your shit together, it becomes undeniably evident that you didn't know what the fuck your were talking about in the first place.
Video games are of course the media punching bag of the new millennium, though the baseless criticism started about a decade earlier, it has done nothing but escalate these last 11 years. It does seems rather ironic then that politicians and the like use video games as a target, when their own country constantly glorifies war and military service, and often carries out operations that are an absurd waste of taxpayer money in an attempt to hold back the unwashed hoards of dirty foreigners that allegedly attempt to attack this hypocritical nation of fat, uneducated cannon fodder who haven't yet been drafted by their local military recruitment center. And to think I was listed as being patriotic after completing one of those online tests...