Conservative News Service Cybercast today issued a release entitled "Sex in Video Game Makes Waves Through Industry", which focuses on a topic that has been our own focus on numerous occasions for notably different reasons - the Mass Effect sex scene. The article is riddled with quotes from one Cathy Ruse, a lawyer and senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council. I found it helpful to read her words while imagining her foaming at the mouth.
"There are cultural implications for feeding porn to kids in this way," and "when you do this, you're teaching them a distorted lesson about human sexuality and human dignity. These are lessons that they will take with them into adulthood and ultimately society," Ruse said.
Ruse of course assumes the game is marketed towards children, because why the hell would full-grown adults play video games?
Could she be right? I certainly hope not, as it would be horrible for children to grow up thinking that one day they might form a deep bond with someone and engage in sexual activities - especially if said activities involve someone of another race or similiar gender. That would be terrible. Media specialist Bob Waliszewki with Focus on the Family agrees.
"We never shy away from sexuality in the media. It's just a question of how is that sexuality portrayed. One can use the media to portray some very healthy forms of sexuality. And when done wisely with taste and age-appropriateness, it can be done well."
"Unfortunately," he said, "Mass Effect doesn't do that and even goes so far as to allow homosexuality to be on par with heterosexuality and heterosexuality outside of its proper context of marriage."
You know, sometimes I find myself watching an old black and white film, and for just a moment I find myself thinking about how lovely it would be to live in a society where children know nothing about sex, growing up into fine, upstanding adults with firm morals who then get married and discreetly bear children just like them. Then I return to the real world, which has it's own particular charms. Someone really needs to get these folks a copy of Pleasantville. Sure, todaay's world is pretty fucked up, but it's a more passionate place than it has ever been, and I kinda dig it.
The article continues predictably. Waliszewki cites various reports linking video games to violent behaivior. Ruse calls out BioWare for putting the sex scene in to generate revenue without regards to what happens to the children who shouldn't be playing it in the first place. Bob does manage to talk some sense towards the end, cautioning parents to take a hands-on approach to their children's entertainment, but then Cathy comes back in for one last bit of foaming outrage.
Ruse noted that "most states have what's called 'Harmful to Minors' laws on the books that say that selling sexual material that a jury would deem 'patently offensive to minors, which lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.' ... might be prosecutable."
Folks really need to know a little bit more about gaming culture before launching into tirades like this. Then again, I suppose I could say the same for myself when it comes to the Family Research Council. For all I know, Ruse could be one of the more sensible ones.
Sex in Video Game Makes Waves Through Industry [Cybercast via Game Politics]