EA Calls Fox Out on "Insulting" Mass Effect Inaccuracies

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Electronic Arts, likely sick of having their role playing game Mass Effect dragged through the mud on national television, has requested that Fox News Channel correct their error-plagued segment on the game.

In the letter, which cites Kotaku, Jeff Brown, EA's vice president of communications, asks Teri VanHorn, producer of the Live Desk with Martha MacCallum, to clarify "serious errors" the channel made in their Mass Effect story.

"As the parent company of BioWare, the studio which created the game, EA would like you to set the record straight on a number of errors and misstatements which incorrectly characterise the story and character interactions in Mass Effect." The letter starts and then proceeds to outline their very strong case.

Your headline above the televised story read: "New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex." Fact: Mass Effect does not include explicit or frontal nudity. Love scenes in non-interactive sequences include side and profile shots - a vantage frequently used in many prime-time television shows. It's also worth noting that the game requires players to develop complex relationships before characters can become intimate and players can chose to avoid the love scenes altogether.

FNC voice-over reporter says: "You'll see full digital nudity and the ability for players to engage in graphic sex."
Fact: Sex scenes in Mass Effect are not graphic. These scenes are very similar to sex sequences frequently seen on network television in prime time.

FNC reporter says: "Critics say Mass Effect is being marketed to kids and teenagers."
Fact: That is flat out false. Mass Effect and all related marketing has been reviewed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and rated Mature - appropriate for players 17-years and older. ESRB routinely counsels retailers on requesting proof of age in selling M-rated titles and the system has been lauded by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. In practical terms, the ratings work as well or better than those used for warning viewers about television content.

The letter goes on to point out that the people who wrapped up segment with a round table were equally clueless about the game. "they have had zero experience with Mass Effect and are largely ignorant about videogames, the people who play them, and the ESRB system that governs their ratings and sales."

The story wraps up by pointing out how insulting the resulting story was to EA and Bioware and asks, not demands, a correction:

The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards. As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness.

Do you watch the Fox Network? Do you watch Family Guy? Have you ever seen The OC? Do you think the sexual situations in Mass Effect are any more graphic than scenes routinely aired on those shows? Do you honestly believe that young people have more exposure to Mass Effect than to those prime time shows?

This isn't a legal threat; it's an appeal to your sense of fairness. We're asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.

Sincerely,

Jeff Brown
Vice President of Communications
Electronic Arts, Inc.

Attachment: http://kotaku.com/347350/keighley-sets-mass-effect-record-straight-or-tries-to

Good for you EA, it's important, I think that publishers step up to the plate to defend themselves, especially in light of such outrageous and patently false claims.


Comments

    Okay after having seen the segment myself I would like to debunk their crap myself.

    “It’s for Microsoft's Xbox system”

    Incorrect. It is for Xbox360.

    “You’ll see full digital nudity”

    Wrong. The most you see is the side of an alien boob and buttock for about three seconds, nothing more.

    “The ability for the players to engage is graphic sex”

    Wrong again. It’s not in anyway graphic. There is no penetration, only a tiny bit of nudity (if you can even call it that) and the
    scene is an erotic scene. It’s not in anyway pornographic.
    Anyone who has actually played the game and or viewed the scene
    would agree. Why are Americans so obsessed with automatically
    labelling anything to do with sex as pornographic? Reality check please.

    “The person playing gets to decide what happens between the two
    people, if you know what I mean”

    Is it being implied that you get to choose what sex acts you
    perform? Sorry wrong yet again. You get to make choices through out
    the game but you do not get to choose what kind of sex acts
    are performed.

    “critics say Mass Effect is being marketed to kids”

    It was classified M for mature by the ESRB and the developers
    intended audience are adult gamers. Even so the sex scene is
    extremely PG-13 anyway. Alarmist trash. It’s been said before
    and I’ll reiterate once again: games are NOT exclusively for 8 year olds.

    “research shows that violence and sex has a desensitizing affect”

    Same old baseless, ignorant, biased crap.
    For every research paper that finds a link between violence/sex
    in games and in the real world, there are 10 more which say the exact
    opposite. Didn’t you just love the smug look and arrogance on that
    woman's face? Sorry but this so called research wasn't even elaborated on well to be relevant in anyway.

    No dice, darling.

    “It’s a man in this game deciding who he wants to be with”

    Wrong once again. You can choose to be a man OR a woman. The sex
    scene is also entirely optional. On top of that you must develop a relationship with the character in order for the scene to take place.

    “Why didn’t it get an Adults Rating? The board who issues ratings
    needs to have their head examined”

    Sorry sweet heart but the world won’t always operating according
    to your idea of morality. It didn’t get an AO rating because
    it’s not a tasteless, explicit, pornographic sex scene. Have
    you actually witnessed the scene in question? If not you are in no
    position to comment. Why are you not whining about extreme VIOLENCE
    in games rather than a harmless PG-13 sex scene? I think this woman needs to check her priorities and have HER head examined.

    “What happened to Atari, Pinball and Pacman?”

    Technology has progressed and we have all moved on. Get with the times. We no longer live in 1980.

    Nothing to see here. Just your usual uninformed trash from Fox. It’s extremely pathetic that they are criticizing the game solely based on one very small section of the entire experience and totally disregarding the unbelievable amount of effort and creativity put into Mass Effect to make it a genuinely great game. The amount of ignorance displayed during the segment is astonishing. It's nothing short of slander.

    Damn straight. I read about and watched the particular FOX segment in question over on GamePolitics, and it made me so angry I wanted to punch a baby. I really hope FOX apologizes profusely for the lies they spewed out about the game, and if not I hope EA brings them to their knees for libel and slander.

    "Video Games are being played primarily by kids"

    Also, not true. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 71.8% of gamers are 18 or older, and the average age for gamers is 33 years old. From working in the video game industry for many years, I can tell you that women make up more than 50% of the audience in many genres, particularly casual games, and that most ads are aimed at the 18-21, cash-flush demographic.

    How did it become acceptable to do no research?

    "...The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards..."

    This is the meat of the meal, ladies and gentlemen.
    This whole fiasco has been basic fear-mongering by morons who don't even understand what they're supposed to be 'reporting'.

    it's fox. noone in their right minds looks at their new stories for anything other than cheap laughs ever since they did that hackers on steroids crap.

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