And another thing: The rape of Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm

Bulletstorm is a video game that heralds the end of civilisation as we know it. Yes, another one!

Epic is about to release Bulletstorm! And Fox News has decided to help them shift a few more units! Isn’t that nice of them?

10:35 Enter work and fire up search engine. Check Twitterfeed to see what the video games people are watching/reading/nattering on about today. See someone mention that Bulletstorm inspires children as young as nine years old to commit rape. Laugh out loud and shake my head at the poor taste of the joke.

10:45 Clear some workload, but notice allegations of Bulletstorm’s rape-inspiring prowess, are if anything increasing. Begin to pay more attention to the story.

10:46 Note the tweets about the whole Bulletstorm-rape thing referring to a story on Fox News. Curse myself for paying more attention to the story.

10:47 – 11:30 Hold out for an admirably long time before actually going in search of said Fox News story. Damn you, Fox. And Damn you, Twitter.

11:35 Find that the story isn’t a video piece – so not available on YouTube. Find that the story was written (if you can call it that) on the Fox News website. Note that all the people who have written comment pieces, which rip the story it to shreds and puke on it, have wisely decided not to include a link to said story. Realise that I have to go to Fox News’s actual site to read this story.

11:36 Head over to Fox News’s FILTHY website. Note that the story isn’t on the front page. Use Fox News’s FILTHY website’s FILTHY search engine. Feel disgusted at myself for doing so and vow not to include the link to the story so anyone who is inclined to track it down for themselves will feel as FILTHY and SORDID and HORRIBLE as me when they do!

11:37 Story pops up with the title: “Is Bulletstorm, like, the worst game evah? Like, of all time and everything, yeah?” Blink at the stupidity of said headline and wonder if the story was written by a teenager. Blink again. Realise that I’ve misread the headline, which in fact reads: “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?”

Blink at the stupidity of said headline and wonder if the story was written by a teenager.

11:38 – 11:45 Do a double take on the picture on the top of the story.

Bulletstorm

Is that in the game? That's not in the game! Is it? No! You sure? etc etc.

What the hell is that? That’s not a graphic! It looks like a NECA toy. Check the caption which says: “An artist’s recreation of a scene from controversial video game Bulletstorm, which takes violence, vulgar language and sexual innuendos to a new level.” So did Fox News hire a toy company to make a toy based on a screenshot in Bulletstorm? Why didn’t they just use a screenshot of the game? Maybe, in a rare (READ: Very rare. So rare as to be non-existent. Rarer than the lovechild of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie, and the Yeti. Rarer than the Neti. Which is non-existent. That rare!) fit of decency, they felt they couldn’t knock the game while using its assets. So they got a toy company to build themselves a sweet-looking toy. And then they hired a photographer to snap it. A rubbish photographer. A rubbish photographer who has managed to get everything in that shot out of focus except for the bit where the arm’s snapping half. How rubbish. Still, I’d buy that toy, I would.

11:45 – 12:00 Read and digest article. Stomach fluids curdle. Ignore usual hysterical button-pushing ignorant afterbirth one usually finds in articles of this type in the first paragraph. Make a mental note that all the experts Fox News have spoken to are “nearly universally worried”.

Note that psychologist and book author Carol Lieberman has been tapped up by Fox News to offer her expert opinion. Note that she has been quoted as saying, ““The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.” Wonder what qualifies Lieberman to make such a claim.

Enter her name into Google. Google comes back with a spelling correction for her name. Note that the author of the Fox News piece has evidently misspelled his “expert’s” name. Enter correctly spelled name into Google. Head to Carol[e] Lieberman’s website. Note that her two published works are called “Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets” and “Bad Boys: Why We Love Them, How To Live With Them and When to Leave Them.” Note that what looks like her phone number seems to appear in the top right hand corner of her official webpage.  Wonder if Carol[e] Lieberman is aware of what happened to Cooper Lawrence, the last ‘expert’ Fox News tapped up when they decided to bash a video game (Mass Effect). Wonder if angry gamers will, like they did with Lawrence,  head over to amazon and give lousy reviews to all of Lieberman’s books.

Check to see if angry gamers have headed over to amazon and give lousy reviews to all her books. Notice that the first (1-star rating) review under Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets reads thus:

“The entirety of this book is unfounded and not based in any fact or logic whatsoever. It is the kind of thing that spawns similarly unfounded and idiotic comments in news articles. The increase in real-world rapes can be attributed in large part to the production, sale and consumption of this book.”

The next (1-star rating) reads:

“Sexual situations and acts in books — highlighted so well in Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets — 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 book covers”

So that didn’t take long. Wonder how long it will be before Lieberman has to take her phone number off her website.

Head back to Fox News to continue reading article. Nearly choke to death on coffee when I spot a genuninely insightful piece of writing about keeping age-restricted material out of the hands of children:

“There might be a simple way to address the problem: penalties for selling violent games to kids.”

There it is in black and white and on the Fox News website.

Note the name of the next expert tapped up for this story. Melanie Killen, Ph.D. Note that her quote is less inflammatory than Lieberman’s. Note her book on Amazon has no flaming under it. Wonder if there’s a connection between making inflammatory [ignorant] comments and igniting a flame war. Wonder if Carol[e] Lieberman will ever take note of that. Note that with Lieberman and Killen, the story contains a grand total of two experts. So that’s two experts who were nearly universally worried about this game. Nearly. But not quite. Whatever the hell that means.

12:01 Finish article. Feel vaguely soiled at having read the entire thing. Vow to eat a stick of celery and buy a copy of RetroGamer to make up for this at a later date.

Make mental note to buy toy from the picture in Fox News’s article, should it ever become available.

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