Fox News Blogger Continues Bulletstorm Attack

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Fox News Blogger Continues Bulletstorm Attack

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A new Fox News article is issuing fresh warnings about the damaging effects of violent videogames and questioning how much retailers are really doing to prevent kids from playing them.

John Brandon, the Fox News tech blogger who wrote the now-infamous article about Bulletstorm that, amongst other things, suggested that videogames have contributed to an increase in rape attacks, has written a new piece about the game, which again questions the possible negative effects that it might have.

In his new article, Brandon used the fact that the German version of Bulletstorm will have some of its more graphic elements removed by order of the USK - the German equivalent of the ESRB - as a springboard, asking why a game considered too violent for Germany is being released uncensored in the US. Brandon warned that kids of any age can view Bulletstorm's content online, and quoted a number of expert psychologists, who said that exposing children to that kind of material can do significant damage.

As well as psychologists, Brandon spoke to EA's Jeff Brown, who said that he disagreed with the USK's decision - the USK is notable among videogames rating boards as being one of the toughest, and most squeamish, in the world - and added that he thought that videogames should be treated the same as books and movies. Brandon also spoke to the ECA's Hal Halpin, who said that, unlike in Germany, videogames were protected in the US by the First Amendment, and so couldn't be censored in the same way. Presumably, the question that Brandon asked Halpin compared the effects of videogames to alcohol and tobacco, as Halpin's comment makes reference to both substances, but without seeing the question itself, it's impossible to know for sure.

Brandon also touched on the response to his original article from the gaming press. He mentioned Rock Paper Shotgun's efforts to get "the full story" (the quote marks were added by Brandon) and Destructoid's article about the Amazonbombing of Carole Lieberman's book - the expert who made the link between games and rape - which bore the headline "'Games cause rape' psychologist's book gets raped." Brandon also touched on the split in opinion that the Amazonbombing caused, quoting one comment that lamented how the act made gamers look, and another that said that it was the only way that gamers could voice their frustration at Lieberman's "outright untruths."

Towards the end of his article, Brandon also questioned how effective the safeguards implemented by the videogame industry and retailers were at actually preventing children from getting their hands on games like Bulletstorm. He said that many experts thought that retailers weren't enforcing ESRB ratings, although he didn't reveal who those experts were. He also pointed out that there were fewer safeguards when buying online, although he did acknowledge that most games are sold in brick and mortar stores.

Much like his first article about Bulletstorm, Brandon's latest piece contains a fairly significant factual inaccuracy. In this instance, it's the assertion that retailers aren't enforcing ESRB ratings, when in fact, FTC studies show that they are some of the most rigorously enforced ratings in the US. While this error is rather significant, and colors the entire final third of the article, it's arguably not as bad as the implication that it's game makers and retailers that should be preventing children from viewing inappropriate content, rather than parents.

At the same time as excoriating Bulletstorm for having damaging content, Brandon seems to want to absolve parents of any responsibility for protecting their children from that content, suggesting that the developers and publishers that are at fault for making the game in the first place. Brandon's experts may be correct about the damage that violent games cause - although that's the source of much debate - and no reasonable person is going to suggest that preventing kids from viewing inappropriate content is a bad thing. That said, preventing children from coming to harm isn't just the job of the videogame industry, and parents have to take an active role in what their children are doing.

Bulletstorm comes out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 22nd. Don't buy it for your kids.

Source: via Game Informer

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God Some people must really hate video games.

Anyone who has worked in a video game store should know that if a parent want to by a game for their kid that there is nothing you can do about it.

Edit: What ever happened to showing your citations? How can they claim to have "experts" without telling anyone who they are?

Bleugh, do these people have anything better to do? Why aren't they blaming the parents for not monitoring the games their kids play? Occasionally my dad will come up and ask me what I'm playing, and when I want a new game I have to describe what it's about and why it received it's rating. It's not that difficult, folks.

Where did they dig these asshats up? Seriously newsflash people every console these days has a lockout feature on it, you can program your console to not play movies, games etc that you do not want your child playing without entering the password.

Do fox and other even have editors anymore? I realize this is a blogger, but how about someone counter blogging and checking his "facts"

News flash 1950 elvis is going to turn your kids into degenerate rapists, 1980 ozzy osbourne, 1990 marylin mansion, 2010 video games.

"and added that he thought that videogames should be treated the same as books and movies"

Aren't videogames rated a hell of a lot more strict than books and movies, already?

John Brandon:
...and questioning how much retailers are really doing to prevent kids from playing them.

Jesus Christ...
How many times must this be said? It's the parents fucking responsibility to dictate what their kids can, and cannot have. Do some friggin parenting people.
You had sex and a kid came out, so why not take responsibility for what just happened h-uh?

It's not the game makers fault for making the game. Apparently "Freedom of Speech" means nothing.
Again, it's not their responsibility to parent your fucking kid.

JRCB:
Bleugh, do these people have anything better to do? Why aren't they blaming the parents for not monitoring the games their kids play? Occasionally my dad will come up and ask me what I'm playing, and when I want a new game I have to describe what it's about and why it received it's rating. It's not that difficult, folks.

Its Fox news. If they arent bashing democrats/obama they have to carry on about the next nonconservative thing they can, i.e. freedom of speech, freedom of expression, restrictive gun laws.

Alright, look, let's not let this become another tidal wave. Just ignore this guy everyone. He's just trying to coast off of the controversy of his last article. Let it go.

well i can use a good laugh. Lemme go read this article.

He's basing part of his argument on the USK rating? You know, in Germany violence is a big no-no in video games, and somebody is constantly banging on about banning so called "killer-games." But hey, whatever he wants. I can just sit here and call him a retard all day long, but ultimately nobody gains anything from that. If he wants a real discussion about violence in the media (a topic well worth discussing), great! If not, well, he works for Fox, the network of inbred, toothless, illiterate, xenophobic, obese idiots, who in all probability have never even heard the words "bath" or "shower" before. What am I basing that on? Well, that's essentially what Europeans think of Fox and their audience...

The ESRB isn't enforced? Since I'm underage my mom goes with me to buy M rated games and they actually make HER give them her I'D. Methinks she's a little above 18.

*sigh*
Again, parents yelling via ignorant "protective" crusaders about violent games. As the above article rightfully points out "parents have to take an active role in what their children are doing."
Which is sadly far from commonplace. A fair few are probably aware of what kinds of games are intended for teen audiences, but I`ve seen fathers actually verbally abusing retail-employees for not selling a mature-game to their kids. Especially last christmas (no, not the Wham-song which causes incredible amounts of psychological trauma in itself) I witnessed a bunch of parents buying CoD and BFBC2 for their kids. Maybe not the worst of the bunch I`ll admit, but when the clerks actually enforce the rules set, they should be thanked - not harassed.

But of course....guns don`t kill people...videogames apparantly do. And they be rapin` eeeverybody out there!

Edit: Just noticed the logo of Fox News...followed by "fair and balanced". Right-O!

Don't worry I don't think John Brandon is going to have any impact whatsoever on anyone or anything related to the gaming industry. The simple truth is that there are more people on our side.

Im starting to see a theme with Fox news failing to list sources. I'm not saying that all of what they say is made up but maybe they realize most of their sources aren't credible. Faux news seems to be trying to get across their side of the story while simultaneously lacking objectivity necessary for good journalism. I just wish that these people would expose themselves to this content before critiquing it.

Watch out Logan, Game Heroes are gonna come after you next!

Scytail:
Anyone who has worked in a video game store should know that if a parent want to by a game for their kid that there is nothing you can do about it.

Edit: What ever happened to showing your citations? How can they claim to have "experts" without telling anyone who they are?

This is FOX News. They're too good for "sources" and "citations" and all that fancy-pants "fact" stuff.

Assassin Xaero:
"and added that he thought that videogames should be treated the same as books and movies"

Aren't videogames rated a hell of a lot more strict than books and movies, already?

Yes they are....so let's all support this statement and we might get uncensored games one day ^^

At the same time as excoriating Bulletstorm for having damaging content, Brandon seems to want to absolve parents of any responsibility for protecting their children from that content, suggesting that the developers and publishers that are at fault for making the game in the first place.

So, if someone buys an industrial laser out of a magazine and puts a hole in his body using it incorrectly, is it the manufacterer's fault for producing it? No! There's a purpose for the product, an intended use, and intended users.

Game developers follow that same rule. Games are for entertainment and they have a set age group for which it is meant to entertain. A parent would be responsible for keeping a deadly item out their kids hands, so why shouldn't they be responsible for a "harmful" game meant for adults?

Meh.

I see books out there much worse.
I read the Ken Follet saga books about the medieval age when i was 13.
My brother have 11 and is reading them.
Never tough about raping some1

Wheres your god now psychologists?

People get paid for writing that?

He's missing the fact that a child can't get their hands on a game like Bulletstorm, surely a normal parent would at least read the blurb for check for sutability, if the child was in the age range of 6-10, by 11 they should have a decent understanding of right and wrong.

Oh look, the games coming out in less then 24 hours. We still have time to bash it! HATING POWERS, ACTIVIATE!!!!!!!

Really guys? Really?

Sending impressionable teens off to remote hell holes to shoot dirty, destitute foreigners in a pointless war is fine.

I wish my parents had been ignorant of any bad things that I could of gotten in to, not been part of my social life, and generally nothing but food providers so I could learn all my moral lessons from TV and do every illegal thing I ever wanted because I was never told not to by the most influential people I know.

Stupid parents

Video games maybe violent but I haven't seen a game that actually showed how to properly load a magazine and load a gun. I learned that stuff from TV and movies, so even if video games teaches kids how to aim, pull a trigger and shoot, they never show how to load the gun.
As for online buying, kids under a certain age shouldn't be on the internet without parental supervision and shouldn't know their parents' credit card numbers or have the card in their possession. Parents should be watching their kids.

Scytail:
Anyone who has worked in a video game store should know that if a parent want to by a game for their kid that there is nothing you can do about it.

Edit: What ever happened to showing your citations? How can they claim to have "experts" without telling anyone who they are?

Peices of fiction don't need citations.

OT:Yep, I'm not suprised that they decided to carry on with this. I'm of the opinion that Fox News isn't even worthy of attention. So I just ignore it. Its like the worlds biggest troll.

The one claim here that holds merit from where I'm standing is the assertion about online content. Truly, the so-called "age gates" do nothing whatsoever, easily bypassed with a simple lie - but then, there is really no way to keep children from looking at questionable content online in the first place; it is hardly limited to videogames.

Then the question becomes, do all studies agree that exposure to such content causes harm to children? And if so, what is a better way to control it than ineffective stockholder-placating age gate shenanigans?

I'm just gonna pick him up on one line, tho it sounds like any of us could pick him up on any line after' Hi, I'm Brandon and...' and pick it apart so thoroughly we'd be able to count the atoms.

Brandon warned that kids of any age can view Bulletstorm's content online, and quoted a number of expert psychologists, who said that exposing children to that kind of material can do significant damage.

*I* am an expert in theoretical childcare with a First in 'Making Shit Up' from the University of Whatever, and I state that if you let you child browse google long enough to find a Bulletstorm video, he or she will also have probably seen real beheading videos, 2 girls 1 cup, about 17 hours of double penetration and some footage of Bieber singing.

The Bulletstorm comedy trailer is the worst thing on the internet? I could name at least one thing more damaging to a young mind off the top of my head, Foxnews.com , for a start.

How can you tell the Pro-game side is winning? Because NOBODY on the other side factors in the parents

Everyone knows this guy is just making things up. It's not as insulting as the chick that says games cause rape, but it's very pathetic.

Also, why is Germany this hard on video games? I mean, I just watched Funny Games the other day which is a German film and it was one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen... Also, there's the Baader-Meinhoff Complex which was also German and also extremely violent and filled with nudity... so why is that allowed while a game like Bulletstorm isn't? It's Team Fortress 2 silly fun. I would let my children (if I had children) play Bulletstorm, but I wouldn't let them watch either of those films.

So wait. You boil it down, his entire argument is that because its too graphic for Germany, it should be censored here.

Alright. I''ll get this out of the way. I made a personal point and promise to myself that I would never read Fox News, so I'm not touching that article. But I'm going to assume there was some intended parallel to Nazi Germany (not enacting Godwin's Law). Now, he does know that Germany hasnt been that way for a good three generations now. BUt meh, he seems so stuck in a 1950s world, maybe he still thinks Germany has some influence.

As to game industry regulating itsedlf for the chldren's saftey.... isnt that what we have the ESRB for? And again, I'd add this statement as a counter to any conversation. Would you take what you are forcing on games and apply it to movies, books, TV (including Fox News), and other mediums?

chupacabrawolf:
Video games maybe violent but I haven't seen a game that actually showed how to properly load a magazine and load a gun. I learned that stuff from TV and movies, so even if video games teaches kids how to aim, pull a trigger and shoot, they never show how to load the gun.
As for online buying, kids under a certain age shouldn't be on the internet without parental supervision and shouldn't know their parents' credit card numbers or have the card in their possession. Parents should be watching their kids.

And video games don't show how to hold a gun among other things.

carnege4:
Meh.

I see books out there much worse.
I read the Ken Follet saga books about the medieval age when i was 13.
My brother have 11 and is reading them.
Never tough about raping some1

Wheres your god now psychologists?

Have him read American Psycho.
In that book there are extremely graphic descriptions of sex, rape, murder and the lot. The book is miles more graphic than A Clockwork Orange.
Yet humanity lets books like these stay why? Because they represent significant value to the human race. Can this not be said tenfold about video games?

Logan Westbrook:

Bulletstorm comes out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 22nd. Don't buy it for your kids.

Exactly this. When is society going to stop blaming the companies, the retailers, the system, and instead start pointing fingers exactly where they should be: AT THE PARENTS!

It's the parents who blindingly purchase theses games for their kids, or give their kids their credit card to purchase them online without supervision. It's the parents who don't watch what their kids are doing and just let them go off doing whatever they want. And what happens when something like Columbine happens? The parents start to blame other things, like Mareline Manson, or Doom, or whatever else. How come nobody sits there and says "the parents were to blame for not watching their kids and paying attention as they built bombs and stockpiled guns in their basement right under their noses (literally).

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