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Mass Effect - Misinformation and Misdirection

by Dhruin, 2008-01-18 10:23:18

I was going to stay away from this but it's rather quiet and it really is informative to look at the lengths some people will pursue to whip up a frenzy and generate some publicity.

One Kevin McCullough writes a conservative column at a political site called Townhall.com.  Mass Effect's mildly controversial soft sex scene came into his sights but despite not really knowing anything about it, he decided to let rip.  The original piece seems to have been removed but Google cache has a copy and I found it syndicated to another site, Free Republic.  Here are some quotes:

I know that they all probably assume they have better, much more important, urgent, timely, things to campaign on, but I sure would like to get their individual takes on the new video game that one company is marketing to fifteen year old boys.

It's called "Mass Effect" and it allows its players - universally male no doubt - to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of. [...]

We now know because of the lengthy track record of serial killer after another that addictive use of pornography was prevalent in case after case - long before the switch got flipped and what their masturbatory imaginations have given into became what they were forcing real live human beings to do.

And because of the digital chip age in which we live - "Mass Effect" can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes.

With it's "over the net" capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away.

Heady stuff.   I want to emphasise that while Mass Effect's content doesn't bother me, adult material in games is a debate worth having -- but you can't engage in meaningful dialogue if the original intent is to misinform rather than open a dialogue.

McCullough follows up with a defence here and a fake apology here

Penny Arcade astutely summarises the situation in a recent comic and I think their point that the best response is silence is valid - despite giving it coverage in this newsbit so we can discuss it.

Information about

Mass Effect

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: Xbox 360
Release: Released