Fox News slams Bulletstorm

Cable channel's online arm asks if EA's shooter is "the worst video game in the world," psychologist links in-game sex and real-life rape.

by

If the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity is true, Electronic Arts' marketing department must be busting out the bubbly. That's because one of its highest profile first-quarter releases, Bulletstorm, was just roundly slammed in a scathing article on FoxNews.com.

Fox News disapproves of Bulletstorm's linking of extreme violence and sexual innuendo.

Titled "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" the piece criticizes the game for linking sex and violence via innuendo-laden awards in its skillshot system. Award names for feats of in-game carnage include Gag Reflex, Rear Entry, Drilldo, Mile High Club, Gang Bang, and Topless.

The article then goes on to quote two experts who decry the game as being potentially harmful. Dr. Jerry Weichman, a psychologist at the Hoag Neurosciences Institute in Southern California, told FoxNews.com that "If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm's explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant."

Carol Lieberman, a psychologist and book author, went one step further, linking sexual content in games to a spike in sexual assaults. "The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games," she said. (In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show rapes declined by nearly 40 percent in 2009.)

FoxNews.com also contacted the Entertainment Consumer Association's Hal Halpin, who equated the ultraviolence in Bulletstorm to that found in some films. "I respect the creative rights of game developers to make a game like Bulletstorm in the same way that I appreciate Quentin Tarantino's right to make over-the-top movies like Kill Bill," said Halpin.

When the subject of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) came up, Halpin defended the current system as it is. Fox also quoted University of Maryland professor Melanie Killen, who advocates the regulation of game sales to minors.

"The marketing is clearly aimed at children and young adolescents," Killen said. "Politicians were organizing efforts to address violent video games prior to the presidential election but got distracted by the election. It is time for senators and representatives to come back to the issue."

For more on this topic, read GameSpot Editor-in-Chief Ricardo Torres' editorial on the Fox News article.

Discussion

1055 comments
SierraScorpion
SierraScorpion

See guys, it should be called Shock News. Fox News only write these articles to get attention. More attention means more ratings. More ratings means more money. More money means... well, you get the idea.

kakashi552
kakashi552

The article says, "And with kids as young as 9 playing such games..."--well, there's your problem.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

I wasn't gonna play this game, but now that fox hates it I now have to buy it.

lancea34
lancea34

When are these guys going to f***ing learn that these games aren't destined to be played by children???

JKMadu619
JKMadu619

This article makes my troubled 13 year old mind want to rape someone and kill them. Hearing the word "Dick" in a video game won't trigger some sort of primitave lever in my head causing me to rampage like Donkey Kong. Fox news are by far the best collection of assorted fruit bars I shall ever hear of. Wait, now I want to canabalistically kill and eat the fox news reporters! I can see the headline "Fruit bars lead to canabalism in of whole .0000001% of population!" I don't get riled up over this stuff anymore. I laugh. - Justin

ImBananas
ImBananas

"The marketing is clearly aimed at children and young adolescents" Yes, as we all know that AO games are made for people under 18.

VeeArSick
VeeArSick

The world is so soft compared to when I was a young gamer. "If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm's explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant." Also, I hate theories based off speculation.

pH347m3
pH347m3

What kind of stupid news article is this anyway? Of course it's not for children to see, that's why it says "17+" right on the front cover. Why does this issue even exist? And how is Fox News still in business by now?

SOADToTheMax
SOADToTheMax

So, is Jack Thompson running Fox News? I mean by their standards it'd be an improvement. I mean from complete garbage to regular garbage, but still. Rated M for Mature. 17 and up, check the label.

pH347m3
pH347m3

I can think of about 10-15 games that are "worse" and "more damaging" to children than Bulletstorm.

47slayer
47slayer

Fox News - The world's worst news agency? What a load of propaganda spreading garbage Fox News is. A fookin joke of a news agency.

Silverbond
Silverbond

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mustanglcdr1
mustanglcdr1

BTW I am gonna buy this game...looks like fun! I promise not to rape anybody...promise.

mustanglcdr1
mustanglcdr1

I will say this right out...I agree with the base premise of this article, Children should not play this game. However I disagree on the ideas on how to fix the problem, and the statistics produced. Real Conservatives are not anti-video game. In fact Rush Limbaugh talked about this very issue a few months ago referring to Medal Of Honor and basically said it is up to the consumer or the parent to decide what a person views. Bill O'Reilly (Libertarian) in a talking points session defended violent video games. The argument that Fox News is somehow anti-videogame is absurd. They have editorial articles from across the political spectrum. Lets not forget Dateline NBC, 48hrs and all the Liberal News Networks going after GTA, Mortal Combat and even Doom (8 years after its release). Just because Fox writes an obscure "editorial" (look that word up in the dictionary) , by an unknown writer in an unread portion of its website they are crucified. Please people... folks have a right to their opinions especially when writing an opinion piece. This has just turned into an excuse to bash Fox just because they are the only ones with the balls to criticize this administration.

JthRedDragon
JthRedDragon

Oh and anyone that lets this game or any kind of entertainment actually influence them so much that they are more prone to rape was already completely messed up in the head for whatever reason. Give me a break.

JthRedDragon
JthRedDragon

Fox news just needs to stop. Their "news" is so filtered through their completely transparent agenda its a joke. Thats just in general but this particular case, how exactly is this title, "clearly aimed at children"? There is nothing about this game, its rating, or its marketing thats targeting children. Of course this the same newscast that had some "specialist" come on saying mass effect had gratuitious sex scenes, when clearly they were tasteful and showed nothing. Oh and the person who said this hadn't actually even played the game nor actually saw the scene that he claimed was so raunchy. Its like they don't even try to hide their bs

megamega777
megamega777

Retarded news station is retarded.... M for Mature = for 17+ meaning to be aimed at almost adults! NOT CHILDERN!!!

SplicerFan03
SplicerFan03

Gotta kinda agree with them even if they are alittle hard on Fox news, this kind of BS is lame I mean might as well change your name to Fox F"s with facts to get people to read it's crap. Don't call yourselfs newsreporters when what u mostly care about are ratings. I don't mean to be one side but this is just lame.

Institute
Institute

People just need something to blame instead of accepting the responsibility of their actions.

HaloOverrated
HaloOverrated

Then again, I'm not a fan of Quentin Tarantino films, which everybody seems to love & consider "masterpieces".

HaloOverrated
HaloOverrated

I took the time to read the original article. I didn't find it to be that bad, to be honest. Although it lacks evidence to back up their theories about psychological effects, they aren't trying to ban the game, they just don't want kids to play it. And I don't blame them; I, myself, am a gamer, and nearly an adult, and even I find it distasteful. And I agree when the person said, "it's ironic how these people are trying to tell me that games don't cause violence, yet their comments are very violent". GameSpot make the article look much worse than it really is. Don't get me wrong, it's still a weak article, but it's not awful, like their Mass Effect controversy. They did bring some decent points to the table, even if they were unable to back up their psychological statements. People really overreact over these. I understand why; it can be fun to bash ignorant people. However, the whole reason Fox News makes articles is to get attention (which you are unfortunately giving them). JUST IGNORE THEM. Simple as.

john_sparrow69
john_sparrow69

i live in Trinidad where ANYONE can buy a video game, once you have the money its yours. Now this isnt something im proud to say but its the reality :/.......but not once have i heard victims or analysts on our local news say "i feel they did it because of video games" because that is just idiotic!!! You guys just have to face the fact that with the good comes the bad so with brains such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs you will get the polar opposite retards like FoxNews and Bieber fans. All we have to do is treat them like a crying spoiled child and just ignore, eventually they would succumb an realise the awesomeness that is this billion dollar industry!!!

blackace
blackace

@dubel_07 @blackace Everything you just said makes me want to hug you but if I did that and Fox News found out they'd claim that we were conspiring to overthrow the government and establish an Islamist Anarchy, which, at least, would be devoid of Fox News. ***************************************************************** If I looked like my avatar character (Scarlett Johansson), I'd want to hug myself too. What pisses me off is Fox News is always on the HDTV that's in my breakroom at work. For some reason Glenn Beck is usually on the screen. I even took a break at an hour that his show wasn't on and when I step into the break room, he was on Bill O'Reilly show. Uuhgg!! In any case, no one should listen to Fox News when it comes to deciding what video games are appropriate for you and your kids. My little nephews (they are 11-18yrs now) has been playing CoD, Halo, Mortal Kombat, MW and lots of other violent games for 3-6yrs now and they are fine. Not violent toward anyone and they know it's just a game and not something you should do in real life. Parents know their children better then anyone. There's always going to be a couple people who crack and go postal, and it can be triggered by anything. Don't blame the games.

Kevin75
Kevin75

Dipsh!ts this game is rated M for Mature. Children should NOT PLAY IT PERIOD. Parents do not buy this game for your children if you do you will be considered a bad parent. I will not have my entertainment ruined because of your poor parenting skills (skills would be a stretch in this case) Study after study has shown that vidoegames have no correlation to violence but convenently studies which show violence goes down around big releases like this game are ignored. Establishment get a life, we know you are jealous because we don't like you anymore because you constantly lie to us such as in this case but seriously get a life.

Horusalis
Horusalis

""The marketing is clearly aimed at children and young adolescents," Killen said". Yeah, that's why games like Bulletstorm have a rating of M.

dubel_07
dubel_07

@blackace Everything you just said makes me want to hug you but if I did that and Fox News found out they'd claim that we were conspiring to overthrow the government and establish an Islamist Anarchy, which, at least, would be devoid of Fox News.

Destrin
Destrin

Who gives these crap for brains certifications.

Funployee91
Funployee91

What a shock... Fox News asking "experts" who just make sh** up.

blackace
blackace

Does anyone really care what FoxNews has to say? They had yet to figure out that Glenn Beck is making their news station even worse then what it already is. Only thing saving them are decent prime time television (Fringe, Glee, Human Target, etc..) As for Bulletstorm, I just pre-ordered it. The game is for adults, so it's up to parents to keep their young ones away from it. No difference then keeping them away from R & X rated films. The psychologists should be reiterating that to Fox News.

Tanares
Tanares

Now I know why I don't make very much money. I'm too intelligent.

jonnybutler11
jonnybutler11

really? because a bonus in the game is called "gag-reflex" fox calls it the worst videogame in the world? we all know that fox news are idiots, we dont need gamespot to remind us by posting a dumb article that compares bulletstorm to kill bill and that says littl kids that dont know about sex are gonna get psycological damage because they saw the words "rear entry" while playing a (m rated, why would they be playing anyways) videogame.

deathstream
deathstream

Speaking of horrid journalism, Gamespot left out a key paragraph from the article: “Games without sufficient quality of gameplay -- games that include highly objectionable violent or sexual content -- often pump up the level of this kind of content to gain media attention. This tactic typically fails, as can be seen in the poor sales performance of titles such as BMX XXX and Postal,” said Billy Pidgeon, a video game analyst with M2 Research. Remember when EA faked outrage by the Catholic Church over Dante's Inferno? Why? Because they knew that the game wasn't very good. The most appalling thing in the article is someone comparing a hackjob video game like this to a Tarentino film.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

Epic needs to give Fox news some advertising revenue for this.

Desperado717
Desperado717

This would explain my boner and inexplicable urge to force myself onto a young girl whenever I get a 11 killstreak in modern warfare 2. "AC130? FXCK YEAH"*orgasm*

Danny_1993
Danny_1993

Rated M and yet they say it's aimed at kids? I think FOX needs to fire whoever said that

ArachisPT
ArachisPT

"If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm's explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant." I don't understand they talk bout this game as it was aiming at the under aged audience! Its clearly rated as Mature so if a kid manage to get hes hands on the game its not rly EAs fault! Fox News at its best!

Linkari
Linkari

Games play a significant role in the increase of rape yet its down 40% nationwide, oh that made my day.

Chaozi
Chaozi

Yes Fox, im gonna shoot fantasy based enemies, listen to the well thought out jokes and think "Im gonna bang something randomly!" cause the guy shot someone in the crotch and made a pun about it.

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

@RaZoR_RaiN "Please spare me from the opinions of 'professionals'. That article could be the single most ridiculous thing I've ever read. Only in a world where parents and communities are completely failing to instill good ethics and strong moral fibre in their children, can movies, music and video games have any sort of impact on development. A country that uses violence to resolve all it's problems, wonders why it's children do the same. Then the teachers avoid the blame, make excuses for the students, and ultimately blame something as ridiculous as a computer game to avoid becoming the focus of scrutiny themselves..." That's the realest **** ever written.

Buck_Swaggler
Buck_Swaggler

Wow. How do so many senseless idiots have jobs that likely pay higher than mine? On the bright side, if Fox news hates it that much it's probably awesome.

AkiraSAS
AkiraSAS

Thank you Fox News for making me buy this epic game.... :)

talshiarr
talshiarr

Congrats news morons, you just guaranteed far more sales than it would have gotten before.

198d
198d

looks like the illuminati hasnt gotten ahold of the video game industry yet...w00t

_IronManDude_
_IronManDude_

I stopped reading when it said "Fox News". Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?!

DarkReign2552
DarkReign2552

If any of these analysts or researchers can actually give me a shred of proof to back up their claims, I'll give them whatever the hell they want. I've been gaming since I was 3 years old. My first game ever was Wolfenstein 3D. I played everything from Pac Man and Pit Fall to Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem 3D and Primal Rage. Now, today, I'm 21 years old. I play Gears of War, Halo, Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Dance Central, Sims 3, and even Kinectimals among hundreds of other titles. I also happen to work a full-time career, have my own home, two cars, majored in English reading, writing and comprehension in college, married my first girlfriend and have a child on the way. I've never been in a fist fight, never threatened to kill anyone, never raped or sexually assaulted anyone, don't do any kind of drugs, and don't drink any kind of alcohol. The worst thing I could honestly say I've ever done is let some of my grades suffer in high school (though that's more of my having a job in high school than videogames to blame.) So, with that said, what do your "statistics" say about that? Seems to me that videogames are quite obviously not the cause of these problems. I guess I should also point out that my parents both worked two jobs, are not divorced, rewarded me for the good things I did and punished me when I would do things wrong. You know, things that parents are SUPPOSED to do.

Units420
Units420

I wish Fox would shut up and make sensible, consistent comments

Drkr_Zen
Drkr_Zen

It kills me how "advocates against violence" single out a videogame here and there... its like they catch wind of a really violent game and then tackle the issue like a cop on a donut. Then Black Ops, Dead Space 2, slink by, but they happen upon GTAIV and Dante's Inferno. All the while, these same people don't give even a crooked look to the film industry's radically violent movies. Its by far easier to get into an R-rated movie than it is to buy an M-rated game, around where I live, at least. And, with the aid of the internet, porn, violent movies, games and more are at people's fingertips. So, who's to say the rise in sexual assault, violence and other related charges, with minors, isn't related to negligence in parenting? Something so very prominent these days in households where both parents work.

nekoboy11
nekoboy11

Having played bulletstorm I would say its worth a scathing review... But once again fox news is pulling BS out of thin air per-usual. I use a whip to bullet-time someone 20ft into the air and shoot them. This game is completely unrealistic in every way. What about COD:BO? where is the outcry over that? The first time I saw the scene where a man was blown in half and his intestines were coming out of him as he dragged his dying body across the ground... I was horrified. And It takes a lot to shock me. Yet that game doesn't even get a mention. The dialog and the content of that title to me is more harmful to a minor than bulletstorm ever could be. But unlike most of the Fox News demographic I fully intend to actually parent my children. Rather than shielding things from my kids Id rather properly prepare them to make their own choices and have them be the correct ones. I live in a generation where kids still got BB Guns for Christmas/Birthday, Dads took their kids hunting and fishing, you know... All those supposed red-blooded american past-times that the Fox News demo holds dear. What kind of "violent behavior" does shooting a real gun, teaching someone to respect it, and the value of life produce? Oh wait... no one does things like that anymore because people don't take the time to parent their children...

R2K3W
R2K3W

Fox News hates something? No one cares, it's Fox News. If you watch Fox News for your actual news, about political events, I pity you. If there's anyone to blame, it's those stupid parents or sales associates who allow children that are underage playing these types of games. I mean that's assuming you can blame video games for things like crime.