Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An Open Letter to Kevin McCullough

This is a rant about an article recently written by Mr. McCullough

Mr. McCullough,

Seriously? You’re joining the Video Game bashing too? Well all right, lets start with the simple fact that the average “gamer” is not a fifteen-year-old male, but a 33-year-old male, who’s been gaming for 13 years (incase you don’t want to do the math that means he started when he was 20, still not marketed towards teenagers).

Now, after that…have you even seen this “sex scene”? If not, I have a link for you right here: http://www.joystiq.com/2007/11/08/mass-effect-sex-scene-is-sfw/ . No humping.

Why is the idea that you can create what you think people look like disgusting…what’s so bad about that? People look differently, yes you can create a busty “hot chick”, but you can also create the opposite. The game doesn’t revolve around sex, in fact it’s far from it, the “sex scene” (if you can even call it that) is one tiny part in an overall, massive game.

“Then there's the dishonesty behind the game' title.”

Dishonesty in the games title? The only dishonesty I see here is you trying to proclaim that this game is all about sex, or to assume that this game has any real effect on your child’s innocence (I'll get to this in a moment). Mass Effect’s connotation is a big result. If we break it down, Mass Effect’s denotation is Mass (in this case the adjective version) a large number, or general in scope or effect, then effect: a change or changed state occurring as a direct result of action by somebody or something else. So, Mass Effect is a large change caused by the action of somebody or something. It could be taken as a deadly virus, massive war, or the effect of celebrity gossip. There’s nothing dishonest in the name, that’s why you read the back to see what it’s about.

Worrying about what your kids play is good! I’m glad you take stock in what your children play, most parents don’t. It’s up to the parent to determine what their children can and cannot view.

That being said it is up to the parent to decide, not the government. Would take your fifteen-year-old to a figure drawing class with nude models? Absolutely not! Would you take that same fifteen-year-old to go see a movie like Harold and Kumar? No! So, why would you let your child play a violent video game if you, the parent, are worried about it? None of those earlier things are censored by the government, why should video games be any different? Most fifteen-year-old’s don’t have the $70 for the game, much less the $400 for the X-box 360, so the only real way your child can get access to this game with out you knowing it is either your child can save up the $70, get a ride to the mall with a friend, find a place to buy the game that wont ID him (Stores are enforcing ID more and more these days), you, the parent, are in charge. That situation is far more farfetched than, say, going to the movies with friends to see Enchanted, and then going to a screening of Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

Now really, this is far from simulated sex. I really hope that the next president wouldn’t be so blind to reality that he would attempt a bill to limit content in any media form. Implement a more strict rating system is nearly a must, or instead of the voluntary ESRB rating, make it mandatory. I would be all for that, first to sign a petition. Just so long as it’s reasonable, and not extremist garbage that wants to limit and shelter our youth rather than educate.

Next time you write an article, please do a little something called “Journalist Investigation” to see if your argument can at least stand on its own.

The scene in question:

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