Friday, November 12, 2010


I can't believe I just sat through watching a news clip from Fox News.  I need to have my head examined to check for brain damage.  I should have considered the source of the content and shut it off right away.  Let me be straight, you couldn't catch me dead promoting Fox News.

I've spent the last semester going through News Reporting and Writing.  That's the 102 I've been referring to since September.  In the class I've learned that when you put together a news story it's the w/w/w/w/w/h, and that's it.  No embellishment, no personal views.  You're there to tell people the TRUTH, which is comprised of the bare bones facts.  No more, no less.  It's a part of Journalism Ethics.  If you're caught in a single factual error, your credibility goes down the toilet.

Every single time I've watched Fox News, it has always been agenda driven which is the EXACT opposite of good journalism.  They've sensationalized things, they've absolutely gone out of their way to paint anything that's not right wing as radical and completely unacceptable.

Now, what got me onto this little rant was a story from WoW Insider talking about how California wants to impose more strict content regulations on video games.


Let me say that again...They're trying to impose more strict content regulations on
v-i-d-e-o  g-a-m-e-s.  
Does anyone else smell something amiss here?

Cali first teed off on smokers.  Fine, it's a valid argument.  People who don't smoke shouldn't have to be exposed to second hand smoke.  I'm fine with that.  Chance tells me that in Washington they're actually thinking about outlawing smoking in your own home.  Ok, that's officially too far.  No law will EVER tell me what I can or can't do in my own home when what I'm doing isn't anyone else's business but my own.

Now, beware the right wing nut jobs are back!  This time, it's video games... friggin' video games.  Operative word here is GAME.  At the bottom of the WoW Insider article there is a link to a story about a debacle surrounding the game Mass Effect.  I watched the video clip with the story and could NOT believe my eyes and ears.  Here were two uppity and ignorant women who DON'T game trying to say that video games are horrible for kids.  I'm sorry, but weren't we (Gen X) the generation who grew up on video games?  Weren't we the ones putting hundreds of quarters into machines in arcades all over the country blowing things up and eating ghosts?  Yes, I will go the fact that the games of my generation were very tame and Pollyanna compared to the realism that we see on our computer screens or televisions via our game consoles today.  However, these two dim-witted Fox News commentators are sitting there ADMITTING they'd never played Mass Effect, but still they sat in the seat of judgement criticizing a 30 second portion of a 30 hour long video game because it had a hint of a boob and a bare alien backside.

Oh my holy hell, kids see far worse on cable TV!  They can open up a Cosmo or Vogue magazine that their mother buys and see more than that!  How about PG and PG-13 movies? Oh, let's throw one more log on the fire...a Victoria's Secret catalog has more skin than that video game shows.  But there, on Fox News you've got two women with absolutely no clue about the video game genre, much less any sort of connect with reality, going off about a HINT of a boob.  My word.  What did they think their child was staring at when they were breast feeding?  DUH!  Oh what am I saying, these are rich republicans, I forgot, they don't breast feed their children, their nannies take care of their kids.

This gets me back to a fundamental point I've been hollering about along with lots of video game scholars out there...unless you play the game, don't speak on it or criticize it because you have not one clue of what you're talking about.  I know all of nothing about nuclear you hear ME even begin to broach the subject?  Hell no, because I've got not one clue about it and I'm not going to sit and sound like a moron, I've got far too much self-respect for that.

But here goes Cali again butting their noses into something they shouldn't be touching with a ten foot pole.

Parents...let me say that again...PARENTS are supposed to be responsible for their children, NOT the government, not teachers and most certainly not a group of ignorant people who have not one clue about today's video game culture.

As the writer of the article on WoW Insider so eloquently states:

"Movies are submitted to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for a rating; the body deliberates and stamps the movie with whatever rating it deems appropriate. Video games work in a similar way. The self-regulation comes from the fact that most movie theaters won't screen movies that aren't rated by the MPAA, just as most stores won't stock video games without an ESRB rating. Ta-daa, you have self-regulation without the need for the state or federal government to step in and tell you how to do your business."

What bothers me the most about all this is that these are games we're talking about.  Games that challenge minds on a daily basis, whether it's strategic thinking, puzzle solving (read: problem solving), mathematics, or a multitude of other life skills.  And two twits on Fox News are more concerned over a hint of a boob in a game that doesn't even lead you there unless you make the choices that take you there.

All this falls back to the question of why aren't parents playing the game with their kids?  Why are they allowing a computer or video game console do more parenting than they are?

I'll be very real with you...I grew up in the MTV after day I was pounded by images of Madonna in her white dress and "Boy Toy" belt buckle singing "Like a Virgin," but it did NOT in any way supersede the rules of the house.  When Mom said "turn it off," I turned it off.  Hell, my mother spent hours upon HOURS in my bedroom playing Pac-Man on my Atari 2600 while we were waiting for dinner to finish cooking.  She knew EXACTLY what I played and what I watched.  She's even seen me play WoW!   And I never have heard her say word one against video games and she's from a generation that is now the ruling class of conservatives.  However, I had a Mom who was engaged in being a mom even though she worked as well.  She may not get points for style or technique, but the woman tried and was a very active part of our lives.  Kids these days would be so lucky to have my mom because at least she tried the games I played and now she listens as I tell her about the games I play now.

But the whole thing boils down to this...since when do we let hypocrites tell us what we should be thinking?  When did we allow ourselves to become so passive that people like these so-called "journalists" on Fox News think it's ok fill us with fear and hatred and impose their "moral" standards on us?  When did we lose the ability to make up our own minds as to what is and isn't good for us?

What the Fox News folks fail to realize is that there are a portion of us out there who still have our own free will perfectly intact and that we're immune to the hypocritical nonsense that spews from their mouths.

They're not gamers, but they think it's ok to judge video games and ignorantly assume that what they're saying should be taken as the gospel.  How hypocritical can they get?

No one has ever proved video games cause violence in the real world.  But let me tell you, had I been in the room with those two boneheads on Fox News, I would have gotten violent, if not just to silence ignorance.

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