Fox Mass Effect Report: The E(A)mpire Strikes Back
Fox Network's report on Bioware's Mass Effect definitely took apart the expression "professional journalism". The game was turned into Sodom and Gomorrah in the studio and Electronic Arts' had to try and set things straight.
January 25, 2008
There are a few points that the industry behemoth wanted to make clear:
“Your headline above the televised story read: "New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex." Fact: Mass Effect does not include explicit or frontal nudity. Love scenes in non-interactive sequences include side and profile shots - a vantage frequently used in many prime-time television shows. It's also worth noting that the game requires players to develop complex relationships before characters can become intimate and players can chose to avoid the love scenes altogether.
FNC voice-over reporter says: "You'll see full digital nudity and the ability for players to engage in graphic sex." Fact: Sex scenes in Mass Effect are not graphic. These scenes are very similar to sex sequences frequently seen on network television in prime time.
FNC reporter says: "Critics say Mass Effect is being marketed to kids and teenagers." Fact: That is flat out false. Mass Effect and all related marketing has been reviewed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and rated Mature - appropriate for players 17-years and older. ESRB routinely counsels retailers on requesting proof of age in selling M-rated titles and the system has been lauded by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission. In practical terms, the ratings work as well or better than those used for warning viewers about television content.”
Finally, while asking (not demanding) for a correction, Brown also points out that Fox might've had some reason to publicly bash the game as it did:
“As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness. ”