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Why Does Fox News Hate “Bulletstorm”?

Before we get started, we should all remember Hanlon’s Law, especially when we discuss Fox News. Hanlon’s Law is: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. Unfortunately, Fox News’ boneheadedness when it comes to games is pretty apolitical: liberals say this crap all the time too.

Anyway, Fox News has decided to take “Bulletstorm”, which to them is the first game ever to award points for creative deaths and have sexual puns named after them, to task for existing because, OMG, children might play it. Not to toot my own horn, but I wrote a pretty lengthy look at why this argument is total crap. Fox, however, goes the extra mile with this one, dubbing Bulletstorm “The Worst Video Game In The World” two weeks before it’s even been released. It’s like they decided there hadn’t been a perfect example of an idiotic video game scare story, despite their attempts to smear “Mass Effect”, so they were really going to show the world how it’s done. How they screwed the pooch, and what we can do as gamers to stop it, under the jump.

The arguments are the usual crap, but probably the most hilarious fact is Fox made everybody they consulted for the story sound like an utter loon, even if they were responding intelligently and reasonably against Fox’s position. Even if they agreed with Fox, it just wasn’t good enough. For example, Fox cut Dr. Carole Lieberman to sound like she was claiming violent video games cause rape. Kotaku was able to catch up with her and offer her a chance to politely explain what she meant, and, although there’s plenty to criticize in her statements and positions (for example, she claims there’s “thousands” of studies proving violent media causes real life violence, but can’t name one), it’s a bit more nuanced than that.

In the end, this is just Fox News grabbing for media attention. We shouldn’t mock them for getting games wrong: we should mock them for the shoddy journalism and shoddier editorial standards that let this story get to air in the first place.

You might notice there are no direct links to them in this story: there’s a reason for that. We don’t want to encourage this crap. Sure, we could argue that “monkey see, monkey do” is idiotically simplistic when it comes to human psychology, that parents have an obligation to control what their children watch, and that we can’t let the remote possibility that somebody genuinely mentally ill might see a piece of media and misinterpret it drive how we choose and consume media.

But they won’t listen. They don’t care. Keep in mind Fox News’ median viewer age is 65. They don’t care what we think as long as Grandma tunes in for her daily dose of Glenn Beck.

So, let’s return the favor. Laugh them off, and walk away. And, of course, buy “Bulletstorm.”

[ via ComicsAlliance ]

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