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How FOX News Gets Video Games So Wrong

Illustration for article titled How FOX News Gets Video Games So Wrong

Yesterday, FOX News ran a story on Bulletstorm and got pretty much everything wrong. That's not the real story, though. They real story is how they got everything wrong: they did it on purpose.

Yes, we know, it's FOX News, but still, how the media outlet steadfastly refused to consider both sides of the argument in this piece makes for interesting reading.


You see, in preparing the piece - in which it was claimed outrageously that upcoming shooter Bulletstorm can help encourage rape - FOX sought comment from authors, psychologists and video game experts.

The psychologists got their turn, and performed as expected. But other experts and commenters were not so adequately involved.


M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon, for example, was quoted alarmingly out of context, as PC site Rock, Paper, Shotgun showcases. Scott Steinberg, a respected industry veteran, was also contacted. He sent us his repsonses in full, because, well, FOX News didn't use any of them. Why? Maybe because, as he rightly points out, Bulletstorm's violence is a satire. And that didn't fit with the angle FOX was so intent on pushing.

As John Walker over on Rock, Paper, Shotgun points out, what's of interest here isn't FOX per se, but how it serves as a wonderfully detailed example of the short shrift games are given in media that doesn't normally cover, well, games.


You can read both men's full, unedited responses to FOX's questions at the link below, where you'll also find FOX's delightfully loaded questions reprinted in full.

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The way I see it, FOX, like CNN, MSNBC and the networks, don't report the news as much as give it the spin their fans desire. CNN very much used to spin games negatively, until they perceived that the IPod Generation liked games, so they started adjusting their news to follow that route.

FOX's audience is still primarily the stereotypical neocons who keep praying for the second coming of Ronald Reagan and loathe changing with the times. So to them, videogames are still the malaise of the young.

But they'll eventually be forced to change, or die out like the Neanderthal or The Dumont Network.