On Monday, I mentioned an article by the irrelevant Kevin McCullough entitled "The 'Sex-Box' Race For President," a poorly titled, poorly sourced, and generally just poor piece of journalism. As the game has now been available for months without attracting his attention, I can only assume that his flailing response was based on this other report, itself already far removed from Mass Effect, the game which is ostensibly being described....
After breathless prose in the original piece about orgies and sodomy, acts which are manifested nowhere in the product he's discussing, he literally begins to fantasize in the body of the text about a machine that can rape people - and rape them "orgasmically" - at a distance. He does not warrant our time, but I will speak in the clear manner that one must when managing animals: these things are not simulated by this or any other piece of entertainment software available at retail. Indeed, it was precisely the lack of sodomy that created a stir before release.What, then, is the source of this imagery? To find it, you must drill deep down through the artifice and find the undulating reservoir of sexual fetish that boils beneath. This scheming, grotesque caricature of a "concerned citizen" is about as transparent as it gets.
This sparked my interest and I decided to check out McCullough's article over at Townhall.com ("where your opinion counts" and not facts) and this is what I found:
It's called "Mass Effect" and it allows its players - universally male no doubt - to engage in the most realistic sex acts ever conceived. One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.
The objections to such filth should be simple to understand.
Starting with the disgusting idea that one can "create" their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships. Right? We can all agree on this?
Then there's the dishonesty behind the game' title. "Mass Effect" sounds like a war game with a deadly virus that is spreading unless the GI-Joes are able to defeat the evil and deadly substance and it's covert war plan. By it's design, kids could ask for it, or for their parents' Best Buy Card to go purchase it with nary a raised eye-brow. Generic, non-descriptive, and relatively harmless.
But it IS marketed for the X-Box 360, perhaps the most visually stimulating gaming system ever made. The software for such allows the blending of DVD video, component graphics, and the manipulation of actual pictures so that an alternate reality engulfs the fifteen year old boy playing it without much objection.
Now if I have trouble with my son taking his James Bond 007 games a little too emotionally, imagine the powerful effect that hormones add to the mix when the player's own character is copulating like jack rabbits with super-models, actresses, and anyone else they can spend the patience to create, name, and "put into play."
I hear the nay-sayers claiming I'm being the wild and crazed Bible thumper I've always been - but its a worthwhile question isn't it?
If a pre-teen, teen, young adult, or adult male plays such a game in which the women DO submit without choice, are made to appear as Barbie streetwalkers, and perform whatever act can be imagined, what's to stop that same male from assuming that the women in his "other world" shouldn't be forced to do the same.
We now know because of the lengthy track record of serial killer after another that addictive use of pornography was prevalent in case after case - long before the switch got flipped and what their masturbatory imaginations have given into became what they were forcing real live human beings to do.
And because of the digital chip age in which we live - "Mass Effect" can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes.
With it's "over the net" capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away.
Holy crap! Was Tycho ever right, even about McCullough's fucking Orgasmic Rape Machine fantasy! And looking at the follow-up on his blog (aptly titled Kevin McCullough Musclehead Revolution) it appears the prophecy in Tycho's comic has been fufilled.
Now keep in mind I haven't played Mass Effect (mainly because my PC is a piece of junk that I can barely get Resident Evil 4 to work on it) but Yahtzee, in his video-game review column Zero Punctuation, has.
What Yahtzee describes is a very dialogue-heavy RPG where you can choose your protagonist's hair and facial features -and, yes, even bust-size (but not the porn-star proportions that McCullough apparently has in mind here)- and a brief sex scene that can, if chosen, take place as part of the larger narrative. No "copulating like jack rabbits with super-models, actresses and anyone else they can spend the patience to create, name, and 'put into play'," no women that "submit without choice" and are "made to appear as Barbie streetwalkers, and perform whatever act can be imagined", but some very vanilla one-brief-glance-of-a-butt-cheek-and-sideboob sex in an M-rated (18+) game.
a douchebag neo-con who sucks ass
He'd rather drink expired milk from a decomposing dead warthog's snout
than do the needed research to know what the hell he's talking about
He's most repressed prude you ever seen
fantasizing about an Orgasmic Rape Machine
Saying the craziest bullshit you've ever heard
He's The Lying, Video-Game Hating Turd*
To be fair, McCullough apologized. But my problem isn't with McCullough. There's more to it than that. McCullough's "review" reminded me of another criticism of the game by author and talk-show host Cooper Lawrence:
Notice how Lawrence admits to never having had played the game, yet that doesn't stop her from making assumptions (which in turn makes an ass out of her and, well, her) about how the game's protagonist is a man (you can choose your sex) and on how the game treats the female characters. Videogamers, observing her wisdom, reviewed her book on Amazon in a simmilar manner.
BTW, don't forget to LOL at the guy who openly admits to playing Princess Enchanted Brides, and the chick who wonders why the game didn't receive an "AO" rating (which is meant to keep people under the age of 18 from purchasing it) instead of its "M" rating (which is meant to keep people under the age of 18 from purchasing it)** and then goes on to pine for the long-lost days of "Atari and pinball and Pac-Man". Especially LOL at the guy at FOX who decided it would be a good idea to allow the most game-illiterate pundits ever to ask the question "where's the 'A' button?" to comment on a videogame-related story.
Anyway, back to what I was saying: The thing about "moral guardians of purity" like McCullough and Lawrence is that they are, well, immoral. When McCullough saw the youtube clips of the sex-scenes, he -as a journalist- could have done more research into it, represented it accurately, and then share his opinion on it. But he didn't, he made stuff up. And Lawrence based her judgement not on direct experience or even information from a credible source, but gossip. She was not speaking as an "expert" on Fox News, she was speaking as a gossip. The words of these two were slander (well, if it's in print it's libel, but you know what I mean).
And the real scary thing is that people actually listen to people who do this. Just toss in a "think of the children" and you got yourself an army of breeders ready to follow you to hell and back. This is what sleazeballs like James Dobson do. This is why you will find people that honestly beleive that gays actively conspire to recruit children and destroy families and that feminism turns women into lesbians (and on the other side of the coin, people who believe that the US gov't was behind 9/11).
Back to the videogame: So you can judge for yourselves, I present the three sex scenes from Mass Effect (NSFW):
- Guy-Shephard and Ashley Williams.
- A lucky private gets to serve "under" Commander Lady-Shephard.
- Yes, even the inter-species lesbian sex is vanilla.
*Poem parody of the intro song to The Angry Video-Game Nerd.
**EDIT: My bad, turns out an M-rated game is for 17+.