The lights are on
Another violent game has found itself in the cross-hairs of news
media’s scrutiny. This time FoxNews is criticizing Epic Games/People Can
Fly’s blood symphony Bulletstorm. The game sports some of the foulest
language in video games, rewards players for shooting enemies in the
gonads, and contains blood-infused sexual innuendos. All this has
FoxNews hot, bothered, and talking with the experts about Bulletstorm’s
supposed dangers. Publisher Electronic Arts has officially responded to
the article, insisting this is fictitious sci-fi entertainment aimed
towards adults, not children.
Tammy Schachter, vice president of public relations for EA, issued the following response to us:
"As you know, Bulletstorm is a work of entertainment fiction that
takes place in the 26th century on the abandoned fictitious paradise
planet Stygia, where our heroes fight mutants, monsters, flesh-eating
plants and gigantic dinosaurs. Epic, People Can Fly and EA are
avid supporters of the ESA and believe in the Entertainment Software
Ratings Board (ESRB) rating system. We believe in and abide by the
policies put in place by the ESRB.
Bulletstorm is rated M for
Mature for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual
themes, strong language and use of alcohol. The game and its marketing
adhere to all guidelines set forth by the ESRB; both are designed for
people 17+. Never is the game marketed to children.
Can Fly and EA support the right of artists to create works of
entertainment fiction for consumers of all ages, including adults who
enjoy action adventures like Bulletstorm. Much like Tarantino's Kill
Bill or Rodriguez's Sin City, this game is an expression of creative
entertainment for adults."
Despite Bulletstorms bold “M for mature” (17+) rating, FoxNews insists
kids as young nine years old could be exposed to it. One doctor says
that the gore and cussing could “significantly damage” a young mind and
encourage violence during conflict.
Psychologist Carol Lieberman takes it a step further, insisting that
““The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing
out of [sexual] scenes in video games.” No research or statistics are
provided in support of this alleged correlation.
Another accusation tosses Bulletstorm in with other game’s marketing
campaigns which use controversial imagery like sexuality or
hyperviolence to hide the fact that their game really sucks. “Games
without sufficient quality of gameplay -- games that include highly
objectionable violent or sexual content -- often pump up the level of
this kind of content to gain media attention,” says Billy Pidgeon, games
analyst. Generally, it’s poor practice to imply that a game lacks fun
or innovative gameplay without having played it. However, Pidgeon is an
analyst and it’s his job to study trends, even if many gamers who’ve played the demo are very happy with the game.
Melanie Killen, A professor from the University of Maryland, even
insists that Bulletstorm’s marketing campaign is geared toward “children
and young adolescents.” Check out this age-gated, ESRB-stamped promotional video and judge for yourself whether it’s aimed at kids or not.
Finally, Hal Levy of National Youth Rights Association says the game
has been “praised for encouraging innovative thinking. Bulletstorm
involves developing new moves and dispatching of enemies creatively.
Plenty of emotionally unstable adults will play the game and they’ll be
For more on this sensationally violent game, check out Game Informer's Bulletstorm hub, our interview with producer Tanya Jessen, and this new batch of screens.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
I gotta say, this was a great article. Even though you probably disagree entirely with a lot of what Fox news had to say about Bulletstorm, you never once disagreed just for the sake of disagreeing, instead relying on real evidence and Fox's lack of evidence. Great job Tim!
EA should have sent a letter to Fox saying;
Dear Fox News,
Thanks for the free advertising.
Suck my balls,
EA sure is getting bold with their games. Good for them.
Big freaking deal. Fox just wants ratings nothing more. In fact this is Bulletstorm free 15 minutes of fame and not spend a dime. Sure they may lose some sells for those who "Listen" to FoxNews. Though really them bashing on GTA, Mass Effect, and so many top listed games out there with the M rating is stupid. Sure I respect a few new rules on getting a M rated game but over all at the end it is the choice of the parent. Once it leaves the store. It is not their problem. After all we don't live in a commie nation. We buy. We own. We don't share. Right??
Besides those cases that state that a video game made them do their stupid things. They already had a mental problem. Really no one will jack a car like they do in GTA...it is pretty much unthinkably stupid.
So over all whatever the news says about video games is nothing more they have nothing better to report. I mean the world is going to hell and yet. It is not worth reporting. I mean I bet Fox won't even report if a nuke went off in the Middle East and be bashing on oh...I don't know My Little Ponies The Video Game.
Then again...maybe not but they really don't know how to find a good story. It is all about ratings and just by posting this. They get ratings. Most not good but people listen and read.
Good ol' Fox... always good for a laugh.
Aw, no funny tags. You disappoint me :p
Way to represent MD Ms. Killen. As if this state didn't look like a mix of hyperviolence and over-the-top, anal-retentive, watchdogism already, you had to combine the two issues. Now I need Bulletstorm to make me forget all this.
thats why i hate it when people say that M games corrupt kids. they're not supposed to be playing M RATED games.
Fox News is back to it's old tricks, huh? I thought maybe they'd learn to stop being such a joke, but guess not.
They at fox news are just tv trolls. They smashed bioware about mass effect when one of bioware's first games was MDK ( murder, death, kill) they don't know what they're talking about and they are afraid of their lack of knowledge .
this is the crap that just pisses me off when i hear about, thats why i dont listen/watch the news when they report this ***
I remember hearing Fox actually say once that playing beer pong gives you herpes when it was just a story on the Onion, and I don't think they ever corrected that. I'm tired of Fox calling in psychologists when they could just call in someone from IGN since Fox's parent company News Corp owns them both.
BTW, if Fox thinks Bulletstorm is bad, wait until Duke Nukem Forever comes out.
If we should be worried about our children's minds being polluted, we should take FoxNews off of the airways. They're nothing but hypocrites and fearmongerers, and I feel truly sorry for the one or two good and honest journalists working there whose reputations are spoiled because of their association with those scumbags. There's a line in the song "Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands" by Elliott Smith that I think FoxNews should take a look at: "F*cking oughta stay the hell away from things you know nothing about." They need to be kicked to the curb for misleading the American populace and for filling our minds with facts that they've twisted to serve their own agendas.
Did they have someone laugh at the question of whether or not they actually played the game again? Like that lady and Mass Effect?
The media are just trying to use fictional horror stories to get ratings. They do it all the time.
First off : does FOX News never have anything better to do than bash video games with unsupported research?
Second: Did FOX ever consider that alcohol and other drugs aren't intended for minors either, yet they still get their hands on it? It's just a fact of life. There is no 100% way to keep items intended for a certain age group away from those who are not meant to use them.