Conservative Site Charges “Explicitly Graphic Sexual Intercourse” in Mass Effect

The Cybercast News Service, a conservative site, claims in a report published this morning that best-selling Xbox 360 title Mass Effect contains “explicitly graphic sexual intercourse.”

The charge seems to be based on a well-known episode in the game in which there is a romantic liaison between the player’s character and an NPC. However, in our view, it’s quite a stretch to describe what appears onscreen as explicitly graphic sexual intercourse, which generally denotes hard core pornography.

Mass Effect is far from that.

However, a lawyer (no, not that lawyer) quoted in the article specifically refers to the game as porn. From the CNS piece:

The game is “clearly marketed to minors,” Cathy Ruse, a lawyer and senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council, told Cybercast News Service.

“There are cultural implications for feeding porn to kids in this way,” …Ruse said.

In describing the scene, CNS writes:

The playable character can become romantically involved… This storyline culminates in a cutscene in which the characters copulate in full digital nudity.

The article also quotes Bob Waliszewki, described as a media specialist with Focus on the Family. Waliszewki seems especially troubled by the fact that two women are involved in the love scene: 

Unfortunately, Mass Effect… even goes so far as to allow homosexuality to be on par with heterosexuality and heterosexuality outside of its proper context of marriage.

Attorney Ruse also painted the love scene in the game as porn in the legal sense:

Most states have what’s called ‘Harmful to Minors’ laws on the books that say that selling sexual material that a jury would deem ‘patently offensive to minors, which lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.’ … might be prosecutable.

We need state and local prosecutors with spines and backbones to prosecute some of these companies that are violating the law.

Regarding CyberCast News Service, SourceWatch reports that:

Cybercast News Service (CNS) is a subsidiary of the conservative news monitoring group, the Media Research Center (MRC)…

Media Research Center Inc. is a conservative media watchdog group run by president and founder Brent Bozell. The Center… is funded by larger right-wing foundations…

Brent Bozell is also the founder of the Parents Television Council.

Here’s the video. Do you find it to be “explicitly graphic sexual intercourse?”

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