Conservative Site Charges "Explicitly Graphic Sexual Intercourse" in Mass Effect

January 11, 2008 -

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?"





Comments

Dear Cathy Ruse:

For your complete and utterly ridiculous ignorance, I suggest you be quiet, take a look at the facts, and go back to whatever decrepit hole you came out of.


1. This game is rated MATURE. not TEEN, not EVERYONE, MATURE. that means if your not 17 your NOT getting this game.

2. The scene in question is not pornography to such a point it makes me wonder do you get off when a gentleman asks you to dance or something of that level.

3. How can it be marketed to kids when the commercials only come on at night.

4. How can you say this lacks artistic value when it`s obvious just how much work went into it. you can`t

[...] This is hilarious. A conservative Web site has attacked BioWare’s Mass Effect for its sex scenes. While you could attack them for being cynical marketing ploys that were disappointing and bland in execution, those interviewed by the Cybercast News Network actually attack it for being "explicitly graphic." Yes, apparently a shot of a bit of arse is now sexually explicit material. In other news, a woman got arrested for exposing her bare leg in public! More at eleven. [...]

Ugh, my head hurts...

Uggghhhhh... *moans* I slammed my head on the desk every time I came across bullshit in this article.

1. The game is “clearly marketed to minors”

Ah yes, the first *facedesk* moment. I wonder where people get this idea from, that games like this is marketed towards children. Maybe it's the fact that these people are still in the 80's where the majority of gamers were probably around 10 years old. Ah, too bad times have changed and the average gamer is much...much older now...

Nevertheless, I have never seen a freakin' ad directed towards children. Y'know like marketing strategies used by tobacco companies to attract children...

“There are cultural implications for feeding porn to kids in this way”

The second facedesk. Psh, The bloody internet feeds porn to children much easier than a game.

...And that's for parents who doesn't use any sort of filtering system on their computer.

"This storyline culminates in a cutscene in which the characters copulate in full digital nudity"

Third facedesk moment. It's funny when they say it, they almost make it sound like a porno flick when the most graphic thing seen was an ass... [Personal opinion warning] Seriously, what is up with people worrying about nudity anyway, it IS our natural bodies after all, I see no big deal. Almost like the same thing with the word "fuck" why is that word really bad? But I digress...

"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."

A really hard, fourth facedesk...

What the hell? This sounds so anti-gay right here. I'm personally 98% straight (Hm? The other two percent? Well, everyone has a bit of gay in them, don't deny it) but I am honestly of people who directly/indirectly bash on people just because they like those of the same gender. Grow up...

"Most states have ... ‘Harmful to Minors’ laws ... 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."

Oh my head hurts...

Honestly...I would love to know what do snotty little kids have to do with this. Mass Effect is not being marketed towards children, it's a game for people who are 17+... people like ME. Prosecute who? Bioware? Retailers? Psh, piss off... There's no marketing campaings going around telling children to buy the game. It's not like the world is going to end because 12 year old Timmy saw some digital ass for 2 seconds.

Hell, it's not even hardcore sex. Some "porn" that was. I wasn't the least bit aroused. Come back to me when some porn company is going around selling their wares to children.






*blood trickles down forehead*

Oh shit...

@Mister Angry

“This storyline culminates in a cutscene in which the characters copulate in full digital nudity”

I agree on the face desk for that one 112%. I mean the whole 'save the universe and all life as we know it from the god-like, mind controlling alien machines' is only a sub-plot to these people?

Man oh man, JT must be using the Dark Side of the force to puppet this group around or something...

Full graphic nudity? I just got this game, I'm glad I have something rewarding to work towards.

Also, I'm glad my work blocked the movie, I'm trying to avoid spoilers. Going Infiltrator/Paragon for my first play through.

I would like to question the "clearly marketted towards minors." It's all well and good to make that claim... but can he back it up with anything. Why does he feel that the game was marketted to minors?

If you look at it one way, you could say the magazine Jugs is clearly marketted to hungry toddlers.

M rated, hard to play, and an in-depth storyline about intergalactic politics and warfare =/= "marketed to children"

For the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodly appendage.. What the hell are these people on? Dot hey consider everyone under the age of 17 a child? Is there no reasonable medium for these people because it seems like they only see in black and white.

Yes, a brief flash of blue alien girl ass is SLIGHTLY indecent. There are no exposed genitals, no solid shots of the scene, nothing that really constitutes pornography.

The only people I pity more than the people who thought this up are the people who support them. Oh, yes, let's condemn something to the fiery pits of hell with the full power of the American Legal system because it offends our out-dated and overly sensitive hardcore Christian beliefs!

wow...everyone's trying to make a name against video games these days. well i'm of the opinion, that your opinion just doesn't matter. Mass Effect ftw! lol

See, This is the kinda crap I'm talking about. Bioware should sue them for slander and defmation right the heck now. Make an example of these imbeciles.

I tell you people over and over and over again that if the industry wants this crap to stop it has to start getting mean with these people and fight back. Win or lose, having to fight court battles every time you lie or misrepresent something about games would keep the MSM honest and put people like jack in there place.

You can all think i'm crazy, but stories like this just prove i'm right.

Anybody want me to mock them to their face (or over the phone) on a nationally syndicated radio show for a bit? They seem desperate for attention (judging by their PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MEDIA OH GOD CLICK HERE PLEASE link at the bottom of the article), and I'll make sure to not give them the benefit of ID'ing their group.

@ David

That only proves them right, you know.

I think I agree with Yuki in that Bioware, and the industry in general should slap these guys with anti-defamation suits because that's exactly what they are doing when they run these lie filled farces.

@ ChrowX

True, it was slightly indecent to show blue alien butt, however, gotta admit that she does have a rather cute butt at that. Once you go blue, and all that nonsense...

Why did they lie? I wanted to see the pussy!

You have got to be kidding me. These people seriously need to remove their heads from their asses. There's absolutely NOTHING explicit about that scene. Honestly, when and how is this sort of bullshit going to stop?

@Gryphon
Proves them right how? This isn't about being right or wrong, this is about making a big enough ass of myself to drag them down to my level. You lead them in to make the most insane anti-whatever comments or otherwise make them look even more like the clowns they are then they can by their own hand.
They won't succeed or lose because of my existence, but those who know better can still laugh at them more. And we all win for that.

I just thought of a particularly appropriate irony in this case: It is obvious what is going on in the scene but details aren't lingered upon. The explicit sex in the scene is entirely implicit.

This is just another case of people with way too much time on their hands. Why don't we try and feed the hungry? Or try ending wars or heck even stop polluting our planet. If the game says rated "M" for mature, that doesn't mean for minors. Get a life!!

It prove them right that we, as gamers, are nothing more than loud mouth, immature ruffians who sink to the level of bullies when possibly threated about the deluded ratings of some ultra-wacko group.

Then again, being Paragon/Renegade all depends on choices, doesn't it?

It is a shame to see someone try to ruin the image of Mass Effect. It is truly an amazing game.

@Gryphon
Ah, you seem to think they give a damn if they're "accurate". They don't. They're all as fake as when The Undertaker choke-slams soandso or when Superman flies through the skies of Metropolis. They don't believe in what they spew, they only believe it's the most profitable thing for them to say to reach their demographic.

dude, most games are rated m for what you CAN do, but in the truth most people who play those games don't actually do that kind of thing. in gta you can kill pedestrians, but its not required.

secondly, how the hell do we know if that alien is female?

[...] Source: gamepolitics.com [...]

Heres the thing, fantastical anti-video game lawyers. Mass Effect was rated by this little board call the ESRB. They generally rate and rank and give an age label to every commercial video game released. Now, this board happened to give Mass Effect an M rating; for ages 17 and up.

Now to say that the game is marketed to minors is stupid. I've seen the ads, and they are genralized and toned-back, but clearly not for any specific age-range. You can't complain in any fashon about this game's single sex scene, be it hetero or homosexual, because the game is clearly rated for the mature crowd, and therefore should not be in the hands of minors in the first place.

And why focus on Mass Effect in the first place? Plenty of M or even less rated games have had sexual content, even going as far as to have a "graphic" sex scene. The game Mafia comes to mind, with a sex scene almost exactly like that of Mass Effect. There is some nudity, yes, and a bed; but the actual intercourse is only implied, or at most subtly touched upon.

If we aren't allowed to have any sex in any video game, even if the game is rated appropriately, then why not just go ahead and mandate some law to prevent it? Oh wait, I know! Because that would make no sense. Books, TV shows, and Movies are allowed sexual content; so why not video games? The scene in question takes place in a cutscene only; it isn't as if you control the character during the process, so how is it any different from a movie? Leave games alone, FFS...

By the way, that alien in question is not even female. Her species is asexual; she just has a typically female appearance, and thus is assumed female. Of course, you'd have to have actually played the game to know this...

i have nothing against sexuality. without it, none of us would be here.

Why do all politicans think that sex is evil?

Bear in mind that "nudity" pretty much means anything less than a burqa to the loony Family Research Council types. As such, a blue, alien butt cheek kind of is "full digital nudity" to them.

thank you To Whom It Concerns

i reccomend googling the phrase " why cant i won a canadian" its fairly self explanitory as to why im atheist..

own , not won srry

What a load of old twaddle.I think Conservative soccer marms need to get a life instead of trying to ruin everyone elses enjoyment. Sexual Scene, Dear god the magazines or dvds hidden in your husbands garage are far worse.

The same people ask why most of the world hate us? Well wake up to crap like this. I recently went to live in the UAE and they are a more tollerant people than the so called 1st world.

I've seen more explicit sexual content in Disney films.

yeah, wasn't there that one picture of a naked lady in a frame of the rescuers?

ps. im not being sarcastic..

Thats it......... that was what all the fuss was about.

...............okay then, well at least I have the 10 achievement points to look forward to for doing it.......

@koku

I've heard that animators hid some stuff in one disney film, but only in a couple of separated frames, so watching it normally it's impossible to see. But if you have equipment that lets you find a particular frame of a movie, there it is. Is that what you're referring to?

I always wondered why no one ever considered this when the whole "Hot coffee" thing went down. Both were cases where a movie/game had hidden content that couldn't be seen normally but required know-how and possibly special equipment, but considering that GTA was already rated M17+, while the Disney move was rated G I believe, I think the Disney movie would have been a bigger issue. Plus, while the GTA scene's impossible to access normally, I believe there was a slight chance you might see the naked lady in the Disney movie if you happened to pause it around the right time and your VCR picked that frame, though the chances of that would be very slim.

I think the stupidity in that article may have given me an aneurysm. Seriously not only is this article insulting, condescending and has undertones of paranoia its also really biased.
All biased aside it would help if this writer could actually write it would also help if his thoughts were coherent and in any form of order. This writers thought process astounds me, instead of going to any form of actual expert they turn to a lawyer? (Its not He who shall not be named but it sounds like they are on the same bandwagon)
Also the fact that they turned to Focus on the Family who are one of the most conservative family Christian groups out there speaks volumes. Hell James Dobson the head of focus on the family accused Spongebob Squarepants of trying to spread rampant Homosexuality. Yeah cause we all know that Spongebob is gay...................Oh wait I'm wasting sarcasm.
Also the little tidbit at the end where they claim to have contacted the ESA but they didn't reply before press time, thats an old trick you call them five minutes before they go to press makes it seems as if ESA is incompetent. Oh and I just have to comment on this quote which just screams "Think of the Children!"
-"in many cases, where parents are less involved and oblivious to the world of entertainment these days, an 'M' rating is almost a badge of endorsement."- I do believe that this is true, most parents are so oblivious to all that goes on in their child's lives that if anything bad happens they have a viable scapegoat /Sarcasm.

Just checked, and yah, the Rescuers is the film I was thinking of. 2 frames had a topless woman in it.

@mad_scientist

point made

but gta was more hyped about than the rescuers..

lets not forget that in the sixties, religious resistance to sex- ed caused an epidemic of std's

What I hate about a lot of conservatives nowadays is that they put their religion before their reason. I'm hella conservative, but not religious, and know how to make coherant thoughts and explain arguements (well, usually)

/v/ was here.

explicit my arse there were no titties

this game is rated M for Minor

For some reason the music slightly reminded me of hitman.

Anyway I think the makers of Mass Effect should sue for slander.

Maybe that's why the game has an "M" rating for mature. And in the rating box on the cover the publisher listed "Partial nudity" and "Sexual themes." I guess that's not enough of a heads-up. I've seen far worse than this on prime time television, but I guess since TV has been around a while we need something new to complain about.

Oh and I almost forgot, God of War is worse than this.

@ David Durica

Seriously, this is what I hate about people. They spew lies and bullshit to make themselves look good in front of people. I hate it so much! People are so damn phony, it's ridiculous...

...Hmph, what I just said reminds me of Holden Caulfield.

...

Yeah! Gamers *CAN* read. Amazing, isn't it?


@ Mad_Scientist

I never actually thought about that. The hidden minigame in GTA compared to the pictures in the Rescuers. *sigh* Realizations like this truly confirms my beliefs of people just bagging on games just to make themselves look better. It's all a fad, just like when Rock 'n' Roll was EVIL.

Bioware should countersue for the illegal use and broadcast of copywriten material. I doubt they gave these yahoos the right to display this sceen on this website.

...And as people here have mentioned. I seriously would love to see the game industry fight back against this garbage. The slander needs to stop...

In their opinion simply because it's a video game it's being marketed to children.

@teh Mommy

On behalf of everyone here I would like to apologize for what was said earlier. Some people here just have knee-jerk reactions to this stuff (which is odd seing as how we've heard this kind of thing before).

@Teh Mommy

sounds like a good system you've got there, actually. i know i used to run interference for games my little brother tried to play. now instead of advising my parents on what isn't appropriate for him, i can just talk with him about games we enjoy. (still pushing him to get Rock band so we can jam).

but you aren't Jane Everymom, you're more up to date and well informed (even if just by proxy of your other children) as to how to raise your child. that said, you are exactly the kind of person that Yee, Lieberman and Clinton hate.

Gotta love the old American way of thinking.....

Nudity and sex in any context of any kind is porn.

Why bother even reporting crap like this? The guys obviously another braindead anti-games guy.
 
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