Gamers Push Back Against Clueless Conservative

January 16, 2008 -
Conservative pundit Kevin McCullough absorbed one of life's harsh lessons this week:
If you want to condemn, you'd better be right.

McCullough, who savaged Mass Effect with some of the most outrageous nonsense we've ever heard in relation to video games, further raised the ire of the gamer community by following up with nasty generalizations about those who play:
The Gamer-Nerd universe exploded in anger over the tone and a couple of the specifics of my most recent column... If the few who wrote me are indicative of the rest of the gaming universe, we know at least they have passion - for their toy-boxes...

Look, if the Gamer-Nerds need their pervy outlets to find true release and inner peace - then make them drive to the outskirts of town and be forced to frequent those places that no one wants in the community to get them...

The inevitable backlash from the gaming community has popped up on places like Kotaku and in a variety of refutations of McCullough's off-the-wall premise, including this one on GamerDad. And, of course, in individual comments to McCullough's rants.

Penny Arcade, however, may have the most insightful take on what McCullough is up to.

Comments

Penny Arcade, however, may have the most insightful take on what McCullough is up to.

If the guy is banking on more traffic to his site, why are people linking to it?

As long as gamers yell at the guy he will continue to insult and rant about it. Sounds like he really likes the attention.

Ironic combination of the first and third topics on his last radio show:

Back on the air this afternoon - 2pm EST. One Hour ONLY!

SOME CULTURE:
GamerNerds from X-box Universe are screaming for my head, because I object to a game that features alien, lesbian, hetero sex - and is being played by 15 year olds! Here's their chance to dialogue about it - starting at the top of the show 2pm: (347)205-9765. (Free call on most cell phones. And in NYC metro area!)

SOME POLITICS:
Will Mitt bring home his first win in Michigan tonight, politicos - let's talk about what a Romney win will mean to the race.

SOME LIFE:
The average human being will lie 88,000 times in their lives, here's an interesting thought - who is the one person in your life that you believe would NEVER lie to you - and why...?

BONUS ROUND:
Manboobs make the case against socialized medicine!

It's not talk-radio without you!
Spread the word - and be by the computer at 2pm EST!

I approve of the apology for some of his remarks, and am glad of it.

I don't think it'll be all that difficult to discredit someone who has a disturbing number of articals with headings like: Abercrombie & Fitch to your kids: Group sex now!

Where he then go on to explain that he found "Forty-five specific portrayals of sexual imagery in the first *120 pages*" (note my emphasis). And who seems deathly afraid that the "diabolical" liberal agenda "disdains" gays and is secretly outing them over the internet (which doesn't sound *at all* like someone's afraid of being outed, nope). I'm sure that some anonymous goons *cough cough* could find more than I coud though (particularly since I just searched google for about two minutes).

Oh, and Kevin honey, don't worry about Us, if you get outed We wont force you to carry around your membership card or attend any of the meetings. ;P

Of coruse that's all seperate from the fact that the Asari do piss me off. I mean seriously Bioware, you could have at least *tried* not to make them an obvious fanservice species.

i just hope ppl dont keep insulting him now,


this is probably the best we are going to get even if it may be half arsed.


if ppl continue to attack and insult, thats just what he wants and he can say ' i offered an olive branch but these gamers are obsessed with conflict and degredation'

@NovaBlack :
"i just hope ppl dont keep insulting him now"

I was about to say the same thing.

As I've said on GP's forum : "forgive, but don't forget".

I would just like to say, on behalf of conservatives, to not let ONE of us who is factually incorrect and wrong on a certain situation ruin your overall view of conservatism.

The guy obviously didn't do his homework and went out and made a jackass of himself. However, I don't think the current trend of labeling conservatives overall in this issue is right or any better.

Left on Mcculaughs site;

Hey Mccullaugh,

After reading you article on Mass Effect I felt embarrassed for you. You obviously do not understand the gaming industy. They have a system in place to help parents make decisions on what types of games that they should let their children play (ESRB). Mass Effect has a rating of "M" for Mature audiences. This means that children under the age of 17 are not the recomended audience. Now, what you propose is that we take parental control out of the hands of parents and put it into the hands of the government/corperations and let them make the decisions that parents should be making. This is not the solution. If you personaly know of a fifteen year old playing this game, maybe you should talk to the parents of this child and see why they feel that this is ok. Why don't you spend your time and resources to be the number one spokes person for children who smoke since tobacco is way more serious to a young persons health then video games will ever be?

@Aurvant :

Don't worry about this. We know for a long time that positions concerning video games are out of the Left vs. Right opposition. First, Leland Yee, Hillary Clinton and Roy Burrell are democrats (should I add Joe Lieberman ?). Second, while Bill O'Reilly loathes and despises games, gamers and IPods alike, Sean Hannity loves video games, and Rush Limbaugh agreed not to blame them too easily.

Although, unfortunately, credibility is no longer the journalistic requirement it once was, Mr. McCullough may want to put a little more "oomph" to his back-pedal, if he really cares to live this one down.

Kind of obvious, I'm pretty sure I said that in the first story about this guy and someone else probably said it before me.

Well there is always a bit of journalistic "spin" in articles these days. But this article went far beyond just spinning things. The claims that were made, and the descriptions provided make it clear that he has not researched his topic. He's formed an opinion based on word of mouth, and equilly inaccurate reports about mass effect's "Sex Scenes".

At which point, when you make accusations in a public forum which were not fact checked and known quite honestly blatant lies. I believe that's what one would call slander.

I believe that’s what one would call slander.

As J. Jonah Jameson once said, "Is not! Slander is spoken! In print, it's libel."

:p

Just another bump from a conservative gamer who's not an idiot fascist. Be careful with the pigeon-holing.

@grombar

Just as good :)

I just resent being called a 'gamer-nerd' by a Christian conservative radical nutjob.

Like I said in a previous topic... He is a retart. He walks the line with Ann Coulter, in fact he would make her proud.

(Or I said something along those lines.)

Many have supposed that Jack Thompson was a unique phenomenon, unable to be replaced. That no god would allow more than one of him to exist.

This man is out to prove them wrong.

@ Benji

That right there hits the nail on the head of why I really hate people like McCullogh, JT and all those guys. It's not that they hate or don't understand video game, it's that willful ignorance and moral arrogance I can't stand. That sense of superiority that believes that they're right and everyone else is wrong, and that if you think differently from them or live your life in a way other than whatever they define as "normal," you are a deviant and a threat to public safety and the nation.

All my life it seems that whatever I've liked has been on the recieving end of some sort of criticism and attack; whether it was Heavy Metal music, comics, cartoons, Sci-Fi, Horror or even video games. I'm also in an open and non-mongmamous relationship. If these people had their way, I'd be at the very least locked-up and/or expelled from the country, at worst tortured and executed.

It's amazing the level of blind ignorance and intolerance exhibited by these peole, and I have to wonder what it is that makes them so convinced their way of thiking is right and so unwilling to listen to or consider alternative points of view to the point where they have to insult or belittle others? It's just a mystery of human nature I do not understand.

This is NOT a way to respond to criticism that you deserve, Mr McCollough. Your critique of Mass Effect is nothing short of lies and defamation.

I don't buy his piss-poor apology. Notice how he only apologized for a few of the factual errors in his original article. Anything that could be construed as opinion, even the video clip's level of raunchiness, he completely ignored.

In the wake of such a huge response, he was forced to check his facts and he found out how wrong he was. He had no choice but to make some retractions. It doesn't change the fact that he's still a prejudiced prick.

EZK: It was obviously a joke so I will let you slide with the offending comment removed and a warning.

It is as the PA guys said though, this guy just jumped on the Thompson bandwagon and it worked. You have to understand that Thompson has allowed people like McCollough to exsist because of the attention that you can bring in from mocking video games. It's like if I wrote a negative piece about goth's going to anime conventions, it would piss off that group of people. We are a generation based around video games and technology, and people like Thompson and McCollough know that all they have to do is simply insult our generation and we will rush to its defense because we don't find anything wrong with our generation, we grew up with sex and violence in our media, where our parents and grandparents did not. It is a changing of times and a changing of minds, and each generation no doubt battles the former and latter every time.

So, this guy wants to be another Ann Coulter. Nice.

Of course, his last line of 'rebuttal' sums things up wonderfully:

"I will always speak up!"

Yes, Mr. McCullough. You see, the way free speech works, and that includes video games, even the village idiot, such as yourself, gets to have his say.

One can only hope the voices of reason are enough to drown you out.

He just further cemented my belief that he beat up nerds in school and thinks they're inferior to jocks.

His argument fails automatically in that he won't step out of his own fucking blog to back it up. His blog where he can be as scathing as he wants without backlash. He basically does the equivalent of calling a bunch of gang members pansies from his car, then driving away REALLY fast. Hell ,can't even call him a man as a man at least can or will admit to mistakes.

I wonder how many of the well written emails vanished.

Another bump from a conservative (and Christian) games who does not like being stereotyped with people like McCollough. I certainly can't speak for all Christians, but I also hang out on some Christian boards. There are plenty of gamers and most people don't have a problem with stuff like this. This guy is as much of a speaker for Christians as Charles Manson is for Californians. He is just some obnoxious blowhard like Ann Coulter. Every group/orginization has their wacko fringe.

Oops...I meant gamer, not 'games'.

Hey, Hayabusa:

Even as a "joke," threatening to rape his daughter is out of line.

This McCollough guy is still insisting that game playing removes kids from society. He needs to listen to Wil Wheaton's speech from the PAX '07 about how gaming is not some evil anti-social menace to society. Gaming is an inherently social experience, whether it be table-top gaming, Guitar Hero or Rock Band in someone's dorm room, frag-fests in UT2k-whatever or TF2, or MMO dungeon crawls in WoW.

So, do we have a new JT?

Since he's not even bothering to move off of the 'net (to my knowledge), he might just be a little better for us, not to mention easier to monitor without extensive knowledge of the court system.

Just as I was about to say "At least he's not like JT, who never apologizes", I'm afraid he's just going to have to try again.

@Shrike:

Somehow I doubt it... he's only got problems with this one game, half of which is all in his head it seems.

It appears that this may not have been the first instance of distortion by Mr. McCollough:

"Old Hickory's Weblog
Public Journal
October 2003 ArchiveWednesday, October 15, 2003
5:50:00 PM EDT Ed Asner Maybe Not a Stalinist

The World Net Daily columnist who suggested that actor Ed Asner had come out as a Stalinist has made a retraction. I mentioned this in an earlier post.

The columnist, Kevin McCullough has provided this transcript of the exchange:

'If you could portray an historical biography and you had an unlimited budget, unlimited support cast and everything you could ask for, who would it be?'

Asner: 'Well, you know something, they've played Hitler, nobody has ever really touched Stalin, it just occurred to me. It's not because I am a liberal or anything like that. Stalin is one big damn mystery, I wonder why nobody has tried it? Many people, you know, speak of the fact that he killed more people than Hitler - why does nobody touch him? It's strange. So, and he was about my size, my height - with a wig I probably could do it.'

So, it appears from this that Asner was expressing the idea that Stalin would be a challenging character to portray."

@DarkTetsuya

Half of it, seems more like 99% of it is in his head.

[...] Inutile de préciser que ce que j’ai dit à propos de Cathy Ruse s’applique parfaitement à l’article de McCullough. Et encore une fois, GamePolitics a été prompt à répondre. Mais dans le cas de McCullough, les choses ne se sont pas arrêtées là. En effet, le site hébergeant son article permet de déposer des commentaires, et inutile de dire que les joueurs ne s’en sont pas privés ! Ils sont arrivés par centaine, nombre d’entre eux étant argumentés et réfléchis, certains étant plus injurieux (mais bon, peut-on leur reprocher de traiter de con quelqu’un qui a montré qu’il l’était ?), mais la plupart, bien que virulents, sont restés dans un registre courtois. On peut imaginer que McCullough a été surpris par l’ampleur de la réaction, qu’il a d’abord tenté de minimiser en l’attribuant à une bande de “libertariens”, amalgamés pour l’occasion à des supporters de Ron Paul. Les choses ne se calmant pas (c’est peu de le dire), il a essayé de discréditer ces détracteurs en les assimilant à une bande de “gamer-nerds”, et en isolant un email d’insultes et de menaces qu’il a reçu (car même si ce genre de chose est inexcusable, il était prévisible qu’il en reçoive) afin de la généraliser à l’ensemble de ses contradicteurs. Il a quand même essayé de leur répondre point par point… juste pour dire qu’ils ne faisaient que pinailler pour deux ou trois petites erreurs. Entre temps, la polémique a fait le tour des sites de jeux vidéo. [...]

@JackDon'tKnowJack

Considering the tone of the anti-BioShock post he wrote, and then the attack on gamers after that, I'd say the guy has a number of serious issues, and that he has done this kind of thing before doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

And:

"By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/6/2004

The recent report by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman detailing misinformation being taught to students in abstinence-only sex education program drew a lot of attacks on the ConWeb, though none on the substance of the study itself.

A Dec. 2 CNSNews.com story provides response by conservatives to the report -- but all of them attack Waxman personally as "a vocal proponent of more federal dollars being spent on condom-distribution programs" and "the same individual that has been defending the federal funding of flirting classes," not addressing what's actually in the report.

WorldNetDaily columnist Kevin McCullough goes a step further in a Dec. 3 column, claiming that some of what was cited in the report as misinformation was actually true.

'It seems some of the 'objectionable facts' that Waxman's 'investigators' spent time focusing on were whether or not women can become sterile from an abortion, whether or not condom failure rates are 15 percent or 30 percent, and whether or not it is possible for a teen to become pregnant through mutual masturbation,' McCullough wrote. All of these facts are easily provable ...'

Getting pregnant through masturbation is a 'fact'? Despite his claim that this is 'easily provable,' McCullough doesn't. And that was the one item for which we'd love to see proof."

@Xlorep DarkHelm:

I'm begining to suspect that this guy served an apprentince under Jack. Or stole Jack's play-book for his own use.

@Steve S
@JackDon'tKnowJack

Kevin's book was apparently criticized for being an "Anne Coulter Lite" over at Amazon.com

He's no apprentice - he's just a wannabe.

@JackDon'tKnowJack

The play-book is the bible...and a healthy dose of unreasonable fire-n-brimstone zealotry.

@Trevor

but wasn't Mass Effect rated M due to the violence content? i was under that impression.

@ Grombar

That wasn't really an apology except in the most back-handed manner possible.

He didn't correct the vast majority of the blatant lies he made in the original article.

He didn't apologize for any of the stereotypes he so broadly leveled at the gaming community.

He brought up the FTC study about underage purchases, voluntarily! And he didn't point out that video games are doing better than music AND movies.

No, this guy is a glory-seeking, remorseless asshat. I agree with PA (big surprise), we've said our piece, time to /ignore him and let obscurity swallow him back up.

@lumi:

Indeed.

So, how's the weather? :P

@lumi

Not an apology so much as an "I'm sorry, but I'm still right.

Here's the deal. McCullough is a conservative pundit who is fashioning himself in the Ann Coulter mold and is currently trying to sell a book. I know a lot of the liberal folks hate Coulter, but here's a difference between McCullough and Coulter:

Coulter actually does her research!

You can disagree with Coulter's conclusions all you want. You can get angry at the bile and invective she throws around. But at least she puts some effort into researching her material.

McCullough, on the other hand, throws crap around with all the bile and invective that Coulter uses without the benefit of fact checking. He's got his 5 minutes of fame on the intertubes to try to sell his book, and he's picking on the "gamer nerds" in hopes of rallying his "meatheads" (this is what he calls his "believers" similar to Limbaugh's "Dittoheads").

I've made it no secret that I am a conservative Republican. I am proud of this.

But McCullough is nothing short of an irresponsible douchebag pandering to the lowest common denominator to sell a few extra books. With all of this added attention he'll probably be able to start eating at TGI Friday's instead of Arby's. Congratulations, Mr. McCullough, you win the internets.

Oh, and if I were Bioware, I'd pound him down in court for libel.

"Meatheads," indeed.

I feel sorry for his "gamer friends" that were his sources for some of this tirade. The way I see it, there's a few possibilites for describing his relationship with him...

1) They don't exist.

2) They exist, and he revealed his secret hatred for their "perverted" ways, and their love of "rape" simulator games.

3) They exist, never played it, and now get to be used as his scapegoat to throw to the wolves.

Either way, if they exist, he just denigrated and insulted in front of the world. Some "friend" he is...

@Conejo,

No, if it was then it wouldn't be rated 12 in UK. Tey have a lower tolerance for violence than we do.

"Getting pregnant through masturbation is a ‘fact’? Despite his claim that this is ‘easily provable,’ McCullough doesn’t. And that was the one item for which we’d love to see proof.”"


The more I read the more I think that this man doesn't even have an elementary school level of knowledge about sex. His insistence of calling the Mass Effect scene a "sex scene" proves this.

McCullough bares a striking resemblance to the king of all sensationalist idiots, Jack Thompson. He almost seems as though he's related to J.T in some way or another. His blatant disregard for the truth and lack of understanding of the video game medium only forces the world to laugh at him. I mean who in their right mind would take this guy seriously? We all know his claims are dead wrong in absolute and that's that. His stupidity and ignorance is the equivalent of a mental patient standing in the middle of a street trying to convince everybody in the neighbourhood that the Earth is flat. Just look at the way he writes; everything that comes out of his mouth wreaks of raw ignorance and sensationalism. He's like a parody of Bill O' Reilly and Foxnews.

The material he says is in the game just isn't there, it's not debatable. People shouldn't even bother getting worked up about it.

My word! He actually listens! That's fantastic!

If only everyone could be so reasonable while sticking to their basic principles.

On further reflection and a more careful read... I'd like my previous comment stricken from the site. K thx.

It's a start. We still need to get the truth out, but it's much harder for game supporters because of our ... more zealous (death/rape threat posting) members and the perception that we're going to lie to protect our rights to hand Billy Everypreteen games where you either butcher or have sex with anything that moves.

McCoullough is a dink, but at least he can be bent towards more truth than he typically uses.
 
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