Cooper Lawrence: "I Misspoke" about Mass Effect

January 26, 2008 -
The pop psychologist and author who so enraged the gaming community this week with her condescending attitude and false characterizations of BioWare's Mass Effect has 'fessed up to the New York Times.

Cooper Lawrence made her comments to the NYT's Seth Schiesel, who writes of the gaming community's intense reaction to Lawrence's Monday appearance on Fox News' Live Desk. From the article:
The Internet hath no fury like a gamer scorned...

Bound by global message boards, blogs, chat rooms and of course the games themselves, gamers are perhaps the single most intense subculture on the Internet — fiercely protective of their pastime and at ease with the byways of cyberspace...

Irate gamers have flooded the page on selling Ms. Lawrence’s most recent book, “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Overachiever,” sending its user-generated rating into oblivion... Many of the reviewers admit that they have not read Ms. Lawrence’s book.

Lawrence told Schiesel:
I recognize that I misspoke. I really regret saying that, and now that I’ve seen the game and seen the sex scenes it’s kind of a joke.

Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it’s like pornography. But it’s not like pornography. I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit.

Meanwhile, BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka told Schiesel:
We’re hurt. We believe in video games as an art form, and on behalf of the 120 people who poured their blood and tears into this game over three years, we’re just really hurt that someone would misrepresent the game without even playing it. All we can hope for is that people who actually play our games will see the truth.

GP: We're delighted to see that Cooper Lawrence has come clean. But we'd also like to know exactly how the Mass Effect beat-down was orchestrated by Fox News. As GamePolitics demonstrated in an earlier case regarding Halo 3, another pyschologist was briefed on what to say just before air time (see: How Fox Morning Show Sensationalized the Halo-in-Church Issue). Did something similar take place in this case?

So far we've received no answers to three questions we posed to Lawrence earlier this week:

1.) Did Fox News brief you on the game, and to what extent?

2.) Were you instructed by Fox News to adopt a position critical of the game for the program?

3.) What study from the University of Maryland are you referring to in your comments?


Re: Cooper Lawrence: "I Misspoke" about Mass Effect

i just found it funny that a little less than 3 mins on foxnews probably just ruined her career. Her apology was probably out of desparity.

Re: Cooper Lawrence: "I Misspoke" about Mass Effect

People like you Cooper, do not deserve the freedom of expression. You are an ignorant cocky lady who has put thousands to shame and not one sorry leaves your lips, We as a comunity are deeply upset. If your book's sales had not plummited this sham of an "Appology" would have never existed. Lawrence, Fox News, you have made many enemies and this will not make anyone thinmk differently of you!

Re: Cooper Lawrence: "I Misspoke" about Mass Effect

Well, I'm glad she "regretted it" but as has been said, by flaming her, what are we gonna acheive? More bad image on an already thougholy smeared view. If someone else just out of frustration began spewing all over your book about games, just because they didn't like the way you dressed, how would you feel? Did any of you actually read the book before deciding you hated her views. I'm not trying to stand up for her, but I'm just saying think and act responsibly. She smeared Mass Effect, but there was a representative there to set things straight. I don't honestly care what the rest of the world thinks, rather, what is it that my fellow gamers think about the game.

I promise you, I am not getting my game reviews from Fox News. I go online to some respectable gaming comunities, and ask around.


If we keep playing an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, we will all be blind toothless morons.

Re: Cooper Lawrence: "I Misspoke" about Mass Effect

She did not do any research prior to the show yet she still acted as if she was an expert on the matter. The 'facts' she was saying were not even facts. So when someone can do this on live television, what would make you think that they will not do it in her book?

What Lawrence needs is some gamer lovin'.

Seriously, apology kind of accepted.

So have we put this Mass Effect sodomy simulator bullshit to bed yet? We've had to correct a television and a radio quack. I really hope anyone else who attempts this slander will look at these two prior failures and not even try it.

"Many of the reviewers admit that they have not read Ms. Lawrence’s book."

Ah, justice.

"gamers are perhaps the single most intense subculture on the Internet — fiercely protective of their pastime and at ease with the byways of cyberspace…"

Damn right we are. However, the true news is that she fesses up on Fox News; which may not happen.

[...] Quelle: GamePolitics  [...]

Oh Oh, i find it absolutely ironic that she complained to Amazon about it..

We admitted we didn't read her book and just posted BS

She admitted she didn't play Mass Effect and just posted BS.

Guess we're even

Seems to me gamepolitics is more worried about taking down Fox News than the woman that actually bash Mass Effect. If MSNBC did the story, would Gamepolitics be reporting this story so heavily?

This is a great victory for the gaming community!

I should clarify, by "bark up this tree" I was referring to harassing her specifically, getting the same message through to Fox and others is still important.

Don't fight yellow journalism with urine.

Guerrilla warfare doesn't work when the battle is for the moral high ground. Spamming email, Amazon, AIM, MySpace, or whatever may make you feel better in the short term, but will do more harm than good in the long run, since if we're going to make any SIGNIFICANT headway, we need assistance from those who are neutral.

They want to paint us as uncivil, childish trolls who don't fit in with the overall society. They WANT you to pull crap like that. You may win a few battles, but they're guiding you into an ambush. If we show ourselves to be uncivil, childish trolls, then the neutral will take the opposing side, giving them the majority.

Think about the American Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. The progress that was made GOT made because Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged people to let their opponents bring themselves down with their awful tactics. The neutral parties saw the church bombings, crowd hosings, mob lynchings, and everything else, and was offended, repulsed, and willfully joined the Movement. It should be the same with us. Let them lie, slander, and whatever else. All we have to do is show these falsehoods with a calm, clear, loud voice. Right now we've got the loud and maybe the clear, but we're severely lacking in the calm.

I hereby deem this Hilarious Justice. Another win for the gamers, and a fantastic Wintereenmas present.

Just like Gabe from Penny Arcade has said, if you want to hurt a channel, do not attack them directly, that just gives them fodder for their show. No, if you REALLY wanna hurt them, attack their sponsors. Aaaaaand here’s a list of Fox News’ sponsors and their contact addresses:

Feel free to call, write and email them saying how we will not support a company or product that in turn supports a station full of sensationalist liars.

While I'm glad Lawrence has realized her mistake and made the correction, I can't help but think that this article is doing a rather similar thing to what she did:

The GamePolitics writer implies that Fox News may have intentionally tried to get the story wrong instead of just being a bunch of incompetent boobs talking about something they knew nothing about.

The villains here are MacCullum and the producers of LiveDesk. The rest of Fox News didn't smear Mass Effect... Yet anyway.

this is only the begninning, any book she publishes will be brought down and her radio show will soon be off the air. Gamers do not stand for the lies that ingorant people spread. first it was Jack Thompson, now Her. when are we finally going to stand up and say No More! We are tried of a past time we love being accused of all the Human Injustice in the world. Games didnt cause a kid to shoot up his school, Games dont casue more violence towards our fellow man. When will the ingorant people learn to stop opening the mouth and inserting there foot. Oh well I guess we will never know.

I lol'd.

Are we really surprised? Yet again another woman who puts not just one, but both feet in her mouth before checking out the facts.

She spoke from a position of ignorance.


Until I hear or see the words: "I am sorry" coming from her, no one needs to let up on her. If you're pleased with the "I regret my remarks" bs fine, but obviously it is not enough for the rest of us.

As gamers we have never had a group to lookout for us. EA's response represents the first time a company has ever gone after a news company for false claims against a game.

As a 15 year vet in the industry I am happy to see a major company finally try and take on the lies that some people like to spread, but until EA's response actually gets somewhere, nothing has been accomplished.

Also, perhaps this deluge of negative press toward the coop will be a message to all other dim-witted a**hats who want to go on Fox and pimp their cr*ppy book.

[...] As a post script to the entire Mass Effect affair, some small bit of justice has been served. In large part due to the reaction of the gaming community, Cooper Lawrence has actually spent some time with Mass Effect and retracted her statements. Here are some links with the proof: NY Times Game Politics Destructoid It is unfortunate that she let Fox News use her thusly and didn't do her research before shooting off her mouth, and many of her points about games and ratings will no doubt linger on as problematic, but we can still say 'score one for gamers'. __________________ Last 10 Songs Played / This Weeks Top Artists / All Time Top Artists [...]

" that I’ve seen the game and seen the sex scenes it’s kind of a joke."

PS> You can't accuse a group of people of indulging in simulated rape and pass it off as "a kind of joke".

Even Jack Thompson thinks there's nothing wrong with Mass Effect. Since when has he taken our side?

A good friend of mine is a psychologist who's had the "pleasure" of meeting Ms. Lawrence, Dr. Phil, and other well-known psychologists, and according to her, they're all the same, a bunch of arrogant, obnoxious fakes who make millions pretending to know a difficult profession.

We are gamers. Do not fuck with us.

'Nuff said, she got what was coming.

Even if it was cold calculation on Lawrence's part, I'd love to see her as an 'innocent' victim in a shitstorm campaign aimed at McCallum and Fox. She is sort of cute and - more importantly - she is not a gamer. That would give the whole initiative a human face.

@Kevin - I tilt the scale in favor of Fox [MacCallum] since it is her show and she (in theory) controls it for what it is worth.

@Blase - yep I keep thinking the same thing...

She has a website:

She also has another book listing that you can comment on here:

She deserves to be run out of town!!!


Yea someone will finally admit they lied when their Amazon rating get trounced and takes a dive.

This has made my day.

I had wondered if she played the game first.

This is good news to hear. I hope that in the future, Miss Lawrence will do a little research and not be Faux News' "kneejerk expert" again.

This has been a great day for me. It really cheered me up. Take that Fox.

I'll pwn you at Halo 3 or COD4. Buy Mass Effect!!!

Go gamers. This shows what happens when one group speaks together. We need our own organisation to really get our views across. If any one knows of one then please tell me i'd like to join.

We don't know all the specifics, like how much of her stance was hers and how much was Fox News', but good on Cooper Lawrence for admitting her mistakes - something too few of us in this world are capable of.

Typical Faux News BS. But you know, they're "fair" and "balanced."

Quick! Everyone go give her 5-star reviews on Amazon to show we appreciate her apology :P

Looks like she complained to Amazon and they removed most of the negative reviews. I left her another one. She deserves what she gets.

You know, I was almost going to stop watching the video just based on the sound of her voice (nasally), and not because of her "facts".

Gamer justice is swift. I like that she apologized, even though she is one of the VERY few to do so.

On a upbeat note, happy Winter-een-mas to all, and to all a good game.

Maybe next time she should form her own opinion before going on the air..
It's great that she apologised but a lot of damage has already been done and
I guess the NYT readers aren't really the same demographic as FAUX News.

Fantastic. But I still want to see an apology aired on live desk. As much as I'd like to see EA slap a lawsuit on FNC for slander, I'm sure Fox can dodge that.

It's still too bad that the networks seem to be passing along their own personal agenda through the mouth of a so-called expert. The only two ways to stop this would be educating the public that believes what they hear or hope that these "professionals" stop selling their credibility for air-time.

And we will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy our brothers! And you will know we are Gamers, when we lay our vengeance upon thee.

On behalf of myself, apology accepted.

It's almost sadder that it was a genuine mistake as opposed to game-hating. It would have taken 2 minutes to find the thing on Youtube... *sigh* such is TV Journalism.

That's very good of her to do that, but Fox News is 50% of the problem in this situation, and I don't see them changing their ways. When you appeal to the lowest common denominator, you don't have to...

"Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it’s like pornography. But it’s not like pornography."

So why, dear lady, did you, an apparently professional and serious psychologist, go on national TV and spout absolute bollocks about a game that someone 'told you' was like pornography??

That's like me going on national TV and spouting off that your book is page after page of graphic homosexual sodomisation. I aint seen it, so I aint qualified to talk about it! You utter bint.

"Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard..."

This is what passes for research these days? She asked someone else what they had heard? That isn't even second-hand information.

Canary Wundaboy,
Exactly. No matter what someone tells me about something I might have an interest in, even if it's a friend, I still do a little more digging to see whether it might be of interest to me, even if it isn't of interest to a friend.

And as a "professional", even "expert", she should have been taught in college, and she has a doctorate and a masters so she's been to college, that research is more than listening to the opinion of one individual.

Quite frankly, it bodes ill for other researchers to have Lawrence act in such a manner. After all, if she does it for this situation, who is to say she hasn't acted in the same manner regarding other issues which she's being viewed as an "expert" on?

NW2K Software
Nightwng2000 NW2K Software Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

It is indeed Winter-een-mass, happy Winter-een-mans to all!

This just shows, that as a community, when we unite we can make changes. It's just a question of time. Most gamers aren't kids anymore and a lot of us contribute significantly to society in our respective fields. Gamers are also craftsment, soldiers, doctors, politicians, journalists and lawyers (we need more gamers of those last three, not the JT lawyer type, the Fixed News journalist type or the "protet the children, squash people's rights politician type but real stand up types).

I'm I am glad that Lawrence admitted she was wrong but I'm not surprised she came out as she did on Fox News. U.S. residents have all my support when they try to changes the news media for something that is not biased or sensationalist. I'm just glad I don't have to worry about this here, yet.

The problem is not just that she was grossly misinformed. It's that she was grossly misinformed, got told she was grossly misinformed by someone who actually knew what they were talking about, and blew it off and kept right on with the misinformation, and all of this on television.

When someone tells you that you're going off faulty second-hand hearsay and you have no idea what you're talking about, maybe that's a sign you should keep your vitriol in check.

I'll accept her personal apology if she promises to never again call someone 'darling' in a condescending tone. It's nauseating.
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