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Monday, January 14, 2008

Somedays, I wonder how they remember to breathe...

In this instance, the "they" I am referring to is the "Religious Right". Conservatives, generally Republicans, crusading to "save our children" from all that is evil in the world.
The scary thing is, I actually AM one. I am extremely conservative in most of my political views (a few notable exceptions exist, but that's a different topic.), I am a Christian, and I am a registered Republican. I think Ann Coulter is wonderful ;)

Then I see things like this, and this... and I am in a quandary. Either they cannot read, in which case, how in the dickens do they manage to mash the right keys to write this drivel? Or, they are just stupid... which I would hope is not the case, but there is something just NOT right here.
For those too lazy to go read all the articles (hi, Pneuma! =P), it's people up in arms about the game Mass Effect, and the fact that your character can get involved in a romantic relationship that ends in sex.
They are claiming that 1) the game is marketed to minors, and 2) the romantic scene is actually explicitly showing sex, like an X-rated movie.
Point 1... well, no. It's not. They never provide any evidence for WHY they say it's marketed to minors. In fact, in one article they even state, in a separate paragraph, that the game is labeled "M" for Mature. I guess they figure that because it's a "game" it automatically has to be safe to hand it to their 6 year old. There are an awful lot of adult gamers in the world, and we'd like to play something a little more sophisticated than Mario Brothers occasionally. That's why there is a rating system to begin with. If I, as an adult, choose to go and play an M-rated game, that is my choice, and my responsibility. My kids do not get that choice. I choose what games they play, and anything with an "M" for Mature on it is not only not on their list, it won't even get played by adults in the house while they're home and awake. That's my job as a parent. It's not BioWare's job to make sure that everything they produce is good for my kids. They produce what they want to produce, the ESRB labels it as accurately as they can, and that's where they're responsibility ends and mine begins. I research the games, read review sites, and actually READ the packaging, including the ESRB rating, to decide if it A) comes into my house in the first place and B) gets to be viewed and/or played by my children. If these people actually think that an M-rated game is "marketed to minors", I shudder to think what they let their own kids watch, play, and do.

2) If THAT is what they think explicit sex is, how in the world do they manage to reproduce? I've watched clips of the scene. It is for certain too mature for most kids to watch (hence it's "M" rating, duh...), but it is in no way explicit. You see a kiss, a bare tush... there might be a fleeting glimpse of breast, but it's hard too tell because the whole scene is so dark. The cinematography moves very quickly, shifting camera angles constantly, so all you get is an impression of what's going on. Now we, being adults who engage in sex of our own, know quite well what the implications are. My kids would be much more likely to giggle loudly about seeing a "naked tushy" than anything else, if I let them see it in the first place, which obviously I'm not.

It is a scary, scary thing that these people think "M for Mature" means "marketed to minors". We learned a long time ago that being animated does not make it a kids' show (thank you, Anime and the Simpsons). Now we need to wake up to the fact that just because something is a game, doesn't mean it's for children to play.