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EA Asks Fox News For Mass Effect Clarification

We've been avoiding writing on the whole "Mass Effect Sex" issue, but we couldn't hold out any longer.
After Fox News picked up the error laden story and ran with it, EA has finally decided to put their foot down.

For those that have been hiding under a rock the last few weeks, here's the actual video:

In a sternly worded letter to Teri VanHorn, producer of Live Desk with Martha MacCallum (which ran the segment on Fox News), Jeff Brown, EA's vice president of communications, writes, "As the parent company of BioWare, the studio which created the game, EA would like you to set the record straight on a number of errors and misstatements which incorrectly characterize the story and character interactions in Mass Effect."

Brown goes on to identify specific untrue statements made by Fox News, including:

That the game portrays full-frontal nudity:

"Fact: Mass Effect does not include explicit or frontal nudity. Love scenes in non-interactive sequences include side and profile shots - a vantage frequently used in many prime-time television shows. It's also worth noting that the game requires players to develop complex relationships before characters can become intimate and players can chose to avoid the love scenes altogether."

That it portrays graphic sex:

"Fact: Sex scenes in Mass Effect are not graphic. These scenes are very similar to sex sequences frequently seen on network television in prime time."

And that the game is marketed to children:

"Fact: That is flat out false. Mass Effect and all related marketing has been reviewed by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and rated Mature - appropriate for players 17-years and older. ESRB routinely counsels retailers on requesting proof of age in selling M-rated titles and the system has been lauded by members of Congress and the Federal Trade Commission."

Brown finishes the letter with harsh criticism, although he explicitly states EA is not threatening legal action:

"The resulting coverage was insulting to the men and women who spent years creating a game which is acclaimed by critics for its high creative standards. As video games continue to take audiences away from television, we expect to see more TV news stories warning parents about the corrupting influence of interactive entertainment. But this represents a new level of recklessness.
Do you watch the Fox Network? Do you watch Family Guy? Have you ever seen The OC? Do you think the sexual situations in Mass Effect are any more graphic than scenes routinely aired on those shows? Do you honestly believe that young people have more exposure to Mass Effect than to those prime time shows?

This isn't a legal threat; it's an appeal to your sense of fairness. We're asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect.


Jeff Brown Vice President of Communications Electronic Arts, Inc."

It will be interesting to see what Fox News will do, if anything.
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