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January 15, 2008

Kevin McCullough Is Scared of Video Games

Kevin McCullough, "the heir apparent to Dobson and Falwell" and "one of the most widely respected evangelical voices in the nation today" is deeply concerned about the filthy, beastly video games that young men are playing these days. In his latest column, targeting the new "Sex-box" 360 game Mass Effect, he wants to know what the presidential candidates are going to do about it.

Light of Day Update
Good morning, morons. I awoke thinking I might want to add a few things to my insomnia-fueled rant.

First, I have not played Mass Effect. I don't have much free time these days.

Second, yes, that's quite a few words spent on someone we've never heard of before. His call to "ban that filth" is something that brings me close to anger and it motivated me to write back when I thought he was talking about protecting 15 year olds. After I kept reading and it turned out that he wants to use the government to take adult content out of the hands of adults too, well, that deserved a mention.

Third, if Mr. Heir Apparent is interested in a nationwide ban for the children (!) I wonder what Governor-Reverend Certain Fuckin' Doomabee thinks. Such a thing wouldn't pass constitutional muster as the law currently stands; but the Supreme Court has surprised us before.

Four, maybe "God-botherer" was a little rude. Evangelical readers are liable to take that as a slur against their tribe, and I get that. Sorry.

Original Post:
As usual for a repressed God-botherer, McCullough's objections are all about teh sex.

One can custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style, breast size of the images they wish to "engage" and then watch in crystal clear, LCD, 54 inch screen, HD clarity as the video game "persons" hump in every form, format, multiple, gender-oriented possibility they can think of.

The objections to such filth should be simple to understand.

Starting with the disgusting idea that one can "create" their own versions of what people look like, removing warts, moles, and bald spots while enhancing - shall we say - the extended features of the game's characters tends to objectify women, sex, and human relationships. Right? We can all agree on this?

No, we can't agree on this and I suspect it's because he didn't really tell us why creating ones "own versions of what people look like" is a "disgusting idea." Customizability of game characters is nothing new to gamers, although it may be new to McCullough. He's going to have to work a bit harder to convince me that having the ability to customize a character's appearance is somehow worse than being provided with a cookie-cutter character to play. I wonder if it is the mere fact that gamers are being given the choice to create a busty beauty with which to play through the game that sets off McCullough.

Then there's the dishonesty behind the game' title. "Mass Effect" sounds like a war game with a deadly virus that is spreading unless the GI-Joes are able to defeat the evil and deadly substance and it's covert war plan. By it's design, kids could ask for it, or for their parents' Best Buy Card to go purchase it with nary a raised eye-brow. Generic, non-descriptive, and relatively harmless.

Actually, the gamer assumes the role of a human soldier, male or female, in the middle of a war. The "mass effect" is a fictional phenomena set in the universe that involves the story line and gives the player the option to obtain unusual powers in or outside of combat. Which any person would know by looking at the back of the box.

While I'm thinking of it, he might also notice the ESRB rating of "M for Mature" before he claims that the game is marketed to fifteen year-olds. Parents could raise nary an eyebrow, but only if they go out of their way ignore the obvious signs that some content may not be appropriate for children.

This brings us to McCullough's predictable solution:

Yes there will be many snickers that I decided to bring this issue up in the Presidential cycle of 2008 but how refreshing would it be for a President to prove to the nation that his own manhood was not in question and put his pen and signature to a bill that dealt with such simulated sex excess in a way that was punitive to its creators to such a degree that they would never recover from it?

Not just snickers. Scorn. Derision. I think how refreshing it would be if we didn't have to defend ourselves from nannystaters from both the left and the right. Do I think that children should be protected from images of sex? Yes, I do. Does that mean I think we should outlaw video games which are marketed to adults which contain images of sex? Well, you see where McCullough and I part ways.

He thinks the game, despite the adult content sticker on the box, is aimed at 15 year olds. (He also thinks that 15 year olds have never seen a simulated sex act before, but I'm just going to let him keep that fantasy.) And the only solution that will work for him is a government ban. Not an advisement that parents keep an eye on what video games their children are playing. No, the danger that a child will get his hands on adult material is too great to leave it to the parents.

His justification for such a government intrusion?

If a pre-teen, teen, young adult, or adult male plays such a game in which the women DO submit without choice, are made to appear as Barbie streetwalkers, and perform whatever act can be imagined, what's to stop that same male from assuming that the women in his "other world" shouldn't be forced to do the same.

Well, he's made it explicit. He's not just concerned about 15 year old gamers. He fears that adult males will lose their grip on reality because of those newfangled, HD videogames. How does one argue with this kind of thing? It's based on no evidence (although he pathetically tries to link addictive use of pornography among serial killers to videogames) and twisted logic. McCullough gets even more twisted, though:

And because of the digital chip age in which we live - "Mass Effect" can be customized to sodomize whatever, whoever, however, the game player wishes.

With it's "over the net" capabilities virtual orgasmic rape is just the push of a button away.

Modding the game for sodomy? Rape? Wow.

For anyone who would like to see the sex scene in Mass effect, I've stuck it below. It is at most PG-13, but folks with seriously uptight bosses might want to check over their shoulders before they play it. This particular version has the player character as a short-haired woman. The non-player character is the same gender regardless of which sex the PC choses. She's a female. An alien female.

Which, if I am not mistaken, makes this the very first Ace of Spades posting of human/alien lesbian sex. That's right, morons. I am your master, now.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 05:02 AM

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