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Chicago Transit Authority caves to minimal pressure, pulls Grand Theft Auto IV ads


According to a report on Monday from GamePolitics, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has caved to minimal pressure from FOX News regarding the use of advertisements promoting the latest installment of Grand Theft Auto IV on public transportation throughout the city. The local Chicago affiliate of the controversial news desk questioned the city's use of the ads, stating, "With so much focus on kids and violence these days, we wondered why ads for a violent video game have begun popping up again on CTA buses and train stations." Days later the ads were pulled.

This isn't the first time public Grand Theft Auto ads have been pulled, previously similar instances have occurred in Portland, Denver and Boston, the latter of which saw Massachusetts transit chief justify the decision by issuing a policy which equated M-rated games to pornographic films.

While the title is known for liberal helpings of violence the ads themselves have never depicted the content of the game (as seen above). We're used to certain politicians, lawyers and family groups blaming our industry for every violent incident that happens, but when an entire city sides with the issue we can't help but feel a little shafted.

[via Joystiq]

Mass Drama: Lawrence is sorry and Sessler speaks


The Mass Effect versus FOX News drama continues and gets juicier and juicier by the moment. So juicy, we're required to wear raincoats when blogging about it. No joke.

First on the docket is news that Cooper Lawrence, the psychiatrist/author who participated in the on-air Mass Effect bashing, has surprisingly apologized for her remarks. Lawrence admits that she never played the game prior to the discussion and was told before going on air that Mass Effect was like pornography. Now, after being given a demo of the game, she admits that "it's not like pornography. I've seen episodes of 'Lost' that are more sexually explicit" and is sorry for her statements. It should also be noted that her apologetic words come at a ripe time as angry gamers flooded Amazon.com's listing of her self-help book with negative reviews and negative press. Damage control much?

Finally, you must watch the video embedded above. The vid comes from our favorite G4 personality Adam Sessler as he stands on his soapbox and gives us his two cents about the Mass Drama. Not only does Sessler make some damn great points, but his rant should expand your use of the English language. That Sessler, what an energetic and articulate dude.

[Thanks, SirUrza and Trekster_Gamer]

Read - Sessler's Soapbox
Read - Lawrence's apology

Fox: EA invited to talk Mass Effect 'SE'XBOX


The hullabaloo surrounding an inaccurate Fox News report on Mass Effect continues today. Joystiq readers will recall that Fox News recently ran a story claiming that Mass Effect contains "full digital nudity and sex," a charge that is simply untrue. Electronic Arts, who now owns the Mass Effect property, later contacted Fox via a letter from EA VP of communications Jeff Brown. The letter asked Fox to correct the errors in the segment and also cited more than a bit of hypocrisy by pointing out that many of Fox's own programs, such as Family Guy and The OC, show sexual situations that are just as graphic (and are rated for ages under 17 by the way, unlike Mass Effect).

MTV did a little digging and got their own response from Fox on the matter. A Fox spokesperson, who would not be named, said, "Fox News Channel has extended several invitations to EA through a company representative to appear on 'Live Desk With Martha MacCallum' to discuss 'Mass Effect' and the segment which aired on Monday. We have received no response." So, in other words, Fox can apparently report as much erroneous information as they want, because the party they were defaming wasn't present to defend itself. We'll have to wait and see if EA takes the bait.

Editor's rant: Fox's stance on this matter is complete bunk. The fact remains that they misrepresented Mass Effect, and having EA on to "discuss" the game isn't going to change that. What's called for is a correction of inaccurate reporting. Sorry folks, but as a member of the Joystiq network, it's disgusting. We do our absolute best here to report the facts as they are. Should we find out that we published something that was inaccurate, we fix it and post a correction. That's the way it should be. If we tried to get away with the same things that Fox is trying, our commenting public would skewer us. It's as simple as that. If Fox really wants EA to go on the air, it should be for an apology. Will that happen? We don't think so, but it should.

EA calls for Fox News to correct Mass Effect story


If you've been paying attention to any of the internets lately, you've probably heard about the recent (belated) controversy surrounding the sex scene in BioWare's Mass Effect. It was first lambasted by a little known writer for its "virtual orgasmic rape" among other things that aren't actually in the game. Said columnist later apologized for his errors (and he made more than a few) but the train kept a-rollin' and the next to attack was none other than Fox News. Fox aired a segment about the game, also making false claims about its actual contents, even running a headline that claimed "New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex." As the hordes of gamers who've actually watched the scene (NSFW) can tell you, Mass Effect does no such thing. Far be it from journalists (or psychologists) to actually play the game they're defaming.

All of this has now led to EA -- BioWare's new parent company -- sending Fox a letter regarding the false claims about their new property. The letter comes from EA's VP of communications Jeff Brown and asks that Fox correct the claims made in its report. Brown takes particular exception to the claims that the game shows full nudity and sex, noting that the game shows no "explicit or frontal nudity" and that what is on display is no worse than what's seen on Fox's own programs like The OC. He further take exception to Fox's assertion that Mass Effect is "marketed to kids and teenagers," by noting that the game is rated M and that ESRB ratings "work as well or better" than ratings placed on television content.

Brown then takes the four person "panel" that discussed the game during the segment, saying "They have had zero experience with Mass Effect and are largely ignorant about videogames, the people who play them, and the ESRB system that governs their ratings and sales." He concludes the letter civilly, "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."

So basically, Brown has said what we were all thinking. The difference is that this message comes from EA, one of the most powerful and most recognized faces of the video game industry. Here's hoping someone at Fox takes notice.

[Via Joystiq]

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