VideoJank: Fox News Wants to Protect Kids from Ideological Video Games That They’re Not Playing

One of my favorite things to write about is the laughable portrayal of video games in the mass media. While no one mainstream media outlet does a good job of covering games, Fox News has made it a habit of broadcasting or publishing coverage that’s just embarrassing (quite a break from their regular news coverage, am I right?).

In this segment from the September 3 edition of Fox and Friends, our host and his talking head doofus accuse games like SimCity Societies and Fate of the World of liberal indoctrination of children through exploitation and fear tactics.

Wait…what?

This is probably the most laughable product of conservative over-sensitivity I’ve ever seen.

First of all, video games are not exclusively played by and most certainly not exclusively designed for children. What world does this guy live in where a 5 year old is playing Fate of the World!? I can’t even play Fate of the World! It’s an endlessly complex strategy game that simulates the fight against global warming and as such, it’s really frickin hard.

Next, and this is a silly point but still, SimCity Societies came out FOUR YEARS AGO. Why the hell is this moron complaining about it now?

The only people doing fear mongering in this scenario are Fox News. They’re instilling fear into their conservative audience by pointing out the imaginary threat of secret liberal ideologies in video games.

Honestly does anyone out there really think the children of people who watch Fox News are actually playing games like Fate of the World? I’m not saying they’re too unintelligent to handle its systems (wait, they are, they’re just kids), but rest assured, these are the 5 to 10 year olds yelling racist and homophobic obscenities into their Xbox headsets during Call of Duty multiplayer. Where’s Mr. Talk Head Doofus’ outrage over this consumption of incredibly violent media by young children?

Video games are a communicative medium just like books and film and like those other media, anyone with any sort of ideology can design a video game to reflect their beliefs. Some games will have messages, but I can guarantee you, those are not the ones aimed at kids.

Mr. Talking Head Doofus does, however, make a good point toward the end of the segment: these games are boring! What kid is going to want to play them?

No kid, that’s what. And that’s the way it was supposed to be.

Editor’s note: DAMN YOU KOTAKU! I’ve been putting this post together for a while and all this time no one was covering this video. But I turn my back for just a minute and Kirk Hamilton (a wonderful writer) puts up a brilliant summary of this tragedy.

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VideoJank: Get Hype for these EVO 2011 Short Films

These three short films, “Hype,” “Community” and “Moments,” were filmed at the 2011 EVO fighting game world championship series.

Produced by former 1up editor and fighting game community stalwart Richard Li and hosted by shoryuken.com (the source of these fine films) editor Alexander Yoon, each video focuses on a different aspect of what makes EVO such a great event: the excitement, the crowd and the community.

The first addresses “hype,” a nebulous emotion taken pretty seriously by the fighting game community. The second is a short document of the camaraderie and growth of that community. The final is an emotional compilation of moments (hurrr) from the final day of the tournament. All of them are beautifully shot and produced. Together they offer a short but informative look at one of the biggest and most exciting video game subcultures.

You can find the next two videos embedded after the break.

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VideoJank: North Carolina Local News Station Reports on Portal 2’s “Insensit…Uhh…Insenstitivity”

Possible Portal 2 spoilers ahoy!

Oh boy, where to begin?

This is the sort of thing that’s not worth getting in a huff about. At this point poorly reported, sensationalist news stories decrying video games are still commonplace. While the fact that my favorite medium is still horribly misunderstood by society at large is a bit infuriating, I’ve come to accept the fact that, for the most part, people just don’t get it and never will. It’s a generational thing.

What’s more abhorrent (or hilarious) about this particular instance is just how riddled with misinformation the story is. The reporter calls Portal 2 “a game that bills itself as educational” and “a popular kids’ video game.”

Huh? Neither of those statements are true. But you know that.

Oh and later on when they try to do some actual reporting they contact the completely wrong people and cajole Sony for their own reporting mistakes. “We did contact Sony, who distributes the game. [Uh…false] They told us to contact Valve, the company that actually created the game. I did. We have not heard back from them.” The reporter then gives a devious look to the camera, using body language to infer something shady is going on.

Was there not a single person at this station who could have told this team how royally they were screwing up? Surely there must be an intern or something who has at least a  passing knowledge of things?

To be fair though, I see where the father is coming from. I wouldn’t want my adopted child hearing these things. That said, as the father of an adopted child he should be able to muster someway of explaining the situation to her and making her feel loved. After all, these are hateful things that could be said to her by real kids. If he gets this flustered when a video game character teases her, I’d hate to see what happens when his daughter returns from elementary school crying over being bullied.