In which the author claims that "Mass Effect" is a pornographic sex simulation game being marketed to 15 year olds. He rants on, begging the presidential candidates to take an aggressive stand and ban this game from the market.
In this crazy wired world, the readers get to reply and fill in any missing facts, including the following:
- it's not marketed to 15 year olds - The ESRB has been supplying ratings for games for a long time now (since 1994, so if you've been playing Populous for your Amiga for the past 14 years, you might not have noticed). Mass Effect is rated M, which, from Wikipedia, means: M — Mature: Contains content that is considered unsuitable for children under 17 years old. Titles in this category may contain intense violence such as blood and gore, sexual references and/or strong language. Many retailers (such as Target and Wal-Mart in the United States, Future Shop in Canada, and Best Buy in both countries) have a policy of not selling games with this rating to people under the age of 17 without parental presence and approval. The most common genres with this rating are first-person shooters, fighting games, and games with adult content. An "M" rating for a game is analogous to an "R" rating for a movie. Indeed, the only more restrictive rating is "AO": Adults Only, which would correspond to "X", if the MPAA had an official X rating. So, not marketed to 15 year olds. Yes, the game can be played on hardware that many 15 year olds have. Likewise, 15 year olds can say dirty words on their cell phones. Ban the cell phones!
- conservative presidential candidates probably won't help - because censorship doesn't play well to most of their constituents.
It won't be long before there's a member of Generation X in the White House, and a majority of the legislature that grew up with gamepads and Rubik's cubes. In the mean time, the best we can do is make sure that our representatives don't go writing any crazy laws.
I don't know if the essay's author is a crazy person, or a Microsoft employee (I don't exclude the case where he's both). The effect of reading his essay is that I'm now interested in downloading the demo of the game and deciding for myself the merits of the game.