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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Follow up on yesterday's Mass Effect post

There's a good article on kotaku today about EA calling for for an apology from Fox. 

Here's a quote of the letter Jeff Brown of EA wrote to Teri VanHorn, the producer of the segment.

Teri VanHorn
The Live Desk with Martha MacCallum
Fox News Channel

Ms VanHorn,

I’m writing to request a clarification of serious errors FNC made in a story which aired about the video game Mass Effect. (See attachment) 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.

Errors include the following:

• Your headline above the televised story read: “New videogame shows full digital nudity and sex.“
o 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.

• FNC voice-over reporter says: “You’ll see full digital nudity and the ability for players to engage in graphic sex.”
o 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.

• FNC reporter says: “Critics say Mass Effect is being marketed to kids and teenagers.”
o 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. In practical terms, the ratings work as well or better than those used for warning viewers about television content.

• Other sources used in the segment made similar incorrect statements about the game. Judging by the inaccuracy of their comments, 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.

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.

I think I love this man, even if he does work for EA.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Memory box table

An addition to my project to-do list.
I found this link on one of my all time favorite blogs, ikea hacker.  Super cute and looks nice and easy.  Uses lack side table, a ribba 19" square frame.

Click photo for instructions.

Fox News proves yet again they are idiots

(I'm having trouble posting the embedded video, so here's a link just in case.)

I REALLY hate it when people who don't know what they are talking about start yammering on like they are experts just because they have some fancy title. 

I haven't played Mass Effect yet, but I'm sure at some point I will.  Yet, I do believe what Geoff said about there not being full nudity in the game.  If for no other reason than the fact that everyone else admitted they'd never played the game AND they got some of their other "facts" wrong. 

At one point the annoying psychologist woman says, "...look at the statistics, who's playing video games but adolescent males, not their dads." -- The average age of video gamers is somewhere between 26 and 33, depending on who's data you're looking at.  More women over the age of 18 play video games than the number of boys between the ages of 6 to 17 2.

Although, I did agree with one point made (I think Geoff brings it up first) -- parents need to be educated about video games and be smart enough to not let their young children have access to games with content above their maturity level.  If a video game is rated M for Mature, then it's basically the same as an R rating on a movie.  The argument that once they are in the house, the kids will play them also applies to movies as well as adult magazines.  If I own the DVD of Saw or the latest issue of Hustler, I better make damn sure that my young children can't get to them.  Parents need to understand that concept for all forms of media and be aware of what their children have access to.  More importantly, parents need to have a good connection with their children and be interested and aware of their lives in general so that when they do encounter violent and/or sexual images, the parents can have an open conversation with their kids so they have the tools in place to put those images within the correct context. 

1. http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/myths.html
2. http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Edible FSM

I'm totally going to make these soon.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

physical activity calculator

http://www.primusweb.com/cgi-bin/fpc/actcalc.pl -- you can put in your weight and number of minutes at the very bottom and it will show you how many calories you'll burn doing lots of various activities. 

Thursday, January 3, 2008

tasty, low-cal Bok Choy soup recipe

I've been experimenting with recipes that use only vegetables and very low calorie additions.  Here is one that I've been doing a lot lately.  It's a modified version of a couple recipes I've found on the nets.  We like it a lot and since we're subscribed to our winter CSA it's a tasty way to use up all the baby bok choy we're getting.

Bok Choy soup

A super low-cal recipe that is tasty and satisfying.


1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
8 cups Fat Free Chicken Broth (could use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
4 tbsp Rice Vinegar
4 baby Bok Choys, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced


Spray the bottom of a large soup pot with Pam or use a little oil and grill the onion and garlic until the onions are clear. Add the chicken broth, and vinegar, then add in the rest of the ingredients. Let simmer until the bok choy is soft, about 30 mins.
* This recipe is just a guide. I don't measure my ingredients, so have fun and play with it. Try adding other vegetables to figure out how you like it best.

Nutritional Info

  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 53.8
  • Total Fat: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 1,054.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 9.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 6.2 g