Where would modern comedy be without Fox News? This is a serious question, by the way. However you may feel about their coverage of political events, the one-two punch of catering to an older audience (the average age of a Fox News viewer is 65) and being utterly out of touch with every single trend on the planet has led to comedy gold. Now, instead of the old man screaming hilariously about those damn kids on his lawn, we have 24 hours of it, on cable, every day, easily uploaded to YouTube.
And nowhere is it funnier than when they start yelling about video games. Here are a few of our favorite moments in Fox News getting video games completely wrong.
Video Games Are Teaching Your Children to Recycle! NOOOOOOO!!!
Back in September 2011, Fox and Friends found themselves wanting to rip on “Fate of the World,” an obscure and extremely difficult simulation game that forces you to extrapolate real trends to try and save the world. As a secondary goal, it wants to make grown men cry in frustration, and it achieves this goal admirably. But how to make this look like a liberal conspiracy?
Use a game that came out four years ago, of course! “Sim City Societies” had a green component, so now the liberals are brainwashing our children on the Nintendo machine! Brilliant!
By the way, we’re still trying to figure out why they kicked this clip off with footage of two games that have nothing to do with the actual story. Maybe they think FPS games are recruiting tools for the far left, what with all their guns and explosives and stuff? Or maybe they just still hate Call of Duty from…
Call of Duty Lets You Be a Terrorist! AAAAAIIIIEEE!!!
Modern Warfare 2, of course, opens with a now infamous level where your character, undercover, is part of a terrorist action. It was controversial, but intelligently discussed, as many gamers were shocked and appalled by it, and it effectively set the stakes of the story. So needless to say, Fox News found the absolute worst person to discuss this, ever, short of Jack Thompson. That person is James Steyer.
Steyer is most notable among football fans for whining about the ads and gamers for sponsoring “video game ban bills” that are blatantly unconstitutional what with that pesky free speech and all. Steyer does occasionally make some sense, like not wanting companies to collect information about kids, but he’s…not the best informed person when it comes to video games. And boy, does it show in this clip. Why didn’t they just get somebody’s Aunt Margaret? She’s just as qualified.
XBox Live Makes Your Children Swear! FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUU!
Stories like these are always fun, because the people who work on them divide neatly into three groups: people who have forgotten their childhood, people who are pretending they were good kids, and total dorks who don’t realize it’s not normal for an eight-year-old to wear an ascot.
Seriously, is anybody shocked that twelve-year-old boys swear like sailors and call each other terms that would make even the most gay-hating Klansman say “Damn, that just ain’t right?” What guy didn’t grow up with him and his friends dropping f-bombs whenever their parents were far enough away not to hear? How sheltered was your upbringing that you don’t realize twelve-year-old boys are kinda monsters?
And shouldn’t the parents notice their kids calling total strangers in Europe obscene things, and maybe tell little Timmy that “motherf****tn*****c**tnazi” is not a word you use except on superb sketch shows starring Michael Ian Black and Showalter?
States Can’t Ban the Sale of Video Games To Minors! HRRRRRGGHH!!!
You know you’re in for it when the entire opening of this video is just a logo salad that ends with “KILLZONE 2.” We also like that they tossed in an “AO” rating when most of the “scary” game logos they featured are rated “Mature.”
This is about that unconstitutional law we mentioned earlier, the one where the Supreme Court ruled that video games were protected speech, so deal with it. Needless to say, this required a bunch of news producers who think a video game controller is a remote that got stuck in the wash to figure out what video games are. It did not go well.
Also, it’s nice to see Sheltering Suburban Mom went brunette and found stardom on Reddit after quitting the Parents Television Council, who by the way are most notable for a somewhat confuzzled idea of how studies work and what facts mean. So much so that they often get their own studies wrong, or “accidentally” leave out information that doesn’t agree with their views. Whoops!
Medal of Honor is Anti-American! HARUUMMPHAAARRRGH!
You know how in a video game, there are factions? One side is shirts, one side is skins. We could talk intelligently about how applying that dynamic to a modern conflict trivializes that conflict and raises serious moral issues, or we could just freak the hell out for no reason and assume that by allowing for the potential to gun down U.S. troops in a video game, EA hates America, but that’d be a ridiculous, idiotic overreaction, right guys?
Guys? Uh, guys? Anyone?
Mass Effect Has Customizable Sodomy. UUUUUNNNNGHH!
This is probably the most infamous case of Fox News screwing up, and one so great we just had to save it for last.
Yes, in the game “Mass Effect,” you can get a little nookie. But to Fox News, this was “full graphic sex” and “sodomy!” Think of the children! Of course, to us this raises the question of who buys kids “Mass Effect” in the first place, but we’re not supposed to think about that.
To give the weasels their credit, sodomy is, technically, placing the genitals anywhere other than on the genitals of the opposite sex (yes, getting a handy is a violation of sodomy laws, depending on how you interpret them). But that doesn’t excuse the fact that they got this story from a fundamentalist blogger who, when he had the actual game explained to him, deleted his post and actually apologized, so good for you, Kevin McCullough. Cooper Lawrence, on the other hand, got in real trouble, especially when she made the mistake of copping a self-righteous attitude about how she didn’t play the game and how that shouldn’t be a factor.
So gamers dropped in on her Amazon page and reviewed it without bothering to read it. Lawrence later apologized and got a decent Amazon rating back. Fox News, meanwhile, remains a comedy darling in our hearts. We can’t wait for when they peek out of their hole again and discover more video games have come out. Maybe we’ll tie a string on a copy of “Modern Warfare 3,” throw it in and see if we can lure them out of the burrow.