Lesson number one – don’t piss off the gamers

By Mark O’Neill

I have never really got into the whole gaming thing. Despite giving it my best shot more than once, I have often found PC / console games to have a very limited attention span for me. Once I’ve shot one person, the thrill kind of wears off and I suddenly want to surf the internet. I had a Gamecube for 3 weeks and then never used it again.

But I know enough gamers (my girlfriend’s brother for one) to know one sure fact – never seriously criticise the games or the people who play them. The people who love playing these games love them as if they are related to them by blood. Criticise the game and by extension, you’re criticising the gamer. This is not good if your aim in life is to live peacefully and not bring any attention upon yourself. Gamers tend to take criticism of their pastime rather personally.

This is a fact that Cooper Lawrence is learning the hard way. The author of “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Overachiever” has seen her Amazon page wrecked by irate gamers. The gamers went on the virtual rampage after Lawrence went on Fox News and criticised a X-Box game called “Mass Effect“. The game is apparently one of the most popular games of 2007 but Lawrence made the rather foolish decision to trash the game on-screen – despite admitting she had never played it or seen anyone play it.

The game apparently has a romantic sub-plot and supporters have asserted that what you see is no more risque than evening television. But that didn’t stop Lawrence who sneered the game and its “full-frontal nudity and explicit sexual activity”. But she didn’t stop there. She decided to dig an even deeper grave for herself by continuing with :

“Here’s how they’re seeing women: they’re seeing them as these objects of desire, as these, you know, hot bodies. They don’t show women as being valued for anything other than their sexuality. And it’s a man in this game deciding how many women he wants to be with.”

This was too much for the dedicated gamers. They decided to get their revenge by going to Lawrence’s Amazon page and giving her a one star rating for her book along with some fake nasty reviews. At one point, there were over 400 one star reviews. Then Amazon wised up to the situation and began removing the fake reviews, leaving about 80 to go. The book was even tagged with keywords such as “hypocrite” and “trash”. Ouch.

One reviewer said :

“I, for one, am appalled that such slanderous filth would end up on bookshelves where any child could walk into the store, drop a couple dollars, and leave this store with this trite, poorly written, racist bible for the Neo-Nazi consortium of modern America.”

Whatever happened to writing a letter of complaint, sticking a stamp on the envelope and mailing it in?

Lawrence has now decided to eat humble pie by declaring she was wrong about the game. She now claims to have seen someone “play it for about two and a half hours”. Her take now on the “full-frontal nudity and explicit sexual activity”? “It’s not like pornography” she now asserts, “I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit.”

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22 Responses to Lesson number one – don’t piss off the gamers

  1. Other gems from her amazon page:

    -This is completely trash, reading this is like watching baby seals being killed with a machete.

    -This book, right here? It's terrible. It's full of the things that corrupt society. It has directions on how best to murder hobos, ways to hurt your mother's feelings, and it recommends keeping your children on a diet of nothing but butter and sour-cream so that you can harvest their "precious and delicious baby foie gras."

  2. Other gems from her amazon page:

    -This is completely trash, reading this is like watching baby seals being killed with a machete.

    -This book, right here? It’s terrible. It’s full of the things that corrupt society. It has directions on how best to murder hobos, ways to hurt your mother’s feelings, and it recommends keeping your children on a diet of nothing but butter and sour-cream so that you can harvest their “precious and delicious baby foie gras.”

  3. Regardless of whether the review was skewed and overstated, it sure seems funny to me that people are more concerned about their kids potentially seeing frontal nudity than they are at those same kids playing violent video games in which killing people or destroying things is the primary objective.

    I’m not demonizing video games – I’m just saying that womens’ breasts are made out of the same stuff as elbows… Aren’t mindless violence and ultra-realistic gore things more worthy of concern than bare bosoms?

    • Exactly! It always amuses me that Americans have no problem with shooting and blood / gore. But nudity? OH MY GOD!!! No Jim-Bob! Don’t look at these breasts! Go upstairs to your computer and beat someone to death instead!! :-)

  4. Regardless of whether the review was skewed and overstated, it sure seems funny to me that people are more concerned about their kids potentially seeing frontal nudity than they are at those same kids playing violent video games in which killing people or destroying things is the primary objective.

    I'm not demonizing video games – I'm just saying that womens' breasts are made out of the same stuff as elbows… Aren't mindless violence and ultra-realistic gore things more worthy of concern than bare bosoms?

    • Exactly! It always amuses me that Americans have no problem with shooting and blood / gore. But nudity? OH MY GOD!!! No Jim-Bob! Don't look at these breasts! Go upstairs to your computer and beat someone to death instead!! :-)

  5. "I think lesson number one should be “Don’t review a game you’ve never played.”"

    How about don't review anything unless you've seen it, eaten it, read it or whatever is appropriate to what is being reviewed?

  6. did she just criticize LOST?!
    LOST fans unite and trash her book reviews at Barnes and Noble!!!
    Anyone?

  7. did she just criticize LOST?!

    LOST fans unite and trash her book reviews at Barnes and Noble!!!

    Anyone?

  8. I actually played Mass Effect and I actually chuckled abit after seeing the Fox News report on Youtube. Adam Sessler from G4-tv actually rants alot about this in his various shows. Personally I don't think BioWare will sue cuz I think they realized from the start that Fox and Cooper Lawrence would get eaten alive! Nevertheless I hope Fox News doesn't make a habit of false News reports… Conservatists just eat them up ya' know?

  9. I actually played Mass Effect and I actually chuckled abit after seeing the Fox News report on Youtube. Adam Sessler from G4-tv actually rants alot about this in his various shows. Personally I don’t think BioWare will sue cuz I think they realized from the start that Fox and Cooper Lawrence would get eaten alive! Nevertheless I hope Fox News doesn’t make a habit of false News reports… Conservatists just eat them up ya’ know?

  10. Unfortunately, the mass media is filled with misconceptions like that. Gamers and others who know what’s really going on need to make it known – and polite letters don’t get the message across to these people.

  11. Unfortunately, the mass media is filled with misconceptions like that. Gamers and others who know what's really going on need to make it known – and polite letters don't get the message across to these people.

  12. The lesson here is not to criticize gamers. In fact, by saying that, you’re criticizing us, by saying we can’t be mature and take it. You paint us as being small children who live in our own little world and who don’t want to hear what you grown ups have to say, and when you say it, we throw a tantrum.
    Gamers got so fired up about this story because the woman slams one of the greatest games of the year as being a full fledged porno, completely unsuitable for anyone under 35, and then she admits right on the show, quite brashly and proud, that she had never played that game. She had not even seen the scene in question. In fact, the ‘teaser’ footage that Fox was running in the background of the story was the entire scene. From that, she then extrapolated that the entire game is chauvinistic, completely ignoring the fact that the player has a chance to make the savior of the world a woman. That is what infuriated us. It was not criticism, it was blatant lies about a game we loved.

  13. The lesson here is not to criticize gamers. In fact, by saying that, you're criticizing us, by saying we can't be mature and take it. You paint us as being small children who live in our own little world and who don't want to hear what you grown ups have to say, and when you say it, we throw a tantrum.

    Gamers got so fired up about this story because the woman slams one of the greatest games of the year as being a full fledged porno, completely unsuitable for anyone under 35, and then she admits right on the show, quite brashly and proud, that she had never played that game. She had not even seen the scene in question. In fact, the 'teaser' footage that Fox was running in the background of the story was the entire scene. From that, she then extrapolated that the entire game is chauvinistic, completely ignoring the fact that the player has a chance to make the savior of the world a woman. That is what infuriated us. It was not criticism, it was blatant lies about a game we loved.