Yesterday Fox news published an article called "Is Bulletstorm the worst game in the world?", warning parents against the affects the game could have on children, and attributing violent videogames to an increase in rape crime.
The piece is live on the Fox news site. It attacks Bulletstorm's use of skillshots to reward players for dispatching their foes in gory ways, paying particular attention to the sexual innuendo contained in some of the skillshot names, commenting on how they tie "the ugly, graphic violence into explicit sex acts: "topless" means cutting a player in half, while a "gang bang" means killing multiple enemies." The article quotes psychologist, Carol Lieberman, who says that “the increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.”
The article goes on to claim that there are "kids as young as 9 playing such games", and quizzes clinical psychologist Jerry Weichman on the effects that Bulletstorm could have on children. “If a younger kid experiences Bulletstorm's explicit language and violence, the damage could be significant,” he says, adding that “Violent video games like Bulletstorm have the potential to send the message that violence and insults with sexual innuendos are the way to handle disputes and problems.”
EA responded to the claims made in the article, telling GameInformer that “Bulletstorm is rated M for Mature for blood and gore, intense violence, partial nudity, sexual themes, strong language and use of alcohol. The game and its marketing adhere to all guidelines set forth by the ESRB; both are designed for people 17+. Never is the game marketed to children."
“Epic, People Can Fly and EA support the right of artists to create works of entertainment fiction for consumers of all ages, including adults who enjoy action adventures like Bulletstorm. Much like Tarantino's Kill Bill or Rodriguez's Sin City, this game is an expression of creative entertainment for adults.”
Bulletstorm is causing plenty of controversy ahead of its release on February 22. Check out this trailer for footage of some of the skill shots in question, and read Tim's Bulletstorm Editorial here .