Please big brother.. can I play the games I bought?

Well, now.. The publishers of Mass effect, and Spore are going to piss a lot of people off with this one. 

According to a post on the Mass Effect (BioWare’s) website from Derek French (BioWare, Technical Producer):


Mass Effect uses SecuROM and requires an online activation for the first time that you play it. Each copy of Mass Effect comes with a CD Key which is used for this activation and for registration here at the BioWare Community. Mass Effect does not require the DVD to be in the drive in order to play, it is only for installation.

After the first activation, SecuROM requires that it re-check with the server within ten days (in case the CD Key has become public/warez’d and gets banned). Just so that the 10 day thing doesn’t become abrupt, SecuROM tries its first re-check with 5 days remaining in the 10 day window. If it can’t contact the server before the 10 days are up, nothing bad happens and the game still runs. After 10 days a re-check is required before the game can run.

So what that is saying is:
      A) after purchasing the game you must request access to play it
      B) you better have an Internet connection or  you are SOL.
      C) and the company doesn’t trust you enough not give a copy to your friends.

How’s that for stupid?  Really, because I’m willing to bet money on the fact that the copy protection with a NO CD check crack will be out with in 10 minutes of the games release.  Then people will want to use the pirated copy because it’s easier to install and use and no don’t need to worry about being online, and/or SecuROM messing with your computer.

Thanks again EA about worrying about the almighty dollar, rather then your customers.  Try just using Steam next time.


[Update: 5/12/08] 

BioWare spokespersons told [Kotaku] “To all the fans including our many friends in the armed services and internationally who expressed concerns that they would not be able re-authenticate as often as required, EA and BioWare want you to know that your feedback is important to us.”

So they have been listening!  Well and reading pretty much all the hate mail on the ‘net about all this stupid copyright BS.  so NOW, it’s pretty much the same thing, only no it only authenticates the first time you play, then re-authenticates when you download new content.  But you can still only install the game 3 times.
additional activations can be achieved by phoning EA support.   Which, I’m betting, would be like phoning Comcast customer support.

More on the MASS EFFECT sex scandal…

More PROOF that Fox ‘news’ has no idea what they are talking about.  What’s up with this crap??!
Shouldn’t the news report in a truthful, forthcoming manner?  Shouldn’t the news be reporting well, THE NEWS?

This isn’t news.  This is troll bait.
But it does make me want a copy of the game these idiots are playing.

Even children are smart enough to know that jumping on a person is NOT going to make a coin pop out of their ass.
studies or no studies…

Grrrrrrrrrr.. Stupid Humans.

Cooper Lawrence doesn’t realize the power of the dark side…

Fox News’ Expert Backs Down From Xbox ‘Mass Effect’ Sex-Scene Attack
But author Cooper Lawrence questions gamers’ method of revenge.

By Stephen Totilo
Comments by ‘The PogoWolf’

Nearly a week after slamming the Xbox 360 role-playing game “Mass Effect” on Fox News for its sexual content, author and psychology expert Cooper Lawrence backed down on some of her comments and took gamers to task for their chosen method of revenge. Lawrence’s response followed several days of Internet frenzy that made her the most disliked person in the video game blogosphere and resulted in several hundred scathing reviews of her newest book on Amazon. While Lawrence hasn’t completely retracted her comments, she has offered some clarification.

I can’t believe that a psychology expert wouldn’t have known what would happen to her for doing something like this. 
What did she expect?   Flowers and Candy?

“In hindsight, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to play this game before appearing on the program,” Lawrence said in a statement released to MTV News by her publicist. “As a developmental-psychology expert, I was asked to appear on this particular show to discuss the broader issue of video games and their impact on developing adolescents, not as an expert on ‘Mass Effect.’ “

Then you shouldn’t have opened your mouth about ‘the facts’ nor about wanting to go after Mr. Keighley whom was was TRYING to reason with you.  I’m not a psychology expert but I can see when someone is trying to back peddle in order to save face and what little sell-ability she might have left.  Try studying something worthy.  Like how the NEWS effects children.  

Lawrence had earned gamers’ scorn because of her appearance on Fox News’ “Live Desk With Martha MacCallum”on January 21 opposite game journalist Geoff Keighley to discuss the report that “Mass Effect” allegedly features “full digital nudity and sex.” Keighley — and later, thousands of gamers on message boards — said the report was inaccurate, that the M-rated game was not filled with sex, just one network-TV-friendly sex scene late in the 30-hour game. Electronic Arts, which owns the studio behind “Mass Effect,” called upon Fox News for a correction.

On Saturday Lawrence told The New York Times that before the Fox News report about the game’s sex scene began, she “had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said, ‘It’s like pornography.’ But it’s not like pornography. I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit.”

She must have talked to the same ‘gamers’ that Kevin McCullough did.   Who are these posers and why do people listen to them?  

In her statement provided to MTV News, Lawrence didn’t back down completely. She said she recognized she misspoke when she had said the game involves a man “deciding how many women he wants to be with.” But she said, “I firmly stand by the research I cited that violence and sexual content in video games has a desensitizing effect on young developing minds.” Among her research was a University of Maryland report that found male gamers more willing to accepting stereotypes in games than female gamers.

What research?  You stated ONE research conclusion and didn’t speak of the 100′s of others that state there is no correlation. The same findings found about Music, Movies, TV, Radio and even Books.   Why must people bash a medium they don’t understand because they can’t look at themselves for the real reason why children are messed up?   She is stirring up just another witch hunt.  Something that gets the media attention, and helps her sell her book.  You and I both know she has no real interest in children and their developing minds.  Only about how many hard copies she can sell.

Lawrence’s comments were only part of the story last week. Gamers took matters into their own keyboards by attacking her where they thought it would hurt — on the listing for the book that was plugged during her Fox News appearance, “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever.” Within a few days, the listing featured more than 400 scathing user reviews, many by gamers who admitted to not reading her book but said they should be allowed to lambaste it anyway, as they felt she had done to the video game.

As of today, however, most of those reviews have been deleted, and Amazon now only lists 52 reader reviews. They still have a negative slant: There are 45 one-star reviews; seven two-star review, all written after Lawrence’s Fox News appearance. But any reviews that mentioned video games or “Mass Effect” by name are gone.

Typical of those that do still appear is a review that states: “How can you judge something, without ever doing it? Well, this woman seems to make a living off it. Please do not let yourself be wrapped up in this woman’s shenanigans. You will save yourself the headache.”

Good for you gamers, and good for you Amazon for allowing the feedback but keeping the emotional gamers in check.   SHAME on you gamers that just because you are behind a monitor can just fling cuss-words and other nasty remarks around.

In her statement Lawrence, whose name was dragged through the mud for days, addressed the review-revenge strategy. “I believe that the customer-review feature on is not the appropriate forum to discuss an unrelated news segment. I appeared on a news program that provides an opportunity for debate on topics that have been previously covered by the media. Amazon’s customer-reviews feature functions as a platform to review a product sold on their site, in this case my book, the topic of which does not relate to video games and/or ‘Mass Effect.’ “

If you book had nothing to do with video games THEN WHY IN THE HELL WHERE YOU ON THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?!!?   
It’s ok to go on national TV and talk about a subject you know nothing about?  How is that Appropriate?  and what debate?  It was you stating ‘Let me at him’ and Jeff trying to talk some sense into people.  Then a panel of ‘experts’ and don’t know their ass from a C-Prompt.  

Let’s make one thing clear:
  You appeared on Fox to push your book.  
   You pushed on a subject that you didn’t have the facts about. 
   You started this whole mess.  

Don’t complain because it didn’t turn out the way you planned.

An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment about the removal of the reviews by press time. But a debate about their removal has already stirred in the message board attached to Amazon’s “Cult of Perfection” listing. The Amazon page in question also reveals insight into just how gaming-focused the people visiting Lawrence’s listings are. After viewing the listing for “Cult of Perfection,” customers typically don’t buy a book. They buy the video games “No More Heroes” or “Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.”

Fox News has not offered a correction to the piece. A spokesman for the company told MTV News last week that the outlet is offering representatives from EA an opportunity to come on-air and say their piece.

What Fox SHOULD do is quit the Circus act, just report the NEWS,  Stop worrying so much about ratings, and get people in front of the cameras that know what the hell they are talking about.


[Via MTV]



Yeah.. this will be my last post on the subject unless something else really upsets me. ;)

[Edit: 02/01 - The PogoWolf  - Grammar, spelling, HTML removal, and slight rewrites to make the ideas a little clearer.]

and even more on the Mass Effect Sex Scandal.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know that Fox News recently ran a story on Mass Effect in which the news network labeled the BioWare developed game shows full digital nudity and sex.

As if that wasn’t enough, the report also referred to the Microsoft Xbox 360 as the “‘SE’XBOX” after the discovery of full-blown alien sex scenes in the massive RPG.

Publisher Electronic Arts, however, sent a letter to Fox News Network regarding serious errors in how Mass Effect was portrayed.

In the letter, EA’s vice president of communications Jeff Brown explained that

“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.”

EA also corrected Fox News’ statement about the game allowing players to have graphic sex, saying such intimate scenes in Mass Effect are not graphic and are very similar to sex sequences frequently seen on network television in prime time.
Brown didn’t fail to mention that Mass Effect is rated Mature by the ESRB, appropriate for players 17-years and older. It is not what Fox News claims to be a game marketed to kids and teenagers.

Also noted were guests in the segment that made similar incorrect statements about the game who apparently “had zero experience with Mass Effect and are largely ignorant about videogames.”

“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,” said Brown after pointing out all the errors in the report.

He admitted that “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.” Still, EA’s communications VP believes Fox News’ misinformed report “represents a new level of recklessness.”
The giant video game publisher EA haven’t made any legal moves against Fox News, and Brown clarified that the letter he sent is not a legal threat. “…it’s an appeal to your sense of fairness. We’re asking FNC to correct the record on Mass Effect,” he said in conclusion.

For those who haven’t seen Fox News’ report that caused all the commotion, a video of it is embedded below. Further down, the “via” link can lead you to the full letter published on Game Informer.  [Via Game Informer]



[Via QJ]

Gamers Strike Back Against Mass Effect Critic on Amazon

After hearing the offensive and biased attack against Mass Effect on Fox News by Cooper Lawrence, the psychologist who took part in the biased strike on the game, her book on titled ‘The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace with Your Inner Overachiever’ is full of one-star reviews, mostly coming from gamers.Ms. Lawrence may think that it’s ok to bash a product she has never used, so gamers are now bashing a book they have never read to drop her book rating on Amazon. Currently, there over 40 negative reviews posted. Check out the Amazon link via Gaming Today if you’d like to throw your two cents in or to just read some of the funny comments against her.

[Via N4G]

[Update on this Story:  Looks like Amazon is deleteing 1 star reviews of the book almost as soon as the review is posted.    So what if I really didn't like the book, couldn't I still give it a 1 star?]

An open letter to Kevin McCullough and the Mass Effect Sex Sandal.

The whole Mass Effect Sex Scandal has upset me in so many ways it was hard to put my emotion into words without resorting to ripping people a new one and acting like a 4 year old having a temper tantrum.  I’m better than that and unlike Mr. McCulluogh, Fox News, and a few other people; I know my material. 


So, I apologize for this post being a little late in getting to the blog.


  Life Lessons: GAMER Nerds’ “Rights” to Lesbo-Alien Sex!

  Posted by: Kevin McCullough  at 1:06 AM on Tuesday, January 15, 2008


v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Troll derives from the phrase “trolling for newbies” which in turn comes from mainstream “trolling”, a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don’t fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. [Via]


Mr. McCullough you are a Troll!  Getting people, gamers and non-gamers, upset over a video game you or they have never played.  I can also deduce, from your post, that you know NOTHING about the video game industry and Gamers in general.  We are not all 15 year old sex crazed children.  The majority of gamers and the market this game was targeted at are in their late 20′s to early 30′s.   It’s not a T (Teen) game; it’s an M (Mature) game.  Ratings are there for a reason.

I would suggest before you go shooting your mouth off about a subject you know nothing about that you take the time first to learn some facts about what you are condemning.  I would also suggest that you back up your findings with some hard facts and numbers.  Where is your proof that ‘Mass effect’ is being marketed towards 15 year old males?   Where is the proof that you can hack Mass Effect to add extra encounters?  Where are the facts that there is full frontal nudity?  Where is the fact that you can mate with anyone and anything in the game?

You complain about being able to “custom design the shape custom design the shape, form, bodies, race, hair style…” of the people you can have sex with in the game.  That is simply incorrect.  What you can do is create an avatar which is a projection of you within a game.  It’s a game play element used to help the player become more emotionally evolved with the character and there for enjoy the game more.   It’s like watching a movie with well written and acted characters.  You just get more ‘into’ the movie than if it’s badly acted and poorly written.  It’s the same idea here.   There are also a number of arguments that you make against the game that only provide proof you haven’t played the game and are using the ignorance of people that haven’t played the game either into changing their views to a very narrow excuse for thought which is a Troll way of doing things.

You state that we should be able to understand why you are complaining about the “filth” in the game, yet make weak arguments and never quite state was is filthy about the game.  You also state that even the name of the game is dishonest.  ‘Mass Effect’, now I don’t know what flow of logic you could you uses to go from ‘Mass Effect’ to ‘War with a deadly virus’.  As a matter of fact, being a game for a number of years, I couldn’t figure out what ‘Mass effect’ meant until after I played the game.  It also helped that the term ‘Mass Effect’ is explained in the first minute of the game.

Yes the game is marketed for the Xbox 360.  It is only available for the Xbox 360.  The PS3 has the same capabilities as does the Wii, your PC, your TV, Ipod, etc.   You smudge the truth by not stating that there’s no human acting and the graphics are all pre/real-time rendered.  There are no ‘actual’ pictures being used. 

The clear choice of wording used in your post is a clear cut case of a Troll trying to get people upset because they don’t know the facts and using that ignorance to your advantage for hits and word of mouth advertising.  Personally I’m ashamed to state that it worked and that I needed to blog about it.

I also must point out something you stated:  “I have trouble with my son taking his James Bond 007 games a little too emotionally”.  See how that’s taken out of context?  It sounds like you really do have a problem with your Son playing James Bond video games.  You are using the same technique in your blog entry.  But, by saying that, you are also stating that you’re Son OWNS James Bond 007 Games. 


Since, I figure, your son is a little too young to be buying his own games.  You are saying, as a parent, that it’s ok for your Son to play a game that depicts the murder of people, hand to hand combat, and the glory of sexual innuendoes that is James Bond.  But it’s not ok to see tastefully done romantic sexual scene in a video game? 

What about the 6 O’clock news?  What about ‘reality’ shows? I’ve seen more skin on “Survivor”, ‘Big Brother” and other TV (and more raunchy) then what was done in Mass Effect.

Further reading of your article shows that when you ran out of things in the game to complain about you simply switch tactics to further enrage people.  By starting to state that what we need is the government to step in and set up laws to keep ‘smut’ out of the hands of children.

First off, Children are NOT innocent.  Children can and tend to be more cruel then adults because they tend to act more on emotion then by logical thinking and tend to have less problems doing something ‘bad’  if they think they can get away with it.  Take a long hard look at WoW (World of Warcraft).  Watch how these children act and tell me they are still innocent.

 Where do they learn it?  They learn it from TV, Books, Schools, the Internet, and from talking (Chatting/IMing) OTHER children.  It just takes one to get a story started and it’s all over from there.  There is nothing ‘legislative’ that can be done about it.  It all comes back down to the parents.  Be a parent and warn and advise the child of the crap they are going to get into and how to handle it before it becomes a problem.

You worry about pre-teen, teen, young adult, or adult male players thinking that woman should conform to his will just because the woman in his video game did.  I guess I give children a little more credit and not be stupid enough not to know that if you jump on someone a coin will not pop out of their butt.  What’s to stop a pre-teen, teen, young adult, or adult male TV viewer from watching the discovery channel will try to act out the acts of carnage shown from all the science shows?

Obscenity is in the eye of the beholder and if you have an obsession with it, you will find it no matter where you look.  I find parts of the bible totally obscene but you don’t see me trying to ban the bible or censor parts of it.  Nor do I need you telling me what’s right and wrong.  I grew up knowing the difference and I’m thankful I live in a country where I can practice that freedom.

I would like to leave you with something to think about.

Have you ever taken the time to think that perhaps your way of thinking is dangerous for this country?   A lot of community’s make good money from gambling.  Nevada makes a pretty good chuck of change from prostitution and the gaming industry makes more in one hour then you do in a year.  Things are changing and the ‘old school’ hard rules no longer apply.  No matter how many laws are passed people are still going to do what they have always done for centuries. 

Wouldn’t it be better for this country to roll with the changes and make laws that make sense?  Should you be worrying more about the War?  About our Brothers and Sisters being killed in the name of Oil?   Shouldn’t you be worried more about what’s happening in our Government with the possible scandals?    Aren’t there bigger fish to fry then to get a bunch of people worked up over a video game?  

And leave God out of it.  You are not God.  You have no idea what God wants.  You don’t know what he/she/it designed and how it’s supposed to all work out in the end. 

Your thinking is dangerous when you forgo the real problems to judge something you have no knowledge about.  

If you are looking for evil you will find it.



Mass Effect – First Impressions

Ok….some of you are wondering, if you haven’t gotten it yet or getting it today what is the deal and does it live up to the hype…

My answer is so far, yes and so far  I don’t know…

If you were a big fan of KOTOR this is a no brainer…either run and get this game or if you were like me, you got it last night (BTW I was one of 5 people who went at midnight in my area to get this game)

The I don’t know part is for those who are looking for either this to be a run n gun experience (it’s not) or something out of Oblivion (it’s better) or things I can’t name right here.

For the most part in the 1/2 an hour of time I got to play it before sleep kicked in, I saw a lot.

Before that tho, 20 mins took me to set up my character because if this the epic game that bioware is making this, you want to have a character you can stand to look at.

My character wound up looking like a mardern day version of Eartha Kitt (in her 20′s or 30′s) with a nice short cut…hehehe

Ok…so what did you see in a 1/2 an hr?

Ok….in a brief sum.

1. You learn a bit about your own character based on whatever background set you pick

2. You learn that your crew are working with aliens that everyone has mixed feelings about especially since one is on board the ship.

3. I pissed off said alien race on my ship because he likes working ‘alone’ and I don’t think I can trust them.

4. I may have pissed off a doc on my ship because she has a nasty ‘tude also and my character doesn’t take any crap….lol

5. I got one of my ‘Ensign Jenkins’ (hereafter known as EJs)  killed because I sent him forward to take out an emplacement and he accidentally blew up a power cell (dummy!)

6. I got a cool peice of armor…hehehe

The combat is a bit of a mixed bag because sometimes it seems as even tho you are shooting at something it doesn’t quite ‘die’ the way you want it but this is definently preferred over turn based combat.

If you have seen the pix and the videos, the graphics are very well done and if they get around to doing another KOTOR then this right here may be a sneak peek as to where this is going.

Also another thing you want to be aware of….check your graphics settings as your are setting up the game…I got a little concerned as I played about a ‘grainy’ quality my picture had and I thought it was the TV….it’s not…in the settings, they have a reading for “film grain” so that way the game almost looks like you are playing a movie.

Back to the convos….it’s everything that they advertised as far as how fluid it it and each and every choice you make as far as how you want to take definently makes a difference. Sometimes you have to make a choice to glean info from someone vs brushing them off because they are getting a little too familiar. I did find in one instance so far that if you kind of continue along the exact same line of questioning, that you get the same response.

I think this will be the game that knocks Oblivion off of the throne as the top RPG on the 360 but only time will tell and some downloadable content can’t hurt either!

Otherwise so far, within the very tiny portion of the game that I have played…it is indeed impressive.
    By:   Ðreddheaddedpoe†®


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