We've all seen FOX News commentators get worked up about silly non-issues. It occurs more than we'd like, but what happened last week on popular morning show FOX and Friends was not only a misleading and pointless attack on video games, it was an unintelligible attack on a mediocre and forgotten game from 2007, along with a handful of recent indies that no FOX and Friends viewers, or any of their close family members, had ever heard of before this broadcast.
SimCity Societies was the first SimCity not designed by Maxis... and it showed. The game was a simplified version of the classic series, with a greater emphasis on social engineering than actual city planning. Longtime fans of the series thought it was for babies, and it failed to attract any new players since that whole user base was already playing The Sims. Its impact on the gaming world was minimal, to say the least.
Perhaps because this has been the slowest news week in more than a month, some cunning FOX News segment producer realized that this game was clearly a liberal propagandizing machine. It allows children to build wind power plants alongside more conventional ones, i.e. nuclear reactor plants. Extremely qualified radio host and parent TJ McCormack goes on to elaborate how both that game and the more blatantly liberal, but indie and not so well known one, Fate of the World, are stressing out kids by forcing them to consider environmental issues.
My favorite, which just happens to be the most horrible part, is the side-by-side footage at the start of the segment. Here we have a recent Call of Duty game (I can't tell which one, but if you know... put it in the comments) and 2009 indie sensation Flower. Neither game is mentioned by name in the segments, leaving us to wonder: What is FOX trying to say here?
One side shows commandos gunning down insurgents, the other a beam of coherent light causing flowers to bloom in a field. In the context of the rest of the piece and the huge "VIDEO GAMES ARE GOING GREEN! PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AWARENESS" tagline across the bottom of the graphics, which doesn't even make sense, the message from FOX seems to be that video games were bad when they used to teach kids about guns. Is FOX showing them beauty and teaching them to love the world around them?
This impression is solidified at the very end of the video when the host asked McCormack whether these games are better than war games. Rather than answer the question, McCormack goes on a rant about how games that aren't about shooting things are boring.
Class acts, FOX and Friends. Class acts.