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Watch out, Fox News! The virtual sex simulator might be coming to a theater near you and destroying your precious small town values. Avi Arad, the producer of several recent Marvel comics movies, has optioned the rights to the Xbox 360/PC RPG Mass Effect.

The news comes via Variety, who notes that this deal is "more evidence that Mass Effect 2 is on the way". I'm not so sure it is evidence of that. I'm pretty sure the fact that Mass Effect was a wildly successful RPG and it's part of a planned trilogy is evidence of a sequel. But I digress.

Anyway, optioning a book/game/whatever doesn't mean that it's necessarily going to be made into a movie. It just means that Arad temporarily has the rights to do so. Now he's got to run around Hollywood finding a writer, director, etc. interested in making the film. Also, he's got to decide which actor will look good enough in a crew cut to play Commander Shepard.

There's no doubt Mass Effect could be made into a decent movie, given the strong story. However, even though it's one of my favorite Xbox 360 games, I can't really generate any enthusiasm. In a sense it already is a movie. All that a film adaptation would be doing is chopping down the story to 120 pages and removing the interactivity. Still, if it keeps money flowing to BioWare and enables them to keep making games the way they want to, then who am I to complain?