Op-Ed

Op-Ed
How to Get Hits and Influence People

Russ Pitts | 15 Jun 2006 15:17
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Step 1: Make stuff up.

Step 2: Quote vague sources

Step 3: Reap the whirlwind.

A forum site, cum blog, which I will refuse to name or link (but its name starts with an "F" and ends with a "13") posted a story a day or so ago in which they claimed to have seen an "insider" presentation given by Vivendi execs on Wall St. Vivendi, is the company which currently owns Blizzard, and the execs (allegedly) claimed that soon, all of Blizzard's IPs would be MMOs.

Meaning, World of Starcraft, etc.

Hilarity ensued.

Before I'd finished my second cup of coffee yesterday, I'd counted more than two dozen gaming news sites which had jumped on the bandwagon, trumpeting this blog post as newsworthy news. Some bloggers, like my man Razor, voiced a touch of skepticism which is (sadly) warranted by posts originating from our good friends of the letter and the number. Others charged full steam ahead in assuming the rumor was true. While still others went the extra mile and attempted to verify the claim. Lum and Matthew, I'm looking at you.

Turns out that both Vivendi and Blizzard reps have denied that any such assertion was made, suggesting that the original story was a result of a "misquote" or "misunderstanding." Problem solved? Not quite.

As Razor pointed out to me today, Blizzard has been known to pan legitimate news as rumor if the news in question so happens to screw with their internal news release timelines. It remains to be seen, therefore, if the originating site was actually on to something (and breaking an embargo) or merely making stuff up (and being douchebags).

Still, for furthering the art of culture jamming the industry or possibly biting the hand that feeds, I salute you, Site I Will Refuse to Name. On the BlogJam Scale (copyright pending), I rate this debacle a 10 out of a possible 10. Keep up the good work!

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