In a stunning turn of events that absolutely no one could have foreseen, Conduit 2, which catalyzed a recent Amazonbombing controversy between High Voltage Software and Joystiq reviewer T. Michael Murdock, has itself been Amazonbombed.
In what can only be described as a shocking shocker, the angry internet has reared its vengeful head and demonstrated once again that it is not a beast to be messed with. Last week we told you about the kerfuffle between High Voltage Software, which developed Conduit 2, and T. Michael Murdock, who absolutely trashed it in every conceivable way in a vicious review for Joystiq. High Voltage tried to get a pound of flesh in payback by suggesting that employees “review” Murdock’s book, The Dragon Ruby, on Amazon (after reading it, of course) which resulted in small but suspiciously-timed number of one-star ratings.
Word got out, High Voltage apologized, drive-by reviews disappeared and that would have been the end of it, except that this is the internet and justice will not be denied, even if “justice” just means more of the same pointless silliness aimed in the opposite direction. As Coffee With Games noted, Conduit 2 last week had seven five-star ratings, four four-star ratings and a pair of three-stars, for an average customer review score of 4.5; today, however, a pair of two-star ratings and 15 one-star scores have been added to the mix, dropping it down to an average of 2.5.
Just as High Voltage’s Eric Nosfinger noted that the four one-star reviews of Murdock’s book didn’t exactly constitute a full-scale Amazonbomb firestorm, neither does 15 negative reviews out of a total of 31 for Conduit 2, and in fact the percentages are very close to the same. So is this a case of the goose and the gander? Not really; it’s impossible to control the anonymous mob and expecting it to do anything but behave badly is just asking for trouble. Individuals in positions of visibility and influence, on the other hand, have an obligation to hold themselves to a higher standard. Maybe that’s not fair, but that’s the way it goes.
It also bears mentioning that while the four one-star reviews commissioned by High Voltage are gone, Murdock’s book has been slapped with 13 new one-star reviews but also attracted a bunch of fresh five-star ratings too. In other words, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that user-submitted review scores of any sort are essentially worthless in this day and age. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just agree on that and move on to better things?