Posts tagged Rumors
This article of admission is making its rounds this afternoon, so I’ll grab the lightning while it’s hot, or whatever…
The tl;dr version of is that if you saw a recent rumor about a possible Xbox/Surface mash-up called the “X-Surface”, then you’ve been had. Some dude lays out how he pulled a fast one on several “news” sites, and then watched “in horror” as the story spread like blood in the water. Naturally, my first reaction was “if he’s admitting to faking it…are we sure he’s not faking this?” But that’s merely the smoke and mirrors segment of the greater show, which is what this trick exposed.
Copy and paste “journalism” is on display, as the perpetrator claims that his original story, presented in a series of identical emails to several blogs, started showing up in what he called a “Chinese Whisper” format, which I guess means that the story appears intact on several websites, with only the most anemic of modifications. But really, there’s only so many ways you can report that “the car hit the old woman”, right?
This guy’s conceit is that he was
like most other gamers…sick of seeing endless rumours and speculation citing “anonymous sources” or “insiders” with no evidence, no proof, no guarantee that they’ve been fact-checked or can be relied on.
Well, I guess so, but then again, who cares? For one, if I have a news story, I can’t possibly account for every single blog out there when sending out a press release. At some point, there will be a cut-off, and anyone below that line will only have other sources above that line to feed from. Really, then, do those sources below the line matter? To some, yes, because it’s possible in this day and age that not everyone knows about or uses the same sources. One man’s wannabe website is another man’s primary source.
Second, although I take my gaming lifestyle seriously, I cannot recall any single point in my life where a rumor or contrived news story on a gaming blog wrecked my life, or even made it better. If I believe that the X-Surface is a real thing, so what? We’re not speculating as to whether or not there are hostages involved or a terrorist plot. Instead, I can talk about this with my friends, and we can wonder and marvel and brainstorm and speculate about how such a thing could be done, and what it would be used for, how much it would cost…basically, the exact same things that a research team would be doing in thinking up an actual X-Surface device. The only difference is nothing: our discussion yields no product, and this hoax yields no product. But one jackass gets to proclaim to have hoodwinked the masses and feel good about himself in the process, and the rest of us have a great water cooler discussion. I think that’s a win-win.
I think the only people who really care about this are this guy, because he must be rolling in self-esteem right now, and people who will jump on any chance to debate whether or not gaming blogs are “journalism”, which I hope is far fewer people than I’m sure it is, because the only good thing to come out of this was the last line of this dude’s self-congratulatory post:
TL;DR – Until Microsoft/Sony announce something: don’t believe even the most reputable gaming sites.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is the take home message. This guy shouldn’t need to pull this stunt for us to realize this, but just as my post isn’t going to cause a tectonic shift in anything, reading about, dreaming about, and discussing rumors, real or imagined, isn’t the worst sin that’s be committed in the world.