Aggro Me: Defending SOE?
Sure, why not. Anyone who reads this site knows I do not hesitate to be negative when the situation calls for it. If I feel SOE is screwing up or doing something unfair to their customers, believe me, I will tell you. And I have plenty of times in the past. I think my record speaks for itself.
But that goes both ways. If I see SOE being treated unfairly, I will tell you that as well. And that is the case here.
I was surfing over to Digg last night, specifically Digg Gaming. Now, Digg Gaming is a great and popular site. People (anyone) can submit stories and if you like them, you vote on them, or Digg them. As they get more Diggs they rise to the front page and more people see them and link to them. It's a cool system and I like it. I find a lot of interesting reads on gaming there. But it does have its flaws.
Nothing is there to stop people from submitting Diggs with a heavy spin or an incorrect title.
That's why I'm defending SOE in this post.
On the very front page (it's on page two now), one Digg had risen near the top with over 1,000 Diggs, or votes. The title? "Sony Online Entertainment's Dirty Business Practices Exposed."
Okay. The description: "The article here describes some of the dirty busienss [sic] practices exercised by Sony Online Entertainment in order to get your money."
The link takes you to this page.
And here's my major issue. This is not article. It is not even close to an article. It is a "mailbag letter" submitted by a reader. I could have written it. Anyone could have written it. Brad McQuaid could have written it (joking, joking).
But I know who didn't write it. CBS News, the site where it is hosted.
To link to it as "an article" is highly irresponsible and just wrong. A lot of people read the first page of Digg Gaming and link to stories they find there. And to spread the word about a mailbag letter as if it were an article is just ridiculous. That letter has no more validity than a typical forum rant. But people clicking that link and not noticing it is a letter will assume it has validity and that it was written by a respectable news outlet, CBS News.
It claims to have been written by a guide, but who knows? Now, as for the letter itself, does it make a few valid points? Okay, sure. Yes the Froglok thing was a mess (though not quite as bad as the letter writer would have you believe) and I told you that at the time. Yes, some of the EQ expansions were a bit on the unfinished side. But 60% complete at release? Be serious. How do you pull a number like that out of thin air? And to say SOE introduced "artificial bugs" strikes me as absurd and worthy of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.
Now, I don't know what percent of the expansions were finished. I have no idea. But I doubt the letter writer does either.
And the important thing is that this was not researched or fact-checked as an article should be. Because it is not an article.
I don't have the slightest problem with this person writing their letter, though I may not agree with it. That is absolutely their right. There is nothing wrong with voicing your opinion, I voice mine all the time. And CBS has the right to print letters in response to their articles. They are just presenting it as a letter they received. They are not saying it is an article or that they have verified the contents. I don't have a problem with that either.
But the Digg link says it is an article, and I have a major problem with that.
It's a letter from a mailbag and a December 21, 2005 mailbag at that. But a lot of people in the comments section, and I'm sure many more that did not comment, are assuming it is, in fact, an actual article from CBS News. I don't blame them. If you just read the Digg and clicked over it would be easy to assume it was a legitimate article.
If someone wants to write a proper, fact-checked, researched article about SOE, that's great. But this isn't it.
It's just a shame that people have the wrong idea about this link so I'm doing my very small part to try to set the record straight. It's just a letter and a poorly written one at that.