Being possibly the single most important invention in human history, the internet has become something that has affected all our lives.
For the most part the internet is there to inform, entertain and has also, on occasion, made dreams come true.
However, there is also the other side to the internet, the side that can cause pain, heartache and even fear.
The gaming world seems to have more than its fair share of people voicing their opinions, good and bad, to the extent that one miss step, one wrong word can turn you from hero to zero.
Let’s take the case of the Ocean Marketing saga. Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing was representing the Avenger Controller and managed to make himself and his PR company look like total arses. Co-founder of Penny Arcade Mike ‘Gabe’ Krahulik received an email from a member of the gaming community detailing the to and fro of emails between himself, a customer, and Paul Christoforo. You can read them in their entirety here http://penny-arcade.com/resources/just-wow1.html
It didn’t take long for the internet to get its knickers in a twist and once it was put all over twitter and other gaming news sites, everyone who had read or heard about it had descended onto Paul Christoforo’s twitter account to mercilessly rip it out of him. It caused him to change his twitter account, change his company name and also get sacked from representing the Avenger Controller.
Many of the people and media outlets he mentioned were very quick to distance themselves from him. There are also parody videos on Youtube and meme’s taking the piss out of his poor grammar. Paul also sent Gabe an email saying that he [Gabe] had the power to make it stop but Gabe said that once it was released into the ether, the power was transferred to the internet and anything that Gabe said in an attempt to halt the stream of hate and piss taking would be fruitless.
Now let’s turn our attention to the recent issue that is the Mass Effect 3 ending.
After much hype and anticipation, Mass Effect 3 was released to millions of eager gamers all waiting to complete their journeys with their personal version of Commander Shepard and crew. To say that the ending to a trilogy that a lot of paying customers have invested in and taken into their hearts was not well received would be an understatement.
Many people have taken to the internet to voice their disappointment, frustration and even hatred of the ending. Much debate has taken place to explain why Bioware chose to end it the way they have. They have both directly and indirectly called on Bioware to fix the ending, they have even started a movement called The Retake Mass Effect Movement. It remains to be seen what Bioware do with this ‘feedback’.
These are just two examples of many that show that the internet can become the modern day version of a village mob holding torches kicking down the door to Frankenstein’s castle. There can be no doubt that the internet has put the power at the fingertips of the ordinary person. With the power to help you up or kick you down, it would take a very brave or stupid person to ignore the power of the internet, as Paul Christoforo and Bioware are now all too aware of.
In conclusion, whether you like it or not, the internet has a lot of power. With so many people connected in ways that were not possible before, it has become easier to gain support for a good cause or help with finding all the Riddler trophies on Arkham City. It has also become easier to fall foul of millions of fickle minds, who once they have built you up can destroy you just as quickly.
Can I just say that all of us at A Matter Of Life And Gaming love each and every one of you out there and wish only love in return ;).
P.S. Is it safe to come out yet?