Posted By Robert G. about 6 months ago
Right away I admit to being a tad biased in this report. This is mostly due to the fact that its depressing to see an industry-wide issue continue to go unchecked. Hell, here at Blistered Thumbs we are not immune to being duped either, but its disheartening when a website like Gamersyndrome pretty much fools everyone for a few days.
For those not in the know, Gamersyndrome is a gaming website that about two days ago, posted up a long interview. The interview, of course, was a sit down discussion with BioWare to talk about Mass Effect 3, and the future of the series for both re-releases on the Wii U and the rough date of release for Mass Effect 4.
And it was all a lie. You heard that right. The entire interview (which has since been taken down) was fabricated by this journalist. The kicker, the deception was posted on December 5th, only to be retracted a week later, after several other news sites had reported on the story in their own way.
The official word from Gamersyndrome is that the information from the interview is stemming from an “unreliable source,” and is now investigating the issue. Electronic Arts and BioWare have also come out against the interview, saying that no questions between Gamersyndrome and their team, specifically by one of Mass Effect’s producer Mike Gamble, ever took place. Most of the sites above had already printed a retraction in the form of an update from the original story, while other sites such as joystiq have had the article itself pulled mysteriously during the day.
But frankly, the damage has been done. Gaming journalism already has a major image problem regarding honesty and integrity as it is, from allegations of favoritism and pay offs, to just sheer poor article writing and deliberately editorializing facts for sensationalist headlines. Compound this with that can’t be verified to be true or not, it is a wonder anyone takes us as an industry seriously.
It does highlight a major problem regarding the news cycle of various websites? How do we verify information before it is published? Of course we need to begin to discern the difference between pure blogger sites, and actual gaming news. The websites posted above are emblematic of what gaming news should be, and that is the model we, as journalists, should follow.
So Gamersyndrome, it is too little, too late for any apology or 11th hour edit. But we as the bulwark between the industry and the fans should also know better. Hopefully we can learn from this in the end, and do our homework before posting news.