Monday, June 01, 2009
Facts and opinions
Most of the things you can read on my blog are opinions. When I tell you that Luminary is a great game, that PvP sucks, or that World of Warcraft is better with accessible raiding, these are all opinions with which you can agree or disagree. You can value my opinion more or you can value it less, but you don't have to worry whether what I say is true or not true. Opinions are always subjective, there is no absolute truth involved.
The big news this weekend in the MMO blogosphere was about popular blogger Ferarro of the Paladin Schmaladin blog being a complete fake. The blog runs for over 5 years, with the author posing as a cute girl, posting frequent photos. It turns out those photos have simply been lifted from another blog, Techdarling. And lots of people suddenly raised doubts about the authors claim to work for Blizzard and to have been an intern with the CIA. Then Paladin Schmaladin claimed that in fact there wasn't one Ferarro but 7 of them. But WoW.com finds that isn't true either, based on IP tracking. So now most of the posts on Paladin Schmaladin have been removed, except for a series of paladin guides.
And there is the point: The opinions "Ferarro" wrote about how to play a paladin are completely valid. You might agree or disagree on how useful a certain spell or ability is, but posts like that are always useful. It was the author's attempt to make himself (herself?) more interesting by posing as a cute girl and Blizzard employee, and thus give his opinions more weight, which was a sham.
Of course a person's opinions are always based on the facts of his life. For example in last week's discussion of the microtransaction business model people's opinions were colored by whether they had excess time or excess money. But as soon as somebody starts to try to strengthen his position in a discussion with arguments about his personal background, you have to ask yourself whether you can really believe his story. People say things like "I work for Blizzard", because you can't argue with facts, you can only believe or disbelieve them. But if these "facts" are found out to be untrue, the opinions that were supposed to be supported by these facts are discredited too.
Me, I've always been reluctant to tell any facts about my life. Mostly for reasons of privacy, but also because my work and my family aren't related to games, and thus not interesting in the context of this blog. The Ferarro story just adds another reason to my argument that blogger anonymity is a good thing.