Any Publicity is Good Publicity, Right? Right?November 22, 2008
I thought I was the only one who found the recent Warhammer Vault article “Kid kills family because he is unable to dye cloak, Warhammer to blame” in poor taste, until I read a pretty harsh condemnation of that title on Ark’s Ark.
It’s an arresting title because it sounds like an actual news item, one of those ridiculously overused “games kill people” news items that the media loves to latch onto. However, it’s just a rant about the author’s frustration with the limitations of the dye system — nobody was killed or anything.
Ark makes a very valid point — humorous intent or no, feeds everywhere will rebroadcast that title and some people won’t read past those words before passing along this information as actual fact. The internet a breeding ground of rumors small and big, and if a lie gets told often enough it eventually is accepted as truth.
This may very well be nothing, a blip before readers move on. But the danger of extremely bad PR for Warhammer Online is present, especially if a larger media outlet picks up on the title and runs with it without fact-checking anything. Recently, World of Warcraft’s expansion launch received some ugly PR when a kid in Netherlands collapsed while playing a marathon session — a small blip in a sea of millions of players, but this is the sort of thing that grabs headlines.
The Vault may be backing up this article title as it wonts, but I would hope that common sense would reign over stupidity in this case. It’s a bad title, it could give the game unnecessarily bad PR, and they should change it.