Updated Tue, Apr 03, 2012 by The Mittani
However, these are structural problems that go far beyond coverage of EVE; Arydanika - one of the very few female voices in the game - illustrated how this situation is just one example of a larger pattern of problematic gaming media behavior. Arydanika and I discussed the incident and its coverage at greater length on the Voices from the Void podcast.
Unfortunately, the editor-in-chief of Massively has now backpedaled from his columnist’s apology, claiming that the EVE community holding Massively to account for its errors is itself somehow an act of cyberbullying. The idea of a major gaming website being ‘cyberbullied’ is, of course, laughable, but this sad dodge further illustrates my point. When I screwed up and crossed the line, the right thing to do was apologize - profusely and without qualification - to own it. Massively erred in attaching ‘cyberbully’ to the story, and now - rather than own their error as their columnist had the maturity to do - their editor doubles down on the original offense and tries to use the same misapplied label to shirk accountability. Again, the EVE community reacted, with Jester replying with a stinging rejoinder to Schuster’s rationalizations.
This is important and thus bears repeating: cyberbullying is a serious problem, and this obfuscatory behavior serves only to trivialize a significant real-world issue by using it to escape responsibility. The entire situation demonstrates the danger of gaming bloggers with no formal training proclaiming themselves ‘journalists’ and essentially roleplaying as reporters while negligently glossing over the shoe-leather basics of the job.
Yet what is noteworthy to the broader EVE community about this scandal - beyond the obvious caveat not to trust a ‘reporter’ who doesn’t play or understand our game - is the fact that a previously inchoate group of EVE bloggers, podcasters and radio shows hosts have, over the course of the Incarna Crisis, developed into a force significant enough to challenge first CCP and now even the broader gaming media. A year ago I dismissed the EVE bloggers as an ‘echo chamber’ - and at the time it was true. That was before Jester’s infamous ‘Curves’ blog rocked EVE to its core, the riots were reported on in real-time by EVE Radio, and the common player turned to the community media instead of the official forums to find out what the hell was going on. In the intervening months, what was once an echo chamber has matured into a capable and credible force that straight up beats the ‘professional’ gaming media at their own job - and holds them accountable for their failures.