Pajamahadeen - a portmanteau of pajamas and Mujahideen meaning bloggers who challenge and fact-check the traditional media.I had a ringside seat in the summer of 2004 as a bunch of "pajama-clad" bloggers took on the powerful Dan Rather and CBS News over a story containing forged documents ... and won. Are we about to see a repeat this year between the Eve blogosphere and the mainstream gaming press?
The Mittani, to hopefully no one's surprise, is mad as hell at the gaming press and yesterday began tweeting about their terrible posting, er, I mean reporting. Just watching the Tweetfleet post I have the feeling we may be about to witness a barrage of blogs and podcasts backing up The Mittani's claims. And reading the news I see several easily spotted inaccurate facts.
From The Escapist's Mike Kayatta:
"Alexander Gianturco (perhaps better known as "The Mittani") went on a five-minute-long bullying tirade against a recently-divorced player whom his group had recently blown apart in game. A 'dramatic' reading of the player's reaction to the death culminated in Gianturco muttering the following: "'Incidentally, if you want to make the guy kill himself, his name is [REDACTED]. He has his own Corp. Find him.'"Sorry, but the offending comment did not come at the end of a "dramatic" reading. It came near the end of the question and answer session as The Mittani tried to be cool in the way drunks will; with too much volume and thinking himself funny "ha-ha" instead of funny "let's lock him in the basement and not let him in public again." In other words, the remark was a spur of the moment brain-fart, not a planned part of the presentation. The worst part of the story is that Mr. Kayatta actually references where to find the remark in the video and still managed to get it wrong.
From xmediaonline's Andrew Smith:
"Possibly realising what he had done, The Mittani posted a heartfelt apology almost instantly to the Eve Online official forums. It wasn't until a few days later that the pressure of the media started to show and CCP was forced to act. Stating a breach of the user agreement and terms of service they placed a 30 day ban on The Mittani and forced him not only to resign his chairmanship, but to give up his place on the CSM."Perhaps I should not include Mr. Smith since xmediaonline.com is not really a gaming site, but as the number #2 listed story on Google News I just have to point out that the Alliance Panel was on Thursday night and Mittens posted his apology after landing in Boston on Tuesday night. The facts I mentioned, except for the part about Boston, were easily available. I happen to know about the Boston angle because I flew back to the States on the same plane.
Mr. Smith also got the penalty wrong, but came a bit closer than Massively.com's Eliot Lefebvre:
"Following harsh remarks in which he advocated finding and harassing a player who had expressed suicidal thoughts, Gianturco issued an official apology for his actions. But that isn't the end of it -- Gianturco has also been hit with a 30-day ban from EVE Online due to actions that violate the game's terms of service. He's also resigned from his position as chairman of the current Council of Stellar Management and forfeited the right to serve on the next CSM."The actual sequence of events was that The Mittani resigned his position as chairman of CSM 6, then CCP issued the 30-day ban for a ToS violation two hours later. Because CCP does not allowed banned players from sitting on the CSM, The Mittani could not take his seat on CSM 7, which had not yet been seated. But because he was not a sitting CSM member at the time he was banned, he is eligible to serve on future CSMs, starting with the 8th. The way the moves were reported, it would lead people to believe that Mittens was barred for running for CSM 8.
Massively.com is a big gaming site that influences the reporting of others. I believe that is the case with a piece written by Video Game Writers' Russell Jones:
"Later, Gianturco said he was drunk during the panel and issued an apology for what he said. That wasn’t enough to avoid a ban for violating CCP’s terms of service, and Gianturco also resigned his position on the Council of Stellar Management, a group of player-elected representatives that discuss game issues and development with CCP."Other reporters tried to provide background information for their readers. For example, Develop's Seth Tipps wrote:
"The Mittani is the most famous player character in EVE, responsible for single-handedly bringing down 'Band of Brothers', one of the major factions in a conflict the community now refers to as 'The Great War.'No he didn't, but that seems to be a recurring thread. From VideoGamer.com's Martin Gaston:
"A member of the alliance known as 'Goonswarm', The Mittani infiltrated the ranks of rival alliance BOB and, over the course of two years, worked his way up to the upper echelons of the faction's leadership.
"He then disbanded the alliance."
"Gianturco was responsible for EVE Online's most famous and publicised moment, when he managed to infiltrate and disable Band of Brothers, the game's dominant corporation at the time. The event is referred to as 'The Great War'".Poor analysis of The Mittani goes beyond why he is famous. Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun provided this startling analysis:
"Gianturco is to receive a 30-day ban from Eve – which is, I suspect, quite a handicap for a player as powerful as he ..."
Considering that The Mittani is famous for not logging into Eve for long stretches of time, his analysis is flawed. But at least the article no longer shows an image attributed to Mittens that was actually created by a player outside of Goowswarm.
With the gaming media supplying such fertile ground for a potential Pajamahadeen to grow, what type of activity is occurring now?
Jester wrote a great post, Hats, that can form the basis for any intelligent counterattack against the barbs thrown by the gaming media, especially if they keep up with the quality they have currently displayed to date.
Voices from the Void podcast host Arydanika blogs about the hypocrisy at the gaming sites talking about cyber-bullying because of their silence about sexual harassment at Cross Assault in February.
Eve Radio's DJ Funky Bacon will cover irresponsible journalism on his next show scheduled for Saturday at midnight GMT/in-game (Friday at 8pm Eastern time).
SynCaine at Hardcore Casual has already started making fun of Massively, even in a post about incursions.
I'm sure we shall see more if the gaming press decides they want to camp Eve Online. Eve players tend to be ... creative. Maybe someone should warn those reporters to stay away.