I write as a freelance reviewer for Joystiq.com, one of the largest video game website/blogs. AOL owns them.
I wrote a review of a video game called "Conduit 2", by High Voltage software, published by Sega.
The review was very negative. I gave it 1/5 stars. I was...very harsh. But it was justified. The game is, in my professional opinion, terrible.
I am also a fantasy novelist. After the review was published, the creative director of High Voltage sent out an inter-office email, telling his people to go to my book on Amazon.com and write reviews of it, since I had written a bad review of their game. The email was leaked to the gaming press.
The issue is not that it's a cute back and forth between a major video game developer and a lowly reviewer, but moreso that a major company attacked the livelihood of the reviewer because they didn't like the review, and they're acting like that's ok. Even the email response they sent to The Escapist condones what they did, and admits it. Then they wryly continue saying that kind of behavior is respectable, warranted and, most of all, above reproach.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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