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A Riposte to a Rebuttal to a Reply, or Something
Posted on Monday, April 16 2012 @ 12:14:14 Eastern

This is a continuation of an exchange in the comments to "Gamers Rebel Against Dirty Tactics as Capcom's BBB Rating Plummets" and is posted here due to comment-length restrictions.

"Oh please, around the entire internet[...]"

I didn't ask about the entire internet.  I asked about this place, Game Revolution.  Where had you seen such a thing here?  You concede you have not.  It's a good thing, too - it's a starting point of agreement for what's to follow.

"I got shat on for point out the fallacy of their website"

I'm sorry to hear that.  We're talking about a formal topic and how it relates to a passion people share.  I do wish people would be more civil.  Were I the one reeling from a 'you're a tool of Bioware/EA' attack, I would demand hard evidence of a conflict of interest, on the condition that failure to produce such in the wake of such an allegation ends in a permaban on the spot.  You'll watch the internet tough guys' penchant for libel disappear on the spot.

"Point is, it doesn't matter if EA/BioWare/Capcom/Square Enix do good or bad practices, because the BBB is not evidence of that, or at the very least credible. That is my point, and why I don't take them seriously. "

The BBB's credibility is not at issue in Stephens' statements.  She could work for George Lincoln Rockwell, Meir Kehane or the DMV for all I care and what she said still stands or falls on its own merits.

"And yeah, I always assume what they say is a lie, because it never comes true. Hell look at other developers out there like Molyneux, Todd Howard, Gabe Newell, David Jaffe; they have been caught in "lies" time and again, but get off scott free."

Here is where you make the mistake I tried to point out by committing the same invalid extension of one of your prior statements in the exact same way you extended Stephens'.  What you have identified is a problem.  The right to freedom of speech ends where fraud/threat or incitement to same begin.  The problem is not whether you personally do or do not trust them.  The problem is whether a consumer can or cannot trust game makers.  If putting blatant lies about the contents of your product on the packaging (this is where your extension of Stephens' argument became invalid, that is what she talked about, not keynote speeches, not interviews, not on-the-record informal conversations with journalists) is accepted industry practice then the industry, and its accepted practices, need to change.  Objective definitions of false advertising, fraud, or abuse of consumers' rights need not change to suit it.  They're doing something wrong. If EA is the first to get slapped while others also deserve it, even if EA is the only one to get slapped when others are far more deserving, they still deserve it.

"So you are not abusing any argument, but rather making a fool out of yourself due to naivety."

Yes I did abuse your argument.  I abused it in the formal sense.  I was strawmanning you.  I was pretending that you would or were knowingly and willfully aiding and abetting outright fraud on a multi-billion dollar scale.  I never thought you actually did, believed, or intended any such thing.  One could not even uncharitably read that into your statements.  Likewise one could not even uncharitably read your conclusions about false advertising on Skyrim's blurbs from Stephens' argument.  Which was my entire point.  But even if those were a valid implication of her argument, that doesn't invalidate it.  'I don't like the conclusion' is not any more a refutation of an argument than 'all those other guys are doing it too' is an affirmative defense.

"It's advertising and promotion, of course it has a slant to it. It's why it needs to be taken with a grain of salt."

Which is why advertising is (normally) filled with weasel words a PR person can later hedge and lawyers can point to in order to protect their clients from false advertising and fraud lawsuits.  The problem is the use of the word 'completely'.  It is an absolute statement for which no significant qualifications are possible.  There are two reasonable interpretations of the indirect meaning of the word in context and neither one could possibly describe any of the Mass Effect games (or any game at all, for that matter) and it's really simple - EA hoisted themselves (and by extension, Bioware) by their own petard.  If you have a physical copy of Skyrim handy, read the blurb.  There's lots of weasel language.  If you tried to sue them they could bog your argument down in interpretive ranges for the words you would hope to single out.  It might, by some estimates, be very close to the line where hype ends and lying begins.  No one could seriously argue it is on the far side of that line.
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