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By now everyone has read about the ill advised pissing contest one Ocean Marketing got into with the good fellows over at Penny Arcade. If you haven’t, go ahead and Google “I Wwebsite as on the internet”, I’ll wait.

Done?

  • First question: How could you work PR in the gaming industry and not know who Mike Krahulik is?
  • Second question: How could you work PR in any industry and not know how to properly formulate a coherent sentence?
  • Third, and possibly the most important, question: Why, just why?!?!
There’s a few lessons I hope we’ve all learned from this entire thing:
  •  Know the Mayor of Boston? Awesome! We know the internet. Literally. The whole internet: No matter how big of a deal you think you are in your particular neck of the woods, the internet is full of people who sit in dark rooms with Photoshop preloaded and Reddit/4chan on their bookmarks bar.In this line of work, there’s a danger of buying  into your own hype. I try to keep myself humble by reminding myself of the following on a daily basis: “If you’re going to believe everyone who tells you that you’re a rockstar, you better be prepared to believe everyone that tells you you’re an asshole.” (gratuitously paraphrased from something Sanya told me once at a kids birthday party). Never believe that you’re above reproach or that for one minute you’re any different from the people (nee; players) you represent/are speaking to. The minute you think you’re untouchable, the internet will unleash its full Pedobear-y wrath upon you and grind you into a fine powder to be sprinkled liberally over that helping of humble pie that’s now sitting in front of you.
  • The minute you become bigger than the product you represent, you cease to be effective: Does anyone know what product Ocean Marketing, Excuse me, Ocean Strategy, Excuse me…wait, where did they go? (way to not understand how Twitter works Paul).The Avenger Controller is actually a pretty badass gaming peripheral. It’s made for folks who have a difficult time using a standard console controller and it’s various buttons, and from what I’ve read about it, it’s very much so desired by gamers with disabilities. This thing was invented by a teacher using rubber bands and popsicle sticks! He’s like a MacGuyver for nerds!Point is, this really cool product has been completely overshadowed by the unfortunate behavior of Paul.Which is why this didn’t surprise anyone at all last night:

  • Your words have an affect on everyone around you: As part of my responsibilities at work, I run a class on the do’s and don’ts of public interaction as a representative of a studio. We cover everything from forum interaction to emails/private messages to Facebook, Twitter or whatever social media tool you choose to use. Every time I teach this course, I always perform a little exercise where I have the attendees look at each other. I then remind them that the words they say can have an impact on not only their jobs, but the jobs of everyone around them. Anything you say publicly, especially as game developers, has an impact on your Community, your game, and consequently, your studios success.

    Yes, your words effect your coworkers, your product, your game…and your family. It’s hard to support a family in this industry. The hours can be challenging, the work can be stressful, your wife might have to put up with countless memes references with her only response being a confused look…where was I? Oh, yeah…The last thing you want to do is to jeopardize your ability to provide for your family, which I believe Paul realized a bit too late.

    “…If you can please accept my apology and anything you can do to help if not me my son and wife please do. I have apologized to Dave and apologized to you what else can I do please tell me so I can make things good. I obviously care or I would not be emailing you.”

  • There is no such thing as privacy on the internet…ever: Your random ramblings, rantings and angry emails are never guaranteed to be private, or stay private, no matter how locked down your privacy settings are, no matter how carefully you choose who to friend…also, you should probably check the cc; recipients. If one of them has an @kotaku.com email address, you should probably err on the side of caution. JUST SAYIN.