No, I'm not an ARG person
To everyone, especially Michael Abbott, I'm sorry. I knew about her for a while, and I didn't realize there would be any harm or foul; had I known Michael was engaging in solicited emails with her, I'd have given him the tip. I've known for a month.
I was not aware that ARG's are highly offensive to some; it was no harm to me that the blog served as a low-importance backstory for a supporting character in some book I don't care about. One of the comments on Simon's breaking of the story says
"Mark, most writing about games is simply not of a quality and most critique superficial, but the blog was well-written and attempted to delve in deeper critique. And that was why it didn't bother me. It was unique, quality content. Why is it fine to accept vanilla crap content with blatant advertising but not quality, bloggy type of content with non-intrusive advertising?
The deceipt, you say. But deceipt happens all the time. People tell white lies all the time. Strangers, acquiantances, and co-workers lie all the time, and we accept that. And technically, the site never lied--the "about me" page was short and had only two links, both of which were highly telling. The handler has basically admitted that it was a mistake and they'd wished people had figured it out sooner--they didn't want this to happen. Even they are a little unhappy with how it turned out. It is possible someone could have figured it out immediately--the fact that no one did until now is just as telling about our Internet habits as it is about how convincingly real a fictionaly game blogger like Rachael Webster is.
Engaging in lots of email conversations--being upset about that is something I understand. But the fact that she did it at all doesn't just have to elicit feelings of anger because "oh no, we were marketed to"--instead, it can remind us that we still have much to learn about interaction on the Internet and about the state of the game blogging community. We can be introspective instead of pissy.