Most Inapt Orwellian Reference of the Week

Wolfshead’s anti-WoW and anti-Blizzard sentiments are well known… erm… well, they are known if you read his blog in any case.  And if you read his blog, you might have notice a tendency over-state things or blow them out of proportion.

So of course, in his view, Blizzard isn’t moderating their forums, something most game companies do to do to keep them from becoming unreadable cesspits, they are attempting to “sanitize opinion.”

Not unexpected from somebody who feels the need to put the worst possible spin on all things Blizzard, though you might wonder WHY he cares about their forums in the first place.  That seems like an unhealthy obsession.

But the killer is the sign off line, “Big Brother is watching you.”

Is he saying that Blizzard is actually reading posts in their own forums?

The mind boggles.

First, I am pretty sure that he has opined in the past that Blizzard pays no attention whatsoever to player feedback, so I suppose this is an inadvertent compliment from him.

Second, Big Brother in 1984 is the supreme dictator who keeps his society under constant surveillance.  How does that compare to Blizzard paying attention to what people write in the forums they provide?  Ruthless exploitative dictator versus video game company has to rank high on the bad analogy chart.

Or is this one of those bogus “freedom of speech” notions?

24 thoughts on “Most Inapt Orwellian Reference of the Week

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I do read his posts, not in spite of often disagreeing with what he has to say, but because of it. I tend to seek out contrary opinions to test and define my own.

    I’ve just been disappointed that he seems to have gone over the top with rage and exaggeration, especially when it comes to WoW, which I think often hurts his position, when there is enough cold logic to support where is trying to go without it.

    I just thought the Big Brother touch was so silly that I couldn’t let it rest.


  2. pitrelli

    I usually read his stuff for comedy value alone- how one person can get so worked up about a game/company makes me laugh. In many ways he is a more rabid syncaine without the good humour.


  3. scotth

    People have been claiming that Blizzard deletes anything that is less than complimentary from their forums in a hurry for a while now. It seems like there has been an increase in claims since the new forums came online. I don’t often use their forums so I can’t really say.

    The Big Brother thing is probably a little over the top, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some careful editing going on over there.


  4. Stropp

    Is there anything wrong with a company removing posts that it doesn’t like?

    I have a policy on my blog that certain types of posts will be removed, as I’m sure other bloggers do as well.

    This tweet kindof sounds like it was more designed to generate controversy, and probably shouldnt be taken seriously.


  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Stropp – The tweet is totally in character with his blog postings, so it isn’t any more attention seeking than anything else he writes.

    I had entertained the idea that his blog is one long experiment in trolling, but after years of the same thing (before he hated what WoW became, he hated what EQ became), I’d have to guess that you can take what he says pretty much as a face value representation of what he believes.


  6. Shadow

    I pretty much let anything not caught in the spam filter stay up on mine. /shrug It’s one area that I tend to disagree with heavily with many other bloggers. Of course, I’m not “a big deal”, so I’m sure it cuts down on the overall potential vitrol.

    I saw his post too, and thought it was a jab at over-moderation as well as a “don’t-let-them-forget” of the RealID thing. Then again, I don’t know what the posts are that are being deleted. Is Blizzard truly as heavy handed as being said by him and others?


  7. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shadow – I let almost anything past that has some value in the conversation. “Die in a fire noob,” which has shown up on a couple of EVE posts, tends to get deleted. But you’ll find comments that are aggressively offensive but which actually have a point in the past comments on the site… especially around EVE and WAR posts.

    I’d say in almost 5 years, I’ve deleted less than 20 posts that were not obvious spam but merely pointlessly offensive.

    Of course, I went to the forums just to see if I could find some negativity. There is plenty about, so the threshold seems to be lower than “less than complimentary.”

    I am watching the thread “Nice Excuse Blizz” in the General Discussion forum. That one seems prime for deletion if Blizz is as heavy handed as people say.


  8. Random Poster

    They do more locking than deletion of pointless threads. Which hell I don’t blame them for. It normally takes a really bad offensive Orignal post to get a deletion. Offensive posts after the OP just get a thread locked.

    And I have always wondered why if Wolshead despises it so much why is he following it so closely? It’s one thing to follow news articles and the like but why in the world is he on forums he can’t use.


  9. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Heh, the thread I was following was deleted. That was fast. But then it was a total troll as well, so I expected as much.

    Apparently some threads were linking to his posts. He followed the links back to find them deleted, hence sanitizing of opinion.

    I cannot imagine why a thread that chooses to reference a post like “Is Blizzard’s Cataclysm the Worst Expansion in MMO History?” would be subject to deletion.




  10. bhagpuss

    “Big Brother is watching you” used to be an absolutely standard, virtually innocuous tag, back when I was growing up in the 70s. Used to see it appended to all kinds of utterly trivial stories. It was kind of the “political correctness gone mad” of its day.

    Maybe Wolfshead is just really old.


  11. Random Poster

    I was watching that one to TAGN and yeah if any post deserved deletion that one was it. Why would anyone want to keep stuff like that around? Posters attacking each other OP attacking no redeeming value whatsoever.

    I’d have to actually read Wolf’s blog to see which ones got linked to him but I stopped doing that a long time ago when I could rarely see anything with any thought behind it beyond “I hate WoW NERRRRD RAGGGGGE” Did the same with Syncaine for a while to, but he’s gotten better about relying on more than just rhetoric so put him back in my feed.


  12. SynCaine

    What other expansion cost a game 600k subs and counting? Cata might be the worst expansion in the history of MMOs.


    ToA still takes the cake. Nothing like adding epic, over-the-top OP items/abilities only gained from soul-crushing PvE in a PvP game.


  13. Random Poster

    To me I have enjoyed Cata quite a bit. I think it depends on where you look at the expansion from. From an endgame player, Raids, heroics, etc (which I fall under) the expansion has been lacking just because there wasn’t that much content to start with.

    On the other hand from the leveling new character/alts I think it was a great expansion. I actually enjoy leveling my low level toons (right up until I hit TBC anyway).

    I give Blizzard a lot of respect for doing what they did for the core game, but I think this may be the last expansion where you see “only” 5 levels. It’s like they tried to get away with half the endgame content because they were only giving half of the normal amount of levels of previous expansions, while trying to maintain the normal rate of content patches. People have burned through what it shipped with very quickly as far as 5 man content goes. Most players still haven’t seen the raids, but that’s always been a smaller subset of people in WoW than those who never see them.


  14. Talth

    I think Blizzard does the exact opposite. They listen to everything the players say. They are constantly changing the game to make players happy which results in other players being unhappy about the new changes.


  15. Talarian

    I don’t understand why bloggers give Wolfshead the time of day, let alone full out blog posts on him, then complain about him being over the top. Larisa did it, Tobold has done it, you’ve done it. There’s got to be more to blog about than giving a jaded MMO veteran more air time to effectively be the Fox News of bloggers.

    Sure, he’s entitled to his opinions, and there may be a grain of truth here or there, but extending his podium considering his inflammatory approach certainly isn’t going to make him less angry, jaded and over the top.

    As far as the subject goes, they’re Blizzard’s forums. There’s no freedom of speech, Blizzard is allowed to do whatever they like on them. Considering the cesspool of commentary the old forums were (and noting that as Blizz becomes more heavy handed, I’ve been watching the quality of commentary on MMO Champion go down, I wonder if there’s a correlation there?), and sometimes the inanity of commentary on the forums today, sometimes I wonder if they are being heavy handed enough? It goes with Rohan’s post about making the community better, and sometimes you might have to fire some bad customers to make the experience better for the rest.


  16. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Talarian – I just thought this was more amusing than usual for him, Big Brother Blizzard and their conspiracy to enforce… and I am disappointed he didn’t use the term… goodthink.

    But I must admit I have a fascination with cranks and conspiracy theorists. (I have made more than a few Kennedy assassination references over the years now.) They make the internet an interesting place for me and I enjoy a view of the world at odds with my own now and again.


  17. Wolfshead

    It must be a slow news day for you to comb through my Tweets to create content for your blog. To each his own.

    I also find it interesting that you found the time to create a blog article on my single Tweet but conveniently ignored the news that Blizzard just lost 600,000 paying subscribers this week.

    The fact is that Blizzard is deleting many threads that do not actually violate their terms of use policies but are doing so for only one reason: because they disagree with Blizzard’s mismanagement of WoW (read: 600k subs lost since Cataclysm).

    I get trackbacks from my WoW articles that lead back to actual official forum threads that are mysteriously deleted.

    Not only that, I have researched this myself extensively a few months ago and seen thread after thread deleted after a few hours after they’ve been posted. I have the evidence to prove it in an unpublished blog article that I may release if I can be bothered to do so.

    Clearly Blizzard is trying to control the narrative by deleting forum threads that put WoW and Blizzard in a less than positive light. I suppose that kind of censorship doesn’t concern you at all given the snide tone of your article.

    Of course Blizzard has every right to delete any thread they wish but that does not make it right. The minimum wage forum monitors are purposely keeping vital information from the WoW devs and keeping them in a fools paradise. You’d think that Blizzard would be interested in getting accurate feedback from their subscribers unless of course the forums are a place to vent and serve no actual purpose to help make WoW better.

    And by the way, most everything that I have been saying about Blizzard and WoW is coming to pass. The news of of WoW losing 600k subs just confirms that.

    All I see in the article and comments are mostly inane, witless insults and juvenile generalizations about the quality of my articles and opinions. Bravo to you all.

    If you haven’t guessed by now, I write about what I feel is important. If you don’t like it than too bad for you. I don’t really care if anyone agrees with me not unlike many other bloggers who are obsessed with being liked and having the correct opinions.

    So if you or anyone else disagree with my articles than at least have the decency and intellectual courage to come to my blog and debate me face to face in a civil manner.




  18. Longasc

    You got worked up about the single tweet of a person you can’t stand.

    And obviously can’t stop reading that person. Because of your fascination with blabla…

    I think you are damn stupid. Write your own stupid rants about whatever, but you could not resist going ad hominem.


  19. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    See kids, trolling works!

    @Longasc – I called into question his use of Big Brother as a comparison to Blizzard, something he did in a public forum and thus from which he was obviously trying to get a reaction. Kindly explain how that is going ad hominem. (And for future reference, people and things I cannot stand never get any sort of mention here, so Wolf doesn’t meet that criteria and I hope that I have not given that impression… well… okay, maybe I did… but I didn’t mean that.)

    @Wolfshead – But still… Orwell… really?

    And I see you conveniently ignored my own post about Blizzard shedding 600K players. I hope that isn’t an example of your extensive research skills.

    And for your own edification, I also write about I want and it is ALWAYS a slow news day around here.

    Hell, didn’t I have a post about the weather last week?


  20. Dril

    This post is scratching and itch I almost forgot about.

    Can both of you keep this up for a while, just for the odd bit of merriment here and there?

    And, since we’re hating Wolfshead, I’d like to take this opportunity to say: Longasc, you’re amazing in every way. I mean, to call someone “damn stupid” and then a line later talk about ad hominem is just…incredible. I realise your general stance is to re-spout everything Wolfshead says but in a less intelligent(ly written) manner and not actually defend yourself when someone challenges your view, but, damn, I didn’t think massive hypocrisy was your thing. Oh well.

    Also: I agree with the general assessment that Wolfshead is actually fairly intelligent and quite often at least partially correct, but the venom and hatred makes me shake my head sometimes. Also, the whole “I’m a martyr” act is pretty boring. But he’s not a total buffoon.


  21. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    Hrmm… keep this going… what else can we find in Twitter…

    I kind of liked the futility of this comment from Wolf:

    “argghh do we really need another BlizzCon?”

    You could quite easily substitute “Madonna Concert Tour” in place of “BlizzCon” as they’ll both sell out very quickly. Which may prove that we do, in fact, need another whatever it is you don’t like personally but which is otherwise quite popular.

    That doesn’t have much bite, but neither did my pointing and laughing at Wolf for invoking Big Brother, and see how much that upset Wolf and his BFF Longasc.


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