Following on from yesterday's post about the Greek 'newspaper' kathimerini's attempt to stereotype and defame gamers, I am pleased to see that the story is steadily making it's way around the internet.
I was struck by this comment posted on the 122nd Cadian blog, which describes how the 'journalist' obtained the 'story'. It was posted by Moskitokiller:
"I was interviewed for that article and frankly, I was expecting some negative remarks but not that open aggression. I was surprised by the absolute stereotyping and the unjustified political labelling. The journalist and her assistant approached me while I was playing on the IC tournament. She knew my name and was very pressing. I said I am not interested, at least not on the spot. I was very reluctant for the interview and I received three calls before accepting, after we agreed that I would stay anonymous and that there won’t be any photos. From the very beginning I found myself defending the fluff and the community. There were some interesting discussions about science fiction and politics during the interview that lasted 2, 5 hours! Naturally, none of those were mentioned. Even though my name is not mentioned, I was portrayed as a confused individual with a mathematical mind that does not think! Yes baby, that’s me! An animal that can solve non-linear differential equations. And I am as far as anyone can be from right-wing extremism and fascism, as it can be certified by anyone that knows me personally.
To be fair though, I have to mention that the overall climate of the interview was friendly and even fun at some points."
For me, what makes this all the more surprising is that it indicates the lengths to which the 'journalist' and indeed the newspaper went to obtain the desired result.
In the dim and distant pass I wrote for a number of business magazines, and part of my job was to ring the CEO's of companies and interview them. Usually the interview would last between half an hour and an hour. And yeah, I admit that I went in with an agenda - since most of my articles were about ISO9000 and whether or not they used it. Occasionally something would come up in the interview, like when I interviewed the head of the Bus Service in Northern Ireland, that would take the story off in a new and interesting direction - in that case it was about the difficulties in managing a workforce when they were running a risk of being killed on duty.
The idea that these interviews took two and a half hours indicates two things to me. Firstly that the newspaper wanted a sensational story, and the only thing she could find was this spurious and fabricated Nazi angle, which I suspect was her equivilent of ISO9000, based on a cursory examination of a few websites and noticing the words race and war.
And secondly that wargamers are rather dull hobbyists, which is a good thing really. Because let's face it most mens hobby's are filled with jargon that is baffling to an outsider, and only really make sense to those engaged in the hobby.
Obviously there are jokey elements to the story, and many sewer dwellers have found much ribaldry in the article. And it is perhaps a sign that the hobby is moving more towards the mainstream - in the same way as video games - perhaps helped by the success of the Black Library novels, in particular the Horus Heresy series, that this 'journalist' decided to 'explore' the subject.
But it still doesn't excuse the behaviour of this journalist, or of the newspaper in choosing to run such a piece.
Those photographed and defamed as facists have every right to be offended.
And so should every right minded gamer.