INT. The Blogosphere – Midnight

A mob of ANGRY people are gathering around a man named Tobold who is tied up and hanging over a vat of cold tar. Standing next to him are a whole lot of chickens and a man with a grey goatee and mustache wearing a white suit.

Angry Mob (staring at Tobold)

Thou stand accused of violating ethical standards by accepting a free account for WAR.

Tobold

Hey… They gave it to me and besides it’s not like it’s going to affect what I say about the game.

Angry Mob (muttering)

Heresy! Thou shalt be dipped in tar and feathers for thy crime.

Enter Mark Jacobs, a tall, dark, charming, charismatic, athletically-built and handsome man in his 20s (hey, it’s my script and I’ll lie if I want to!).

Mark Jacobs

Now wait a minute folks, didn’t Tobold tell you about this account on his own?

Angry Mob

Yes. He admitted his sins against all that is good and true! Heat up the fire boys!

Mark Jacobs

And didn’t he tell you that before his review came out?

Angry Mob (jumping up and down)

Yes! He surely is not an honest man and his review must also not be honest. Pluck thy chickens.

Tobold

Mark… Not helping here.

Mark Jacobs

Hate to spoil your fun boys but he isn’t the first person to ever get a free account in a game.

Angry Mob

Huh? Nevermind… continue plucking.

Mark Jacobs

You ever hear the term “media account” or “comped account”?

Angry Mob

Thou speak blasphemy tall… dark… and handsome man.

Mark Jacobs

We give out tons of accounts to press and media people just like every other game developer who actually wants their game to be reviewed. We also give out tee-shirts… comics… keychains… doughnuts…

Angry Mob

Mmmm… Doughnuts…

Mark Jacobs

…and lots and lots of other trinkets to everyday people as well. We always have… whether it was Dark Age or WAR and/or our other games.

Angry Mob

You are the corrupter of souls then! Continue heating the tar.

Mark Jacobs

Free access and accounts have been part of online games since they first started. And when games cost $30 per hour… that was a pretty big deal. If you didn’t give them accounts they might not review your game. Even journalists have budgets.

Angry Mob

Then all online game developers are corrupt. Boys we are going to need a whole lot more tar and feathers! Tobold thee will need make room for the corrupter in thy vat.

Tobold

Room for one more…

Mark Jacobs

Tobold… This isn’t the Twilight Zone even if it feels that way at times. The same is true for all games. How do you think you are able to read reviews of all popular games on the day that they come out?

Angry Mob

All other reviewers are honest… truthful and hard working. Only Tobold is evil.

Mark Jacobs

No seriously. What did you think? That every reviewer plays the game after it comes out… jumps into their DeLorean… goes back in time and writes the review? Or that they have a special store where they can buy the game weeks before it comes out?

Angry Mob (muttering)

Hmm…

Mark Jacobs

I see you got your tar from Acme Tar & Feather company.

Angry Mob

Verily. It’s the best there is! Brand new model!

Mark Jacobs

How did you know that?

Angry Mob

We saw a review of it in the latest issue of “Better Mobs and Pitchforks!”

Mark Jacobs

Do you think they got a free barrel or two?

Angry Mob

Hmm. The review did mention that they tested it extensively in-house.

Mark Jacobs

See! Free accounts… review copies… comped trips are all part of the process. Even movie reviewers get to see the movie for free and usually at private screenings. If they let that affect their opinions “Gigli” would have been rated one of the top films of all time.

Angry Mob (calmly)

Thy words have soothed our wraith.

Mark Jacobs

Now please untie Tobold so he can get back to blogging and I can get back to WAR.

Angry Mob (sheepishly)

Okay… But you’re no fun!

Mark Jacobs

Sorry. Hey… If you’re looking to channel that aggression… I’ve been working on this little project called WAR…

Angry Mob

I like the sound of it already…

Mark Jacobs (laughing evilly)

MUAHAHA.

The Angry Mob, Mark Jacobs and Tobold leave the blogosphere and go off to find some nice, old fashioned and wholesome fun beating the every living snotling out of each other in WAR.

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