Earlier today, I presented the possibility that a news report that The International Nanny Association has publically condemned an achievement in the Dante's Inferno video game could be a bit of fake-out, viral marketing on the part of Electronic Arts. Given the fact that the company hired fake Christian "protesters" to drum up interest at this year's E3, it seemed possible. Maybe even likely.
So I called the International Nanny Association and spoke to its co-president, Susan Tokayer, to get to the bottom of this. No. It was not a set-up.
Ms. Tokayer was a good sport, and actually sounded a little like Fran Drescher's character in TV sit-com The Nanny, so feel free to imagine Fran Drescher as you read the following slightly ridiculous interview:
G4: So how did a group of nannies even hear about Dante's Inferno? Shouldn't you be minding the children?
Susan Tokayer: Everyone keeps asking us that! A lot of us heard about it through Google Alerts... I have "Nanny" set in my Google Alerts, because I like to know when anyone is writing an article about nannies. So when the words "Bad Nanny" were used in this, it showed up.
G4: EA has, in the past, hired people to protest this game, and I wanted to check if this controversy is fake.
Tokayer: I've gotten that inquiry over a dozen times today through email, people believing that we're trying to publicize this game in some way -- which I guess this is doing -- but that was not our intention. So no, nobody set this up. This just seemed in really poor judgment to be killing babies. And we're the International Nanny Association, so our goal is to educate people and professionalize this industry, and then when you get an achievement it says you're a "bad nanny..."
G4: Well, it's not saying you're a good Nanny when you kill babies...
Tokayer: That's true. I guess it's better to be a good nanny than a bad nanny, but they're killing babies. We understand it's fantasy, and it's just a game. Even though--I've been educated that the babies have horns coming out of their heads or something--It just didn't seem all that funny to us. From where we're coming from.
G4: How long has your organization been around?
Tokayer: For 25 years.
G4: Should there be a Good Nanny video game to counter Dante's Inferno?
Tokayer: This is not my area of expertise, I've never even played a video game. But if we're sending positive messages to people, in my opinion, that's a better thing to do.
G4: Does your organization have an official position on the clothes that Fran Drescher wore on sitcom The Nanny?
Tokayer: We probably wouldn't recommend that our nannies show up to work in tight-fitting outfits. Truthfully, I probably only saw that show once, but she would be an atypical nanny.
G4: Thanks for being a good sport!
So there you have it: An interview with an actual nanny that proves EA isn't making up a "Nanny's hate us!" story to hype Dante's Inferno. This is the kind of hard-hitting news that changes lives, people!